Smyrna’s 149th birthday party Saturday night drew some 25,000 people, according to Mayor Derek Norton – the largest crowd in the city’s history.
The city did not celebrate its birthday last year due to the pandemic. It is planning an even larger celebration for next year, when it will celebrate 150 years since its founding.
In a typical year, between 18,000 and 20,000 people would attend the city’s birthday celebration, and another 60 to 80 people would buy a table near the musicians’ stage. This year, those numbers had jumped to 125,000 and 250, respectively.
Norton attributed the event’s success this year to performances from rock bands Gin Blossoms and Sister Hazel.
“As successful as Saturday was, next year will be even more so incredible,” Norton said. “I can’t give any details but we’re going to wow the citizens with what we’ve been able to line up”
By the time the city’s next party comes around, several high-profile city projects will be underway or nearing completion, including a redesign of the downtown, an arts district, a new aquatic center and improvements to South Cobb Drive.
“We’re going to have a lot of things in motion during that time, and use the 150th birthday as a chance to highlight ... all of our successes that are underway,” he said.