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Saturday, July 16, 2022

"Rhythm" Returns to Riverview 2022


KINGSPORT — The Rhythm returns to Riverview on Monday, July 18th, as part of Fun Fest 2022.

The event is the largest concert gathering at the beginning of Fun Fest, with the key word at any Fun Fest event being “fun.”

“Fun Fest was created 42 years ago for the purpose of community unity,” said 2022 Chairperson Jeff Fleming. “When you think about the difference between a community and a city, it’s the same difference between a house and a home, and for this event, Kingsport is the house and Riverview is the home.”

Prior to the music on the V.O. Dobbins ballfield, Kids Central will be back with activities for children of all ages and their families. The event will feature a variety of vendor tables. Kids Central will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both Monday and Tuesday. Sponsors are Ballad Health, Niswonger Children’s Hospital, Indian Path Community Hospital and the city of Kingsport.

Rhythm In Riverview begins at 5 p.m.

“Happenings, happenings, happenings,” said event organizer Johnnie Mae Swagerty. Overlap- ping from 5 to 7 p.m. will be the annual Gospel Fest, featuring Christian singer Tobias, she said.

Other events will include balloon artwork by the New Vision Youth, demonstrations for seniors including how to safeguard prescriptions, book giveaways to students by Appalachian Initiative, book bag giveaways by the South Central Kingsport Community Development Corporation, dance demonstrations by the Holloway Dance Studio, and presentations of Miss Kingsport, Miss Sullivan County and others.

Eastman Connects will also honor its members for this year.

One event will also highlight the accomplishments of the local Pi Omega Omega chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

“We are celebrating 35 years of the local chapter,” said Vice President Karen Ellison. “Since 1987, we’ve been active in the community with voter registrations, helping deliver manna meals to seniors, scholarships to senior high school and first-year college students, and participating in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day events.”

The chapter will also recognize two members. Because of their work in the community, Mary Jordan is being honored for having ETSU’s Multicultural Center building named after her, and Dr. Linda Calvert is being honored for having a similar building named after her at Northeast State.

Then, there’s the food at Rhythm in Riverview.

“Everything from funnel cakes, fried green tomatoes, chicken wings and fish to snow cones, ice cream and cheese egg rolls,” Swagerty said.

At 7 p.m., headlining this year as they did last year are the Extraordinaires from Hickory, North Carolina, a band that founder Rusty Burton said cannot wait to come back to Kingsport.

“We had a great time there last year, and we’re looking forward to getting the people involved with our music and the way we present it. They see and hear the excitement, and they will feel it. They recognize the songs, they can sing along with them and it gets them up off their seats.”

Burton said the secret to the Extraordinaires’ success is engaging the audience.

“It’s no sit-down concert with us. We play nonstop, no talking in between songs. Nobody can dance to that. We are there for a party.”

Rhythm In Riverview is free and will be held at the V.O. Dobbins ballfield, Louis Street at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive on Monday, July 18th. The event is sponsored by Eastman, the South Central Kingsport Community Development Corporation, Kingsport Parks and Recreation, the Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority and Eastman Concert.