Kingsport Times-News: Seven good reasons to attend Saturday's Mount Carmel Block Party
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Seven good reasons to attend Saturday's Mount Carmel Block Party

Jeff Bobo • Updated Jul 5, 2019 at 12:06 PM

MOUNT CARMEL — You know Fun Fest has almost arrived when Mount Carmel hosts its massive annual summer Block Party on Main Street Saturday beginning at 4 p.m.

There will be live music, food, games, children’s attractions, and, of course, a huge fireworks display. 

When Horizon Credit Union opened a branch in town three years ago, President and CEO Beverly Boling vowed to revive the Block Party, which had fallen by the wayside due to lost sponsorship and organizers stepping down.

This marks the event’s third year back, and Boling promises Saturday’s Block Party will be the best yet, “God willing and it doesn’t rain.

“It’s just grown so much since it came back in 2017, and I’m pretty excited about it,” Boling said. “Of course, there’s no admission fee. All the entertainment is free, and the only thing anyone would have to pay for is their food, drinks or anything they might want to purchase from a vendor.”

Here are seven good reasons to attend the 32nd Mount Carmel Block Party:

No parking worries

Parking and shuttle access will be available in the National Guard Armory parking lot, the former cancer treatment center parking lot in front of BAE Systems, and the parking lot of Oak Grove Baptist Church, 311 Cypress St.

Beginning at 4 p.m., a school bus will be making stops every 15 minutes between the shuttle parking lots and the Main Street festival grounds.

Nonstop live entertainment

The Volunteer High School band will march in and perform the national anthem at the stage at 4 p.m., after which the live music will be nonstop.

Three bands are performing on the main stage including Stone Creek Four at 4:15, the Benny Wilson Band at 6:30, and Asylum Suite at 8:30.

“Elvis is going to perform on the Main Street stage between sets, so we’ll always have music going,” Boling said. “You just have to turn your chair around to watch Elvis.”

Pro wrestling is back

The Ricky Morton School of Wrestling will put on a show beginning at 6 p.m. near Horizon Credit Union.

“Last year I don’t think anyone knew what to expect, and they really put on a show, so they’re going to be more prominent,” Boling said. “They have a show. It’s kind of like TV wrestling.”

The KIDZ ZONE is back

There will be three large inflatables for children to jump on, as well as small carnival-style games that children can play to win prizes.

“I know we’ve got the fishing game, and the bowling game, and the ducky game, and all kinds of little games for the kids to play,” Boling said. “Then there are some larger games for the bigger kids like street bowling and a bunch of other kids stuff going on.”

Car and Motorcycle show

The Car and Motorcycle Cruise-In will be back this year with a special reserved section for motorcycles.

Car show participants can enter at the Builder’s First Source intersection beginning at 2 p.m.

The first 150 participants will receive a 2019 Mount Carmel Cruise-In Dash Plaque.

“I just went and picked up the dash plaques and they’re super cool,” Boling said. “They’re collectible dash plaques and they’re very colorful and cool.”

Plenty of good food

“We have nine or 10 food trucks, and then we also have a bunch of the nonprofits like the band boosters and the PTOs, fire departments and the rescue squad,” Boling said. “All of those are setting up tents to sell snacks, and drinks, and waters, so that they can raise money for their organizations. Then in our professional food trucks we’ve got everything from fried catfish to pulled pork BBQ, to cheesecake on a stick — all the good stuff.”

Another massive fireworks display

Eastman Credit Union is sponsoring this year’s fireworks show, which begins at 10 p.m. following the end of Asylum Suite’s concert.

“Last year they were phenomenal,” Boling said. “I mean, they were just absolutely awesome, and the same group is doing fireworks again this year.”

Other handy tips

Don’t forget to bring a lawn chair, and please leave your pets at home.

There will be handicapped parking at Mount Carmel City Hall and Eastman Credit Union.

Help support the annual event by purchasing a 2019 Mount Carmel Block Party T-shirt. They are available at all four Horizon Credit Union Branch locations, Dairy Cup and SkipEZ in Mount Carmel.

“For years this was one of the most popular Block Parties to kick off Fun Fest, and we knew how important the Block Party was to the citizens of Mount Carmel,” Boling said. “We wanted to be a good neighbor and show commitment to the community by working to bring the event back to life. This is the third Mount Carmel Block Party since it was revived by Horizon Credit Union and the Mount Carmel Merchants Association, and it promises to be the best yet.”

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