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Pavers still available for Memory Fountain

February 9th, 2012 9:30 am by Staff Report

Pavers still available for Memory Fountain

The Kingsport Press Memory Fountain is located under the water tower at the downtown Food City shopping center, and the pavers surround the fountain.

Approximately 300 "pavers" are still available for the Kingsport Press Memory Fountain, located in front of the new Food City on Center Street in downtown Kingsport, according to Bonnie Macdonald, cultural arts administrator for the City of Kingsport.

The Kingsport Press Memory Fountain is a project of Engage Kingsport, being conducted in conjunction with the downtown Carousel Project. Engage Kingsport is a non-profit, volunteer-led organization that is spearheading both projects.

There are four different Memory Fountain paver options: Text only for $100; Kingsport Press logo with text for $125; Carousel Logo with text for $125; and Corporate Logo Pavers at $125 each with a minimum purchase of 10 for corporate sponsors.

When Food City created a new shopping center on the former Kingsport Press location, the company kept the Kingsport Press water tower and included it as an element in the design. The Kingsport Press Memory Fountain is located under the water tower, and the pavers surround the fountain.

"Many of the pavers have been purchased as memorials for former Press employees," Macdonald said.

"Parents and grandparents have also purchased pavers in honor of their children. We are not limiting the sale of the pavers to former Press employees," she explained.

Proceeds from the sale of the pavers will benefit the Carousel Project, which is scheduled for installation in June 2013. The Carousel Project has been led and completed by volunteers, with 18 local wood carvers creating the majority of the 35 carousel animals. The majority of the carvings are themed horses, but carvers have also created a lynx, a Pug, frog, Golden Retriever, tiger and a huge buffalo.

Many of the animals are now finished and ready to head into the painting stage. Kingsport artist Suzanne Justice will head up the effort. An informational class will be held Tuesday, Feb. 7, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Senior Center Annex, located in the former Lynn View High School. There is a $50 charge for the painting instruction.

Funds still need to be raised for completion of various components on the carousel itself, Macdonald stressed. Sponsorship levels range from $5,000 for the animals to $10,000 for two chariots that will be included in the carousel. Rounding boards will be added around the carousel and are available for a $1,000 sponsorship.

The goal is to raise $500,000 to cover carousel costs and, if possible, to reimburse the volunteer carvers for personal funds they have spent for instruction and materials.

For more information on the Carousel Project or to purchase a paver at the Kingsport Press Memory Fountain, call 423-392-8417 or visit the website at

Residents will get a chance to view the carousel animals the weekend of March 24-25 when all of the animals, no matter the stage of completion, will be taken to the Civic Auditorium for public display. The event will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, March 24, and from noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, March 25.

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