Saturday, June 26, 2010

Celebrate the 4th of July in Roswell

On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress approved a Declaration of Independence, explaining the reasons for the resolution of Independence that they’d approved 2 days before. Even though the official signing wasn’t done until August of that year, down through the ages the Fourth of July has been celebrated as the official start of the United States of America.

Every family has their Fourth of July celebration rituals. Cookouts, watching parades or baseball games, listening to patriotic music, and wearing red, white & blue are just some of the ways I’ve celebrated. As an adult, by far my favorite way is to watch fireworks displays. Setting off a few firecrackers in the backyard just doesn’t compare with a full blown pyrotechnic display. My favorite ones are those set to music. It’s hard not to be proud of our country while listening to a John Philip Sousa march tune or Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” punctuated with brilliant flashes of light in the night sky.

If you love fireworks like I do, you don’t want to miss Roswell's 11th Annual July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza which is held at Roswell High School. The music starts at 6 pm with Back Trax and finishes with Banks & Shane at 7:30. Fireworks are at dark. Food will be for sale on site. The High School is located at 11595 King Road.

Happy 4th of July!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Last Weekend for "Go Wild in Roswell"

It’s the last weekend for “Go Wild In Roswell,” and there’s plenty to do. Here are just some of the activities for this weekend:

. Roswell Go Wild Thursday Night Bicycle Ride, June 3rd. Meet at Riverside Park at 6:30 pm, dressed as your favorite wild animal. Bring a donation for the Chattahoochee Nature Center.

. Animal Stalking Workshop with Mark Warren of Medicine Bow on Friday at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. 10 am – noon. Pre-registration recommended. Included in admission price for CNC.

. Family Night Hike & Stargazing at the Chattahoochee Nature Center on Friday at 8 pm. $10 for non-members, $5 for CNC members.

. Riverside Sounds Concert at Riverside Park, Saturday, 6/5 at 7:30 pm. Free and open to the public.

. The 25th Annual Magnolia Ball, 6/5 – benefits Bulloch Hall. Call 770-992-1731 for tickets and additional information.

. Sundays on the Square Concert, featuring the Bonaventure Quartet, Sunday, 6/5 from 3-4:30 pm. Free concert.

For more details on these events and a full list of the scheduled events, download a "Go Wild in Roswell" booklet at:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Roswell Remembers

Are you looking for something to do this Memorial Day? Roswell Georgia is home to the largest Memorial Day celebration in the state of Georgia. Each year, folks gather on the lawn of Roswell City Hall to honor those who have given their lives to protect our freedoms.

I love the bagpipes and the fife and drums, but the most memorable part is when the service hymn of each branch of the military is played. Gentleman and ladies, who were sometimes barely able to walk to their seats, rise up, stand straight and tall, and salute as their service hymn is played. My gratitude bubbles up as I watch and I confess I shed a tear or two.

Displays are open to the public starting at 10 am. The military ceremony begins at 11 am, and by 12:45 picnic lunches appear and the music of Banks and Shane fill the air. For full details about the program, check out:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Don't Forget Mom!

Calling all husbands, fathers, and children, this is your final warning that Mother’s Day is this weekend! Unless you’re of an age where the Tooth Fairy regularly visits, you probably have outgrown simply giving Mom a great big kiss to go with the card you made in school. Husbands – as much as your wife might let you think that a new washing machine or vacuum cleaner is just what she wanted, take it from me, your stock will rise measurably if you’re a little more creative.

If picking out gifts for Mom isn’t your thing, don’t worry - Roswell has you covered!

20th Annual Colors Festival of Arts is Saturday and Sunday, May 8th and 9th. Admission to the show is free. The festival is held on the Historic Town Square, which is located at the intersection of Highways 9 & 120, 10 am. - 6 pm. Historic Town Square will be filled with fine arts, original crafts, children’s activities, fun food, and entertainment.

For entertainment details, check out

Treat Mom to a day off from cooking! We have many unique and fun restaurants in Roswell. Mother’s Day lunch can be a very busy time so reservations are recommended. For restaurant ideas, check out

Let Mom Shop Until She Drops – This is easy for you and fun for her! Take your wife or mom to visit the unique shops on Canton Street and SoCA (that’s “South of Canton” street for the uninformed). Better yet, partner with some fellow husbands or your siblings and make it a “Girls Day Out” for all of the wives/moms. With so many interesting shops and fun eating opportunities, I’ve known ladies to have a great time looking, eating, and shopping for hours. Check out the shops at and

Treat Mom to a Make-Over or Spa Day – Hmm, wonder if my husband is reading this blog because this is so me! A little pampering can go a long way to making Mom feel special. We have a lot of great spas and salons that are ready to work their magic on Mom. Check the out under the Beauty tab on

Treat Mom to a mini-Getaway – Book a babysitter and whisk Mom away to one of our hotels for a weekend where the two of you can unwind and get re-acquainted. We have lodging options to fit all budgets. Check out and book your favorite. During the day, there are many, many attractions for you that Mom would just love. has lots to keep you busy.

You can Find It All in Roswell, GA!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Roswell Cycling Festival – Alive and Rolling

If you’ve been seeing bicycles decorated by Roswell artists and businesses popping up around Roswell, you’ve seen the start of the “Roswell Cycling Festival – Alive and Rolling.” This month-long celebration culminates in two great events on April 24th and 25th.

Big Creek Mountain Bike Day

Saturday 4/24
10 am. - 2 pm
Big Creek Park Parking lot - 1600 Old Alabama Rd, Roswell GA 30076

This fun program for kids of all ages will be held at Big Creek Park. Parents bring your kids out and join in the fun. RAMBO will be serving up hamburgers and hot dogs, skills clinics, family group rides and kid's bike games with prizes! Adults will be able to demo the latest bikes provided by Roswell Bicycles. A dirt jump demo will be held in the Freeride area and the day will be a blast for all ages. Best of all, the entire event is a budget friendly price – free!

9th Annual Historic Roswell Criterium

Sunday, April 25

Canton Street, Roswell GA 30075

Speed, spectators, scenery – Historic Roswell Criterium has it all.

Start the day with the 8 am Mayors Ride in Roswell Area Park on Woodstock Road. Registration begins at 7 am followed by three recreational ride options which showcase the City of Roswell:

1) Family 6-mile tour around old town Roswell;

2) 20 mile Challenge that adds 14 miles of rolling hills to the tour ride;

3) The 40 mile Workout that adds 20 more challenging, beautiful miles.

Criterium races begin at 10:30 am and the last race of the day is a 90 minute professional race that begins at 6 pm. There is even a children’s race where children who complete the 2:30 pm Bicycle Safety Rodeo come out on the professional track for a 200 yard race.

Spectators will gather all along the route so bring your chairs and come prepared for a fun day. With children’s events and shopping at the quaint shops on Canton Street, there’s something for all ages to enjoy.

Full details about all Cycling Festival events at:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Meet The Author

Meet the Author
April 10, 1-4 P.M.
Roswell Visitors Center
617 Atlanta Street, Roswell, GA

This coming Saturday, several local authors will gather in the Visitors Center to answer your questions as well as sign copies of their books. It’s a great chance to meet the authors and learn more about three different periods of time in Georgia history.

Dianna Avena
Author: Roswell History, Haunts & Legends
“The town of Roswell is haunted by the lingering ghosts of generations long dead.” Dianna has had a lifelong interest in the paranormal. In college, she planned a life as a physician, but found she continued to be drawn to stories of miracles and unexplained phenomena. She and her husband, Joe, have made the Roswell Ghost Tour extremely successful, garnering national attention. Dianna founded Roswell Georgia Paranormal Investigations and her team was announced as a Georgia representative for the Atlantic Paranormal Society. She is the co-host of the After Twilight radio show and she has co-hosted the national paranormal convention Univ-Con 7, alongside Chad Calek of Steven Spielberg’s Rising.

Cathy Kaemmerlen
Author: General Sherman and the Georgia Belles
Cathy is a renowned storyteller, author, and historical interpreter. In this book, she provides a colorful collection of tales of exceptional Georgia women who made great sacrifices in an effort to save their families and homes. From the innocent diary of a 10-year-old girl to the words of a woman who risks everything to see her husband one last time, Kaemmerlen exposes the grit and gumption of these remarkable Southern women in inspiring and entertaining fashion.

Jack Mallard
Author: The Atlanta Child Murders: The Night Stalker
Jack Mallard is a retired Georgia Prosecutor (1967-2007). After receiving a law degree from Woodrow Wilson College of Law he began his career as an Assistant District Attorney in Atlanta. Later he would take the lead role in the Missing and Murdered Children’s Case in which 28 victims were found murdered within a two-year span, ending with the arrest of Wayne Williams. In his career Jack has prosecuted many high-profile cases. He served on the Board of Directors - National District Attorneys Association; the Georgia Organized Crime Prevention Council; and received the Governor’s Public Safety Award. This is his first book and is based on the Wayne Williams Case. Was Wayne Williams the Night Stalker? Read the book for information that will help you decide.

For more information about Storytelling workshops, performances, Authors’ events, and Visual Arts events that will be at the Visitors Center between now and June, download a brochure from

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cycling, Art, and Nature – Oh, my!

We’re about to head into a busy but fun time of festivals in Roswell. There’s so much fun coming that it’s hard to know where to start. So, how about the basics and then I’ll fill you in with subsequent Blogs with the details?

GO WILD IN ROSWELL: May 20 – June 6
Nature, history, great restaurants, and shops await your discovery as you GO WILD IN ROSWELL. Over 64 Special Events and Activities are planned during May 20 – June 6 for fun and festivities. Many are free, others have nominal charges associated with them.

Start planning with

Colors Festival of Arts – May 8 and 9, on the Square in Roswell
This is the 20th year that artists gather on the square to wow you with their creations. This juried festival has artists with works as varied as crafts such as rock candles to all kinds of glass creations to oil and acrylic paintings. There’s something for everyone, even the children. And what festival would be complete without festival food? I can picture the funnel cakes, kabobs, etc., that you just can’t find anywhere else. During the festival, you will be entertained with dance troops and musical groups performing in the gazebo. It makes for a great family outing!

Roswell Cycling Festival - Fun for the Entire Family!
April 24: Mountain Bike Day (April 24); at Big Creek Mountain Bike Trails with a skills clinic, dirt jump demos, plus yummy hotdogs and hamburgers cooked on the grill.

April 25: 9th Annual Roswell Criterium - Professional & Amateur Bicycle Race in Roswell's Historic District. Thrills, spills and high speed make these races exciting! Some of the top teams will be competing - don't miss the fun.

But that’s not all, in addition to a great time to meet and greet while watching cyclists racing around the course there will be a Kids Bicycle Safety Rodeo and Youth Races, the annual Mayor's Ride, a Be Bike Friendly 5-K Foot Race, Swap Meet, and businesses will be decorated with Art Bicycles.

Download a brochure with all of the details at

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Folk Art or Simply Warmth?

To me, quilts evoke a wonderful feeling of being loved. As I gaze at the tiny stitches and beautiful combinations of shapes and fabrics, I see the loving hands that spent hour upon hour creating this beautiful work of art.

Whether you see a quilt as a great way to keep of the chill or as a beautiful piece of Folk Art, you don’t want to miss the annual feast of the eyes that is the 28th Great American Cover-Up Quilt Show at Bulloch Hall. More than 200 handcrafted quilts will be on display throughout the classic home.

The show,” Tomorrow’s Classics Today” is Saturday, March 13 through Sunday, March 21. Self-guided tours are Mon. – Sat, 10 am – 4 pm and Sun., 1 – 4 pm. Admission to Bulloch Hall is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $6 for children ages 6-18.

This year, the Bulloch Hall Quilt Guild highlights a special exhibit as part of the show: "Vintage revisited...A block challenge exhibit"

Throughout our history, a woman's work has never been completely done. As a result, many quilting projects have been left in various stages of completion.

What would happen if a set of blocks was divided among a number of quilt artists and each was left to create a quilt in her own unique style?

In the spring of 2006, quilters of all the backgrounds were invited to participate in just such a challenge. As a result, a group of 19 talented women committed themselves to this exciting two-year project. The group includes art quilters, traditionalists, historians, and relative newcomers to this quilting journey.

Six sets of vintage blocks were distributed to these brave artists. The block was theirs to play with! They could add to it, cut it up, embellish it, recreate it, improve upon it and more. The only requirement was that the finished quilt measure 24" x 24" and that the original block be included in the final project. In all, there are a total of 120 quilts.

Buy the Book - Meet the Author!

A new book, "A Quilt Block Challenge: Vintage Revisited" will be available at Bulloch Hall on March 14. The Bulloch Hall Quilt Guild will be sponsoring an afternoon tea, Sunday, March 14 from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. The public is invited to come meet Mary Kerr, author and curator of "Vintage Revisited"

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Roswell Roots

Regardless of your heritage, you don’t want to miss the Roswell Roots festival. This year’s festival marks the ninth year Roswell has hosted what has become the largest and most comprehensive Black History celebration in the state of Georgia. Throughout the month Black History and culture are celebrated with a series of unique and fun events for everyone. Come share in our rich history and contemporary culture and discover something exciting about Roswell that you didn’t know before.

Month long exhibits include:
“By Skilled Hands” Exhibit
Barrington Hall
An exhibit of objects from our collection made by enslaved African Americans. Discover the stories of the skilled hands that created these objects. Included with regular tours of Barrington Hall throughout the month of February.

“Sharing the Story of Slavery” Exhibit
Bulloch Hall
In this unique exhibit, each room displays many of the chores and tasks of the Bulloch slaves, opening discussions about the important role these enslaved people played in the Bulloch household and throughout the South in general. Included with regular tours of Bulloch Hall throughout the month of February.

Mamie Cotton’s Legacy
Smith Plantation
Mamie Cotton worked at the Smith Plantation from 1940 until her death in 1994, and was a resident for 34 years. During the month of February, Smith Plantation will celebrate the life of Mamie Cotton and her contributions to the Archibald Smith Plantation Home. Included with regular tours of Smith Plantation throughout the month of February.

The Tuskegee Airmen: The Segregated Skies of WWII
City Hall Rotunda Exhibit
An exhibit that explores the history and heroism of the first African American pilots to fly in combat during World War II. The 10-panel exhibit is presented by the Museum of History and Holocaust Education of Kennesaw State University in partnership with Tuskegee University. KSU students of Museum Studies serve as curators for the exhibit.

Linc’s Fabric Works Exhibit
A One Man Show of Fabric Collages by Wycliffe “Linc” Bennett
Opening Reception & Artist Talk – Wed, 2/10: 6-8 pm
Roswell Cultural Arts Center Lobby
Linc was born in Jamaica West Indies and came with his family to the US in the 1950s settling in the South Bronx. Using GI benefits, he attended night school at Hunter College in New York City then later graduated with honors from Columbia where he earned an MBA. He is a CPA and former VP and Chief Financial Officer. Linc spent more than 30 years pursuing a corporate career but since the spring of 2003, he has been embracing his passion for art. He is a self-taught portrait artist working primarily with fabric collages.

Schedule of Events:
2/3, 4:30 pm – A Visit with Award-Winning Children’s Author Sheila P. Moses
Roswell Library
A finalist for the Coretta Scott King Award and for the National Book Award, Sheila P. Moses will talk about her books and her writing for children in grades 4-8. Ms. Moses will autograph copies of her books after the program.

2/4, 10 am – Storyteller J’miah Nabawi
North Fulton Child Development Center
J’miah Nabawi, national award-winning professional storyteller and author of children’s books will perform at this event for children ages pre-K and elementary. J’miah’s traditional arts programming reflects the story-dance-musical storytelling drama of Africa and its Diaspora. His upbringing in a household of family dancers and improvisational music practitioners are the major influences on his style and work.

2/6, noon – Step Dancing Competition
Pleasant Hill Community Center
Local youth step teams will show off their high-energy step routines to win prizes. Stepping or step-dancing includes combinations of dance, gymnastics, hand claps and chants. Teams will be judged on creativity, originality and quality of presentation.

2/7, 3 pm – Our Heritage through Dance, Drama, and Music
Roswell Cultural Arts Center
This annual program will feature local talent and guest artists. Advance tickets: $10 – adults, $8 – seniors 65+, $8 – Youth under 16. Tickets at the door: $15 – adults, $10 – seniors 65+, $10 – Youth under 16.

2/11, 7 pm and 2/13, 3 pm – Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep South
Roswell Library
Documentary film-maker Katrina Browne discovers that her New England ancestors were the largest slave-trading family in U. S. history. She and nine fellow descendants set off to retrace the Triangle Trade from their old hometown in Rhode Island to slave forts in Ghana to sugar plantation ruins in Cuba. Step by step, they uncover the vast extent of Northern complicity in slavery while also stumbling through the minefield of contemporary race relations. This program is presented in collaboration with the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History and Early Edgewood-Candler Park Bi-Racial History Project.

2/13, 2-4 pm – “Longing for Freedom”
Bulloch Hall
This exploration of slavery begins at the Bulloch Hall slave quarters with stories from children’s literature depicting life as an enslaved person in the 1800s and documented stories of Bulloch Hall slaves. The program concludes with a tour of the “Big House” and is presented from the perspective of the slave. For visitors 8 to adult. Reservations required. $6 per person.

2/18, 7 pm: signup, 8 pm: Slam competition begins – “Slammin’ in the Suburbs”: Roswell Poetry Slam
Red Door Playhouse
Roswell’s 6th annual poetry slam during which poets perform their work and are judged by members of the audience on content (discretion encouraged) and performance. Hosted by award winning spoken word artist, Ayodele Heath.

2/20, noon & 2:30 pm – Seventh Annual Tea and Hat Show
Smith Plantation
The Smith Plantation will host an informal tea and fashion show as our guest speaker shares her personal relationship and history with hats. Attendees are encouraged to wear their hats and share their personal stories while enjoying tea. Admission is $15. Both seatings have limited spaces and require advance reservations. Call (770) 641-3978

2/25, 7:30 pm – KUUMBA Portraits
Roswell Visitors Center
KUUMBA Storytellers of Georgia share an evening of African American stories and folktales in commemoration of Black History Month. $5 admission.

2/26, 7-9 pm– Unity Concert
1st Baptist Church of Roswell
Magnificent voices of choirs from several area churches including Gethsemane Garden Missionary Baptist Church, Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church and others perform their favorite selections. In addition you will hear the outstanding voices of the Greater Atlanta Adventist Academy Choir, which consist of students from grades 9-12.

2/27, 3 pm – Gullah Culture and Cooking with Sallie Ann Robinson
Barrington Hall
Author and cultural historian Sallie Ann Robinson will share good stories and good food in the kitchen of Barrington Hall. Her tales of growing up in the Gullah culture on Dafuskie Island, SC are a glimpse into a vanishing way of life. The author of several books on Gullah food and culture, Ms. Robinson was also the former student of Pat Conroy when he taught school on Dafuskie. In the foreword to her first book, Mr. Conroy states that she has just made him “the proudest man on earth.” Ms. Robinson will be available to sell and sign books and just plain visit.

2/27, 11 am – Meet Georgia Teen Book of the Year Author Ted Dunagan
Roswell Library
Ted Dunagan will discuss his award-winning book, A Yellow Watermelon. This story is rooted in the best Southern literary tradition. It is a fine, well-told tale of a friendship between two smart, likeable boys – one black, one white. The author will autograph copies of the book after the event.

History of Black History Month:
Americans have recognized black history annually since 1926, first as "Negro History Week" and later as "Black History Month" thanks to the efforts of Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Born to parents who were former slaves, he spent his childhood working in the Kentucky coal mines and enrolled in high school at age twenty. He graduated within two years and later went on to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard. Woodson chose the second week of February for Negro History Week because it marks the birthdays of two men who greatly influenced the African American population, Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.