JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Organizations throughout Johnson City set up tents on the practice fields at Freedom Hall on Sunday with the goal of helping students welcome the new school year.

The event featured several fun activities for students such as inflatables and a foam pit. Backpacks were also given out to students.

Several community organizations were involved in making this event happen. CEO of Good Samaritan Ministries and Johnson City Vice Mayor Aaron T. Murphy said the event is a big deal for the community.

“We make a big deal about education, but to see others come together under the banner of unity for the sake of tomorrow’s leaders is beautiful,” Murphy said. “It’s a big deal, and we’re glad to be here.”

Murphy said this is the first year the city has held a community wide event.

“So this is the first annual back to school bash where all non-profits come together, all businesses and the city of Johnson City, and say, let’s do it together because together we are better,” Murphy said.

The event started off with some rain, but Murphy said the rain wouldn’t stop them from enjoying the day.

“Well, this is an open water park,” Murphy said. “Kids are having a great time on these inflatables and they’re just enjoying themselves. A little bit of rain is better than a 120 degree weather.”

Several events like this have happened through the region ahead of the return to the classroom. Murphy said the collaboration between non-profits and businesses makes the city’s event unique.

“What makes ours a little unique is that everybody decided to come together and be a team,” Murphy said. “That’s the beautiful thing because a community that’s united can do great things, but a community that’s divided can’t accomplish anything.”