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Meet You at Marietta Square

By S. Mathur

At almost 60,000 residents, Marietta is one of the largest suburbs of Atlanta - but still retains a home-town feeling. The Marietta Visitors Bureau works to show visitors what locals already know, promoting tourism and events in and around the historic square.

"Personally, I love working on the Marietta Square," says Executive Director Katie Peterson. "Everything located on the Square is locally owned and operated. I also love the involvement and the passion the residents and visitors feel towards our community."

The Marietta Visitors Bureau promotes heritage and cultural tourism through advertising and marketing programs. Promoting Marietta as a travel destination also has an positive economic impact on the community. The Marietta Visitors Bureau partners with local attractions, Georgia Tourism, and surrounding communities to reach a larger audience. It also works with group tour planners to bring more visitors to Marietta, and to help ensure that they enjoy their visit.

For a first-time visitor, Peterson suggests beginning with the Historic Marietta Trolley Company's tour of the city and its attractions: "This one hour, fully narrated tour allows riders to experience Marietta's rich heritage, from the vibrant city Square, past grand Antebellum homes, to the battlefields at Kennesaw Mountain." The Marietta Square Food guided tours likewise allow visitors to try out several of the different restaurants around Marietta Square. The three hour guided tour samples seven locally owned restaurants.

Marietta Square is a destination in itself, with unique shops and galleries and a range of dining options. And there is always something happening on the Square, says Peterson: "...from the festivals and special events to the museums and weekly markets. Our Marietta Square Farmers Market takes place year-round on Saturdays and Sundays, April-November. Alongside the Farmer's Market is the Marietta Square Artists Market on the 2nd & 4th Saturdays, April - November."

Special annual events include Winter Wonderland, with an open air ice skating rink, Christmas trees, and a New Year's Eve celebration with special activities for children. The annual Marietta Pilgrimage Christmas Home Tour opens up six historic homes to the public. And a new event in Marietta Square is Chalktoberfest, a chalk art festival that attracts talented chalk artists from around the country. It has expanded to include a Craft Beer festival as well.

With so much to choose from, Peterson admits that her favorite event is one she helps to organize: "I might be a little biased because we produce the event, but I love Taste of Marietta! The Marietta Square is host to 75 Cobb County restaurants showcasing their best dishes, musical entertainment, and kids' activities. This foodie event is entering its 23rd year and takes place the last Sunday in April each year."

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