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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Douglass Alumni at the 2016 Kingsport Chamber of Commerce Banquet

It wasn't that long ago that the city of Kingsport was celebrating construction that many people thought would never happen.

It was the renovation project that saved the historic Douglass High School from the wrecking ball.  It also raised awareness of Kingsport's African-American community with its neatly-kept yards, well-mannered homes, and God-fearing people who, until then, felt one step behind the growth of the city.

The V.O. Dobbins, Sr. Complex opened its doors to all of Kingsport, and also its doors to history.

As Kingsport nears its 100th birthday, the theme of OneKingsport has the community celebrating its heritage, and a number of construction projects were honored by the city's Chamber of Commerce at its annual banquet on Saturday night, February 5, 2016.

Two of them have Riverview connections.

Eastman Chemical is nearing completion of its five-story global corporate business center, that is Riverview's next door neighbor. Estimated cost of the project is $74.3 million dollars and is the city's largest single building permit.


Also on the list, Brickyard Park which opened this past year beside Riverview, on the site of what local folklore has always referred to as 'Clay Hill.'  Paying homage to Riverview's former 'unofficial playground,' the largest baseball field will carry the name "Clay Hill Field."  The new recreation area costing $6.9 million dollars replaced the Eastman ballfields located on the site of the new corporate business center.

The Chamber touts the annual banquet as the largest annual Chamber of Commerce dinner in the country.  It was a sold-out crowd of more than 1,700 guests.

Douglass alumni were seen hob-knobbing with Kingsport's movers and shakers.  In attendance at the Sons and Daughters of Douglass table were Doug and Vivian Releford, Judy Blye, Thelma Waterson, Rodney Bradley, Wallace Ross, Jr. and Calvin Sneed.  Elsewhere were seen Van and Dorothy Dobbins.

They, along with the other guests feasted on grilled French pork chops, rice casserole, sweet potatos, and two berry ice cake.

Later, guests partied on the moon with... "Party On The Moon." The hit party band had everybody on their feet, dancing off the weight of what they'd just eaten, with a blend of old soul, new dance, and R & B!

The touch of old soul and R & B got into the memories of our folks.  There was just no sitting down when the favorites of old started reverberating through the halls of the Meadowview Convention Center's largest banquet hall.

As you can see, "Party On The Moon" got everybody into a party mood:

The Kingsport Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet, 2016.

It was one night... one moment....


The Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Association was proud to be a part of the celebration!