Fun Fest Breakfast

Fun Fest 2007 kicked of it’s 27th year yesterday at MeadowView yesterday morning. It was a bit cloudy, but nothing more than a sleepy morning for a Friday. “Rosie,” the hot air balloon was teetering above the ground and a good crowd had gathered for the annual sponsor breakfast. I always enjoy attending this event. As a sponsor it’s a chance to meet the other folks involved with our summer festival in Kingsport and it’s an excellent morning jolt for the day ahead.

I always enjoy tacking pictures at this event too. Newspaper photographers rarely attend, so I get to collect exclusive business images to bring back memories each year.

Click here for the pictures and read on for details…

As I got my name tag, Pam Cox was the first person to catch my attention and she couldn’t help but get excited about having her picture taken with the Elvis impersonator who was a bit startled at how she grabbed his arm. Like most impersonators, they usually rely on few similarities and this one was the jet black hair. He did mention he had a ’55 Cadillac parked in the parking lot of MeadowView and to his credit, when I squinted real hard and stooped down about 20 inches, he look a little like the “King” – especially with the hair.

John Patrick from WQUT caught me up on the Red Stick Ramblers concert the night before in downtown Kingsport and mentioned there was a great crowd once again. Aaron Brimley who is the “Fun Fest Singing Intern” was aglow too because he had a chance to open for this national act. Earlier, he had played a set with Bennie Wilson’s band backing him up – Tommy Starnes, Gary Southerland and Chris Simmons.

Daine Karst, the 2007 Miss Kingsport was walking among the crowd and I was a bit surprised to see how petite she really is, but she’s just a beautiful in public as she was in her press shots. Since I had taken Pam Coxes picture with Elvis, it was only fair for Keith to have one with Kingsport’s new princess.

While a crowd of about 200 people drifted around the breakfast table filled with crossaints, coffees and biscuits, Pat Kane, the 2007 Fun Fest chairman thanked all the volunteers and introduced next year’s chair Owen Wilson. We’re seeing him how up lots of places this year in the community and he joins plenty of other Kingsport leaders supporting this successful summer festival.

I was glad to see Wally Body again. Wally’s father built one of the region’s most memorable hometown grocers at Oakwood and he was talking with Tim Witt from Witt Insurance agency. Wally was telling me about a new song he has written for the Santa Train and I hope to get a listen soon as he promised me a copy.

Rass Cross from the Kingsport Fire Department saw me taking pictures of Keith Wilson and Miss Kingsport and introduced me to Sparky. This robotic firedog is an outreach/public education program the fire department is sponsoring and this robot was certainly getting attention at this morning. The head of this program is a former disc jockey and a good personality – perfect for this job. He holds a remote control for the robot and a headset microphone that allows him to move the fire dog into position and talk to people with a voice that sounds like its swimming in Helium. Sparky cracks the crowd with his light comedy and even has a squirt gun up front to “put out the fire” on little kids.

The Fun Fest Breakfast is aways a short gathering and it wasn’t long after Kane spoke that Fun Fest was officially underway. As the crowd started to thin, I noticed plenty of Fun Fest attire for the day and know the week will be memorable once again as the Summer of ’07 continues to unfold.