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Kicking off a new year in Gwinnett

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By Preston Williams

Gwinnett Center and staff are rapidly approaching a special occasion. February will mark the Arena”s third birthday. What better way to celebrate a birthday and a new year than with an exciting list of shows and events. There will be some of the old favorites along with some new faces making appearances at our facility. Be sure to notice that with the new year comes a brand new 85 marquee sign so that you can easily keep up with all of the excitement.

As always, the Arena is home to the Gwinnett Gladiators. In fact, the Gladiators game on January 7th will be the first Arena event in 2006. What a great way to start off the year! Hockey won”t be the only sport that fans find in the Arena at the start of the year though. ACC vs. SEC Women”s Basketball/Russell Athletic Shootout will also make a January appearance, as well as the 2006 Eastern Synchronized Team Skating Sectional.

February in the Arena will bring more excitement from the Gladiators as well as the Georgia High School Association State Wrestling Championships. With all of this talk about sports you would think we had forgotten you music fans, but we haven”t. You may have heard by now that on February 15th Bon Jovi will be making their first Arena appearance. Gwinnett will certainly be rocking and rolling that night!

The Arena isn”t the only part of our facility that is getting booked up for 2006. The Performing Arts Center and Convention Center also have quite a Public Events List going! From song and dance, to children”s shows, to the Mrs. Georgia and Miss Georgia Teen Pageants, there is something for everyone at the Performing Arts Center. The Convention Center will hold the Georgia Home & Garden Show and the 5th Annual Atlanta Golf Show, just to name a few. We must not forget the Grand Ballroom. The Louisiana Club”s Krewe of Saints 18th Annual Mardi Gras Tableau & Ball will be held February 18th. I can”t think of a better way to honor those struck by the hurricane than by celebrating a tradition that means so much to the New Orleans community.

I could write and write about our upcoming events but I would quickly run out of room. I”ll mention one more that will be heading to the Arena in May. The Legendary Nights Tennis Exhibition will bring the elite tennis stars of the past to our venue for the first time. If you want to get more information about this event or one of the many others, be sure to check out our Public Events List on our website, www.gwinnettcenter.com, for all the details. As I mentioned earlier, 2006 will bring an updated look to our 85 marquee sign, but you will also see a new and improved website. Both updates will make it more convenient to purchase tickets and give you all the information you”ll need for a particular event. Not only that, if you have an event that you”d like to book at Gwinnett Center, you will also find the appropriate information on the website. We”d love to accommodate your event. Be sure to check the website frequently. You never know what might turn up.

We always look forward to all the happenings at the facility. Not only is it fun for us to showcase our venue, but we also get to show off our wonderful county to those who come from other places to attend eve