Gladiators v. Komets, January 2015 (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)

Gwinnett Gladiators v. Fort Wayne Komets, January 11, 2015, Duluth, Georgia

Gwinnett Gladiators v. Fort Wayne Komets, January 11, 2015, Duluth, Georgia

On January 11, 2015, my son and I took in a Gwinnett Gladiators hockey game at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.  The Gladiators played the Fort Wayne, Indiana Komets.  We watched a suspenseful game, including a goal being scored by the Gladiators seconds before the end of first period, the Gladiators getting down by the Komets by two or three goals in the second period, and the Komets ultimately walking away with the win by one goal in the end, 4-3.

We try to attend at least one hockey game per year, played by the Gwinnett Gladiators.  In two past years, my son has earned free tickets to attend two games accompanied by an adult, due to his excellent grades in school.  The dentists that care for the hockey players’ teeth have sponsored those tickets, and the games have always been enjoyable to attend.

Gwinnett Gladiators v. Fort Wayne Komets, January 11, 2015, Duluth, Georgia

Gwinnett Gladiators v. Fort Wayne Komets, January 11, 2015, Duluth, Georgia

Attending a Gwinnett Gladiators game is affordable, even without getting free tickets.  Though ticket prices have risen by a couple of dollars per ticket since last year, I do my best to make time to take my son to at least one game per year.  Having spent most of my life in Buffalo, the Buffalo Sabres are one of my all-time favorite sports teams.  Having lived in Georgia for the past 15 years, it is nice to be able to take my son to sports games of any type (especially hockey) in my local area that are fun to watch and affordable!

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“Exciting Hockey of the Gwinnett Gladiators” (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)

Gwinnett Gladiators Hockey, October 2012

Gwinnett Gladiators Hockey, October 2012

Each year for the past several years, my family has enjoyed viewing at least one Gwinnett Gladiators hockey game during each regular season.  The Gwinnett Gladiators are a hockey team based in Duluth, Georgia, and that play at the Gwinnett Arena. This fall, in October, we were privileged to attend an October hockey game – much as we also did last season – when my son earned a free “Hat Trick for Reading” ticket for reading three on-grade level books.  The dentists that serve the hockey team sponsor the “Hat Trick for Reading” nights, and they are a real treat for us to come and enjoy exciting Gwinnett Gladiators Hockey! 

My Son Enjoying Gwinnett Gladiators Hockey, October 2012

My Son Enjoying Gwinnett Gladiators Hockey, October 2012

In the past, we have also attended a Gwinnett Gladiators hockey game with a pack of Cub Scouts to which my son belonged, while also enjoying a tour of the facility.  It was wonderful to get a “behind-the-scenes” look at the hockey rink, to view the players as they held a team practice session, personally receive a practice game hockey puck from one of the goalies, and sit in a Zamboni ice resurfacer. 

Me with my Son Sitting in a Zamboni on a Cub Scout Tour of Gwinnett Gladiators Hockey, January 2011

Me with my Son Sitting in a Zamboni on a Cub Scout Tour of Gwinnett Gladiators Hockey, January 2011

Growing up in the “Snow Belt” near Buffalo, New York, I was an ardent fan of the Buffalo Sabres.  As a child, I would sometimes stay up late at night when I was supposed to be asleep, quietly listening to radio broadcasts of the games.  It was the broadcasters of the games who truly brought these matches to life, and infused in me a love of hockey that I now share with my own son. 

Maximus the Lion, Mascot of the Gwinnett Gladiators Hockey Team, October 2012

Maximus the Lion, Mascot of the Gwinnett Gladiators Hockey Team, October 2012

Attending hockey games of the Gwinnett Gladiators is always exciting and enjoyable.  It is also a special treat if the television cameras capture my son waving his pennant in enthusiastic support of the team, and when we have the chance to meet the team’s mascot, Maximus.  Going to see a Gwinnett Gladiators hockey game is always affordable and enjoyable for the whole family.

“Enjoy a Performance of ‘The Nutcracker!'” (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)

 

Decorative Wooden Nutcracker

Decorative Wooden Nutcracker

Yesterday afternoon, I treated my family to a wonderful holiday performance of The Nutcracker!  The performance was given by the Gwinnett Ballet Theatre at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center in Duluth, Georgia.  My son, ex-husband, and me enjoyed a beautiful, lively, creative, colorful, and musical ballet experience!  It is also our second time viewing any performance at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center, the first being a dance recital in which my son performed with his dance school about three years ago.

Two years ago, I also took my son and my parents to enjoy a performance of The Nutcracker at the Fox Theater in Atlanta.  I must say that, although the Fox Theater is more historic and majestic, and the dancers in the Atlanta Ballet are more experienced, the performance that we saw yesterday of the Gwinnett Ballet Theatre performers was heart-warming and beautiful!  

Nutcracker Patch from the Gwinnett Ballet Theatre Performance of The Nutcracker, December 9, 2012

Nutcracker Patch from the Gwinnett Ballet Theatre Performance of The Nutcracker, December 9, 2012

There was so much in the performance that was outstanding!  I absolutely loved the performances of the Little Baby Mouse and Baby Mice – the adorable children dancers; Clara; Fritz; Herr Drosselmeyer; the Nutcracker; the Soldiers; the Ice Princesses and Snow Queen; Angels; Dew Drop Fairy; Sugar Plum Fairy; Spanish Dancers; Chinese Dancers; Russian Dancers; Arabian Dancers; and Polichinelles along with Mother Ginger.  Of course, all of the dancers were amazing; and the costumes and sets were stunning and breath-takingly beautiful, as well!

Music played by the Gwinnett Ballet Theatre Orchestra was exceptional and inspiring.  It was a wonderful teaching moment for me to reinforce the importance and appreciation of music and musical instruments to my son, in addition to the beauty of the ballet.  We especially liked the violinists, harpist, clarinetists, and keyboardist,  just to identify a few.

Tickets for a December 6, 2012 Gwinnett Ballet Theatre Performance of The Nutcracker

Tickets for a December 6, 2012 Gwinnett Ballet Theatre Performance of The Nutcracker

Tickets to see the performance given by the Gwinnett Ballet Theatre were also more affordable, there was no additional cost for parking, and there was less concern about crowds, traffic, and highway driving conditions.  With the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center located closer to my home, it was much more convenient and economical to view a more local ballet performance.

How wonderful it is to have such a wonderful ballet company and associated orchestra so close to home that offers such excellent performances at affordable prices and that is conveniently-located!  If you are able, I encourage the viewing of the performance of The Nutcracker.  There will be yet more performances of this heart-warming holiday ballet this coming weekend by the Gwinnett Ballet Theatre at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center.  Come and enjoy an oustanding ballet!