SMYRNA — Music, fireworks and a 12-foot-tall cake will be among the attractions at Saturday night’s commemoration of Smyrna’s 145th birthday.
The annual event, which is free to attend, is expected to draw an estimated 20,000 attendees to downtown Smyrna, according to city spokeswoman Jennifer Bennett.
“The way that we explain our birthday celebration and our fireworks is ‘We don’t do Fourth of July, but we do a special city celebration, the birth of Smyrna, on the first Saturday in August,’” Bennett said.
Though the event is held each August, it is commemorating a milestone that falls in September, according to Bennett, who says the city’s charter lists Smyrna’s incorporation date as Sept. 6, 1872.
Saturday’s celebration, which runs from 6 to 10 p.m., will feature several forms of children’s entertainment, from face painters, stilt-walkers and inflatable play areas. Food vendors will also be on hand, offering barbecue and various festival fare for a nominal fee.
Merchants in the Market Village will also be open during the evening for those who wish to consider other dinner options.
But of course, a birthday celebration requires cake, and few attendees will be able to miss the seven-tier ceremonial cake created by McEntyre’s Bakery in Smyrna. Standing about 12 feet tall with a base 5 feet in diameter, the Styrofoam creation will be decorated with real icing and other adornments.
Though attendees will not be able to consume the large creation, they will get a taste of the local bakery’s wares, as it will be giving out 2,500 cupcakes in strawberry, chocolate and vanilla flavors after a cake-cutting ceremony put on with the help of Campbell High School football players and cheerleaders.
Bakery co-owner Ryan McEntyre said his shop has been involved with the event for just over 20 years, and estimated Thursday that it has handed out more than 50,000 total desserts in past years, with previous offerings including cake slices, cake squares and petit fours.
Local musical group Tim Purcell and the Mustangs will help open the festival with their blend of traditional rock ‘n’ roll and cover songs, while Banks and Shane will take the stage as the headlining group about 7:30 p.m.
The launching of fireworks will conclude the event and are expected to be shot off around 9:30 p.m., just after Banks and Shane conclude their performance.
Saturday’s forecast calls for a mix of sun and clouds and temperatures are expected to reach the high 80s, with just a 20 percent chance of rain, according to AccuWeather.
Bennett said attendees are invited to bring their blankets and chairs so they can sit back and take part in the festivities.
“It’s just people enjoying their community and a good night and fireworks,” she said.
Saturday’s event takes place at the Village Green, 200 Village Green Circle, Smyrna. For more information, visit smyrnacity.com.