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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Come Home to Riverview: Historic Four-Day Juneteenth Celebration at V.O. Dobbins Ballfield


One of many events in the Douglass (V.O. Dobbins) Ballfield.  Imagine many more booths, exhibits, food vendors, tents and activities during this weekend's Juneteenth Celebration ONLY in the Riverview Community.

You're all invited to commemorate the upcoming Juneteenth celebration in Kingsport's Riverview community at the V.O. Dobbins Community Center and Ballfield.

For many years, our ancestors have always celebrated African-American events at the V.O. Dobbins Community Center.  It is our own Douglass High School and the Douglass Ballfield in our hearts.  We've honored our high school graduates, our neighborhood happenings, our church gatherings.. the heart and soul of the Black community is deeply rooted in Riverview.

All of the Riverview-Dobbins ballfield events are free of charge.  Free, free, free.  You will never be asked for donations.    Our Black community is worth that for the celebration of Emancipation Day.  There is also free parking in the nearby Eastman Headquarters parking lot.. you and your kids and grandkids are just a short walk away from fun, good food, great entertainment among your family and friends in the Black community.

You're also invited to begin Riverview's festivities by lining Kingsport's Main Street from Centennial Park downtown (corner of Main and Cherokee Streets) around 5:30 PM on Thursday.  The ONLY Parade celebrating Emancipation marches to Riverview on that day to our own Douglas Ballfield.  The parade launches at 6 PM.

The commemoration of the freeing of Black people from slavery is more than just one day that comes and goes.  Come celebrate FOUR days of entertainment and education in the Douglass Ballfield, from Thursday's educational presentation, all the way through Sunday's Gospel Fest.  Below is a handy itinerary of more than 15 events in the Ballfield and nearby Community Center on Saturday, PLUS more than 30 booths, exhibits, food vendors, arts & crafts, and individual activities all going on.

We've been through a lot in Riverview, Southwest Virginia, Hawkins County, Bristol and Johnson City in the past few years, the latest being shut up and shut down from COVID 19.  We've even lost some of our loved ones to that feared virus.  As African-Americans, we still have a ways to go to achieve full freedoms in this country, but by coming together in our Riverview, we can celebrate what we have with our loved ones.  Bring a lawn chair and celebrate Emancipation in the only place that lives in our hearts and souls.  Meet your friends and relatives in the Tri-Cities at the V.O. Dobbins Community Center Ballfield in Kingsport on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and catch the historical perspective in the virtual presentation on Thursday evening.  

We start first, and we go longer.


6:00 PM - Virtual presentation on Juneteenth, the Constitution and Civil Rights with Dr. Stewart Harris, associate director, Abraham Lincoln for the Study of Leadership and Public Policy, Lincoln Memorial University.



6:00 PM - Juneteenth Parade from Centennial Park, downtown Kingsport to the Dobbins Ballfield, Louis Stree & MLK Drive, Riverview

5:00 PM - National Guard Drug Stash Mobile in the Ballfield
8:00 PM - Outdoor movie:  "The Nutty Professor" (PG), Dobbins Ballfield (free popcorn and cotton candy)



10:00 AM - Opening ceremony, Special Letter of Welcome - Calvin Sneed
                "Amazing Grace" by Abey Hensley

10:30 AM - Purpose of Juneteenth:  Eastman Connect - Bishop Ron Collins and Karen Ellison
               - Juneteenth Proclamation from Pat Shull, Mayor of Kingsport
               - "Kingsport" from Chris McCartt, Kingsport City Manager
               - Words of Unity from Miles Burdine, Kingsport Chamber of Commerce CEO
               - Remarks from Dale Phipps, Kingsport City Police chief and Deputy Chief Tracey Kittrell, Sullivan County                         Sheriff's Department
               - Reading of Tennessee State Legislature Resolution by Kingsport City Alderman Paul Montgomery
               - Remarks from Hunter Locke, Sullivan County Commission

               - TOLLING OF THE FREEDOM BELL to begin the Juneteenth Celebration Events:  Kingsport City Alderman Betsy Cooper

NOON - 8 PM:  DJ Jimmy Jam

11 AM - 1 PM:  DB Double Dual Wrestling Camp, featuring coach Wesley Idlette and Trey & Clint Morrisette

NOON - 1 PM:  Unity Drum Circle

1 PM - 2 PM:  DB Football Camp, featuring former coach Graham Clark, current coach Joey Christian, former players      Teddy Gaines and Malik Foreman
Unity Food Tasting - Douglass Community Room, V.O. Dobbins Community Center

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM:  DB Basketball Skills and Drills, featuring former players Dimingo Hale and Travis Sensabaugh 

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM:  Juneteenth Band from Washington, DC

4:00 PM - 4:30 PM:  Demonstration by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Department K-9 Unit

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM - Concert by Dove Award-winning singer rap artist Aaron Cole

5:00 PM - 5:30 PM:  School Supplies Giveaways by the Vic Danger Legacy Bikers

5:00 PM - 5:30 PM:  Holloway Dance Hip Hop (V.O. Dobbins large gymnasium)

5:00 PM - 5:45 PM - Kaifa African Fashion Show

5:30 PM - 6:00 PM - Door prizes

5:45 PM - 6:15 PM:  Fraternity Step Show by Phi Beta Sigma members

6:20 PM - 7:00 PM: Juneteenth Band selections

7:15 PM:  Closing Remarks on day's events, information about tomorrow

Additional on-going booths and information at the Dobbins Ballfield all day:

Balloon Art by New Vision Youth
Beach Hut
Mona's Food Factory
Eastman connect Resource Group booth
Joe Bradley Inflatables
Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Association
Central Baptist Church Voter Registration
Job Corps - Shiloh Baptist Church
Northeast State Community College - Drones and Helicopter
Sullivan County Health Department - SCAD
KT - Notary Mobile Tina Thompson
United Healthcare
Girls, Inc.
Appalachian Literacy Initiative - Book Giveaways
Northwestern Mutual Finances and Insurance
Clark Funeral Home
Sack Races in field
Kid's Center
Johnson City NAACP/UMOJA Face Painting
Dancing on the Stage
Food Booths and Vendors (fish, wings, bologna sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, drinks)
Lamplight Theater
Creations by Tish and Angie
Friends & Neighbors
New Vision Youth & Children of the Community Free T-Shirt Giveaway
Sullivan County Sheriff's Department Youth Fingerprinting (must have parent present)
Marsh Blood Mobile Unit
Kingsport Fire Department
Sister's Cravings
KHRA Life Skills
Farmasi by Radiance Skin Cosmetics
Soloist rap artist Zacharias Dukes
Operation HOPE/First Horizon Bank National Community Outreach



4:00 PM - 5:00 PM:  Welcome and Prayer from Minister Tanya Foreman
                              Scripture by Pastor Barry Braun
                              Musical Selection from Abey Hensely
                              Atlanta Gospel Soloist Bonita Williamson
                              Juneteenth Poem by Sister Donna Morrisette
                              Why Juneteenth by Bishop Ronnie Collins
                              Music by Christian singer Tobias
                              Closing Remarks by Bishop Ronnie Collins
                              Benediction by Rev. Kenneth Calvert