By Mike Steely
Good weather, great organization and a huge turnout all combined to make this year’s Honor Fountain City Day a success. The theme was “A Community of Volunteers” and the many people who helped to organize and put on the recent celebration, sponsored by the Fountain City Town Hall, were evident as local people, visitors, elected officers, political candidates and vendors not only honored the North Knoxville community but military veterans as well.
Patriotic music filled the air, vendors offered their wares, and the event culminated when Fountain City Town Hall chairperson Jamie Rowe took the microphone and introduced those public officials in attendance. Rev. Don Grady, Pastor of Shannondale Presbyterian Church, gave the invocation and Boy Scout Troop 55 presented the flag and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
After Lyn Bennett sang “The Star Spangled Banner,” Fountain City Historian and author Dr. Jim Tumblin spoke briefly about several Fountain City residents who were instrumental in the founding and growth of the historic community.
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett spoke also, telling a family story about a relative lost in battle, and Vice Mayor Duane Grieve spoke on behalf of Mayor Madeline Rogero.
The Fountain City Town Hall announced awards to businesses and individuals and the Commercial Restoration Award went to Buddy’s Barbeque. Brandon and Kira Lawson received the Residential Restoration Award and the Chairman’s Award went to the City Parks and Recreation.
The Friends of Fountain City honor went to Councilman Nick Pavlis. Kathy Cloninger, a third generation resident and community volunteer, was honored as the 2016 Fountain City Woman of the Year and Fountain City Jewelers owner, Mark Enix, was presented the 2016 Fountain City Man of the Year award.
WBIR’s John Becker spoke of “Service and Sacrifice” and Lynn Bennett sang “America The Beautiful.”
Congressman John Duncan, Jr., honored all active duty military members and the East Tennessee Veterans Honor Guard performed “Taps.”
Entertainment during the day was provided by Brandywine, Nostalgia, Prater, The Central High School Class of 1968, Andy LaGrand, the Tennessee Wind Symphony, and Joyful Twirlers.
Children enjoyed a train ride and there were also carnival games, face painting, food, door prizes and a silent auction. The UT Entomology Department brought its “Insect Zoo” and shared the Covered Pavilion with the Upstate Birds of Prey exhibit.
Next door to the park the Fountain City Arts Center offered crafts to older children and adults and many artists demonstrated their works.