Simply Smyrna Continues to Grow and Celebrate the Arts

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Band playing in the Depot Stage at Simply Smyrna. Photo by Lee Rennick.

Every May Carpe Artista, the non-profit that celebrates the arts in Smyrna, Tennessee, produces a one evening arts festival in the Depot District called Simply Smyrna. This year the event grew to include five stages of musical performances, a vintage car show, wine tasting and lots of food and booths offering everything from homemade cheesecake to handmade pottery.

Ron Alley, the whirling dervish behind the event, was pleased with the turnout and the additions to the event this year, including a VIP area for vendors inside the new Front Street Sign building. There vendors could cool off a bit on the warm night and have a bite of rigatoni bake provided by Joey’s House of Pizza. While the famous Nashville institution no longer has a brick-and-mortar location, they do continue to cater.

Speaking of food, there was lots of it. Food trucks and booths had lines of people awaiting a tasty treat. There was popcorn being popped in the open air, Italian ice, iced coffee, Mission Tacos, Massimos’s Italian Food, and much more. It was a bazaar of flavors from around the world. There was also wine tasting provided by Legacy Wine and Spirits, Smyrna Independent Merchants Association once again offered their Beer Garden, and Cedar Glade Brews brought their tap truck and offered an assortment of their chill microbrews.

An assortment of booths provided everything from information to plenty of shopping. Christina Polzin in her Polka Dot Boutique was having brisk sales of lots of super cute sundresses with a casual Boho vibe. Just down from her booth, Pearls and Sass offered flirty and sassy children’s clothes. Just across the way, Ashley Thomas showed her pottery for sale. She has been making great bakers and unique spoon rests for about two years. And novelist Iris Kane was selling her books nearby.

“Whenever we plan an event you always wonder if people will come,” said Alley, CEO and Founder of Carpe Artista. “I always enjoy the time of the night at Simply Smyrna after dark when people are enjoying the music and everything is just going along.”

The three outdoor and two indoor stages provided diverse genres of music, from country to rock and roll to at least one Taylor Swift song echoing through the night. Inside the Train Depot was the Songwriter’s Stage. There, trios played an assortment of their own music, much like Bluebird Café’s famous Songwriters in the Round nights.

On the more intimate Café Stage that is the porch of Carpe Café, the night began with a large crowd listening to Boom Band followed by students from Carpe Artista Academy. The Assembly Hall Stage featured solo acts. Always a draw, the Depot Stage was the main focus, here the evening started with a Welcome before Dakota Danielle took the stage, and the evening ended with The Ultimate McGraw Tribute Band on the Main Stage and Elecoustic Soul rocking out on the 101 Stage.

The newest addition to the event was a drive-in vintage car show. There were 75 cars featured on the lot behind Carpe Artista’s building at 101 Front Street, including a Mclaren Super Car 570s, a ’65 Mustang and a ’47 Frazier.

Jeremy Byrd, owner of Front Street Signs, organized the car event. “The show featured cars from members of the Stones River Region of the Antique Auto Club of America,” explained Byrd.

Overhead the full moon shined signaling the end of the event, but everyone was having such a good time that it seemed like folks would continue to enjoy the perfect night long after the music ended.

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