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The engineer for the  C and R Railroad prepares Engine 7 for another downtown run.

Smyrna’s Depot area at Front Street saw more than an estimated 7,500 visitors during the 12th Annual Depot Days recently.

With cool days once again arriving there was a Kids Zone with a child-sized commuter train, a Health & Wellness Zone, two live music performance stages, a beer garden and vendors from artisans to food, breweries, churches, insurance, real estate, exercise, clothing and jewelry from busy and creative Rutherford County area businesses and organizations.

Several new businesses have established a brick-and-mortar presence in the Depot District, including a barber college and an ice cream shop. The Smyrna Independent Merchants Association sponsored the event with assistance from Nissan, TriStar StoneCrest, SkyView and Carpe Artista.

The Smyrna fire and police departments had a strong presence. It was hard to tell which public safety office was more popular with the children.

Trying all of the food at Depot Days is one of the draws, be it a Thai meal, or barbeque or Kettle Korn.

The shopping for artisan-produced goods was also well-received. Jason Coons of JCL Metals offered a cool range of signs and logos cut by a computer-controlled plasma cutter that can reach 45,000 degrees and cut sheet metal precisely. Coons can cut metal sheets into any logo a customer orders. He has the logo of the U.S. Marines and other military branches in stainless steel.

The high-tech work is also a popular skill Coons teaches at his day job at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Hartsville. Coons says there is a huge demand for skilled labor and graduates get scarfed up as soon as they get out of their cap and gown.

A signature of Smyrna’s Depot Days is its live music on two stages, including headliners Fire Hazard and Cosmic Collective.

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