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Happy Birthday, Suwanee Patch: You're 1 Year Old

It all started on Dec. 23, 2010. Now it's time to recap some of the news events that we have brought you in typical Patch fashion.

On Dec. 23, 2010, at 10 a.m., Suwanee Patch went live on the Internet. We didn't know what would happen, just that it would be a new news source, presented in a unique, 21st century way.

And indeed, things have been lively. For a city of roughly 15,300, Suwanee has been a constant source of information. We've added bloggers, contests, and other new features, and will continue to do so.

But community information and interaction remain our staple, and we want to review some of the top events that happened in our first year.

In true Letterman style, here goes:

10. Snow shuts down Suwanee: For a week in January, snow and ice blanketed the city, making even the most routine commute hazardous. Schools closed for five days, pushing graduation ceremonies into the Memorial Day weekend. Many businesses were forced to stay closed, costing them revenue.

9. Everett Music Barn reopens: A facility that has hosted bluegrass performances, some national in scope, since the 1970s was headed for an uncertain future due to the death of Roger Everett in October 2010. But local ownership bought the property on Stonecypher Road, and .

What do you consider the newsiest events in Suwanee the past year? Tell us in the comments.

8. Suwanee Police can't use radar: Since January 1, 2011, police in Suwanee and some other Gwinnett cities have been unable to use radar and laser to track speeders, because of the Service Delivery Strategy legal matter. A recent court ruling is still unsettled, so the situation continues.

7. Suwanee OKs Sunday alcohol sales: City residents overwhelmingly voted in November to allow alcohol sales by retailers on Sunday, as Suwanee and some other Georgia cities joined 47 other U.S. states with that ability. 

6. Flash mob hits Town Center Park: Suwanee Day always draws a large crowd, but organizers and local dancers teamed up on what has been called the largest flash mob in Suwanee history. No doubt.

5. McGinnis Ferry bridge over I-85 opens: Say what you will about federal stimulus money, but Suwanee benefited directly from about $20 million of it. The bridge opened in July, and it provides traffic relief to several intersections in the city.

4. 'Reminiscing' With Little River Band: It was a memorable year for musical events in Suwanee, but this is the one that likely made the most impact. The revamped band that rose to fame in the 1970s brought a crowd of more than 7,000 to Town Center Park in April, with no help from any kind of festival or concurrent event. "The music is joyous -- people can pass it on to their kids," said singer Wayne Nelson, the holdover from the signature era.

3. Jury says Suwanee owes $1.8 million: In August, a Gwinnett Superior Court jury sided with developers Settles Bridge Farm LLC in a lawsuit that arose from a 2008 failed land sale. The matter is in a judge's hands after the parties could not reach a compromise via mediation.

2. Suwanee gets 9/11 artifact: Years of planning by city officials paid off in July, when a 1,600-pound piece of steel from the destroyed World Trade Center towers arrived via UPS. The effort was in conjunction with Port Authority of New York officials. The artifact, named Remembrance, was the centerpiece of the city's emotional 9/11 ceremony.

1. Suwanee elects native son mayor: About half of Suwanee's population lived somewhere else -- or wasn't born yet -- more than 10 years ago. But on election day, it was a Suwanee native and lifelong resident who ran away with the mayoral election. .

Steve Burns (Editor) December 23, 2011 at 12:07 PM
It has been a newsy year for Suwanee Patch. What events from the past year do you remember most?
Bob Williams December 23, 2011 at 12:49 PM
Great list Steve. Thanks for all your hard work compiling, writing, and editing events related to the Suwanee community. My favorite in your list is the McGinniss Ferry bridge over 1-85. What a time-saver!
Melissa Snyder December 23, 2011 at 12:55 PM
Congratulations Steve on a great first year!
Steve Burns (Editor) December 23, 2011 at 12:55 PM
Thanks, Bob. You have been a strong part of the success too.
Debra December 23, 2011 at 03:09 PM
Thanks, Steve. I've enjoyed reading Suwanee Patch to keep updated on what's happening in the city where I left a little piece of my heart. Happy 1st Birthday from California, where we hold a little piece of yours.
Steve Burns (Editor) December 23, 2011 at 03:16 PM
Thanks from afar, Debra.

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