On Saturday October 23rd – we will celebrate 150 years (+1) as one of the region's favorite cities. For me – for us all – it is arguably the most important day on the city’s calendar this year: a day when we remember the Founding of our city, and the impact we’ve had as Gwinnett’s second-oldest city. We are indebted to the men and women who had the vision that led to the creation of the city of Norcross back in 1870, and all who have contributed to the leadership and vision of our city since.
None of the popularity for which our city has been known would have happened without the foresight of the original Founders and our city, who set out with the express intention of developing a small farming and business community of neighbors helping neighbors. We owe them a debt of gratitude – without them, our city simply would not exist – and this is why we honor them on this, our 150th Anniversary.
Long before the settlers came to the area, the Creek and the Cherokee native Americans occupied these parts. We honor them today also. Around 1860 plans were implemented to build a railroad from Atlanta to Richmond VA. As construction got underway Pioneer settler John J Thrasher bought 250 acres along the area's first stop then named this town after his long-time Atlanta friend Jonathan Norcross. Thrasher marketed Norcross as Atlanta’s favorite Summer resort. We’re still one of metro Atlanta’s favorites.
The day is a very full one, as we celebrate with movies, music, fireworks, food trucks, activities & more!
But this is not just another city event. The day is extremely important for the city for two reasons: firstly, it is a day on which we celebrate achievement – our many achievements, individual and collective; second, it is an important occasion for the whole city to be together, to do things together, and to remember that we are an important and strong community – the whole is stronger than the sum of its parts.
So today and moving forward we should pledge ourselves – to make a commitment to do the right thing, to be honorable, to be respectable and to carry out the intentions of our Founders, namely to respond to their goals for a place to imagine, for the stretching of the individual, and for learning and preparation for a successful life. We say all that together because it is important to say it all together.
We need this occasion in the year just to remind us that we do not work, or live or play in isolation. We do it as a community – a great community which has stood the test of time. And in doing so let us be reminded, Make no mistake, our best days still lie ahead. If we come together as one city, there’s not a single thing we cannot do.
Thank you all for being here today. Now let's Party.