Alexus Whittle paints Festus on the window of Mason Jar Eatery and Catering on Main Street in preparation for Mardi Gras and the start of Fun Fest. Mardi Gras will officially kick off the Model City’s annual celebration today at 11:30.
KINGSPORT — Fun Fest 2013, Kingsport’s annual festival dedicated to fun and community unity, kicks off today.
Mardi Gras will launch the festival at 11:30 a.m. on Broad Street in downtown Kingsport. Mardi Gras will feature a Mr. and Mrs. Mardi Gras contest, games, bead toss, music and food.
Mardi Gras is sponsored by Regions Bank, Downtown Kingsport Association and WKPT-TV.
The Fun Fest Parade follows Mardi Gras at 6:30 p.m. Beginning at the intersection of Clinchfield and West Center streets, the parade will wind through downtown Kingsport, concluding at about 8 p.m.
The parade is sponsored by Food City and WKPT-TV.
Closing the first day is a new event, Broad Street Boogie — featuring Spirit of Soul Dance Band. Beginning around 8 p.m., Broad Street Boogie will be held on Broad Street in downtown Kingsport. It is sponsored by Kingsport Academic Partners.
Fun Fest will continue with daily events through Saturday, July 20. This year’s festival features several new events, including Move It Kingsport Walks, sponsored by Kingsport Tomorrow and Healthy Kingsport; Food City Food Show, sponsored by Food City; Pickin’ in the Park, sponsored by Bluegrass on Broad; “Dodge High Fares” Dodgeball Tournament, sponsored by Allegiant Air, Tri-Cities Regional Airport and radio sponsor Electric 94.9; Pool Party, sponsored by the Kingsport Aquatic Center and WKPT-TV; the Farmer Jason Show, sponsored by the Kingsport Public Library; “Godspell,” sponsored by Mafair United Methodist Church; Sandi Patty accompanied by the Sanctuary Choir of First Baptist Church in Kingsport, sponsored by McSpadden Video Productions, First Baptist Church in Kingsport and Eastman Chemical Co.; Brushstrokes n’ More workshops, sponsored by Brushstrokes n’ More; Patriotic Tribute, sponsored by LampLight Theatre and Vision Productions Inc., Billy Wayne Ministries; Mountain Bike Poker Ride and Race, sponsored by Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association Tri-Cities Chapter, Reedy Creek Bicycles and Bays Mountain Park; ReArt at the ReStore, sponsored by Holston Habitat for Humanity; Chalk Walk, sponsored by Beef ‘O’ Brady’s; and Step Into the SONshine! sponsored by Temple Baptist Church, Fleet Feet Sports and WKPT-TV.
Daily schedules will be published in the Times-News. For more information, call (423) 392-8806 or visit funfest.net.