Fun Fest kicks off Friday in Kingsport


Fun Fest is a blast for people of all ages, but it's also one of the biggest economic drivers of the year for the city of Kingsport.

"Fun Fest is over a week long of community unity," said Jud Teague, the executive director of Visit Kingsport.

With more than 70 events going on during the nine day festival, there's something for everyone at Fun Fest.

"It's hectic," Rebecca Wheers, a vendor at Fun Fest, said. "Who doesn't love Fun Fest?"

Tourism officials in the city love it too, because this year's event is expected to attract more than 70,000 visitors to downtown Kingsport. And those people are spending money.

"A lot of families have reunions during the week. A lot of families come to town," Teague said. "We have about $3.1 million in direct spending this week."

Some of the biggest beneficiaries of that spending are the local vendors.

"This is definitely one of the busiest events we do," Joey Rusdk, another local vendor, said. "Fun Fest is a very busy time."

For these vendors, the bigger the lines, the bigger the paycheck.

"We've been actually pretty busy," Wheers said.

"We'll have 15, 20, 25 people in line at a time," Rusdk says.

This is the 37th year of Fun Fest, and organizers say without the community support, it'd be nothing.

For a full list of events, click here.

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