What do you get when you mix nine days with more than 60 locations and nearly 100 events? Kingsport Fun Fest!
And, with the City of Kingsport celebrating 100 years, this year’s festival is set to be one of the largest parties of the year. Many FunFest! favorites will return, including block parties along the streets, a televised parade, the iconic hot air balloons, the highly anticipated Sunset Concert Series and the big finale of fireworks.
Sunset Concert Series Entertainment
Jeremy Camp will kick off the series on July 20 followed by Rick Springfield on July 21. The festival finale will be Huey Lewis and the News on July 22.
Thursday night’s Contemporary Christian Concert, presented by Honda Kingsport, will open up with Christian rock artist and pastor, Zach Williams. Williams released his debut album, “Chain Breaker” in late 2016 and the lead single soared to the top of the Christian Song charts. The headliner for this year’s Contemporary Christian Concert is Jeremy Camp. Jeremy Camp has released nine albums, five of them RIAA-certified as Gold and 1 RIAA Platinum, and 37 number-one radio hits. His original music is a mixture of ballads and rock. He is best known for “I Still Believe”, “Walk by Faith”, “Let it Fade”, and most recently “Christ In Me”.
The Friday Night Concert, presented by Appalachian Power and Domtar, kicks off with popular classic rock band, Night Ranger. The headliner, Rick Springfield, has worn many hats as an entertainer and performer. The creator of some of the finest power-pop of the ’80s, a Grammy winning singer, songwriter, and musician who has sold 25 million albums and scored 17 U.S. Top 40 hits, including “Jessie’s Girl,” “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” “An Affair of the Heart,” “I’ve Done Everything for You,” “Love Somebody,” and “Human Touch.” He’s an accomplished actor who most recently starred opposite Meryl Streep in the feature film Ricki and the Flash, gave a chameleonic performance as the creepy Dr. Pitlor in HBO’s prestige drama True Detective and is earning great reviews for his portrayal of Lucifer this season on the CW hit, Supernatural. In 2014, Springfield was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located around the corner from the first apartment he lived in when he first arrived in the U.S. from Australia in 1971.
Fun Fest 2017 will end the week on Saturday with Barenaked Ladies and headliner, Huey Lewis and the News, presented by Eastman. Saturday night’s concert will begin with 2-Time Billboard Music Award Winners, Barenaked Ladies. Barenaked Ladies, which formed in Canada, didn’t really breakthrough in the United States until its hit “One Week” from its fourth album, “Stunt” in 1998. That song went to No. 1 on the U.S. charts, and was followed by the hit “It’s All Been Done.” Together, the songs pushed the album to No. 3 on the U.S. chart and helped it sell quadruple platinum. Its follow-up album, 2000’s “Maroon,” hit No. 5 in the United States.Huey Lewis and The News are truly one of America’s great rock & roll bands. As they enter their 38th year together, their contagious brand of music has outlasted countless trends, and is as fresh today as ever. Formed from two rival Bay Area bands in 1979, they continue to thrill audiences worldwide, selling over 20 million albums in the process, earning them the right to mark their place on the pop history map.
The Sunset Concert Series will take place on the at J. Fred Johnson Stadium. Additional Series sponsors include Eastman Credit Union and Visit Kingsport. For tickets, visit funfest.net.
The festival also brings new events covering a variety of interests and talents including the Markers Faire that involves science and engineering-related activities through hands-on learning. Another addition that is guarantees to get your feet tapping and hands clapping is Busking around the World. Busking around the World will showcase several cultures found within the region including street performers who are set to fill the sidewalks and alleys of Broad Street from Church Circle to Main Street on July 15. East Tennessee State University will also be represented in a minifestival of their own called “BucFest” at Allandale Mansion on July 20. “Star Queen,” presented by Kingsport First Christian Church July 15-16 is a musical that follows the story of Esther, Mordecai and King Xerxes with only two performers.
Breakfast with the balloons, the fast paced Crazy 8’s races, Kids Central, vendors, dog friendly activities, block parties galore and festival food will all return in 2017. And, to celebrate Kingsport’s Centennial, Fun Fest! hopes to see a total of 100 block parties. Sponsored by Culligan of Tri-Cities, the official block party weekend is July 7-9. This first 100 registered parties receive a free block party kit. Never had a block party? It can be a private neighborhood gathering of friends, a public party anyone can attend or anything in between.
Kingsport FunFest! takes place July 14-22 with several events leading up to the grand opening. For the full Kingsport FunFest! schedule, apparel and more, visit www.funfest.net.