Lawn Chairs Now Okay At Renovated Amphitheatre

Visitors check out the new terraced seating area that allows lawn chairs at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheater during a recent open house.

The Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre’s season is underway and concert goers and performers are benefitting from extensive renovations.
“We have a robust concert series that we are this hosting on behalf local promoters,” said Robert Edwards, general manager. The amphitheater is a rental only facility.

“One of our promoters, Royal Entertainment, has brought in some 20 concerts over the summer.”

Royal also helped facilitate moving all of the Kiss 104.1 Flashback series from Lakewood Amphitheater. Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends have back to back concerts.

“It’s going to be a fun series over the summer,” Edwards said during an open house at the facility in May.

A new movie series on the first Friday of each month called Movies , Band and Brew, will be a nostalgic evening with the theme of an individual artist and film.

“We are teaming up with the Arts Center so the first Friday in July is a Prince experience. A national touring, exhibit, then have Hero, The Band playing music of Prince and the movie Purple Rain.

An Evening of Jazz series is already underway.

Edwards said that in the winter of 2017 renovations began the backstage area, including the green room and dressing areas.

“We ripped up all the floors which now with polished concrete, bought new furniture, and gave it a new look. We really spruced up the place to give the artists a better impression of our backstage,” he said.

“This past winter we redid the lawn area so it is now terraced instead of a steep hill. Now we allow all of our patrons to bring in their own lawn chairs. It’s a big deal since we never allowed that in the past. We have new bar areas in the venue so we have full cash bars available to the public,” he said.

The entire SPLOST renovation was $2 million spread out over two years.

The seating area remains the same capacity at 2,500 with 1,500 under the roof and 1,000 on the lawn.

“It’s just a more user friendly lawn area,” he said.

Here are some of the shows coming this summer and fall at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre.

An Evening of Jazz series:

• June 22 – featuring Gregory Porter, Ken Ford and Kathy Kosins.

• July 6 – featuring Boney James, Avery Sunshine and Alex Bugnon.

• Aug. 3 – featuring Brian Culberson and Najee.

• Aug. 17 – featuring Jeffrey Osborne and Jody Watley.

• Sept. 21 – featuring Jonathan Butler, Kirk Whalum, Eric Darius and Nick Colionne.

July 20 – The Gentlemen of Soul featuring Peabo Bryson, Freddie Jackson and Howard Hewett

Kiss 104.1 Flashback Festival:

• Aug. 31 – The Whispers with Ruben Studdard, and Evelyn Champagne King.

• Sept. 1 – Cameo with Midnight Star, and Glenn Jones.

Also, Sept. 7 – Sounds Good Medicine with Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Rick Braun, Kenney Lattimore, and Bryan Thompson, hosted by M.C. Lightfoot.

The Wednesday night children’s series, sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, will feature free movies such as Black Panther on June 12; Spiderman Into the Spiderverese on June 26; A Wrinkle In Time on July 10; and How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World on July 24.

First Fridays feature Movie, Bands and Brews:

• July 5 – Purple Rain, featuring Hero, the Band, playing Prince music.

• Aug. 2 – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, featuring The Neon Queen.

• Sept. 6 – Nine to Five with a performance by Diva Royale.

• Oct. 4 – Bohemian Rhapsody featuring a Queen tribute performance by the Georgia Players Guild.

For showtimes and tickets visit mablehouse.org or call 770-819-7765.

From the June 2019  issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Group Plans For City In South Cobb

Mableton could be the “the next best city in Cobb County” within two years if the South Cobb Alliance wins funding and support from the legislature.

Enthusiastic supporters recently held a town hall meeting at South Cobb Regional Library.

“The time has come for us as a community to determine if it is feasible for us to become Cobb County’s next city,” said Tre Hutchins, an organizer of the cityhood effort. “This will allow us an opportunity to customize our needs as it relates to the quality of life we deserve in South Cobb.”

Mableton, an unincorporated community in south Cobb, would be joined with the unincorporated part of Austell to create Cobb’s newest city, which would also be called Mableton.

The new city would be bordered on the north by Hurt Road just north of the East-West Corridor, on the west by Austell, on the east by Smyrna and go southward all the way to Cobb’s southern tip.

The first step is having a bill introduced in the General Assembly. Hutchins said State Rep. Erica Thomas, D- Austell, has agreed to do that.

Hutchins said the group needs $30,000 for a Feasibility Study.

“We have 1/3 of it and need another $20K to make sure this happens,” he said. “The South Cobb Alliance is dedicated to securing the funds to complete the study. For more information: www.SouthCobbAlliance.org/.

Hutchins said he thinks the study will show the city of Mableton will be able to provide at least three of the 16 state constitutionally mandated municipal services currently provided by the county without raising taxes on its residents.

Harvest Festival To Be Held at Mable House

The Harvest Festival will be held at the Mable House Historic Grounds on October 12, 2019.

Produced by The Friends of The Mable House in partnership with Cobb Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, The Harvest Festival was formerly the Storytelling Festival.

“The Friends organization wanted to rebrand the event to create an enhanced family experience,” said Libby Geiselmayr, Mable House Arts Center Coordinator.

Professional storytellers Josie Bailey and Joanna Maddox will be telling tales, plus, there will be musical performances, food and other activities.

This free event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. will include Hay Rides given by the South Cobb Lions Club, a sweet potato garden, corn shucking, butter churning, homemade Johnny cakes, professional blacksmith Wind Chapman, farm animals, live storytellers, arts and crafts with clay throwing demonstrations, old time games, sweets and drinks by the girl scouts, live musical performances, Mother Goose, and gold panning.

There will be Historic House Tours with live demonstrations of quilting, spinning, weaving and sewing.

The South Cobb Lions Club will be selling BBQ both Saturday and Sunday.

Musical performances are set by FlatPickin’, Inc., and Soulful Praise, the Pebblebrook High School Gospel Choir.

From the October 2019 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

WellStar Cobb Celebrates 50 Years

WellStar Cobb Hospital, one of the premier healthcare providers offering top quality, community-based professional healthcare services to the residents of Austell and South Cobb communities, marked the 50th Anniversary of its opening on June 3.

What began as a 50-acre peach orchard is now a nationally recognized campus for hope and healing with 382 licensed beds and 2,200 staff members who care for more than 104,000 patients annually. From the first patient treated 50 years ago, to the millions seeking care and comfort since, WellStar Cobb Hospital continues to fulfill its founding vision of being there for patients every minute of every hour of every day.

“For 50 years, this hospital has been a proud example of what a community can accomplish when they come together for the better of all,” said Callie Andrews, president of WellStar Cobb Hospital. “This year isn’t just a celebration of the hospital and our team, but also for the surrounding communities as we reflect on what we’ve been able to accomplish together. As we look toward the future, we will continue the hospital’s legacy of focusing on patient experience and quality care to create a healthier, hope-filled community.”

No history of WellStar Cobb Hospital would be complete without recognizing the tireless dedication and support of Charles “Pete” Wood. From his participation in 1962 as founding Trustee of the Hospital Authority of Cobb County, to his leadership as Chairman of the WellStar Board of Trustees, Wood gave freely of his talents and time to ensure quality healthcare for Cobb County residents. WellStar Cobb Hospital’s Therapeutic Horticulture Garden – completed in 1993 for recovering patients and their families – was dedicated and renamed the Charles “Pete” Wood Garden in 2000 to honor him for his many decades of service.

The 50-year history of the hospital is filled with many milestones, most notably its merger with Kennestone, Douglas, Paulding and Windy Hill hospitals in 1993 to form a robust health system, Northwest Georgia Health System, Inc. On March 6, 1998, the name WellStar was introduced as the umbrella for these community hospitals. The words “Well” represent the mission of providing for the health of the community, and “Star” represents leadership, innovation and commitment to excellence.

“WellStar Cobb Hospital has a longstanding history of providing high-quality healthcare services focused on improving the health and wellbeing of the individuals and communities served. For the past 50 years, the physicians, caregivers and team members at WellStar Cobb have strived to exceed the expectations of our patients and consumers by creating an outstanding hospital and medical community that has expanded and thrived,” said Candice L. Saunders, president and CEO of WellStar Health System. “We are excited to celebrate this milestone and look forward to building upon our legacy as the healthcare partner of choice for greater South Cobb and its surrounding communities.”

Dedicated physicians work hand-in-hand with nurses and others to bring the best in modern medicine at WellStar Cobb Hospital. The hospital offers several exemplary programs, including a recently renovated burn and wound unit, a state-of-the-art cardiac program and women’s center and a leading cancer program that will have a new facility unveiled in late 2018.

“Physician leadership was instrumental in the hospital’s early history,” said Thomas Gearhard, MD, family medicine for WellStar Cobb Hospital and member of WellStar Cobb regional health board. “Dedicated medical staff provided family care, delivered newborns and served those in need in Cobb County where healthcare services were warmly welcomed in 1968. As the hospital has grown, it’s always enjoyed a close relationship with the community, through local governance, staff outreach, vibrant volunteer support and events.”

From the July 2018 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Tickets On Sale For Blue Jeans Gala

If you ever have to dial 911, what do you expect to be the outcome? Professionals with the highest level of expertise and professionalism to respond. The Smyrna Public Safety Foundation (SPSF) is dedicated to support the professional endeavors of the public safety agencies within Smyrna and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for those who live or work in the City of Smyrna and surrounding communities.

The 2018 Blue Jean Gala is Aug. 18 in Wallace Hall at Adventure Outdoors, 2500 South Cobb Drive, Smyrna. The title sponsor is The Charyn Darby Foundation. This event is different from others in the community because it allows attendees to spend the evening with our local heroes and all funds raised stay here in the Smyrna community to promote and support the many important initiatives of the Smyrna Fire and Police Departments.

“We strive to ensure that each police officer and firefighter is qualified, trained, and equipped to perform at the highest levels of professional standards,” said Barb Allen, executive director of the Smyrna Public Safety Foundation.  “Funds raised at this year’s Gala will be dedicated to funding some critical training and equipment that is outside their operating budgets.”

Annually, the SPSF sponsors the Smyrna Public Safety Awards and Recognition banquet where these Heroes are recognized for their exemplary service to the community. In December, the SPSF teams up with the Smyrna elementary schools and takes youth on a shopping spree for the Shop with a Hero event.

Make plans now to attend the Annual Blue Jean Gala. Ticket price includes live entertainment, dinner and beverages. There will be numerous unique raffle items as well as silent auction items, many which are experiences involving public safety.

At this event you are encouraged to dress casual (jeans and your favorite accessories are totally acceptable). There will be a photo booth available where you can memorialize the event.

For more information and purchase tickets, visit the website at www.smyrnapsf.org,  send an email to admin@smyrnapsf.org, or call 404-791-6935.

From the July 2018 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Mableton Park Gets Compromise Name

Cobb Commissioners have agreed on a compromise name, “Mableton’s Chattahoochee River Line Park,” for a new 103-acre park along the Chattahoochee River.

Parks Director Jimmy Gisi says the members of the Mableton Improvement Coalition and the River Line Historic Area, Inc. came up with the new name and ran it by District Commissioner Lisa Cupid who approved of it.

The property runs for one mile along the river and includes a variety of well-preserved Civil War-era earthworks. A large part of the property is on the National Register of Historic Places. Cobb County has owned the property since 1990 when it acquired it through the settlement of litigation.

The work on the park will cost approximately $1 million. Funding will come from the 2016 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) as part of the P.A.R.K.S. program approved by voters. Gisi told commissioners the improvements include a small parking lot, restrooms, signs and historical markers. A small display will show what a confederate Shoupade looked like. Another trail will lead to the remnants of a federal Redan.

From the July 2018 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

 

Smyrna Village Players Present ‘Anything Goes’

The Smyrna Village Players presents “Anything Goes,” a hilarious shipboard romp filled with music and dance wrapped in one of Cole Porter’s most magical scores as its summer production.

Smyrna Village Players is an outreach of Smyrna First United Methodist Church and the local Methodist community. Proceeds from this year’s production will support Murphy-Harpst Children’s Center.

The show will run in the Fellowship Hall of Smyrna First United Methodist Church 1315 Concord Road, Smyrna. July 19, 20, 21 at 7 p.m. and at 2 p.m. on July 21. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students under 18 and seniors 65 and older. Visit smyrnavillageplayers.com to purchase tickets.

From left are “Renos’ Angels” Katherine Francois, Bella Stoichev, Megan Bunkley, Hannah Wildes, Grace Regan, Kay Bolick and Kaitlynn Rivas.

From the July 2018 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Vinings Hosts Ice Cream Social

The Vinings Ice Cream Social on Sunday, July 15 salutes “National Ice Cream Day” with fun for the whole family.

The event, sponsored by the Vinings Historic Preservation Society, will be held at from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Historic Pace House and Pavilion on Paces Mill Road. There are certain to be some surprises and fun for all ages is guaranteed. Come on out and bring your family and friends for a day of good old fashioned summer fun.

Admission is free to VHPS members and children under 12. Admission for non-VHPS members over the age of 12 is $5 at the door. Please park across the street in the Piedmont Medical and Fidelity Bank parking lot.

From the July 2018 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Smyrna History Museum Closes For Remodel

The Smyrna History Museum is closed as of July 2 to allow the museum manager, city workers, and volunteers time to clean up the museum storage space in preparation for a massive renovation.

The new Smyrna Historical Society, which was created to support and aid the museum in its operations, is playing a significant role in the museum’s renovation. Once the cleanup has completed

The museum, which dates back to 1992, has been in its present location in a former railroad station for almost two decades. The cleanup is the first step in a complete renovation to its exhibits. This renovation will bring a chronological, narrative layout to the museum that will be accessible to all visitors.

In the next couple of months, a company will be hired to create and build all new exhibits for the museum. Requests for proposal are due on July 20. The projected start date for the renovation project will be Sept. 3.

Museum Manager, Jennie Eldredge, began work in October and has been inventorying the collection.

“It’s a long term process of taking all the objects and measuring and determining what stories they can tell about Smyrna History,” she said.

Previously run by volunteers, Eldredge is the first museum professional in the job.

In 1985 the Smyrna History and Genealogical Society started collecting records, photographs and objects until opening a physical museum in 1992. It moved to the present location in 1999.

Recently, the Smyrna Historical Society was created by the city council to support and aid the museum in its operations.

“We recognize the massive efforts that Harold Smith, his late wife Betty, and all of the members of the Smyrna Historical and Genealogical Society have undertaken to preserve Smyrna history.” Eldredge said. “Without their interests and efforts, Smyrna would not have a history museum, and much knowledge and physical evidence of Smyrna’s history might not have survived in such abundance. They have truly created a great legacy.”

A native of Marietta, Ms. Eldridge earned an Anthropology degree from Georgia State University and has done field work in archeology

“I wanted to focus on museum work to marry my love of objects with bringing their stories to a public audience. She previously worked at the Atlanta History Center.

While the 1,500 sq. ft.museum building will not be expanding, an open scaffolding concept will maximize space.

“As we redo the exhibits in the museum, they will show a more chronological walk though Smyrna’s history,” she said. The preliminary design breaks Smyrna history into six time periods and themes and includes a temporary exhibit space for rotating exhibits.

The scope of the museum will be limited to the southern Cobb area, she noted. “Vinings has a historic society, but it’s not a collecting society. We will also work with the Marietta Museum. It’s about telling the story and what you see in Smyrna today.”

The items that have been on display make up only a fraction of the collection. There are more than 10,000 items in inventory, many of them stored in the basement.

“They never really said no to anyone donating,” she said. “We have the original ballot box that was used for early city elections plus an X-ray machine from Dr Crow’s office, and old medicines.”

Ms. Eldredge said she will be writing a guide to collections to judge future donations.

“My archeology background has come in handy in the museum basement. It’s like an excavation,” she said. “I’m recording the location of objects that I find in the basement storage.”

“We are not actively collecting at this time as I am still going through what we have.”

If you are interested in helping, the Smyrna Historical Society is looking for volunteers at all levels, including board members. Please email them at smyrnahistoricalsociety@gmail.com  and let them know you want to help.

From the July 2018 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Whitefield Student Is Chess Champ

Drew Justice, a Whitefield Academy Sixth grader, recently represented his school in the National Elementary Chess Championship held in Nashville, Tennessee.

The tournament, sponsored by the U.S. Chess Federation, draws more than 2,000 players from around the country in a four-day event that begins with a 6-round blitz (fast chess) tournament and concluding with a 7-round standard tournament. Justice had an outstanding performance in the K-6 blitz tournament, claiming first place.

Overall, Justice holds four national titles in chess: 2013 K-1 Co-Champion, 2015 K-3 Blitz Co-Champion, 2017 K-6 Bughouse Champion, 2018 K-6 Blitz Co-Champion (1st place on tiebreaks). In the 2018 regular tournament, Justice came close to securing another national title. After winning his first five matches, he played very well in round 6 to earn a draw. Then, still tied for first place going into the final round, he was outplayed by a strong opponent from California and ended the regular tournament in 8th place. There are three types of chess championships: regular (90 minutes per player), blitz (5 minutes per player), and bughouse (partner chess).

Justice is a chess “Expert” (2000 U.S. rating), and hopes to get to “National Master” (2200 rating) by the end of middle school. He has been an avid chess player since he was three years old. In addition to chess, Justice enjoys playing basketball, football, and looks forward to being in the marching band next school year. He enjoys the challenge of playing other top players from around the country, and also teaching chess to younger children at Whitefield through after school programs and summer camps.

Whitefield Academy is a Christ-centered, college preparatory school serving more than 800 students in PreK4 through 12th grade. For more information, visit whitefieldacademy.com.

From the June 2018 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton,  and Austell, GA.