If you’ve attended one of Acworth’s much-loved public events, you’ve probably spotted Marvon Williams. Marvon, an American Family Insurance agent, moved to Acworth nearly two decades ago, and he’s been one of the town’s biggest cheerleaders ever since. Marvon frequently attends Acworth gatherings at the beach and festivals downtown, but in addition to festivities, he also loves Acworth’s outdoor sports, arts and culture, and a certain strawberry shortcake dish that can’t be replicated anywhere else. We caught up with him to see where he takes out-of-towners, where he enjoys hitting the links, and his tips for visitors:
Tell us a little bit about yourself. How long have you lived here?
I’ve lived in Acworth for about 17 years. My daughter’s godparents moved to Acworth and saw a house that was next door that they thought my wife should take a look at. And we ended up buying houses next door to each other.
You must have seen a lot of change since then.
I have. I’ve seen it downtown most recently in the last several years. It’s been really nice to be a part of that. It’s the diversity of the restaurants. It’s the diverse retail spaces. It’s the expansion of the plaza in front of City Hall and the expansion of the park. It’s just touched on everybody. No matter where you are in your life, there is a place for you, which is what I love about it. Whether you’re young and you like to kayak, or you’re older, there’s a lot to do here.
Where do you take out-of-town visitors?
Our family members visit often and there are a couple of spots that they have to go every time they’re here. One of them is Fish Thyme. Fish Thyme is a favorite for my family. It’s like having dinner at a relative’s house, only, you don’t have to get up and get your own plate. They make you feel welcome.
Where else do you usually take people when you want to show Acworth off?
Certainly, Acworth Beach. It’s one of the things that if you’re not familiar with Acworth, you don’t even know is there. The beach is one of those places my family likes to go. And the 4th of July Celebration at Cauble Park, too. That experience, to be able to go to a topnotch fireworks event at no cost, is pretty nice.
Are there any other annual events that you really love?
Probably all of them! I love the car show. I love the Taste of Acworth. I like the wakeboard tour that comes to town. Again, if you like arts, they have something for you there. If you like food, there is the Taste of Acworth. If you like BBQ, there’s Smoke on the Lake. There is something for everybody. No matter what you’re doing, there is a place where you feel welcome.
Are you drawn to cultural activities? Outdoor activities? Or maybe all of the above?
A little bit of “all of the above.” My wife Jada is an artsy person. But cars are a really big thing for me. Sports are a really big thing for me. You get an opportunity to pick your thing. And we love the free parking here. Whether you’re going to a restaurant, or attending an event, to be able to park for free may be a little bitty thing for someone else, but it’s huge for me.
How do you describe Acworth to people who are unfamiliar with it?
Sometimes I don’t want to tell them — I want to keep it all to myself! It’s difficult to describe because there are so many things about it that are so nice. I would say certainly the choices for food are second to none. I think word about that is getting out. I think it’s a destination for a lot of people. They can spend the entire day here. It’s small enough to walk everywhere, but it’s large enough that it would take a day to get through.
If you were to set up a perfect day for yourself, what would that look like here in Acworth?
It would probably start with brunch at Henry’s Louisiana Grill and maybe a walk in the park or a walk on the beach. Come back and spend some time at the car show, and probably end the day at Fish Thyme. They have a signature toasted Strawberry Shortcake that no one has been able to duplicate.
Are there any hidden gems that visitors should know about Acworth?
I would say the houses. Some of the historical houses, because they are not on Main Street, you must go search for them. I think Lemon Street is probably my favorite street.
I hear you play golf.
I do. I love Cobblestone. I think the challenge is, again, you have so many good courses. You have Bentwater, you have Brookstone, you have Cobblestone. For Cobblestone, it’s a little tougher of a course. It’s hilly. It borders Lake Acworth.
What do you think is the biggest draw for somebody coming to experience Acworth for the first time?
I think the only way you can experience Acworth, quite frankly, is that you’ve got to talk to the people. You have to meet the people, because there are some stories that only they can tell you, and there’s some places and things that they can tell you about that you won’t experience otherwise. That would be high on the priority list, speaking to the people and getting a sense and a feel. When I say everybody is welcome, it shows. It shows in everything that they do, that everybody is welcome.