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The warm weather is here and so is the fresh produce grown by your local farmers. This year, to celebrate its grand opening, the Kingsport Farmers Market is kicking-off their 2018 market season with a mural unveiling, kid’s activities and music.

Starting on May 5th, you can find home-grown produce, hand-made crafts and baked goods at the Kingsport Farmers Market every Wednesday and Saturday from 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. through October.

The Kingsport Farmers Market is not only a great place to purchase local produce and goods, but it is a place to enjoy the day with family and friends. The market kick-off is scheduled to begin at 8:00 a.m. at 308 Clinchfield Street.

The Kingsport Farmers Market’s Kick-Off schedule of events is as follows:

  • Mural – 8:00 a.m.
  • Kids Activities – 8:30 a.m.
  • Carousel – 9:00 a.m.
  • Market Jam – 10:30 a.m.

Also making its debut on Saturday, is the Kingsport Farmers Market merchandise. Shop for t-shirts, mugs, reusable tote bags and hats. Also available for purchase is the official poster for the 2018 market season, which was created by a local designer, Suzie Kelly. The merchandise will be for sale at the market on Saturdays through October.

In addition to all of the items available for purchase at the market, the Kingsport Farmers Market staff will be offering special programming starting this month.

  • Market Jams is a bluegrass music series presented by Pickin’ Porch that will run the first Saturday of every month from May – October.
  • A garden demonstration series, Homegrown, will teach participants various types of gardening skills.
  • Saturdays with the Chef series will return in June and will take place every Saturday in June and July.

“The market is going to be more than a place to buy produce this season,” said Chris McCartt, assistant city manager for administration. “We are hoping to make each market special by offering programing that enhances the assets of the market and its vendors. There will be something for everyone this season.”

For more information on the Kingsport Farmers Market, or to sign up for our monthly newsletter, please visit kingsportfarmersmarket.org.

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN to all citizens of the Kingsport Tennessee-Virginia area and the public at large, there will be a Public Meeting of the Kingsport Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization (MTPO) Executive Board on Thursday, May 3, 2018 at 1:00 P.M. (EST) in the City Hall Council Room, 225 West Center Street, in (downtown) Kingsport, Tennessee. Copies of the agenda and supporting documentation can be found in the MTPO office in the Improvement Building, City Hall, and Kingsport Public Library in addition to the following website: https://www.kingsporttn.gov/city-services/kmtpo. The primary items for this meeting include election of a Vice Chair, amendments to the FY17-21 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), discussion/adoption of Performance Measure Memorandums of Understanding as established by TDOT and VDOT, and adjustments to the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP). A public hearing will also be held in order to receive comments and questions on these or other items pertaining to the Kingsport Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization. Disabled citizens wishing to attend and needing special accommodations or anyone seeking further information on the MTPO meeting should contact William A. Albright at (423) 224-2677. For persons with disabilities or limited English proficiency, contact VDOT’s Civil Rights Division at 804-786-2085 or by mail 1401 E Broad St, Richmond, Virginia 23219. In Tennessee you may contact TDOT’s Civil Rights Office at (615) 714-3169. If you have a hearing or speech disability or use a TTY please use the FCC 711 dialing code to access a Telecommunications Relay Service to forward your comment. Kingsport MTPO ensures nondiscrimination and equal employment in all programs and activities in accordance with Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Si usted necesita la traducción por favor entre en contacto con el MTPO en por el teléfono en 423-224-2677.

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN to all citizens of the Kingsport Tennessee-Virginia area and the public at large, there will be a Public Meeting of the Kingsport Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization (MTPO) Executive Board on Thursday, May 3, 2018 at 1:00 P.M. (EST) in the City Hall Council Room, 225 West Center Street, in (downtown) Kingsport, Tennessee. Copies of the agenda and supporting documentation can be found in the MTPO office in the Improvement Building, City Hall, and Kingsport Public Library in addition to the following website: https://www.kingsporttn.gov/city-services/kmtpo. The primary items for this meeting include election of a Vice Chair, amendments to the FY17-21 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), discussion/adoption of Performance Measure Memorandums of Understanding as established by TDOT and VDOT, and adjustments to the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP). A public hearing will also be held in order to receive comments and questions on these or other items pertaining to the Kingsport Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization. Disabled citizens wishing to attend and needing special accommodations or anyone seeking further information on the MTPO meeting should contact William A. Albright at (423) 224-2677. For persons with disabilities or limited English proficiency, contact VDOT’s Civil Rights Division at 804-786-2085 or by mail 1401 E Broad St, Richmond, Virginia 23219. In Tennessee you may contact TDOT’s Civil Rights Office at (615) 714-3169. If you have a hearing or speech disability or use a TTY please use the FCC 711 dialing code to access a Telecommunications Relay Service to forward your comment. Kingsport MTPO ensures nondiscrimination and equal employment in all programs and activities in accordance with Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Si usted necesita la traducción por favor entre en contacto con el MTPO en por el teléfono en 423-224-2677.

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The Kingsport Aquatic Center is hosting the Tennessee Regional M.A.T.E. (Marine Advanced Technology Education) Underwater Robotics Competition, the first competition of its kind to be held at the Kingsport Aquatic Center.

The competition calls for students to design and build an underwater robot that can locate the wreckage of an airplane, install equipment to monitor earthquakes and complete a renewable energy project, all of which will be simulated at the Kingsport Aquatic Center.

The competition will take place in the HMG Competition Pool on April 28th and set up will take place the day prior. The HMG Competition Pool will be closed all day on April 27th and 28th for the competition.

The public is invited to attend the competition and cheer for their local teams. The Tennessee Regional M.A.T.E. Underwater Robotics Competition will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There will be designated parking for competition attendees at the Kingsport Aquatic Center.

For more information about the Kingsport Aquatic Center, visit www.swimkingsport.com or call 423-343-9758. For more information on the M.A.T.E. Competition, contact Dennis Courtney at dcourtney@streamworkseducation.org.

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The City of Kingsport’s Office of Cultural Arts is beginning the process of creating a Public Art Master Plan. Citizen input is welcomed and desired as the Cultural Arts Committee embarks on this journey. Please take 5 minutes and complete this short survey about the Public Art Program in the city – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PublicArtMasterPlan.

The Cultural Arts Committee would also like to invite the public out to a round table discussion on Thursday, May 10, 2018 from 4-6pm at the Renaissance Center – Rm. 310. This will be a time for open discussion around the Public Art Program and the future.  For more information please contact Bonnie Macdonald, Cultural Arts Administrator at BonnieMacdonald@KingsportTN.gov or at 423-224-8416 or Jessica Harmon at JessicaHarmon@KingsportTN.gov or 423-343-9783.

cultural arts logo

Does typing on a typewriter and expanding your creative writing skills sound like something you would enjoy? Join Langley Shazor for an afternoon of learning about poetry, prose, and typewriters in one of the two sessions of The Casual Word – Creative Writing Class.

Published writer, Langley Shazor will be teaching a fun class about how to break past the common obstacles that plague young writers including peer review, in writing revision, vocabulary, perfectionism and more. Participants will work with Langley to tap into their creative capacity instead of focusing on technical writing. The class is sponsored by The Casual Word, H.O.P.E and Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts.

Langley is a Bristol, VA native who has been published in The Loafer Magazine, Inner Child Magazine, SocialJusticePoetry.com and more. An advocate for the performing arts and education, Langley is the founder of the Virginia Middle School Writing Club, where students use typewriters to express themselves creatively with poetry and short stories.

Offered April 24th and May 15th, the class will start at 4:00 p.m. and finish at 6:00 p.m. The class is free and open to all ages. All supplies are provided. Students keep all written work and have the opportunity to be featured on www.casualword.com’s poet of the week column. The class will take place in room 239 of the Kingsport Renaissance Arts Center, located at 1200 E. Center St.

Pre-registration is required to participate. To register for the class, please email Stella Robinette at stella@hopetricities.com or call 423-276-6541.

For more information, please visit EngageKingsport.com, the Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts Facebook page or call 423-392-8414.

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Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium is proud to announce that it has won the following in Blue Ridge Country magazine’s 30th Anniversary “Best of the Mountains” reader poll: 3rd Place: Best Hiking Trail (non-AT).

As part of its 30th Anniversary Celebration, Blue Ridge Country’s May/June issue is built around reader-poll results for the “Best of the Mountains.” This issue salutes readers’ favorites in the realms of people, places and much more. The reader polls are conducted every five years to give readers a chance to voice their opinions about the mountains they love so much.

“With all of the possible choices for readers to pick from for this award, we are thrilled Bays Mountain Park’s hiking trails made the top three,” said Rob Cole, park manager at Bays Mountain Park. “We have 40 miles of hiking trails at the park, and found within those 40 miles is a trail for every type of hiker.”

The May/June issue of Blue Ridge Country can be found on newsstands across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast by April 23.

Blue Ridge Country magazine celebrates the culture, history, geography and wonderful travel opportunities of the Southern Appalachians from the Virginias south through the Carolinas, Tennessee, Georgia and Kentucky.

For more information on Bays Mountain Park, please visit baysmountain.com or call 423-229-9447.

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Bays Mountain Park’s Lily Pad Cove is now home to a new pavilion. Join the city for a special ribbon cutting ceremony on April 25th at 2:00 p.m. to celebrate the newest addition to Bays Mountain Park.

The Pavilion at Lily Pad Cove is an outdoor multi-use facility that can be used for a variety of events including weddings, school programs, speaking engagements, music, private and/or corporate socials and more. Pricing information and photos of the pavilion can be found on Bays Mountain’s website, www.baysmountain.com.

The Pavilion at Lily Pad Cove is already an award winning venue at Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium. The pavilion received the award for 2017 Project of the Year in the Under $2.5 Million Category presented by The Associated General Contractors of Tennessee. The pavilion was designed by local architect Jim Wright and constructed by Kingsport-based Armstrong Construction. The project is made possible and largely funded by a grant from Visitor Enhancement Program. Along with other projects, the pavilion is part of a “jumpstart” effort at Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium.

With the completion of the Pavilion at Lily Pad Cove comes a new volunteer opportunity. Bays Mountain Park is looking for volunteers to take on the role of pavilion hosts. The primary goal of the pavilion host is to help visitors enjoy the pavilion, whether the visitor is a guest passing through to enjoy the view, or as a renter hosting a private event or celebrating a special occasion. Pavilion host volunteers would serve primarily on the weekends, both Saturday and Sunday, from noon to 5:00 p.m., but could be asked to help serve at other times as needed.

To become a pavilion host volunteer, or to learn more, contact Krystal Haney at 423-229-9483, or krystalhaney@kingsporttn.gov. For more information on Bays Mountain, please visit baysmountain.com or call 423-229-9447.

Please review the poster for the upcoming State of Tennessee Household Hazardous Waste Collection events in Northeast TN.  It includes dates for collections in Sullivan, Washington, Carter and Unicoi counties. This event is only held once a year in each county and is the only opportunity to properly dispose of hazardous household materials.

April 14 – Washington County

April 28 – Sullivan County

May 19 – Carter County

For more information or questions, please reach out to Robin Cleary at 423-392-8814 or rcleary@kingsportchamber.org.

household hazardous waste collection

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Learn about all things astronomy at Bays Mountain Park! On Saturday, April 21st from 1 p.m. until 10 p.m., Bays Mountain Park and the Bays Mountain Astronomy Club will celebrate International Astronomy Day with displays, activities and planetarium shows.

Spend an exciting and informative day learning about the science and hobby of astronomy. Check out displays about astronomy, telescopes and education in astronomy. Take advantage of the free solar viewing program, SunWatch, where visitors will be able to safely observe sunspots and other features of the Sun through specially filtered high-powered telescopes.

The evening’s activities will begin at 8:30 p.m. with the StarWatch program. Take in the wonderful views of Venus, the Moon and distant galaxies. These views and more will be seen at the Bays Mountain Observatory. A live presentation about what is in the current, night sky will take place in the Planetarium if the weather does not cooperate.

Schedule of Events:

  • 1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Displays, Demonstrations & Information
    • Located at the walkway in front of Nature Center (Inside Nature Center, if raining.)
  • 3 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. SunWatch Solar Viewing
    • Located at the dam.
  • 8:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. StarWatch Nighttime Viewing
    • Located at the observatory.

Visitors can also enjoy a planetarium show during Astronomy Day. Out There – The Quest for Extrasolar Worlds is the main feature and A Part of the Sky Called Orion is the alternative feature for the month of April. The main feature will show at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. and the alternative feature will show at 2 p.m. Planetarium show tickets are $5.00 per person. Children ages 5 and younger receive free admission with a paying adult.

All non-planetarium astronomy-related activities are free and family-friendly. For more information about Bays Mountain Park, please visit baysmountain.com or call 423-229-9447.