Indian Path Medical Center | News Article

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Summer tradition: If it's July, it's Fun Fest time at Indian Path

A team from Indian Path rehearses some moves for the Fun Fest parade. Indian Path has been involved with the festival in many ways for the last 25 years.

KINGSPORT, Tenn. – July is drawing near, and at Indian Path Medical Center that means Fun Fest is on the horizon. For 25 years the hospital has been deeply involved in Kingsport’s legendary citywide festival, and this year is no different.

The festival, expected to draw 180,000 people, goes from July 14-22 with dozens of events all over the Kingsport area. Once again the hospital will serve as the sponsor for the Crazy 8s 8K Road Race – one of the top road races in the nation, taking place July 15 – and along with Niswonger Children’s Hospital, Indian Path will sponsor Kids Central activities on July 17-19 by putting on the Extreme Challenge. The hospital provides not only financial sponsorship but also tremendous volunteer support.

Kids Central is a three-day event that includes the Indian Path Extreme Challenge. The goal is to reach children and parents in a fun and safe way so they can experience the benefits of physical activity and healthy eating. The activities are completely free. More than 1,000 kids per day participate.

See photos from Indian Path in past Fun Fest events.

Things actually kick off with pre-festival block parties around the city, and Indian Path’s Health Resources Center will host its sixth annual Official Fun Fest Block Party on Saturday, July 8, from 2-4 p.m. Activities will include refreshments, storytelling, door prizes, giveaways (while supplies last) and bluegrass music provided by Rockingham Road.

“Our original focus on Fun Fest was just to be engaged in the community,” said Monty McLaurin, CEO at Indian Path. “Then it’s evolved over the last few years to be more targeted toward health, and promoting exercise, fitness and a healthy lifestyle. We’ve been involved for many years and we love being a big part of Fun Fest.”

The Health Resources Center staff celebrated at last year's Official Fun Fest Block Party.The hospital’s leaders are usually personally involved in planning and directing the festival. McLaurin is a past chairman of the festival’s organizing committee, and for 2018, Indian Path’s Lisa Williams, director of physician integration and recruitment, will serve as chairman. Another hospital team member, Lori Payne, director of finance, is also a past chairman, although she served prior to taking her job at Indian Path.

Indian Path will also have a float in the Fun Fest parade this year with a Fun Fest theme of "Party On” that highlights sights and sounds of the ‘80s. Hospital team members are invited to dress in costume and man the float.

Indian Path first got involved with the festival in 1992 by becoming sponsor of the Crazy 8s 8K Road Race. Over the years, that event produced world records for both men and women and earned itself a national reputation. The hospital also sponsored the Fun Fest Hot Air Balloon Rally for many years.

Lucy Fleming, who has directed Fun Fest since 2000, had high praise for Indian Path’s tremendous support.

“They blaze a trail for other businesses to emulate,” she said. “Indian Path has been a core sponsor and they’ve sponsored signature, high-profile events. They’ve always included their staff as volunteers, had parties, bought T-shirts and promoted the festival in more ways than you can imagine. For several years the hospital lobby featured Fun Fest displays during July. The staff has provided many wonderful and talented volunteers to individual events and on our council. We are blessed with the level of interest they’ve shown.”

This year’s Fun Fest offers a tremendous array of events covering all ages, including a car show, a bird walk, a pet dog show, history-related events, the hot-air balloons, and volleyball, softball and disc golf tournaments – as well as multiple major concerts. This year’s musical headliners, following the ‘80s theme, include Night Ranger, Rick Springfield and Huey Lewis and the News.

“One of the nice things is that Kingsport is celebrating its 100th anniversary,” Indian Path’s Williams said. “So it’s special this year because of that milestone, and we’re appreciating our past and looking forward to the future.”

McLaurin added, “We want everybody to know this is not just a Kingsport event, it’s for everybody, so we encourage all our Mountain States team members to come out and enjoy it and participate.”

For more details about Fun Fest and to see the event schedule, visit www.funfest.net.