By Earl Gray
The event couldn't have gone better. There were more vendors than ever, record crowds, and Chamber of Commerce weather. After a 16 hour day, Barbara Brooks, whose committee directed this year's Lilburn Daze, managed a smile.
The process of orchestrating the cities signature event began back in February. That's when the Lilburn Woman's Club installed its officers for the year. For most of the festival's 40 years, the woman's group has put on Lilburn Daze, and this year Barbara was tabbed as the events chairwoman.
The Lilburn Daze committee tackled everything from major issues such as parking and transportation, to smaller things, like where to set up the pony rides for kids.
This year's festival was held on October 12th (it's always on the second Saturday in October). Barbara estimates that 20,000 visitors passed through the gates. At their disposal were 224 booths - six more than the year before - featuring arts and crafts, food, and community services.
"We believe the vendors need to show what our community is about," Barbara said. "Our community is diverse so Lilburn Daze needs to be diverse." On the day of the event Barbara and the rest of the committee was on site from 5-am to 9-pm.
"Lilburn Daze is the project that allows us to give back to the community," Barbara said. Money raised from the festival goes toward providing scholarships to area high school seniors, as well as supporting an arts program in elementary schools. The Woman's Club also supports the Gwinnett County safe house for domestic violence victims.
Looking ahead to next year, Lilburn Daze is already in good hands. Barbara will chair the committee once again. Said Barbara, with a laugh: "I'll know what I'm doing this time."