Saturday’s Mount Carmel Block Party to be focused on community fun

Jeff Bobo • Jul 5, 2013 at 10:01 AM

MOUNT CARMEL — Organizers of this year’s annual Mount Carmel Block Party are trying something new, doing away with the antique car and tractor show in favor of a “new” car show.

This year’s Block Party will be held Saturday beginning at 7 p.m. in downtown Mount Carmel between Hammond Avenue and the Eastman Credit Union.

Block Party co-organizer Pamela Wooten said this year’s event will be a little different, but the one thing that never changes is the Block Party’s focus on community and wholesome family entertainment.

“We have five different car dealers who are going to bring down their new cars for display,” Wooten said. “The dealers are going to bring their best ones to display. In the past, we’ve had an antique car show, but we decided to change up a few things.”

As usual, the Block Party will feature live music.

This year four bands are performing including bluegrass and gospel by Eddie Frost, a street dance hosted by the “2 For Gone Band,” and the main stage will feature bluegrass by “Dave Adkins & Republik Steele” followed by country singer Kaitlyn Baker.

A wrestling ring will be staged in the center of the festival with Pro Wrestling Federation bouts beginning around 7 p.m. and continuing throughout the event.

For children, there will be face painting, balloon animals, cotton candy and popcorn, and a petting zoo.

There will also be a fireworks show beginning at 11 p.m.

At least 12 vendors will be selling food and drinks, and Block Party attendees should bring a lawn chair.

Rogersville’s annual Fourth of July Celebration, which has attracted about 50,000 people to the City Park the past couple of years, will also be taking place Saturday.

Wooten said the two events weren’t scheduled the same day on purpose. She said the Block Party, which generally brings about 10,000 people to downtown Mount Carmel, gives people another alternative for family entertainment Saturday.

“The past four years we’ve had the Block Party the Saturday after the Fourth (of July),” Wooten said. “We’ve tried to stay away from the Fun Fest activities, and we’re kind of connected to the Fun Fest block parties, which are always a week prior to the start of Fun Fest. In years past, Rogersville had its celebration on the Fourth, and it was just a coincidence that we’re coinciding with Rogersville.”

Wooten added, “The Block Party is a community gathering to have a good time for the night. It’s not a matter of going to Rogersville or going to Mount Carmel. That was not planned, and it’s not a competition. It just gives people more choices.”

Parking is at Oak Grove Baptist Church on Independence Avenue off Main Street, and there will be free shuttle service between the Block Party and the church throughout the event.

Block Party festivities technically kick off Friday night at 8 p.m. with a 3K road race beginning on Main Street at SKIPEZ Market. One lane of Main Street will be blocked off for the race.

The road race is presented by Tone Zone Gym on Main Street, and after the race the band “Zaffire” will perform in the Tone Zone parking lot.

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