Snellville Spirit New Year's Edition 2023

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2023 SPECIAL EDITION Snellville,WhereEverybody’sProudtoBeSomebody The Grove at Towne Center Updates 20 Things to do in 20 Miles A History of Snellville 100 Years see pages 2 & 3 see pages 8 & 9 see pages 16 & 17
Thomas Snell, Founder James Sawyer, Founder

Snellville to celebrate 100 years in 2023

It’s been 100 years since Snellville became a city, and in that century, it has come a long way from when it was just a supply stop for travelers headed to Athens from Atlanta or vice versa.

Located approximately 25 miles northeast of Atlanta and 45 miles west of Athens at the intersection of U.S. Highway 78 and Georgia 124, the city now boasts a population of about 20,000 – quite a population jump from when the Creek Indians (actually Muscogees, but termed Creeks by settlers since they lived along waterways) were the first settlers in the southern part of Gwinnett County. One of their burial sites was Lanier Mountain, just west of downtown. For two centuries residents of Snellville have found arrowheads, broken pottery, tomahawks, pipes and other evidence of the Native American’s presence.

After the county of Gwinnett was established in 1818 and the land lottery of 1820, many families moved to the southern part of the county where they found rich timber, fertile soil and abundant streams.

As the population increased, churches reflecting the religious backgrounds of the incoming settlers were established in the area. Zoar Methodist Church (1811), Rockbridge Baptist (1819), Haynes Creek Primitive Baptist (1826), Friendship Primitive Baptist (1833), Bethany Baptist (1848), Mt. Zion Baptist Church (1853), Yellow River Baptist (1871) and Raymond Hill Baptist Church (1875) were some of the first. The two largest in-town churches, First Baptist of Snellville (now Church on Main) and Snellville United Methodist, were constituted in 1882 and 1884, respectively.

Although people were moving to this area, there was little commercialism. Families traveled many miles by horse and wagon to purchase needed items for their homes, families and farms.

Snellville’s current identity dates back to 1874, when three teenaged boys in London, England dreamed of coming to America. The young men were Thomas Snell and James and Charles Sawyer. They planned a secret voyage to the United

Sawyer Store

States, but Snell’s parents found out about the trip and disallowed his going. Sawyer and his brother Charles left England March 18, 1874 and arrived in New York on April 1, 1874. They left New York and eventually settled in Madison County, where they worked on a farm. Snell’s parents finally consented to letting him join his friends. They rendezvoused in Danielsville, traveled through Jefferson and Lawrenceville and found work just north of future Snellville on the farm of A.G. Holmes, laboring for $10 per month. After a disagreement over wages, they moved to the farm of Capt. A.A. Dyer which was located off Hewatt Road near what is now R.D. Head Elementary School. Charles left his brother James and friend, Tom, and in time settled in Alabama where he worked in the turpentine industry.

Shortly after his 21st birthday in 1878, James Sawyer left Snell, who was still working on the Dyer farm, and traveled back to England to claim an inheritance. While Sawyer was away, the entrepreneurial Snell married a local girl, was given an initial cache of groceries and supplies by a merchant in the Five Forks/ Yellow River community, and began to sell these. Snell was very successful in this venture by turning and multiplying his inventory several times. Snell liquidated his stock and returned to England to visit family in April 1879. In August 1879 Sawyer and Snell returned to America together and opened a mercantile business in a small wood frame building in the southwest corner of current US 78 and Ga 124. In 1882-83, the two built a large one-story rock store on the east side of 124 with rock from his Snell’s quarry (Baker’s Rock). These two lads were uniquely qualified to establish Snellville as a retail center, since both had worked in a large mercantile firm in London, one of the world’s largest cities. Snell and Sawyer were very successful merchants taking in as much as $500 per day and drawing customers from distant communities. Their business strategies included barter, credit, and making change in “store script” which could be spent only in their store.

Clients traveled from as far away as Athens. The trip to buy

Where Everybody’s Proud to be Somebody Snellville Centennial
Snell House

supplies usually required an overnight stay. The only accommodation available to the travelers was a large chestnut oak grove in which the people camped. There was a well in the front yard of the Snell-Sawyer store that provided water for customers and their animals. For some unknown reason, although there are many theories, after a few years the partnership dissolved.

Snell retained his business in the granite building, and Mr. Sawyer returned to the wooden store across the street and built a two-story granite store around it over a 10-year period. According to folklore, he then dismantled the wooden one and hauled it away. The two-story rock structure was a Snellville icon until it was demolished in 1966.

In 1896, at the age of 39, Snell died unexpectedly in an Atlanta hospital during surgery to remove a large abdominal tumor. He was buried on Brownlee Mountain, now known as Nob Hill, but his grave was later moved to Lithonia. James Sawyer operated his store until the 1940s when he retired due to visual impairment. He

died in 1948 at the age of 91. He is buried in a mausoleum that he built in the Snellville Historical Cemetery.

The City was incorporated in 1923 with Gladstone Snell (founder Tom Snell’s nephew) as Snellville’s first mayor. In the late 1920s the charter became dormant and remained so until the 1940s at which time W.C. Britt became mayor. During his administration the city limits were extended to one mile from the center of town. After Britt’s term of office, the charter again become dormant and remained so until after World War II.

When the charter was activated in 1947, Arthur Stancil became mayor. The mayors who have served are the following: Arthur Stancil 1947-1949, James Cofer and Ernest Williams 1949, Ernest Williams 1950-1961, H.B. Clower 1962-1965, Thomas Briscoe 1966-1969, Jay Sager 1970-1971, Thomas Briscoe 1972-1973, W. Emmett Clower 1974-1999, Brett Harrell 2000-2003, Jerry Oberholtzer 2004-2011, Kelly Kautz 2011-2015, Tom Witts 20162018 and Barbara Bender 2018-present.

The city is currently embarking on its most ambitious development project The Grove at Towne Center which is bringing luxury apartments, a city market, the new Elizabeth Williams Library and numerous shops and restaurants.


A trove of Thomas Snell’s letters to family in England was discovered in 2012. The Snell family and the Snellville Historical Society were notified that 130 such letters were kept in England for a period, sent to a relative in Wisconsin, and held in trust there for over 100 years.

The Creek Indians (actually Muscogees, but termed Creeks by settlers since they lived along waterways) were the first inhabitants of Snellville.

James Sawyer operated his store until the 1940s when he retired due to visual impairment. He died in 1948 at the age of 91. He is buried in the city’s Historical Cemetery next to City Hall.

There is strong belief among some locals that the community was once known as New London, and this may be true, but there is scant proof in the written history to support that theory. Businesses and shopping centers have borne that name in honor of the city’s English founders. Newcomers in the 1970s campaigned to change the name to New London, but it did not happen.


To commemorate 100 years of Snellville history, a store in the same entrepreneurial spirit which drove Thomas Snell and James Sawyer will open in City Hall. Visitors can buy numerous items marking Snellville’s centennial at the front desk at City Hall, 2342 Oak Road. Here is just a sample of products that will be available. Prices and more items will be released on in the near future.

Snellville Centennial
STAY TUNED: The city is in the process of planning numerous events, activities and merchandise to commemorate the city’s centennial. Information will be posted as it becomes available at

The New Year, brings many celebrations to Snellville

Snellville is celebrating the 100th Anniversary and is planning many activities throughout the year.

As you drive through Snellville, you will notice the 100 Years of History banners that are mounted on the light posts throughout the city, reminding us of where we began and how far we have come. Curious about the history of Snellville? You can visit the Snellville Historical Society on Monday’s and Friday’s from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Experience Snellville is busy working on the 2023 event schedule that will be published by the end of January on the website. This year will be one of our busiest years yet, with 19 events planned for the year.

One of our newest activities is the SnellvilleROCKS program that will spread joy in our community one colorful rock at a time. Whether you are a resident or a visitor you can take part in the fun.

We’re excited about all the great things happening at The Grove at Towne Center and are looking forward to the opening of the library and incorporating some events at The Grove toward summer of 2023.

Business after Hours is back! If you are looking for a great way to connect with others, meet new people who may help bring your business to the next level, join us on Feb. 9, 2023 at Fratelli’s from 6 - 8 p.m.

On behalf of the Experience Snellville Board of Directors, our Executive Director Kelly McAloon and Administrative Assistant Jessica Manis, we wish everyone a very happy, healthy, prosperous New Year.


Connecting our Community to Celebrate Snellville

Special Edition 2023 - Volume 44
Publisher/Editor: Kelly McAloon Editor: Brian Arrington Snellville Spirit Magazine is produced by: Snellville Tourism & Trade Association P.O. Box 669 • Snellville, GA 30078 Website:
Tourism and Trade Association’s mission is to promote business, tourism and events in the
of Snellville. President
Secretary Kathy
Don Britt, President, Experience Snellville Administrative
Don Britt
Emanuel Board Member
Eakins Board Member
Everson Board Member Alice Snipes Board Member
Jackson Board Member Stephanie McDonald
Director Kelly McAloon
Assistant Jessica Manis
City Council Mayor Barbara Bender, Mayor Pro Tem Dave Emanuel, Cristy Lenski, Gretchen Schulz, Tod Warner and Solange Destang City Website:
Magazine Design by Brian Arrington, Kelly McAloon and pcoxcreative Magazine Cover Design by pcoxcreative Contributing Writers and Photographers: Kelly McAloon, Don Britt, Brian Arrington, Gretchen Schulz, Barbara Bender, pcoxcreative, Melvin Everson, Meghan Meegan, Dr. Laura Moates Stanley and Greg Perry
5 8 6 7 8
Is your street on the list of 2023 Public Works projects?
Snellville police take home Highway Safety hardware.
New tenants and new ventures at the signature project.
Parks and Recreation helps with annual charity effort.
Check out the fun at city parks and Active Adult Center.
Shop, dine, stay and play in Snellville.
DO A guide of fun things to do locally. SCHOOL NEWS The latest from our local schools. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Gwinnett Tech offers academics close to home. COMMUNITY GARDEN Beds available at Community Garden @ Snellville. REMEMBERING ODUM A tribute to longtime city servant Wayne Odum. FARMERS’ MARKET Applications being sought for spring season. VALENTINE’S DAY FUN Options for you and your Valentine on Feb. 14. FESTIVAL
TREES Food drive donation contest draws thousands of entries.
TREE LIGHTING Pics from the annual Christmas kickoff event. 10 12 15 22 24 25 24 26 6 16 18 CONTENTS 5 16 30 25 10 30 29
MAYOR’S MESSAGE Mayor Barbara Bender looks ahead to a big 2023! UPCOMING PROJECTS

Mayor’s Message - Mayor Barbara Bender

Happy New Year and Welcome to 2023!

This is a very big year for the City as it turns 100 years old on Aug. 20, 2023. The Centennial Celebration committee has been hard at work planning events so stay tuned for more information about the festivities.

The city has certainly come a long way in the past 100 years. Founded by Joseph Thomas Snell and James Sawyer in the late 1800s, Snellville was officially chartered as a city on Aug. 20, 1923. The town grew around the Snell & Sawyer Store and now is home to just over 20,000 residents.

It is meaningful to know Snellville will be opening its new downtown development in its Centennial year. The original downtown area eroded away as U.S. Highway 78 and State Route 124 were paved and widened over the years, losing any semblance of downtown. The Grove at Towne Center will create the walkable business, entertainment and residential area that many residents have been looking for.

Snellville Public Works

Public Works stormwater, road projects for planned 2023

Several streets in Snellville will get new road surfaces and improved stormwater infrastructure thanks to action taken by Mayor and Council in recent months.

A total of 10 stormwater drainage projects commenced Dec. 1 to improve the handling of stormwater and reduce the city’s overall inventory of poor infrastructure.

Weather permitting, the $1.39 million project will be completed by The Dickerson Group, Inc. by June 2023.

The projects will take place at: 2025 Highriggs Lane; 1830-1840 Meadowchase Court; 3060-3065 Oak Meadow Drive; 2747 Oak Meadow Lane; 3155 Pond Ridge Trail; 2221 Westridge Drive; 2281 Westridge Drive; 2963 Williams Place; 2975 FlintRock Way; and 2849 Mountain View Road.

In December, the annual resurfacing and paving project bid was awarded to Pittman Construction Company in the amount of $1.4 million.

The funds for the patching, milling and resurfacing will be taken

Looking ahead to 2023, the city is working on several other projects that should be completed within the year. These projects include adding sidewalks along Pinehurst Road and Skyland Drive, a new (and much needed) Parks maintenance facility in T.W. Briscoe Park and, an intersection improvement at Wisteria Drive and North Road. With the referendum that was approved in November, the city will be adding up to two package stores within the next year.

We have a lot to be grateful for and a lot to look forward to as well. I am looking forward to cutting some ribbons and enjoying all the great events Experience Snellville has lined up for this year.

On behalf of the entire City Council, we wish you a blessed and prosperous New Year!

We have a lot to be grateful for and a lot to look forward to as well. I am looking forward to cutting some ribbons and enjoying all the great events Experience Snellville has lined up for this year.

from the city’s Local Maintenance Improvement Grant Program allotment and city’s budgeted capital paving expense. The road improvements will begin after the new year and be completed, weather permitting, by June 2023.

The roadwork will take place in two subdivisions:

In Olde Hickory subdivision, the following streets will be resurfaced: Benchmark Dive; Gazebo Lane; Hickory Station Circle; Hickory Station Drive; Picket Fence Lane; and Wicker Wood Way.

In Woodberry subdivision, the following streets will be resurfaced: Woodberry Run Drive; Glenwood Lane; Glenwood Way; and South Crestview Drive.

Where Everybody’s Proud to be Somebody

Snellville Police Department

Regional Challenge Winner: Awarded to the agency with the highest cumulative score for agencies their size in the Southeast region.

Distracted Driving Award: Awarded to the agency in the state who made the most effort to reduce the hazards caused by distracted driving through enforcement and education.

“We are proud of our officer’s efforts in education and enforcement to keep our citizens and the motoring public safe on the streets of Snellville,” said SPD Chief Greg Perry. “We will continue to do everything possible to reduce the number of accidents, injuries, and fatalities on our roadways in the future.”

Speed enforcement operation to start early this year

The Snellville Police Department consistently receives complaints of speeders in the neighborhoods around Snellville.

Snellville police take

three trophies from Highway Safety awards

The Snellville Police Department has a long-standing tradition of partnering with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and participation in the Georgia Governor’s Challenge. The Governor’s Challenge Awards is the state’s premier law enforcement awards ceremony for recognizing state, local, campus, and military law enforcement units for the outstanding work they do in promoting highway safety through education and enforcement.

On Dec. 9, the Snellville Police Department was recognized for excellence at the Georgia Governor’s Challenge Awards banquet and received the following awards:

1st Place in Category 4: Awarded to the agency with the highest cumulative score for their submission for agencies with 46-75 officers.

A speed enforcement operation inside our residential neighborhoods will begin in February 2023. The Special Operations Unit, along with other patrol officers, will be slowing down traffic in the neighborhoods with the most issues.

“Although speeds are not normally extreme, anyone traveling over the speed limit in a neighborhood is being unsafe,” Chief Greg Perry said. “We will be performing selective enforcement details in our residential areas. The ultimate desire is to slow down traffic before a child is hit by a car.

“In addition, the Police Department has purchased 10 solar powered speed signs for our neighborhoods in an effort to remind drivers to maintain safe speeds.”

“Our residents expect to live in safe neighborhoods and the speeding seems to be increasing. This initiative is aimed to remind drivers of their responsibility to maintain safe speeds and pay attention, especially in our neighborhoods where children are playing and residents are walking.”

The speed signs are planned to be installed in the first quarter of 2023.


The Grove at Towne Center

The Grove rings in New Year with exciting updates

In 2023, The Grove at Towne Center is expected to fill up with residents, eateries, businesses, entertainment options and the new Elizabeth Williams Library.

While construction continues, there have been recent developments at the site which has the city buzzing.

The Tomlin welcomes first residents to The Grove

The Tomlin, Snellville’s premiere apartment community located in The Grove has welcomed new residents! On Nov. 30, the first group of residents moved into the much-anticipated community. Residents were welcomed with food and festivities before moving into their brand-new homes!

Interested in living at The Grove? The apartments at The Tomlin are still leasing! These luxury apartments offer resort-style amenities, and a level of service that is unmatched – in a vibrant, walkable, city center at The Grove. The Tomlin offers pet friendly, spacious floorplans with tech-enabled smart home technology. All apartments feature sophisticated details and high-end finishes

starting with a gourmet kitchen with stunning granite and quartz countertops, shaker-style soft-close cabinetry, and energy efficient LED light fixtures. Tenants will be able to enjoy the many amenities of The Tomlin such as the cutting edge, 24-hour fitness center, a co-working space and conference room, a heated resortstyle saltwater pool with sundeck and poolside cabanas, as well as a 2nd floor terrace with patio seating, TV’s and pool table. This level of luxury, comfort, and convenience is new to Snellville –and unique to The Tomlin.

Learn more at the

Where Everybody’s Proud to be

The Grove at Towne Center

First looks at The Pavilion at The Grove

Take a sneak peek at one of the newest additions to The Grove! The Pavilion, located on the green, will be the center for your outdoor entertainment. It will feature a stage, with a tree-shaped covering for year-round usage. The Pavilion was designed by Root Design Studio and will be built by Buildline General Contractors.

Other attractions in The Grove’s green space will be a splash pad and a mosaic bench by the artist Jennifer Freeman. This will be an amazing space to enjoy concerts, warm days, and summer nights with family and friends.

Thrive coworking is the newest business coming to The Grove

THRIVE | Coworking is opening in Snellville! This coworking space will be located on the second floor above the state-of-the-art Gwinnett Library, in The Grove at the Town Center.

This new addition to The Grove family will be a great option for those who work from home, or in a hybrid setting, who miss the fellowship and amenities that an office can provide.

THRIVE’s purpose-driven coworking spaces are designed for anyone looking for a new way to work — where you can be connected, not alone, in a professional, inspiring, collaborative and fun atmosphere. THRIVE also works with companies to create the hybrid work locations they need, exactly where they want them — with all the amenities, convenience and culture employees expect, located in vibrant, walkable neighborhoods, close to shops and restaurants.

THRIVE | Snellville features free bottomless coffee/tea and snacks, as well as monthly breakfasts, lunches, and happy hours; plus an ongoing roster of events and activities, from hikes to hang gliding. THRIVE | Snellville offers several monthly levels, from a basic Mailbox where a business mailing address is needed, to Shared or Dedicated space, as well as conference rooms for meetings and events.

Stay tuned as more information and updates will be provided in the coming months! To learn more about Thrive | Snellville visit

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The Grove at Towne Center ... from above

Snellville Parks and Recreation

then allows more kids/families to be included in the Shop with a Cop event and to serve the youth of our community in yet another way.”

Parks department collects food for Southeast Gwinnett Co-op

Snellville Parks and Recreation Department partnered with the Southeast Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry to collect canned goods for the Thanksgiving season.


Parks and Recreation car show raises $2,500

Last year, Snellville Parks and Recreation partnering with Georgia Cool Cruisers, held a successful car show event that raised money for the Snellville Police Department’s Shop with a Cop event.

With the donations from a previous car show in 2021, Snellville Police Department with help from the Snellville Citizens Police Academy Association was able to include 10 more families in the program. Shop with a Cop offers families in need a chance to pick out Christmas gifts with the help of police.

With it being such a successful effort in 2021, the Snellville Parks and Recreation Department decided to raise money again for Shop with a Cop at its 2022 Georgia Cool Cruisers Car Show and was able to raise $2,500 at the November car show.

“We love having Snellville Police Department’s Shop with a Cop as our charity because it allows two Snellville departments to come together for such a great cause,” said Meghan Meegan, Parks and Recreation program coordinator. “Not to mention we have a lot of fun together at the event!”

“Snellville Parks and Recreation is here to serve our residents and visitors in a multitude of ways,” said Director of Parks and Recreation Lisa A Platt, CPRP. “And our Georgia Cool Cruisers Car Show allows us to not just have a great event for all our patrons, but thru generous donations at the event, we are able to help support some of our most precious resources - the kids of our community - by giving them a chance to have a wonderful holiday with toys/items of their choosing. We are thrilled to be a part of this process and to help generate more donations, which

Various SPRD athletic groups came together to contribute along with the Snellville Active Adult Center.

To finish off the collection, SPRD hosted a tennis social where the tennis community came together for a day of tennis and donating canned goods.

“As a Parks and Recreation agency it is our duty to offer programs/activities that enhance the quality of life of our citizens and we also feel that is our duty to help out our community,” said Meghan Meegan, Parks and Recreation program coordinator. “It took a full truck load to drop off everything that was donated and we were so excited to be able to do this!”

Kids kickball league

now being offered at T.W. Briscoe Park

Snellville Parks and Recreation Department is always thinking about new and exciting programs that can be offered in the community. One of the newest programs is Youth Kickball for ages 5-15.

After 67 registrations, SPRD was able to offer a fun youth kickball program in the Fall of 2022. Kids were split into three age groups: 5-7, 8-10 and 11-15 and each week they would participate in fun kickball activities to help them learn the game and end with playing organized kickball games.

SPRD even had a fun Halloween-themed end-of-season party where the kids wore their costumes during the activities. Our goal for the Spring 2023 season is to have multiple teams in each group so that we can conduct an organized youth kickball league at Briscoe Park. Registration for youth kickball will open in this month and all information will be at or at Call the park office with any questions at 770-985-3535.

for Shop with a Cop program
10 Where Everybody’s Proud to be Somebody
left are Parks and Recreation Director Lisa Platt, CPRP, Snellville Police Department Capt. John Tainter and Parks and Recreation Program Coordinator Meghan Meegan with a check for $2,500 for the Shop with a Cop program.

A five-story, 102-room Hampton Inn & Suites will be built in the city following a unanimous vote by the Mayor and Council earlier this year.

The 64,400-square-foot building will be located in Park Place, a development located at the corner of Pharrs Road and Scenic Highway which recently saw the grand opening of Cracker Barrel, Freddie’s, Zaxby’s and Aspen Dental.

There had been concerns the hotel would cause traffic issues at the busy intersection, but, according to the developers, daily trips would be reduced by nearly two thirds of what was previously approved for a 12,000-square-foot restaurant.

“There is a need in the city for a quality limited-service hotel in the Scenic Highway Commercial Corridor as there are very few options for travelers to utilize while staying in the area,” said Planning and Development Director Jason Thompson. “Eastside Medical Center, adjacent restaurants, retail businesses and neighboring residents could all benefit from having a nice Hampton

Inn & Suites by Hilton within the city. Finally, Hampton Inn & Suites, under the Hilton (Hotels) umbrella, has a reputation for being a high-quality brand and product that would be an asset to the city for many years to come.” And just this month, paperwork was filed to bring an Outback Steakhouse to Park Place.

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suite features over 300 square feet of comfortable living
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size kitchen with refrigerator, two-burner stovetop, full size microwave, in-room coffee maker, in-room toaster, dishes, cookware & utensils, and a well-lit kitchen table/work area

Snellville Parks and Recreation

Briscoe Park is open daily

2500 Sawyer Parkway 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. 770-985-3535

Oak Road Park 1925 Oak Road (Passive neighborhood park)

Park office is open Monday - Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information on registration and classes, check out the Parks and Recreation Department on Snellville’s website at

Please “like” our Facebook page for more information on our upcoming events and happenings:

GGLeagues is offering the ultimate Recreational Esports gaming experience for all ages and leagues run during all four seasons. Multiple games are offered including “Madden21,” “Rocket League,” “Fortnite,””Mario Kart,” and “Super Smash Bros.” Information:

Non-profit organization the Generals Athletic Club, offers sport programs and mentorship to the Snellville and Shiloh community. Information:

All-In FC offers recreational and academy/ select youth soccer programs at Briscoe Park. Information:

National Youth Flag Football offers youth flag football at Briscoe Park. Practices and games will take place on Sundays. For more information visit

Youth Kickball for ages 5-15 will be back in the Spring. Info will be at when it becomes available

For information about adult sports including softball and flag football visit

For information on tennis instruction, clinics, camps, and leagues by certified tennis instructors at Briscoe Park visit www.aetennis. com or call 470-417-4547.

New programs at Briscoe Park: Jazzercise Monday and Thursdays 4:45-5:45 p.m.

Contact Myesha at and Martial Arts on Tuesdays 6-7 p.m. Contact Susan at

Where Everybody’s Proud to be Somebody

ALTA 18u fall 2022 champs

Snellville Parks and Recreation

The Snellville Active Adult Center is for adults 55 and older and is located next to Snellville City Hall. Membership is $25 for Gwinnett County Residents, $15 for City Limit Residents and $30 for those outside of Gwinnett County. The Center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For class times, dates and fees, call 770-985-3580. Check out our FB page at


Free with membership

Mondays and Thursdays

9:15 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.


$3 per class

Tuesdays 10 a.m.

Painting Group

Free style - No instructor

First and third Thursdays at 1 p.m.

Crochet and knitting

Free with membership 12 p.m., Tuesdays

Spanish classes

Offered for beginners, intermediate and advanced speakers

All week, call 770-985-3580 for times and days

Also: Daytrips and Overnight Trips


Bible Study

Self Defense for Seniors

Bowling Card-making classes


Sewing/Quilting Classes

Beginning computer, smartphone and tablet classes coming soon.


Bingo (First Fridays)

Aerobic Exercise and weight room Line Dancing Zumba


From left are Lisa Platt, Director of Snellville Parks and Recreation, Mayor Barbara Bender and Active Adult Center of the year Earnestine Jones at a recent council meeting.
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Snellville Celebrates 100Years of History Snellville Celebrates 100Years of History

Come celebrate 100 years of history in Snellville and experience the diverse cultures and dynamic traditions that have helped shape our story. No matter your interests, the city has countless opportunities for the entire family to enjoy.

The Tomlin at The Grove at Towne Center, a pet friendly community, is a breath of fresh air in the pulse of a city center reborn. The Tomlin, luxury apartments, offers resort-style amenities and a level of service unmatched.

Sample the many flavors that Snellville has to offer, from the traditional southern cuisine to the fresh from scratch restaurants and shop at one of the largest shopping areas in Gwinnett County.

Briscoe Park, featuring a lake, community garden, playground, pool, athletic fields and courts offers all the amenities for the perfect family reunion. Snellville park and hotels are the perfect place to book your next family reunion, sports tournament or event.

Snellville Veterans Memorial is a unique memorial where residents and visitors alike can come to honor or memorialize those who served our country to protect our freedom.

Visit us at:


T.W. Briscoe Park - 1.6 mi

Visit beautiful Briscoe Park and check out all the things it has to offer including two softball fields, two indoor rental rooms, four outdoor open-air pavilions, outdoor pool, 1.2 mile paved walking trail, 6-acre lake, tennis courts, basketball courts, and much more!

Creekwater Alpaca Farm - 5.6 mi

The unique farm in Snellville, Ga. has been home to over 50 alpacas since 1993. We offer a safe, close up, hands-on experience unlike any other. Bring the family and enjoy petting the alpacas in their pen and seeing the bunnies and goats too! Guinea Fowl and Tolouse Geese also call Creekwater home. Enjoy it all with public or private tours. Visit our gift shop!

Saltville Grotto & Spa - 0.2 mi

Saltville Grotto & Spa will be your salty oasis in Snellville. We offer both wet and dry salt therapies such as floatation and a salt cave. In addition, you can get a massage, foot massage or ionic foot detox. Or maybe a session in our infrared sauna is more your style.

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament - 11 mi

Welcome to our castles! It is our honor to provide you with an unforgettable experience of rivalry, feasting and fun! Epic battles of steel and steed, beyond the strength lies the power of charm.

Stone Mountain Park - 8.4 mi

One of Atlanta’s favorite destinations for the entire family. Nestled in 3200 acres of natural beauty, Stone Mountain Park features family-friendly attractions and outdoor recreational activities. Seasonal events are offered throughout the year that will definitely delight every member of the family.

Lenora Park - 5.8 mi

Lenora Park offers a wide variety of amenities such as a gymnasium, seven baseball/softball fields, fishing lake, dog park area, 18-hole Disc Golf Course, 1.5 mile paved trail, pavilion, playgrounds and much more.

Yellow River Wildlife Sanctuary - 5 mi

Explore one of Georgia’s most iconic landmarks. Located in central Gwinnett alongside Yellow River, just minutes from Snellville. We are home to the original Bison herd, beautiful peacocks, albino wallabies, babydoll sheep, alpacas, fallow deer, spider monkeys, and much more.

Snellville Veterans Memorial - .1 mi

The Snellville Veterans Memorial is a state-of-the-art Memorial where locals and visitors stop by to reflect and pay homage to those who fought so selflessly for our freedom. “FREEDOM IS NEVER FREE.”

Annual Memorial Day and Veterans Day programs are held in front of the Veterans Memorial each year.

Urban Air Adventure Park - 3.7 mi

If you are looking for the best yearround indoor amusement park in the Snellville and Gwinnett County area, Urban Air Adventure Park is the perfect place. Come have some fun with us on the Go-Karts, Trampolines, Wipeout, Warrior Course, and zip line. An absolute must – check out the Skydiving attraction!

TOPGOLF - 15 mi

There’s no pressure to have a good golf swing or score a lot of points. At TOPGOLF, we’ve made socializing a sport through a blend of technology and entertainment. No matter the occasion we believe that every great time starts with play, is fueled by food and drinks and moved by music.


Lincoln Fill Station - 0.9 mi

Based in Snellville, we are north Georgia’s prime destination for craft beer and fine cigars. Whatever the weather, our covered patio and indoor lounge is the best place to enjoy delicious craft beers 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We have food trucks on site Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons.

Niko’s Wine Corner - 0.9 mi

Dragon Queen Winery - 1 mi

Veteran owned and operated. Has a large selection of wines that can be shipped to Georgia customers only. Stop in and try our new wines and the delicious wine slushies. Wine tastings end 30 minutes prior to closing.

Come visit Niko’s Wine Corner in Snellville and meet new owners Regina Koranteng and Seth Wiredu. They carry exotic beers that are not available in many package and grocery stores. In addition to the very extensive selection of great wines and craft beers, they have Gwinnett County’s first wine bar. Three Enomatic wine tasting machines provide an extensive and changing array of 32 amazing white and red wines. Weekly wine tasting events available.

Ironshield Brewing - 7.8 mi

Slow Pour Brewing - 7.8 mi

Gwinnett County’s first brewery features the beautifully inviting tasting room and beer garden beckoning friends to sit and chat, in a family friendly atmosphere. Slow Pour offers delicious, innovative and original beers. Several nights a week there will be live music with food trucks on site. Dog friendly brewery.

Tucker Brewing - 13 mi

Proud to be named #4 Best Beer Garden in America by USA Today! Tucker Brewing Company is Georgia’s premium lager brewery, dedicated to making easy-to-drink, flavorful lager beers. This is a family owned lager brewery inspired by German brewing traditions and honors the Southern roots of its owners. We strive every day to create a warm environment where family and friends can come together to appreciate beer, food and life.

Stars and Strikes

Entertainment Center/Bowling - 5.4 mi

This family entertainment center boasts over 30,000 sq. ft. of fun! Guests are greeted at Stars and Strikes with upgraded bowling, an exciting arcade and a full-service restaurant and bar.

Proudly brewing authentic European ales and lagers... no passport required!

Ironshield creates world-class, classic beers to spark conversations and grow friendships. We want people of all stripes to enjoy our brews.

Outrun Brewing - 11 mi

We are a brewer owned and operated, small scale production brewery that focuses on approachable and highly drinkable small-batch brews. We put our own spin on a variety of styles, old and new. Our beer is brewed in house and only available in our taproom. We take our beer seriously, but not ourselves, and are dedicated to brewing rarities, untasted originals and re-imagined favorites.

The Complex Sports & Entertainment - approx 20 mi

The Complex offers over 30 different sports games and activities all under one roof. From cricket to baseball, experience numerous sports like never before and new ones for the very first time.

Andretti Indoor Karting & Games -

Excitement at every turn, Andretti’s offers Karting, Andretti 7D Experience, Duckpin Bowling, Arcade, Racing Simulators, Two-level Laser Tag, Hologate and a dining bar. Join our E-club and be on the inside track for exclusive specials, promotions and just general awesomeness tailored to what you want to do!

16 mi

South Gwinnett High School

Kudos to South Gwinnett High School Comet Athletes for placing first in basketball at the recent Special Olympics. The Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and physical disabilities, providing year-round training and activities to 5 million participants and Unified Sports partners in 172 countries.

This year South Gwinnett’s business students competed against Chicago and Philadelphia in the SuitUp x Capgemini Multi Market Competition. Students took on the role of CEO for a company named Capgemini and created a model for a teen–friendly app focused on financial literacy. Congratulations to South Gwinnett High SchoolAtlanta Market for winning the title of National Champions.

The South Gwinnett High School 3DE marketing students had their first selling event at the school. At the Blue Thursday fair, students showcased and sold their products. For more about 3DE visit

Where Everybody’s Proud to be Somebody

Brookwood High School

BHS Marching Band stops to smell the roses

Some experiences are almost impossible to put into words and no doubt the Brookwood Bronco Marching Band’s trip to Pasadena, Ca. to participate in The 134th Rose Parade presented by Honda was one of them!

Three-hundred thirty-two travelers (215 marchers, 20 chaperones, five staff and many friends and family) participated in an incredible journey to California. They spent a day in downtown Los Angeles on a walking tour, watched “Avatar: The Way of Water” in the El Capitan Theatre, spent New Years Eve at Disneyland, spent New Years Day at Universal Studios, participated in Bandfest, toured the Float Barn and represented Gwinnett County/Brookwood High School extremely well in The Rose Parade.

BHS is thankful for the support of the Brookwood Community and Dr. Brett Savage BHS Principal, Dave Cashman, BHS AP and Philip Jones, BHS Head Football Coach for their attendance in California! Brookwood is a special place! Go Broncos!

Hill Top Pawn and Gun At Hill Top Pawn and Gun we want everyone to know we are “Large Enough to Handle your Needs and Small Enough to Care.” Hill Top Pawn Inc. 1882 Athens Highway Snellville, GA 30078 770-978-7079 WE BUY GOLD! With over 50 years of combined experience in the Gold buying industry, we are confident that we can offer top dollar for your Gold and Silver. Firearm Sales In our Firearm department we have a wide variety of new and used firearms with a staff that is friendly knowledgeable and willing to help. $Cash Loans$ At Hill Top Pawn we specialize in loaning out cash! We loan money on just about anything with amounts up to $10,000 Gold, Guns, Electronics, Tools, Instruments, Sporting Goods, Cars, Trailers, Boats, Motorcycles and more. (All loans are collateral based) HAPPY NEW YEAR! Check out all the 2023 New Year’s Deals Watch our digital media board/store front sign for new arriving sporting goods inventories. Take full advantage of our beginning of the New Year specials on a variety of firearms and accessories! Follow us on Facebook for all of the new products starting in February 2020! •Free Hot Breakfast •Suites and Jacuzzi Rooms •100% Non-Smoking •Heated Indoor Pool •Fitness Center •Meeting Room
HaveaROCKinggoodtime!!! Bringing Joy to the Community One Colorful Rock at a Time Rocks painted
McDonald and James Hays Rocks painted
All Services include: Complimentary; HotTea or Spring Water Spa Robe & Fresh Towels Aromatherapy & Spa Socks Salt Water Float Pods Salt Cave Massage/Reiki Zen Meditation Chair Infrared Sauna Red Light Therapy Bed Yoga/Tai Chi Ionic Foot Detox Special events Spa Packages Gift Certificates 678-585-1153 2415 Heritage Village Ste 3 Snellville GA 30078 Formerly Serenity Salt Cave & Healing Center Grand Opening —Sept 1-4
SnellvilleROCKS is inspired by a grassroots initiative of community ROCKS groups to brightening the days of our residents and visitorsone colorful rock at a time. Join in the fun and paint a rock, hide
find rocks that are painted by others. It all about connecting people in our community through a little act of kindness and having fun! If
find a ROCK and like it, feel free to keep it or you can hide it for someone else to find, but be sure to post it on our SnellvilleROCKS Facebook page. Let’s spread the JOY throughout our community.
SnellvilleROCKS Facebook page, join the group and get involved. Clues where the rocks are hidden will be posted on the SnellvilleROCKS Facebook page. When you find a rock you will also be able to post the rock you found.
by South Gwinnett High School Art Classes. Teachers: Stephanie
by Britt Elementary School 2nd and 3rd Grade Art Club. Teacher: Pilar Hernandez

Gwinnett Tech sets pace with technology offerings

When it comes to economic development, Gwinnett Technical College traverses far above the clouds to ensure businesses and industries are equipped with the most advanced and up to date technology workforce.

A coupe of years ago, Gov. Brian Kemp, Gwinnett Tech’s President Dr. Glenn Cannon and Leadership Team, and several state and local elected officials were on hand for the groundbreaking of the new Emerging Technology & Cybersecurity Building built on the Lawrenceville campus. In the spring semester of 2023, this state-of-the-art facility will hold classes for many aspiring students working towards their respective degrees, diplomas or continuing education certificates.

The new state of the art Emerging Technology Cybersecurity

Economic Development
to be Somebody
Where Everybody’s Proud

Economic Development

Building is yet another example of Gwinnett Tech reaching beyond and to the sky to ensure businesses and industries in its service area have all the tools they need to be successful. Being prepared for everyday cyberattacks, to computer programing, to game development, to website design and development, to AWS Cloud Certification, Gwinnet Technical College is preparing an educated workforce.

Listed below are many of the classes that will ll be offered in the Emerging Technology: Cybersecurity Building. Computer Programming Computer Programming, AAS Computer Programming, Diploma Java Programmer, Certificate Cybersecurity Cybersecurity, AAS Cybersecurity, Diploma Cyber Crime Specialist, Certificate Cybersecurity, Certificate Game Development

Game Development, AAS Game Development, Diploma Game Developer, Certificate Networking Specialist

AWS Cloud Computing, Certificate Networking Specialist, AAS Networking Specialist, Diploma Cisco Network Specialist CCNA, Certificate Data Center Specialist, Certificate Linux/UNIX System Administrator, Certificate Network Administrator, Certificate PC Repair and Network Technician, Certificate Website Development and Design Website Design/Development, AAS Website Design/Development, Diploma

Gwinnett Technical College is a public technical school in the U.S. state of Georgia with campuses in Lawrenceville and Alpharetta. It is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Since opening its doors as the Gwinnett Area Technical School in 1984, the college has added numerous programs of study, made two name changes, expanded its facilities and experienced enrollment growth. Currently, the Lawrenceville campus is 88 acres and the Alpharetta-North Fulton Campus is 25 acres.

Address: 5150 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville Phone: 770-962-7580 Website:

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Community Garden @ Snellville

Community Garden accepting bed applications

It may seem early to start thinking about fresh, red-ripe tomatoes that are bursting with flavor or just-picked squash or okra. How about fresh herbs like basil, oregano and rosemary that add a punch of flavor to many dishes? You can also brighten your home with colorful zinnias and sunflowers. All of these — and much more — can be grown in a bed at the Community Garden @ Snellville.

The garden, which is located across from the city’s Recycling Center in Briscoe Park, is accepting applications from gardeners who wish to rent a bed. Priority will be given to current gardeners who wish to maintain their bed. Then new gardeners are assigned to any remaining

Remembering Wayne Odum

beds. The garden year starts on April 1st. Beds are available in two sizes: 4-foot-by 8-foot and 4-foot-by 12 foot.

In addition to maintaining their bed, all gardeners are expected to contribute 6 hours per bed of volunteer time for the maintenance of common areas of the garden.

Work sessions lasting about two hours are scheduled every couple months.

For additional information and an application, please go to the garden website:

New gardeners, please do not send payment until confirming that your requested bed size is available.

Snellville remembers longtime councilman Odum

The City of Snellville is mourning the loss of longtime councilman Samuel Wayne Odum who passed away Nov. 17. He was 92.

Odum was the longest serving councilmember in the city’s history, serving several terms spanning the course of 33 years from 1963 to 1999. The city’s former senior center was named after him, city officials said.

Former Mayor Emmett Clower praised Odum for his service to the city and considered him a great friend.

“Wayne Odum was a man of his word,” Clower said. “He loved Snellville.”

24 Where Everybody’s Proud to be Somebody

Vendors wanted for Farmers’ Market

Are you interested in becoming a vendor at the Snellville Farmers’ Market?

Beginning in February, the market will consider applications for the 2023 summer season market, which will be held every Saturday, 8:30 am to 12:30 pm, June through September, on the Towne Green. The application will be posted on the market website:

Our market is a producer-only market, which requires that sellers must grow or make the products they offer. The market’s primary mission is to provide the community with access to locally grown and raised agricultural products, but market administrators do approve a limited number of other products such as locally made baked goods, body care products, candles and crafts.

There are a few new products the market would especially like to consider for the next season, including fresh pasta, cheeses and mushrooms. If you, or someone you know, might qualify, please go to our website for the vendor application.

In the meantime, be sure to come see us at our “extended season” market. The twice-a-month market, held through May 2023, is held 9 am to noon on the first and third Saturdays in the City Hall parking lot. This market usually has 25-30 vendors in attendance who offer a nice variety of products, including seasonal produce, baked goods, jams and jellies, honey, eggs, beef, pork, and made-to-order pizza. This year we have a coffee vendor located right at the market entrance so you can purchase your favorite coffee beverage to enjoy while you shop.

If you wish to receive the Snellville Farmers Market newsletter, please send your email address to Also follow us on Instagram and on our Facebook page where you will find an updated list of vendors prior to each market.

PHOTOS: (Top) Pet Wants offers a large variety of treats and food for your furry friend. (Middle) Torbush Woodworks sells beautiful handmade items. (Bottom) Duluth Cottage Kitchen makes a large variety of jams.

25 Snellville Farmers’ Market
26 Find Everything for Your Love in Snellville! Shop. Dine.Stay. Create Memories in Snellville!

Fratelli’s is a New York-style pizzeria and Italian restaurant located in Snellville, Georgia. In addition to specialty pizzas and pastas, our menu also includes gluten-free options and homemade desserts. We cater both small and large functions and have several take-out and delivery options. We are a family-owned and –operated business whose authentic cuisine and friendly service will keep you coming back as part of the family.

Fratelli’s is a New York-style pizzeria and Italian restaurant located in Snellville, Georgia In addition to specialty pizzas and pastas, our menu also includes gluten-free options and homemade desserts. We cater both small and large functions and have several take-out and delivery options. We are a family-owned and –operated business whose authentic cuisine and friendly service will keep you coming back as part of the family.

We are happy to announce that due to our local success, we will be upgrading to a bigger and better location. We would like to thank our family and loyal customers for making us Best of Gwinnett for the third year in a row!

Fratelli’s is a New York-style pizzeria and Italian restaurant located in Snellville, Georgia. In addition to specialty pizzas and pastas, our menu also includes gluten-free options and homemade desserts. We cater both small and large functions and have several take-out and delivery options. We are a family-owned and –operated business whose authentic cuisine and friendly service will keep you coming back as part of the family. We are happy to announce that due to our local success, we have moved to a bigger and better location. We would like to thank our family and loyal customers for making us Best of Gwinnett for the third year in a row!

We are happy to announce that due to our local success, we have moved to a bigger and better location. We would like to thank our family and loyal customers for making us Best of Gwinnett for the third year in a row! (470)375-4701 1711 Athens Hwy | Grayson, GA 30019

on Facebook!

Athens Hwy | Grayson, GA 30019

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Like Us
1711 Athens Hwy | Grayson, GA 30019
“We Cater”
(Pizza not included. Must show ID) FREE BIRTHDAY DINNER up to $15 Valentine Networking Event February 9, 2023 • 6 – 8 PM Presented by Hosted by 1711 Atlanta Hwy. Snellville - Grayson Live music featuring JOHNNY PARAZZO Light snacks and a cash bar! Great Networking • Great Food Great Door Prizes GRAND VALENTINE DOOR PRIZE Includes one night at Hampton Inn & Suites, dinner, wine, and a box of chocolates!
Askfor yourspecial 10%Springdiscountbymentioning ouradinSnellvilleSpiritMagazine! “Best of Gwinnett since 2017!” Preferred Printing and Mailing Vendor of Fast • Friendly • Dependable Print & Direct Mail Happy 100th Birthday Snellville! Happy New Year! 2 ABC_Spirit_Ad_January_2023_v1 Folder copy.indd 1 1/3/23 4:22 PM COME PLAY IN OUR BACKYARD! ALL-INCLUSIVE FAMILY FUN Our Backyard mini golf 3685 Harrison Rd., Loganville, GA • 470.699.3348 Scan the QR Code above for BOGO through March 31, 2023

Seventh Annual Festival of Trees

St. Oliver Plunkett Catholic Church Wins 2022 Best Tree

Many thanks to all those who participated in the 7th Annual Festival of Trees and to all those who generously donated food items and toys. We were very excited to donate a total of more than 9,000 items to the Southeast Gwinnett Co-op and Toys for Tots this year. Congratulations to St. Oliver Plunkett Catholic Church for winning best tree by receiving 4,440 votes.

All food items were donated to the Southeast Gwinnett Co-op to “Give Hunger the Boot” and all the toys were donated to the “Toys for Tots” program.

St. Oliver Plunkett Catholic Church St. Oliver Plunkett Catholic Church Britt Elementary School Historical Society of Snellville Snellville Lion’s Club American Legion Post 232 BenchMark Physical Therapy Snellville-Grayson Exceptional Foundation of Atlanta Snellville Performing Arts
... Many thanks to Team Snellville Volunteers,
Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree
... We had so much fun with thee!
Snellville Police Department and Public Works
Snellville Tourism & Trade P.O.
669 Snellville, GA
Snellville, Where Everybody is Proud to be Somebody.

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