In 1981, Kingsport officials began an event called Fun Fest that was designed to promote community unity. Since then, a wide range of other festivals and programs have popped up that not only bring the community together but also bring attention to Kingsport’s robust arts and entertainment scene.
There are events celebrating wings and wine. There are car shows and garden shows. There are holiday happenings throughout the year, capped off by a Christmas parade and visit from the Santa Train. There is live theater and live music, a ballet and a symphony. And throughout it all, the city is decorated with a growing collection of public art that includes sculptures and colorful murals.
“We have a vibrant community,” Kingsport Fun Fest Director Lucy Fleming says. “Our arts community is innovative and growing. It’s surprising for some people who don’t realize that there is an audience for these programs here, with very professional performers. I think the level of talent and performances would surprise people who are not aware of this area.”