Kayla Sherfey, Kingsport paints one of the approximately 150 trash barrels at this years Fun Fest Trash Barrel Painting. Photo by David Grace
The Allandale Mansion lawn was splotched with paper plates of paint and littered with artists and colorful barrels on Tuesday at the Fun Fest Trash Barrel Paint-In.
Artists of all ages began painting at 10 a.m. using their own supplies. About 150 barrels were registered by individuals, pairs and groups.
They continued until noon, anxiously anticipating the announcement of winners in the afternoon.
A winner is selected from each of the following categories: under 6 years old, 6 to 8, nine to 11, 12 to 17, 18 and older, Special Friends and a new category: Kingsport Mets.
The names of winners will be released during the week as they become available.
People painted a variety of themes relating to the festival, as well as television, music and other interests.
The event gave families an opportunity to get together and combine creative forces in the spirit of the upcoming festival.
“As a middle school teacher, I just think it’s fun and exciting to incorporate the arts and all the fun activities that go on at Fun Fest in our trash barrel,” said Tonya Skelton of Robinson Middle School.
Her daughter Gracie, 5, painted a Mardi Gras mask, because she won Mrs. Mardi Gras at the costume pageant two years ago. Her brother, Kylar, 9, painted Si Robertson of "Duck Dynasty" saying, “Sip a little tea, it’s Fun Fest, Jack!”
Destiny Frost, 15, painted hot air balloons, clouds, Festus and the lyrics to Hunter Hayes’ song “I Want Crazy.”
She went with her grandmother Derna Spears, who has attended every Trash Barrel Paint-In since the first with the exception of two. She brought her daughter and has been bringing her granddaughter for 14 years.
“It has gotten better and bigger every year ... and the trash barrels get prettier and prettier,” said Spears.
Emmy Williams, 18, was sad, saying this may be her last barrel painting before she leaves to attend Clemson University. She has been coming every year since she was 5 years old, when she won the under-6 division, and this year painted the characters from "Duck Dynasty" with her boyfriend, Mason Ewers, 18, who was attending for the first time.
One group from a Southview Summer Care Program included two children in the program and three chaperones. On one of their barrels, they painted hot air balloons and stenciled above them “Filled up with Jesus.”
BB&T sponsored the event, and five members of its staff from various branches judged the contest: Duane Norris, financial center leader in Gate City, Amanda B. Hudson, financial center leader in Kingsport, Sandy McDonald, financial center leader in Mount Carmel, Sandy Moody, relationship banker in Kingsport; and Kim Richards, mortgage loan officer in Kingsport.
All barrels will be displayed throughout Fun Fest at locations like Mardi Gras, Crazy 8’s, Rhythm in Riverview, Taste of Tri-Cities, Sunset Concert Series, Kids Central and more.
They will also be used throughout the year by the city of Kingsport Public Works Department at more than 80 events including festivals, charity walks and tournaments.
Barrels were last donated by Eastman Chemical Co. in 2011. They had been used to store cotton in the old J.P. Stevens Borden Mill Plant.
Robin Cleary, director of Keep Kingsport Beautiful, said they are always accepting donated barrels, and that if any company has suitable barrels, they should call 392-8814.
Sponsors are BB&T, Keep Kingsport Beautiful and Wal-Mart Supercenter 599.