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Johns Creek hosts annual Founders Day Parade

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Hundreds of spectators were rewarded with mild weather Dec. 4 for the city’s 15th anniversary Founders Day Parade.

The parade came just three days after the official Founders Day for the City of Johns Creek, Dec. 1.

Roughly 60 groups participated in this year’s festivities, ranging from community organizations like the Johns Creek Arts Center and Rotary Club Johns Creek North Fulton to school groups like the Centennial High School marching band and the Johns Creek principals, teachers and professionals of the year.

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CBS46 anchor and Johns Creek resident Karyn Greer served as emcee of the Saturday morning event, introducing each of the parade participants and providing commentary.

This year’s parade has been in the works since late August, City Manager Ed Densmore said. Last year, the city cancelled the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so this year required slightly more work for city staff, alerting former participants that the event was returning, Densmore said.

Johns Creek has hosted a Founders Day parade each year since its first anniversary in December 2007, save for 2020 and a weather-related cancellation in 2017, Densmore said.

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Before 2019, the parade took place on State Bridge Road between Kimball Bridge Road and West Morton Road. Closing down a major thoroughfare on a Saturday morning each year was a significant logistical undertaking for the city and its police department, Densmore said.

Citing safety concerns and delays, the city shifted the parade to a route inside Technology Park in 2019, passing by City Hall.

“It had more of what most people call ‘hometown feel’ because it just felt like it was closer and we had it focused at City Hall,” Densmore said. “People liked it better and of course, it was much safer… so it was a win-win having it over here.”

In October, the City Council unanimously approved a Town Center Vision and Plan which proposes developing the area around City Hall in Technology Park into a live-work-play area, providing a central location that defines the City of Johns Creek’s identity.

The Founders Day Parade route encircled much of this area giving attendees a glimpse into the proposed future of the city.

More than anything else though, Densmore said he’s glad the parade and other city events are back.

“Most of the events we’ve held for the city so far (this year), especially this fall, the turnout has been tremendous,” Densmore said. “I think that’s just people wanting some sense of ‘We’ve got our life back,’ and you can go out and do things maybe we took for granted before, but now we are gonna make sure we take an opportunity to go watch a parade or something people wouldn’t normally have done.”

Reach Sydney Dangremond at 770-847-7404. Follow her on Twitter @syddang_.