Fun Fest, schools will share facilities

Rick Wagner • Nov 25, 2009 at 12:00 AM

KINGSPORT — Fun Fest, football practice and band camp will co-exist next year with no major problems, Fun Fest Director Lucy Fleming said recently.

The Kingsport Board of Education is considering two almost identical school calendar proposals for next year, both of which would start school on Monday, Aug. 2.

The final decision is to be made at the regular BOE meeting scheduled for Dec. 3.

Because the Fourth of July is on a Sunday next year and the parade is set for Monday, July 5, having Fun Fest at its normal time in July would put the Fun Fest parade on the following Friday, July 9.

To solve that problem, Fun Fest is moving its start a week later.

But the early school start means the Dobyns-Bennett High School marching band camp will be a week earlier than normal, and will need to use Indian Highland Park.

Fleming said the scheduling can be worked out.

“We started that discussion last August with them and have been willing to work with them,” Fleming said, adding that use of school facilities has helped make Fun Fest a success.

“We’ve been aware of the potential August 2nd date,” Fleming said. “To the best of my knowledge, it’s pretty well been worked out.”

Fleming said a Fun Fest volleyball tournament normally held at Indian Highland Park could be moved to another location.

In addition, she said any conflicts with other Fun Fest events and school uses could be worked out.

She added that the advantage of the artificial turf at J. Fred Johnson Stadium is that using the stadium for Fun Fest concerts, football practice and band practice won’t wear out the grass before football season even gets under way.

Fleming noted that Fun Fest and school uses of facilities likely will be an issue in 2011 too, because the Fourth of July that year is on a Monday, and the traditional Fun Fest kickoff and parade would be the following Friday.

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