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Here comes the fun! Kingsport's annual summer festival kicks off today

July 11th, 2014 12:20 am by LURAH LOWERY

Here comes the fun! Kingsport's annual summer festival kicks off today

The bead toss at Mardi Gras got last year's Fun Fest rolling. David Grace photo.

Celebrate Fun in the Sun and Under the Stars at the 34th annual Fun Fest by participating in numerous activities and attending concerts throughout the city of Kingsport beginning today through July 19.

This family friendly event is completely planned and promoted by local businesses and organizations for the enjoyment of their patrons and neighbors.

Among the new events this year are the Mountain Empire Tennis Association Jr. Tennis Tournament sponsored by Mountain Empire Tennis Association; Bells and Organ sponsored by Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church; "The Old Faith, Hope and Charity" dinner theater sponsored by First Baptist Church; H.O.P.E. Gospel Sunday sponsored by the nonprofit organization Help Our Potential Evolve; Fun Sew sponsored by Heavenly Stitches Quilt Shop; and WINK! sponsored by Palmer Center Foundation Charter Media.

Some returning events are the Mini Maker Faire sponsored by Northeast State Community College and MAKE Magazine; the White Lightning Ride sponsored by Specialized Bicycles, Eastman Credit Union and Marsh Regional Blood Center; Hot Air Balloon Glow sponsored by Holston Valley Medical Center, Marsh Regional Blood Center, Admiral Propane and others; and the Eastman Fireworks Spectacular sponsored by Eastman Chemical Co.

Daily events include Rediscover Kingsport: Scavenger Hunt sponsored by Friends of the Archives and the Downtown Kingsport Association; Art Show sponsored by Hunter, Smith and Davis; First Bank and Trust and Kingsport Art Guild; Tennessee Army National Guard Fun Festacular sponsored by Tennessee Army National Guard; Kingsport Birding Trail Bird Walk sponsored by Sleepy Owl Brewery, Bristol Bird Club and Bays Mountain Park Kingsport Birding Trail; and admission to Bays Mountain Park will be free during Fun Fest.

Daily schedules of events will publish in the Times-News. Tickets for events, including the Sunset Concert Series at J. Fred Johnson Stadium are available at the Fun Fest store inside the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce at 400 Clinchfield St. or online at Some tickets will be available outside J. Fred Johnson Stadium later in the week of Fun Fest.

Events will take place rain or shine unless severe storms are in the area. Sign up for a text alert of schedule changes due to weather by texting festus to 74574.

Keep Kingsport Beautiful has decided to focus more on recycling during Fun Fest this year by promoting its Trashbusters program, which was created by former Eastman employee Larry Newman and wife, Susan, in 1984.

Trashbusters will support 11 Fun Fest events this year by directing attendees to recycling bins and to adjacent trash barrels in Memorial Park. Recycling bins are to be used for plastic drink bottles and cans. All food containers and wrappers should be placed in the trash barrels.

"Folks are recycling at home and looking for recycling bins while they're out," said Robin Cleary, KKB director.

KKB and sponsor, AEP Appalachian Power, are looking for volunteers to serve as Trashbusters during Fun Fest. Those who volunteer to work at two events will receive free admission to the Fun Fest concert of their choice. One of the two events worked must be the individual's concert of choice where volunteers will work from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Trashbusters will also receive a free Fun Fest T-shirt while supplies last. While Fun Fest begins today, it is not too late to participate in the program.

"We have folks that come back and do this every year," Cleary said. "It's a nice program. I think it's a win-win because volunteers are supporting KKB and Fun Fest."

Trashbusters can be individuals, families, church groups, civic clubs and business/employee groups. Participation is also an opportunity for area teens to earn community service hours toward Tennessee and Virginia Scholars requirements.

Trashbuster event schedules and registration forms may be picked up at the Fun Fest Store and the are available at or at Return completed forms to the Fun Fest Store, fax to (423) 392-8834 or email to

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