Smyrna holds 150th anniversary festival

October 10 — Older than sliced ​​bread, the state of Colorado and blue jeans, the city of Smyrna is now 150 years old.

The City of Jonquil celebrated the 150th anniversary with a 150th anniversary celebration and a culture and spirit festival in its downtown area on Saturday. Officials estimate between 30,000 and 40,000 people descended on downtown, which Mayor Derek Norton said was the largest ever for a festival in the city.

The celebration featured live music, including performances by Train, the band behind the hit “Drops of Jupiter,” and ’90s alternative rock band Toad the Wet Sprocket.

From 11:00 a.m. until a final fireworks display around 10:00 p.m., performers performed on a stage set up on Atlanta Road at Church Street. The festival was hosted by Mark Owens, the Atlanta Braves’ in-game host. The city sold 150 tables for the performances (Norton said they sold out almost immediately). The concerts were free for standing spectators.

For Norton, Train was the highlight of the event. The band played songs from their own discography, but also covered Led Zeppelin, Steve Miller Band and ABBA.

Norton and members of the city council took the stage before the final act.

“Get on stage and just see the sea of ​​people as far as you could see all the way down Atlanta Road, dancing and having fun, and all ages,” Norton said. “It was as if nothing had ever been seen in Smyrna before.”

Norton, who has lived in the city for nearly 20 years, was enthusiastic about the line-up of performers, including flamenco and K-pop dancers, a 20s jazz band and a magician. The theme of the festival, “Culture and Spirit”, highlighted the diversity of the city, he said.

“Smyrna is, for sure, the most diverse community in Cobb County,” Norton said. “We’re a melting pot, and it’s nice to be able to do something for everyone.”

The birthday party also included food vendors, cartoonists and Ula, a Jimmy Buffet cover band.

Smyrna is built on Cherokee land, and although it wasn’t incorporated until 1872, it was established as a permanent religious campground in 1832, according to the city. Over the years it has gone by different names including Ruffs Siding and Varners Station. Its definitive name comes from the Bible.

Once a small, mostly agrarian community, Smyrna grew by leaps and bounds after World War II. It is now Cobb’s second-largest city, with about 55,700 residents, according to the US Census Bureau.

Smyrna’s next big event is the Crafts and Drafts Festival, scheduled for October 29-30. Norton said he hopes to hold another anniversary festival for number 151 next year.

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