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.

Theatre Project Presents ‘Freaky Friday’

The Theatre Project will present the musical version of “Freaky Friday” at the Mable House Amphitheatre in November.

The musical version tells the story of a mother and daughter, whose bodies are switched by a mysterious and magical fortune cookie.

Performances will be Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 17 at 5 p.m. Tickets are available at ttpcobbcounty.com/.

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

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.   

Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon To Retire

Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon dropped a political bombshell in July as he announced he would not seek reelection.

“It’s time for me to go,” Bacon said in a Facebook post. “I can no longer give the 110% that I have given the last 40 years. I will miss serving all the citizens of Smyrna…but will be ok. Smyrna will always be the best place to live.”

Bacon was speaking to a sellout crowd fr his annual “State of the City” address to the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and Smyrna Business Association on July 10.

It was a reversal from Bacon’s May announcement to run and he said he had even ordered campaign signs and t-shirts that read “I Heart Bacon.”

While still dabbing at tears, he offered a discount on campaign shirts.

“Don’t forget about those T-shirts now — $6,” he joked.

The political bombshell has drawn at least four probable candidates for the mayor’s post. They include:

Ward 1 Councilman Dereck Norton, Government Affairs Director for the Georgia Municipal Association; Laura Mireles, an Air Force veteran who worked in law enforcement; Steve Rasin, a retired Navy Commander, Airline Pilot and owner of a real estate business; and  Alex Backery, a perennial candidate who is retired.

Candidate qualifying will be Aug. 20-22 at city hall.

During his presentation, Mayor Bacon cited numerous accomplishments from his four decades in public office.

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

Get Rid of Bulky Trash

It’s time to clean out your closets, basements, garages and rooms. The City of Smyrna and Keep Smyrna Beautiful are hosting the first Bulky Trash Amnesty Day Saturday, Aug. 17 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Smyrna residents are invited to bring their unwanted items and drop them off at the Smyrna Public Works Department on Atlanta Road.

This event is FREE and for Smyrna residents only. Please bring proof of residency: City of Smyrna utility bill preferred but a drivers license is fine.

Items accepted include: Furniture, carpet, mattresses and box springs, grills, car parts (doors, fenders), lawn furniture, and non Freon containing appliances (washers, dryers, etc).

Items NOT accepted include: paint, any household hazardous waste, refrigerators, freezers, tires, construction debris, lawn mowers, or propane tanks.

“We are encouraging neighborhoods to work together to bring items,” said Janet Liberman. “For example: join together and rent a truck or offer to bring a neighbor’s items if you have a pickup truck and they don’t have a car big enough.”

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