The Centennial Commission invites you to join in the celebration as they host a grand opening for Kingsport Centennial Park. The celebration will open with the national anthem sung by Kingsport’s own Carla Karst with the Dobyns-Bennett Band as accompaniment. The ribbon cutting will be the first official turning-on of the interactive water feature, the park’s core.
Opening day will continue the celebrations after the ribbon cutting, so bring the whole family out for a fun-filled event. Festivities include Cheerwine and MoonPie visiting us as they, too, are 100 this year. Their samples will provide the perfect centennial snack.
Variety acts from the ballet to a church choir to a magician will light up the stage and make you want to stay all day. Showtime is even stopping by for one more appearance. While the festivities are finished at 2:00pm, the park is yours forever!
Along the wall of the pump station, you will find beautifully hand-crafted tiles by students from Lincoln Elementary and Dobyns-Bennett High School. This art project was made possible in part by an ‘Art Builds Community’ Grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission.
“Now that I’m going to be a grandfather, I have even more love for this park,” says city manager Jeff Fleming. “It was built for future generations, and I will bring my grandkids here every year to show them the importance of celebrating history and sharing values with family.”
Kingsport Centennial Park came to fruition through a collaborative effort between the Kingsport Community Foundation and the City of Kingsport Centennial Commission. In celebrating the ‘Kingsport Spirit’, the park provides a unique destination and link to downtown Kingsport that commemorates the community’s past, present and future.
The fundraising effort for this legacy project grew organically in a way that went beyond the chair’s expectations. Brenda White-Wright states, “We all hope for a time that we can be a part of something special. Many thanks to everyone from across our community who gave their time and support to make Centennial Park a truly special landmark for centuries to come.”
Centennial Park is located at 245 E Main Street, across from Main St Pizza. The grand opening park celebration will occur Saturday, August 26 from 11:00am – 2:00pm.
About the City of Kingsport
Founded in 1917, the City of Kingsport (pop. 53,000) is located on the Tennessee-Virginia border at the crossroads of I-81 and I-26 near the geographic center of the eastern U.S. The city is widely known as a planned community, designed by renowned city planner John Nolen and wrapping around the foot of Bays Mountain – a 3,500 acre park, nature preserve, planetarium and observatory. Kingsport is recognized as an International Safe Community by the National Safety Council, a Healthier Tennessee community, and won the 2009 Harvard Innovations in American Government Award for its higher education initiatives. While many city names are duplicated throughout the U.S., there’s only one Kingsport – a fact that invokes community pride, known locally as the “Kingsport Spirit.”
About the Kingsport Community Foundation
The Kingsport Community Foundation is a philanthropic organization governed by a local board of directors. Their mission is to help donors maximize their contributions to the community by awarding grands that enrich lives and strengthen the Greater Kingsport Community forever. The Kingsport Community Foundation is an affiliate fund of the East Tennessee Foundation.
About the Tennessee Arts Commission
The Tennessee Arts Commission invests in more than 700 nonprofit organization across the state benefiting communities through quality of life, economic development, tourism and providing a more balances education for our children.