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Kingsport’s National Night Out to include free food, giveaways

Holly Viers • Aug 8, 2018 at 6:30 PM

KINGSPORT — This year’s National Night Out in Kingsport is on track to be the biggest one yet.

In addition to its usual slate of activities, the event will be held in conjunction with the third annual Community Cook-off Cookout, which will feature free food, games, music and giveaways.

“We’re going to make this a yearly function partnering together,” said Johnnie Mae Swagerty, director of South Central Kingsport and New Vision Youth. “Because like we always say, unity makes a community, and you have to partner together to make a community.”

What is National Night Out?

A nationwide effort, National Night Out aims to foster cooperation and partnership between communities and their first responders. Swagerty said Kingsport is one of 46 areas in the state participating this year.

The Kingsport event is held in part to recognize how far the Riverview community has come. What once was considered one of the most violent areas of Kingsport has transformed through the years as residents partnered with law enforcement to make the area safer.

When and where will the event take place?

The Kingsport event will be held Saturday from 4-9 p.m. at the V.O. Dobbins Complex. If it rains, the event will move inside to the Riverview Community Room.

All participants are asked to wear white T-shirts and to bring a candle, if possible, as a symbol of purity and unity in the community.

Sponsors include Target, South Central Kingsport Community Development, New Vision Youth, Kingsport Parks and Recreation, Children of the Community and KHRA.

What is the Community Cook-off Cookout?

Children of the Community, a local organization, will be holding this cookout at the same time and place as National Night Out. Founder Ryan Smith said several local restaurants and other businesses will provide food, drinks and games, all at no charge.

Menu items include ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, wings, fish, multiple side items and drinks. Other sponsors will be on hand to give away things like bicycles, gift cards, tennis shoes, haircuts, book bags and headphones, and three DJs will be on hand to provide music.

A number of games and activities will be offered for children, including a three-point competition, a free throw competition, a sack race, a slip and slide race, a dance contest and face painting. Trophies will be awarded to the winners of the basketball contests, and adults can join in on the fun with spades, bingo and dominoes, Smith said.

Cookout sponsors include Texas Roadhouse, Kingsport Parks & Recreation, Central Baptist Church, Chili’s, Tennessee Shooters, Salon 211, Popeye’s, New Vision Youth, Hot Dog Hut, Buffalo Wild Wings, Turner Paving and Sealing, Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium, Applebee’s, KHRA, metroPCS, H.O.P.E., Full Gospel Mission Church, Food City on Eastman Road and Girls Inc.

What else can you expect at National Night Out?

At 4:30 p.m., the Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen will deliver the National Night Out 2018 proclamation. After that, local police officers will be presented with a plaque to honor them for their service. Children of the Community will also present them with a certificate.

After the event, residents of Kingsport and the surrounding area are encouraged to turn on their porch lights from 9-9:11 p.m. as a sign of support for policemen and other first responders.

How can you help?

Swagerty said local businesses, organizations and individuals are still welcome to donate drinks, side items, desserts or other items for the event.

For more information, contact Swagerty at (423) 429-7553.

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