SMYRNA — It’s not just outsiders.

Even people who live in south Cobb aren’t always aware of the area’s natural beauty, according to Angelia Pressley.

Saturday’s inaugural Welcome to South Cobb Festival, she hopes, will change that.

Sandwiched in a small park between the Chattahoochee River and the mixed-use Riverview Landing apartment complex — one of Smyrna’s newest — festival goers moseyed between vendors and food trucks Saturday afternoon while musicians performed nearby.

Headlining the festival were R&B star Ginuwine and Grammy-nominated jazz saxophonist Reggie Hines, scheduled to perform Saturday night.

Pressley, a Smyrna resident and the founder of an advertising and public relations firm, conceived of the event as a means of putting a spotlight on the southernmost part of Cobb County.

“South Cobb has all these offerings that are outdoor specific,” Pressley said. The Silver Comet Trail. Discovery Park at the River Line. The amphitheaters at Thurman Springs Park and the Mable House complex.

Highlighting the area’s natural assets can boost tourism, Pressley believes. But it can also create “the ambassadorship among residents, who don’t realize that we really are a gem here in south Cobb.”

South Fulton resident Kenny Jones was among those who came Saturday afternoon. He used to work in the area near Riverview Landing, back when it was “nothing,” and was surprised to find that it had become the site of high-end apartments.

State Rep. Michael “Doc” Rhett, D-Marietta, also dropped by. He too remembered the area before its development, back when there wasn’t much to do there but fish.

By trying to create an identity for the area, events like the Welcome to South Cobb Festival can “build the future renaissance of south Cobb,” Rhett said.

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