Kingsport’s 40th Fun Fest kicks off Friday with parade, live music

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KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — For four decades Kingsport’s “Fun Fest” has brought laughter, community celebration, family reunions and of course, fun for all ages.

This year, it is a celebration even sweeter. Fun Fest is finally returning after 2020’s pandemic cancellation which shuttered the entire ten-day event.

“It’s really neat to bring together not only that Kingsport spirit but really the regional spirit,” said Fun Fest director Emily Thompson.

Friday marks the first night of the 40th anniversary celebration. For the kickoff parade, floats lined up early.

“We’re gonna fill the street with a whole lot of parade floats tonight. Then you can go back down to Broad Street for the Broad Street Boogie. We have Entice Band, it’s a great party band so put your dancing shoes on,” said Thompson.

Coming off of the pandemic, making sure the event would be a success meant getting creative and always planning in motion.

“I think we didn’t realize how much we missed it until it was gone that’s for sure. It’s really nice to be able to bring the 40th anniversary this year and give people that opportunity to get back into those events and concerts and food trucks,” said Thompson.

Fun Fest’s economic impact is an estimated 2 to 4 million dollars for the region, a welcome return of revenue after a year without.

“It will make the cash registers ring in Kingsport and the region for the next ten days,” said Jud Teague, executive director of Visit Kingsport.

Teague says with pent up demand, people are looking for summer fun; they expect a lot of visitors to flood the streets of the festival.

“I think we are seeing a trend on the upside of what it has been in years past,” said Teague. “We have a lot of folks that do come in from outside the region.”

For a full list of Fun Fest events happening through July 24th, click here.

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