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Looking Back: Lilburn Daze to celebrate 50 years on October 8

Lilburn Daze will celebrate its 50th year on October 8 at Lilburn City Park from 9am - 5pm.

Lilburn Daze 1985 promoted an International Theme complete with elephant rides for children.

Fall and Lilburn Daze go together and have been a perfect pair for the last 50 years. From humble beginnings in shopping center parking lots along Highway 29 and even at the now closed water treatment facility on Indian Trail, the festival has filled Lilburn City Park for the past 44 years with family friendly fun. GFWC Lilburn Woman’s Club has lots to celebrate on Saturday, October 8th – the 50th Lilburn Daze.

The first arts festival in 1973 was more like a garage sale and was held in the basement of the gym behind Lilburn Elementary. There were not many crafters in the 1970’s, so this event initiated from the idea to foster creative talents of area residents, give them an outlet to display their handcrafted items and be a fundraiser for the club. The opening festival earned $144 that was used to fund community projects.  Proceeds from Lilburn Daze have funded scholarships, both college and Gwinnett Tech, supported local schools including a yearly donation to CARE teams, funded restoration of the Wynne Russell House, supported the Lilburn library, and other community activities.

In 1979, Lilburn Daze found its home in the newly created Lilburn City Park. Since there were no lines in the new park, members quickly learned how to mark the booth spaces using a wooden frame and powdered lime. Thankfully this process has been handed over to professionals now.  The park was dedicated at the 1982 Lilburn Daze when the Lilburn Woman’s Club was recognized by the city for their support of the park plans and helping raise money for the park’s completion. At this time, Lilburn Daze became a co-sponsored event with City of Lilburn. In 2013, ‘Adventure Mountain,’ the first sculpture and water feature in the park was dedicated during Lilburn Daze through a collaboration with the City of Lilburn, Downtown Development Authority and Lilburn Woman’s Club.
Lilburn Daze 1981 1000px image001Lilburn Daze 1981 before the park had been sodded.

Adventure Mountain was dedicated at Lilburn Dave 2013Adventure Mountain was dedicated at Lilburn Dave 2013.
Current scarecrow logo was adopted in 2014.Current scarecrow logo was adopted in 2014.Lilburn Woman’s Club created a logo in 1984 depicting Old Town Lilburn in partnership with Terry Huey, a local artist.
Lilburn Dze Arts Festival 340px image004Lilburn Daze logo created in 1984.
Club members were so thrilled with the logo that they created wooden signs and aprons displaying the new design. Their excitement grew when members learned that this event raised over $5,000 that year! Because Lilburn Daze continues to grow, a new logo was designed featuring a scarecrow. Club members continue to proudly wear Lilburn Daze shirts each year during the festival. When you see this logo, you know that fun is just around the corner.

Elephant rides, hot air balloon rides, the Southern Rose Antique Fairground Organ, precision horse drills, 5K road races, parades and Santa Claus have all been featured at Lilburn Daze over the years.  Each year, the Lilburn Daze committee looks for ways to improve the event. For the 50th anniversary, try your luck at the Lilburn Woman’s Club Scavenger Hunt! This mobile game is fun for the entire family allowing your team to take selfies, record videos, take quizzes and participate in GPS challenges while learning about LWC! Prizes will be awarded too! You might win an annual family membership to Yellow River Wildlife Sanctuary or gift cards to local restaurants – stop by the Lilburn Woman’s Club Scavenger Hunt tent at Lilburn Daze on October 8th to learn more!

Of course, delicious foods are a highlight. Festival goers have enjoyed fudge from ‘the Fudge Lady’ Estelle Roberts for 50 years! Boy Scout Troop 100 bring their delicious kettle corn too! Some of the old timers miss the LWC ‘Chuck Wagon’ which featured 700 pounds of BBQ prepared by club member’s husbands, grilled hamburgers, and hot dogs. This year there will be many choices of fun festival food to choose from.

Cloggers at Lilburn Daze 2013.Cloggers at Lilburn Daze 2013.
Music is always an important part of Lilburn Daze allowing local talent to take the stage and shine. The Gwinnett Community Band opens the festival with their toe tapping tunes. Bands and singers from Music on Main Street and Snellville School of Rock, local church choirs, folk guitarists, and dance companies have all performed for Lilburn Daze festival goers. In years past, the Lilburn Daze stage featured the winner of Lilburn Idol singing the National Anthem. Shopping to music is the best way to spend an October Saturday in Lilburn City Park!
Everyone enjoys riding the train. Circa 2013.Everyone enjoys riding the train. Circa 2013.

Seeking out the best arts and crafts artisans continues to be a goal of the Lilburn Daze committee. We are always on the lookout for the next item that you can’t live without or the best gift you have ever given.

Throughout the years, LWC has collaborated with Lilburn Masons, Lions Club, Jaycees, Kiwanis, local school Beta Clubs, educational groups, scouting groups, ROTC, Civil Air Patrol groups, numerous churches, libraries, and schools all with the same mission – enriching the Lilburn Community. LWC is thankful for the support of City of Lilburn, Lilburn City Police and Old Town Lilburn businesses.

Make plans to visit Lilburn Daze this year on Saturday, October 8th from 9 am to 5pm. This local tradition strives to embrace the best of old and new Lilburn. Now one of the largest Gwinnett outdoor fall festivals, Lilburn Daze is the result of the efforts of GFWC Lilburn Woman’s Club and dozens of loyal volunteers, sponsors, and vendors.

If you are a local artist or craftsman and are interested in either having a booth or sponsoring this great event which attracts over ten thousand visitors each year, we invite you to visit for more information.

GFWC Lilburn Woman’s Club members celebrate at the 2018 Lilburn Daze.GFWC Lilburn Woman’s Club members celebrate at the 2018 Lilburn Daze.