Welcome to Suffolk

Published 10:11 pm Friday, April 24, 2015

Suffolk has rolled out the welcome mat for thousands of visitors today. We hope they’ll all feel welcome and get a taste of some of the reasons we love to call this city home.

At least four different events today will bring folks into our city, and some of them will probably be here for the first time.

As many as 2,500 people are expected to turn out for the first Suffolk Wine Festival, to be held on the grounds of the old Tidewater Community College in North Suffolk. The event, organized by Suffolk Business Women, is a fundraiser for that club’s scholarship fund, as well as for other charitable organizations and Suffolk’s two Rotary clubs.

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Hundreds more people are expected to take part this morning in the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure, a bicycle ride with four routes, all beginning and ending at King’s Fork High School. That fundraiser has been growing every year since organizers chose to move it to Suffolk, as riders have come to enjoy the scenery and the relative safety of the city’s rural roads.

Between 400 and 900 birders from all around the nation also have alighted in Suffolk for the past couple of days for the annual Great Dismal Swamp Birding Festival, a highlight of the year for those of an ornithological bent. The festival concludes today with a great variety of guided tours and walks within the vast wildlife and nature preserve located right in Suffolk’s backyard.

And hundreds of walkers aiming to raise money to help the March of Dimes in its mission of reducing the prevalence of premature birth will gather at Constance Wharf Park beginning at 9 a.m. for the annual March for Babies. Their route will take them along the sidewalks and streets of downtown Suffolk.

The city hosts bigger events that attract more visitors each year — Peanut Fest comes to mind — but there are few days in the year when more visitors are enjoying more different parts of Suffolk.

We hope they’ll take some time to visit some of Suffolk’s acclaimed restaurants and eclectic retailers and maybe even seize the opportunity to get a taste of the city’s rich history while they’re here. Suffolk has so much to offer. It’s nice to be able to open our home to guests once in a while.

Welcome to Suffolk. Enjoy your visit and be sure to come back soon.