Smyrna Museum To Reopen Sunday

After more than a year, the Smyrna Historical Society will reopen the Smyrna Museum with a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 17.

“Everyone is invited,” said Museum Manager Jennie Eldredge, “It’s an opportunity to come see the new exhibits in the museum.”

The museum is at 2861 Atlanta Rd SE, Smyrna; and the opening will be from 3 – 5 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

The museum, which dates back to 1992, has been in its present location in a former railroad station for almost two decades. It closed July 2018 for renovations. 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. Two years ago the Smyrna Historical Society was created by the city council to support and aid the museum in its operations.

The museum will be organized in five chronological sections with another area for temporary displays.

The first section is “Genesis,” covering pre-history and Native Americans. Next is “Battlegrounds,” with Civil War relics and history; “Cityhood,” the aftermath of the war, reconstruction and incorporation of city in 1872; “Jonquil,” the 20th century, WWII, and growth of the Bell bomber plant; and “Rebirth,” covering the economic growth of city and its diversity.

 “We are bringing in interactive displays and the ability to touch objects,” Eldredge said. “It pairs with the sensory input of the trains rolling right behind us.”

The museum includes an interactive display in every section, including weaving a Cherokee basket, picking up a Civil War-era knapsack to measure the weight of the gear they had to carry, and making your own Smyrna postcard.

Chamblee-based Building Four Fabrication provided the rebuilt presentation at a cost of $185,000 which is under budget.

The Ribbon cutting at 3 p.m. will include The Mayor and Councilman Corky Welch, plus Jennifer Dixon, chair of the Smyrna Historical Society. “I hope that this museum will encourage others to find their passion for history, especially if it encourages them to preserve local history.”

“We want to honor the Smyrna Genealogical Society for their work in founding the museum,” Eldredge said. “They are the reason we have this space and much of this collection. Without them we would not have this reopening.”

 “The Museum will be a gathering space for stories, oral histories and local history,” said Eldredge. “We would like to partner with the schools to get translations of our script into Spanish and other languages.” The 1,500 sq. foot space was cleared out and new displays and storage built. It is designed with open storage in mind, with some items on display plus other items in drawers for further exploration.

Norton, Campbell In Runoff For Smyrna Mayor

Smyrna voters will go back to the polls on Dec. 3 to elect a Mayor as Derek Norton and Ryan Campbell forced a runoff in a five-person race.

Norton had 47 percent of the vote to Campbell’s 25 percent. Other Mayoral candidates included Steve Rasin at 22 percent, Laura Mireles at 5 percent and Alex Backry at 1 percent.

Norton, 42, is serving as Ward 1 Councilman, Mayor Pro Tem and works as  Government Affairs Director for the Medical Association of Georgia. Campbell, 26, is the son of Jamaican immigrants who operate Chris’ Caribbean Bistro. 

In Ward 2, Austin Wagner defeated incumbent Andrea Blustein by just two votes, 341 to 339.

Travis Lindley defeated incumbent Ward 3 Councilwoman Maryline Blackburn with 53 percent of the vote.

Susan Winkinson, incumbent in Ward 5 held on with 52 percent of the vote over James Smith and Suz Kaprich.

In the open Ward 7 race, Lewis Wheaton took 57 percent of the vote over David Monroe.

In the unopposed races Glenn Pickins won the Ward 1 seat, and incumbents Charles ‘Corkey’ Welch, Ward 4; and Tim Gould, Ward 6;  were reelected.

Ollie Clemons, serving as acting Mayor in Austell, won a full term with 54 percent of the vote by defeating three challengers. Devon Myrick and Melanie Elder were elected to council seats.

Smyrna’s runoff election will be held Dec. 3.

Boxing Champ Honored

Nathan Lugo, a 15-year-old Smyrna boxer, won gold at the Bornemissza Tournament in Eger, Hungary, by winning three matches, with one by decision and two by stoppage. Lugo left Hungary as the top-ranked 154-pound junior-class boxer in the world.

Lugo was honored with a proclamation at the Aug. 5 Smyrna City Council meeting congratulating him on being the most decorated amateur boxer in Georgia.

“In 2014, Lugo was the only boxer in Georgia to win a national title for our great state. Many overlooked the then 9-year-old boxer who was making history,” the proclamation reads. “Nathan is a current member of Team USA and has over 200 recorded bouts, 12 national titles, and a gold medal in the biggest junior international tournament, he is the essence of what our city and country are built on — hard work.”

After winning gold in Hungary he presented his father with the medal in honor of Father’s Day. He is the son of Michael and Angela Lugo, and has one younger brother, Elijah, who is also a national level boxer.

Lugo is a three-time National Junior Golden Gloves winner and four-time National Silver Gloves winner.In December, he became a member of Team USA by defeating then-Team USA member Elijah Garcia.

‘Smyrna Reads’ The Constitution

Every year, Smyrna Library promotes a book for the community to read and discuss. This year, we will revisit America’s Founding Era and read the U.S. Constitution.

Free copies will be distributed while supplies last, but numerous other copies will be available for checkout. Events throughout the month are scheduled to supplement your reading.

This program is part of “Revisiting the Founding Era,” a three-year national initiative of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History presented in partnership with the American Library Association and the National Constitution Center, with generous support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Smyrna Reads is also sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.

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

Runoff Set For 2 Smyrna Posts

Smyrna will have a runoff for two posts after ballots were certified by the Cobb Board of Elections.

Derek Norton faces Ryan Campbell in a runoff for mayor. Norton had 47 percent of the vote to Campbell’s 25 percent. Other Mayoral candidates included Steve Rasin at 22 percent, Laura Mireles at 5 percent and Alex Backry at 1 percent.

After provisional and absentee votes were counted, Austin Wagner and incumbent Andrea Blustein tied for the Ward 2 post.

The runoff for the two posts will be Dec. 3.  

Advance voting will be held for three days only; Nov. 25-27 at the Voter office at 736 Whitlock Ave., Marietta from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and the Smyrna Community Center from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

North Georgia State Fair

As the largest fair in metro Atlanta, the Superior Plumbing North Georgia State Fair returns to the Jim R. Miller Park Sept. 19-29. The fair attracts nearly 300,000 people every year from north Georgia and neighboring states.

The Superior Plumbing North Georgia State Fair features live music, free attractions and shows, farm animals, flower shows, blue ribbon competitions, local entertainment, and delicious fair foods.

There are also games and rides on the Great James H. Drew Exposition midway – one of the largest carnival midways in the United States, featuring the Wildcat Rollercoaster, Georgia Mountain Lift and the Mega Slide.

A covered arena guarantees concerts rain or shine, including appearances by great country and contemporary Christian artists.

Headliners for the Carl Black Kennesaw Concert Series include:

• Jeremy Camp on Friday, Sept. 20;

• Mitchell Tenpenney on Saturday, Sept. 21;

• Lee Brice on Wednesday, Sept. 25;

• Tyler Farr on Thursday, Sept. 26;

• Lanco on Friday, Sept. 27; and

• Caleb Lee Hutchinson (7 p.m.) and Travis Denning (8 p.m.) on Saturday, Sept. 28.

Concerts begin at 8 p.m. (unless noted otherwise) and are free with fair admission. 

New acts in 2019 include K-9’s in Flight, Ninja Experience, King BMX Stunt Show and Sandscapes.

Returning acts in 2019 include, Robinson’s Racing Pigs and Paddling Porkers, Lady Houdini, Eudora Farms Petting Zoo, Brian Ruth “Master of the Chainsaw,” North Georgia Animals Petting Barn, Robocars and Treeman and Cowboy Woody.

 Fair hours are available at www.northgeorgiastatefair.com/

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

Taste Of Smyrna

Taste of Smyrna “Festival of Delectable” presented by Superior Plumbing is coming to satisfy palates, quench the thirst, fulfill the need for music and entertainment, and please the kids, Sept. 14.

Visitors will be able to sample more than 30 Smyrna restaurants on the beautiful Village Green and Market Village in downtown Smyrna.

Admission to the Taste is FREE with food samples costing $1 to $4 each.

Diners can experience tastes from more than 30 restaurants including: Tin Drum, Taco Mac, Williamson Bros. BBQ, Bruster’s Ice Cream, Copelands of New Orleans and more to tempt the taste buds and fill the senses. 

There will be live music all day during the festival from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

There will be interactive children’s activities from a Quad Bungee, inflatable slides, bounces, Special OPS obstacle course and much more.  

The Taste of Smyrna bottled water and soft drink sales will benefit the Smyrna Education Foundation.

There will be acoustic sounds from Scott Thompson entertaining patrons from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. adjacent to the Veteran’s Memorial, and more live music throughout the event from open to close.      

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

‘Shrek The Musical’ In Smyrna

Smyrna Village Players’ cast and crew invite you to experience SHREK THE MUSICAL in an all-new light in four performances on July 18, 19 and 20.

This new age fairytale is full of sidesplitting laughs, heartfelt friendships and harrowing adventure.

Smyrna Village Players is an outreach of SFUMC and the local Methodist community. The group offers an outlet for individuals to share their talents and gifts and seeks to bring joy and unity to our neighbors by working as a collaborative team to tell compelling stories.

The unique interpretation of this beloved tale brings our favorite renaissance heroes into modern times. We’ve embraced a vibrant, rock’n’roll inspired aesthetic and the jam-packed performance is guaranteed to keep you engaged and on the edge of your seat.

Performances are July 18 at 7 p.m.), July 19 at 7 p.m. and July 20 at 2 and 7 p.m. Performances are in the Fellowship Hall of Smyrna First United Methodist Church, 1315 Concord Road, Smyrna. The performance offers professional ASL interpretation at the Saturday 2 p.m. matinee show and welcome all members of the Smyrna community to enjoy this upbeat, family-friendly production. General Admission tickets are $15 and Student/Senior tickets are $12. Tickets are on sale now at www.smyrnavillageplayers.com.

Campbell Lady Spartans Win State



Campbell Lady Spartan medalists are, kneeling from left, Jameah Alston, Raina Perry, and Jada Alston; standing, Jaleah Alston, Mekenze Kelley, Lailah Malone, Zionn Rice, Akilah Parrish, Rachel Swain, Ashton Lindley, Makayla Jones, Makylah Jones and Camille Trottman.

The Campbell Lady Spartans Track & Field team just completed their most successful season ever by winning their first GHSA State Track and Field Team Championship in school history and only the second GHSA State Championship since Softball won in 1994.

This talented and well-coached team won the State Championship by 50 points, and with the highest point total (112 points) ever scored in the largest classification (7A) in the state. 

The track and field program first won the Region 2-7A Championship, and Cobb County Championship, leading to the State Championship.

Ashton Lindley, a junior, was GHSA State Championship Athlete of the Meet. SAhe was also Cobb County Athlete of the Meet at the Cobb County Championship.  At State, Ashton scored on the winning 4x100m and 4x400m Relay teams, won the 300m Hurdles with a time (41.46) that ranks her as US#11, and placed fifth in the Long Jump as well as second in the 400m dash.

Campbell scored points in 12 different events, and won Gold in four events.

The other individual Gold medalist was Mekenze Kelley, a sophomore, who ran a blazing 53.65.  This performance ranks her as US#13 and #2 in Georgia. Kelley also won Silver in the 200m Dash and ran on both winning relay teams.

The other medalists include:

• Camille Trotman (JR) 4x100m Relay and High Jump

• Jaleah Alston (JR) 100m Dash, 200m Dash, and both Relays

• Raina Perry (SR) 300m Hurdles, and both Relays

• Lailah Malone (JR) Shot Put and Discus

• Jada Alston (SR) Triple Jump and both Relays

• Zionn Rice (FR) 100m Hurdles and both Relays

• Jameah Alston (JR) both Relays

• Makylah Jones (JR) 4x400m Relay

Also contributing as alternates who ran in the prelims of the 4x400m Relays were Loryn Smith (FR) and Akilah Parrish (SO).

“This is a young and talented team with only two seniors graduating, so the future continues to be bright for the program,” said Michelle Lanier, Head Girls’ Track Coach.

Smyrna ‘Antiques Roadshow’ Coming

The new Smyrna Historical Society isn’t waiting for the doors of the newly-renovated Smyrna Museum to open in September, according to Nancy Geisler, board member.

“The 2019 Program is here, and most events are open to all and free. Please visit www.Smyrnahistoricalsociety.org to register for communications about events. For those who are able to do more, please consider donating to the future of the historical society by becoming a Member,” she said. 

Two collection events are set for June 15 and July 27, Noon – 4 p.m. at the Smyrna Library. Bring your photographs and other historic items to the experts. They will be scanned and returned or accepted to the permanent museum collection. It’s our “Antiques Roadshow” with a Smyrna flair.

For a limited time, the society is offering a special Founder’s membership. For a one-time donation of $100, your name will be listed on a permanent plaque to be displayed in the museum. You will also be invited to a special pre-opening ceremony. This is an easy and inexpensive way to show your support for a resource that will service our community for many years. 

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