no avatar

Storm cancels some events, but crowds turn out as Fun Fest winds up

VALERIE LICK vlick@timesnews.net • Jul 21, 2018 at 11:45 PM

KINGSPORT — Despite a fierce storm Friday night, Kingsport pulled together a fantastic last day of Fun Fest activities.

The storm had strewn tree branches, temporary traffic signs and painted trash barrels all over the area near the Civic Auditorium, but the city had the area pristine by the time the Maker Faire and Chalk Walk began. “It’s an amazing thing for them to have done,” said Fun Fest’s lead organizer Lucy Fleming.

Some early morning events, such as Breakfast with the Balloons and the 7 a.m. Hot Air Balloon Rally, were canceled due to the heavy rain, wind, and lightning the previous night. 

Saturday’s morning events included the Mini Maker Faire and the Chalk Walk.

Tyler Jones, a summer intern at Domtar, demonstrated papermaking at both the Trash Barrel Paint-In and the Mini Maker Faire. “This is my second summer here, and I love doing these events,” Jones said during the busy Faire. “It’s great seeing the kids have fun and get interested in what we do.”

The Mini Maker Faire featured demonstrations and workshops from dozens of fields. Robotics specialists, gardening enthusiasts, and collectors of antique typewriters were just a few of the Makers present. “They’ve had the highest traffic ever at the Maker Faire,” said Fleming.

Rachael Sutherland of Femme Fae Tales is a long-time attendee of the event. “It started out really small, but it’s grown and grown,” she said as the crowd began to thin at almost 1 p.m. 

She loves the event because it brings out the different skills and passions of the Kingsport community. 

“There’s so much talent here, and it’s usually hidden.”

Kevin and Paula Jones, organizers of Select 7 Credit Union’s Chalk Walk, were thrilled at the turnout — and talent — at their event. 

“We’ve got a lot of talented people here in Kingsport,” Kevin said. 

This year’s Chalk Walk, the very first of its kind in Kingsport, featured drawings from tigers to Hello Kitty to Bigfoot.

Kevin and Paula were very happy with the event’s turnout, which did not seem impacted by the earlier rain.

 “The sun came out and people came,” said Paula.

Lucy Fleming, the lead organizer of Fun Fest, is proud of the work she and the other organizers and volunteers put in to make this year’s Fun Fest so fun. 

“I think we’ve done a really good job,” she said as cars pulled out of the packed Civic Auditorium parking lot.