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The Kingsport Aquatic Center’s Outdoor Water Park hours are shifting to weekends only after Labor Day. Swimmers can still enjoy the outdoor water park on weekends through September, with the water park closing on September 30.

The Outdoor Water Park will remain on back-to-school hours until Labor Day, when both the indoor and outdoor facilities will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.  After Labor Day, the Outdoor Water Park will be open on weekends through September 30. Hours on the weekend will remain the same, 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

The indoor Olympic pool and three heated pools are open year round and are open to all swimmers. The indoor pool hours are Monday through Friday, 5:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6:00 p.m. Open swim begins at 11 a.m., Monday through Saturday and at noon on Sundays.

The Outdoor Water Park will reopen in May of 2018.

Water Park Hours
  • Labor Day
    • 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Weekends in September
    • Saturday: 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    • Sunday: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

For more information, visit or call the Aquatic Center at 423-343-9758.

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The Kingsport Aquatic Center is preparing for fall and winter swimming season, bringing opportunities for new careers. The Kingsport Aquatic Center is hiring lifeguards, swim lesson instructors, aquatic attendants and gate workers for the indoor facility, which is operational throughout the year.

Beginning September 7th, the Kingsport Aquatic Center will be offering an American Red Cross Lifeguard training class. This is a six day training course for those interested in working as lifeguards at the Kingsport Aquatic Center. This course provides entry-level lifeguards with the knowledge and skills to prevent, recognize and respond to aquatic emergencies. Other procedures taught are breathing and cardiac emergencies, injuries and sudden illness.

The American Red Cross Lifeguard Training with CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer will take place September 7th – 9th and September 14th – 16th. The course will run Friday night from 4 p.m. – 9 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. The cost is $200 for non-members and $175 for members. With successful completion of this course participants can apply to become a lifeguard at the Kingsport Aquatic Center.

“Our lifeguard positions allow for flexible schedules and a fun work environment,” said Chassy Smiley, assistant manager at the Kingsport Aquatic Center. “High school and college students returning to area colleges make great candidates for these positions. They get to enjoy a job that’s rewarding instead of just something to do.”

If you’re thinking you’d like to be a part of a team of individuals that work together to save lives, register online at There are prerequisites to taking the class as well as the course fee. The fee includes the full lifeguard course, a rescue mask and a valid 2-year certificate, if certification is obtained.

For more information, please visit or call 423-343-9758.

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The winning storm drain art entries have been chosen! After receiving a dozen entries, the Stormwater Department has selected five winners.

Meet your winners!

  • Ellen Brewer – Storm drain by Bank of Tennessee
  • Lauren Whipple – Storm drain by Kingsport Imaging
  • Suzanne Barrett Justis – Storm drain by Suzanne Barrett Justis Fine Art
  • Joel Hammitt – Storm drain by Kingsport Public Library
  • Audra Miller – Storm drain by Now or Never Tattoo

“I would like to thank everyone who entered the contest,” said Amanda McMullen, stormwater quality control technician for Kingsport Public Works. “What I like most about this project is the use of art to educate the public about environmental concerns.”

Each of the winners will receive $100 and paint for their design. The artists will begin painting the first week of September, with the designs being completed by the end of September. To follow along with the progress of the storm drain art and to meet the artists, check out and like the Kingsport Public Works Facebook page. The public is encouraged to take a walk downtown when the artists are working and ask questions and snap their own photos of their favorite drain in progress.

Sponsors for this contest are all local businesses and include Bank of Tennessee, Kingsport Imaging and Now or Never Tattoo Gallery.

What is Stormwater?

As Kingsport grew, the ground became covered with asphalt, concrete and buildings. Without realizing it, an important part of the water cycle was disturbed. Instead of rain naturally filtering into the ground, it flows over roofs, driveways and streets as stormwater. Stormwater can pick up pollutants and transport them into local waterways via the storm drain system. Pollutants include everyday items like pesticides or fertilizers in our yards, oil in our cars, and even soap. When introduced into the waterway, pollutants have a harmful effect on aquatic life and the health of our rivers.

For more information on stormwater in Kingsport, please visit here.

pics of winning entries


Bays Final Logo Brown

Expect beautiful fall colors, cooler weather and lots of astronomy fun for the astronomical convention/star party that is the 35th Annual StarFest. Hosted by the Bays Mountain Astronomy Club (BMAC) and the staff of Bays Mountain Park, StarFest is three days and two nights of astronomical heaven situated in the heart of the Appalachians!

StarFest is being held on October 12th – 14th, and the theme of this year’s event is “Celebrating 200 Years of American Women in Astronomy.” Noted American astronomer, Maria Mitchell was born 200 years ago this year, 2018. Our celebration though, has more to do with women in astronomy today. What better way to celebrate 200 years of women in astronomy than by having all of our keynote speakers be women in astronomy!

This year includes four distinctive keynote speakers, five great meals, door prizes, the ever popular swap shop, solar viewing, night-time observing (both private on Friday and with the public on Saturday, so bring your favorite scope) and the exceptional planetarium will be open.

In addition to all of the StarFest activities, there are public programs and activities available at the park, such as the wildlife exhibits, planetarium shows, barge rides and plenty of trails to explore.

A unique facet of StarFest is a commemorative T-shirt with one-of-a-kind artwork that is included with each registration. Cassy Rose, from the Park’s exhibits staff, has created a special design to represent this year’s theme.

The StarFest ticket price of $155/person includes everything: access to all speakers, all activities, five meals, free access to the Park’s public programming, the opportunity to sleep/camp on Park grounds at no additional cost and a unique, commemorative T-shirt with custom artwork. For a detailed schedule of events, visit

To register for the event, please complete the registration sheet for each person and mail or e-mail it to If you use a credit card, you can write it on the sheet or call Adam at 423-224-2532 to process it. Registration sheets can be found at Attendance will be limited and registration must be received prior to the deadline, September 21, 2018. To be fair to our registered delegates, there are no walk-ins nor “visits.”

For more information on Bays Mountain’s planetarium shows, please visit or call 423-229-9447.

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Presented in conjunction with Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts, Beth Snapp and NewSong Music proudly present the official extended play record (EP) release and concert for Don’t Apologize. Set for Friday, August 31st, at the Renaissance Theatre, the concert will start at 7:00 p.m.

Beth Snapp’s new EP, tellingly titled, Don’t Apologize, is comprised of a set of songs that run through a gamut of emotions, doing so with both vibrancy and vulnerability.

“To me, this EP is a continuation of a journey. My second project was largely an account of just coming out of a storm. I had survived, I knew things were going to get better, but there was some healing and processing to be done. As time passed, and I did the work to heal, I emerged into a new place. I realized that surviving the storm wasn’t enough. I realized I was put on this Earth to do more than survive.”

A collection of soothing and supple melodies, underscored by a bracing backing band, it offers astute observations about the challenges, expectations and ability to overcome obstacles — either self-imposed or those that result from outside interference. It’s a personal tale gleaned from lessons learned, from a need to face those realities and cope with them accordingly. Snapp delivers these songs with clarity and conviction, sharing universal truths that can resonate with us all.

Produced and mixed by Gar Ragland, engineered by Julian Dreyer and recorded at Echo Mountain Recording Studios in Asheville, North Carolina, Don’t Apologize features a stunning array of guest contributors, including celebrated cello player and pianist Dave Eggar, guitarist Phil Faconti, Black Lillies front man Cruz Contreras and her band mates Jason Crawford (banjo, Mandolin), Jay Farmer (upright bass), Kevin Jackson (fiddle), and Justin Short (drums).

“I wrote a collection of songs to remind me, but also those around me, that it is perfectly acceptable to not apologize for loving yourself as the imperfectly perfect soul that you are,” Snapp says. “It is acceptable — no, imperative — to be proud of yourself and what you’ve worked for. It is important to not be ashamed for putting yourself out there for any reason – be it reaching out to another person, trying something new, doing hard things, or simply being yourself.”

Tickets for the concert are $15 and are available online at, By pre-ordering your ticket, you will be entered into a drawing for a featured item from a local business. Don’t Apologize will be available for purchase at the show, as well as other merchandise.

For more information, please visit, or call 423-392-8414.

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Bays Mountain Park and Cross Country Mortgage of Kingsport host an evening with the world-renowned forensic anthropologist, Dr. Bill Bass. The event will take place on Tuesday, September 4th at Robinson Middle School at 6:30 p.m.

Dr. Bass is known for pioneering and advancing the study of human remains in order to assist law enforcement, as well as being the founder of “The Body Farm” at the University of Tennessee. Best known for his research on human osteology and human decomposition, Dr. Bass has been the front-runner in the field of forensics for quite some time. Dr. Bass has worked throughout the United States and worldwide to help solve some of the world’s most famous crimes. The CSI television show has even based some of their storylines upon Dr. Bass’s research. Now retired, he continues to share his knowledge through speaking events.

“Dr. Bass is a forensic legend, and we are thrilled to host him at Bays Mountain Park,” said Mark Kilgore, program coordinator at Bays Mountain. “He is beloved in East Tennessee and we are lucky to have him share his knowledge and experiences with our community.”

As a co-author, Bass is famous for his collaboration with writer and documentary filmmaker Jon Jefferson. Beginning with a film for National Geographic about the Body Farm, the duo has written two nonfiction books and 12 bestselling fiction novels under the name Jefferson Bass. Dr. Bass’s books will be available for purchase after the event.

Tickets prior to the event are $15 and $20 the day of the event. Tickets are available for purchase in person at the Bays Mountain gift shop or online at To purchase tickets through Eventbrite, visit For more information, please call Mark Kilgore at 423-230-6357.

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The City of Kingsport recently promoted Keith Bruner to serve as the Chief Building Officer. Bruner is the fifth Building Official for the City of Kingsport. He has been serving with the city in various inspection capacities since 1998 and was most recently the Master Building Inspector before being promoted.

“I’m honored to be given the opportunity to be Kingsport’s Building Official,” said Bruner. “I look forward to serving the citizens as best we can ensuring their safety in our built environment. I look forward to working with all the other departments & our BMA to ensure Kingsport’s future buildings are safe and constructed to last for many years to come.”

Bruner has served as president of Upper East Tennessee Building Officials Association (UETBOA), Tennessee Building Officials Association (TBOA) and Tennessee Plumbing & Mechanical Inspectors Association (TPMIA) during his tenure with the city. He has been only the fourth Lifetime Achievement award winner from Tennessee Building Officials Association in the last fifty years and holds more than 20 different certifications from the International Code Council, Tennessee Fire Marshal’s Office, and the International Association of Electrical Inspectors. Some of the hardest certifications are those of Certified Building Official and Plans Examiner and he has held those since 2012.

With four daughters and five grandkids, Bruner and his wife of more than 30 years have a very busy household. Kingsport is proud to have this caliber of experience, qualification in-house and a new vision and commitment to the Building Official position.

If you have any questions, please contact Lynn Tully with the City of Kingsport Development Services at 423-229-9319 or

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Adventure into the fun and unpredictable world of acrylic pouring! The Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts is hosting two special acrylic pouring workshops on August 18th and September 8th.

Instructor Elena Corradino will be teaching a hands-on class about how to create this exciting style of abstract art. Participants will learn five different types of pours, including a double flip cup and three ways to make cells. Elena will discuss color theory, what makes abstract art pop and will go into detail about the materials and brands she uses to create her acrylic art. Participants will leave with the knowledge of how to do acrylic pours on their own, as well as with beautiful art!

Participants will make 10 different paintings (five wooden panels, two ceramic tiles, a wooden round, an 8×10 canvas and a deep edge 5×5 canvas). The class will start at 10:00 a.m. and finish at 2:30 p.m. There will be a 30-minute break for lunch (not provided).

The cost of the class is $85 per person and includes all materials. The class will be held in the 2nd level studio space at the Kingsport Carousel, 350 Clinchfield St.

Pre-registration is required to participate. To register for the class or for more information, please visit or call 423-392-8414.

Bays Final Logo Brown

Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium’s Nature Center will be closed to the public on Monday, August 13 and Tuesday, August 14, while new carpet installation takes place.  Public programs such as the planetarium show, nature program, and barge ride will also be canceled during this time.  Normal operations are expected to resume Wednesday, August 15.

Closing the Nature Center will allow installers to focus exclusively on the gift shop and lobby area these two days. Workspace Interiors will be the contractor performing this work for the City of Kingsport.  The new carpet installation is part of the City’s commitment to providing much needed updates and improvements to the Park in an effort to enhance the visitor experience and maintain Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium’s status as a valued regional destination serving both locals and tourists alike.

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

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The kids have gone back to school and that means it is Toddler Time at the Kingsport Aquatic Center. Starting August 7th, toddlers and their parents can enjoy the outdoor toddler play area all to themselves.

Toddler Time is a great way to spend time with your toddler and introduce them to playing in the water! Toddler Time will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from August 7th to September 20th. From 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the outdoor water park will be closed off to the public, and the toddler play area will be opened up to toddlers and their parents. Toddler Time is designed for children ages 2 – 5 yrs. old.

Toddler Time is $3 per person for non-members, free for toddlers ages 2 and younger and free for KAC and Kingsport YMCA members.

For more information, visit or call the Kingsport Aquatic Center at 423-343-9758.