Simply Smyrna Brings Together Community for 11th Year


On a recent warm night with a nice breeze, many Smyrna residents came out to observe the arrival of summer at Simply Smyrna. The event is a celebration of the arts and community coordinated by Carpe Artista with the cooperation of the Town of Smyrna. The event annually brings together music, fine art and local residents in the Depot District.

There were lots of jams tied to the event, with two stages that offered a variety of musical styles throughout the evening. While some folks were dancing in the street to the sounds of classic Rock and Roll coming from the train station stage, others were listening intently to rap on the Carpe Café stage. Simply Smyrna offers many of Carpe Artista’s musical students the opportunity to showcase their talent along with other local musicians.

“That’s what I like about this event,” said one onlooker, “they have all kinds of music, there is something for everyone.”

Lots of great food, drink, fun and opportunity to share good times was available on a perfect evening. One popular food truck offered cups of crushed ice with the chance for kids and kids at heart to add their own flavorings over the crushed ice. Then there were ever popular burgers and barbecue. At one booth, those strolling through the fair could even watch caramel corn being made.

New Smyrna resident Christina Sutton had a booth where she was selling caramel apples. “We are really enjoying ourselves,” she said. “Everyone is so friendly, and supports us even though we are new to the community. They are just having a good time.”

Once again Smyrna Independent Merchants Association (SIMA) sponsored the very popular beer garden. SIMA’s mission is to promote the cultural and economic benefits of shopping locally.

This being an election year, many politicians were on hand greeting people and enjoying the night’s offerings. Some wandered in the crowd, while others had booths where they handed out literature. One candidate was very clever borrowing an idea from the popular cult film “Napoleon Dynamite” with tee shirts just like those that said “Vote for Pedro” in the movie, however these said “Vote for Sergio”. However, no one in his booth attempted the famous dance.

Activities for kids were available. One booth was doing face painting, while another had lots of hula hoops for them to play with. And another booth was applying fake tattoos.

Artists and arts organizations were also present. Rutherford Arts Alliance had a booth representing their own organization, as well as Smyrna Arts Alliance and the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce Cultural Arts, which is a division of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Individual artists were on hand selling their original works as well.

“We are glad to be a part of this event,” said Susan Gilley, Director of Cultural Heritage and Tourism at the Chamber of Commerce. “It’s Rutherford County’s largest arts and music festival.”

Smyrna Mayor Mary Esther Reed, who loves the many events that bring the community together was on hand to revel in the fellowship.

“This event is about people getting out, meeting their neighbors, and celebrating the kick off of summer,” said Smyrna Mayor Mary Ester Reed. “We are thankful to Carpe Artista, the Town of Smyrna, and lots and lots of volunteers for making it possible.”