Memories From The Past
The American Legion Carnival to any kid in Kingsport in the late
1940ís and early 1950ís was a highly anticipitated event.
Rides, games, hot dogs, cotton candy and the Frank & Mack Show.
When we were first old enough to remember going to the carnival, it
was held on the east side block of Broad and Center Street.
The Frank & Mack Show tent was across Broad Street on the west
side block. Early carnivals were held in September and October but were
moved to the week preceding the 4th of July in 1936.
When J. C. Penny built on this location, the carnival was moved to
the block on Center Street between Clay Street on the east side and Revere
Street on the west side, where the downtown Post Office building is now.
The carnival resided here until the Post Office was built, then
moved to the east side parking lot between the Civic Auditorium and J.
Fred Johnson Stadium in 1956 where it remained until 1967 when it
relocated to Stone Drive, near Mason & Dixon Terminal, when
construction began on the new Dobyns-Bennett High School facilities. The
carnival would run for a week or so before the 4th of July, closing
down after the 4th of July celebrations.
The American Legion owned most of itís own rides.
The rides were stored in the round building that was located where
Eastman Recreation Building now stands.
This building was the only building at the time that was left from
the Federal Chemical and Dye Stuff complex that operated in early
Kingsport, closing in 1922. An
old story that my Papaw liked to tell about the round building was, that
it was built during WWI, when Federal Chemical and Dye Stuff was aiding in
the production of explosives for the war effort. The building was constructed as a round structure with a
conical roof. The reasoning
was that if the Germans came over and bombed the building, the bombs would
slide harmlessly off. A nice
The rides we came to know over the years started with the standard
carousel or hobby-horse for young kids and on to tilta-whirl, octopus,
swings and a Ferris wheel.
Games were fishing, where you hooked a fish floating by.
The fish had a number affixed to the bottom which would identify
the toy you would win. There
were hoop tosses, coin tosses, baseball tosses, basketball shooting and
target shooting with 22-short rifles.
The more difficult the game the greater the prize; toys cars and
trucks, celluloid cupi-dolls, stuffed
animals and various glassware.
You could stuff yourself with popcorn, candy, ice cream cones, soda
pop, and cotton candy.
are photos from The City of Kingsport Archives
Frank And Mack To Stage Big Carnival Show
For the eighth
consecutive year, Frank and Mack, Kingsport comedy team, bring their "greatest show on earth" to the American
Legion Carnival, opening Thursday at 7:00 p.m., at the carnival grounds
on Broad street.
Mack, the red-headed problem child who has
been stationed for
and a half years at Fort Storey, Va., will bring talent for the 1943
show from the Trouper's Club at Norfolk, Va,, source of U.S.O. show
talent in that vicinity.
Cpl. Riddle, through the efforts of
the American Legion here, was given a
to help put on the show.
Frank Taylor, the other half of the comedy
team, said Wednesday he expected this year's show to be the best ever
staged for an American Legion Carnival.
Fifteen troupers including a band, singers and the dancers, will
included in the
Frank and Mack show first gained recogination in 1936 when it
theaters in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.
Saturday nights it ran at the Strand Theater, billed as the Country
Times Ė July 23, 1943
LEGION DECIDES CARNIVAL DATE
Street Carnival Will Be Staged
LEGION CARNIVAL GRANTED CENTER STREET
of Mayor and Aldermen Give Official Sanction to plans of Legion For
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen last
evening granted the American Legion permission to use Center Street from
Broad to Shelby streets for the Legion carnival which will be held in
October. Plans for this carnival are now underway.
C. P. Edwards is general chairman of the
carnival committee. Several Legionnaires are assisting Mr. Edwards in
laying plans for the affair.
This carnival promises to be one of the
best features that the American Legion has offered in the way of
features will be in store for the public. The carnival will be conducted
similar to the road carnivals, with admission to the grounds being free.
The feature booths will charge an admission fee.
Times, September 18, 1929
MORE THAN 35,000
EXPECTED FOR 4TH OF JULY CARNIVAL
Will Begin Early Saturday Morning and Continue Throughout the Day; Many
Combining business houses, civic
organizations and industrial plants
Festivities will begin early Saturday
morning and continue throughout the day with more
than $1,000 in prizes to be awarded.
As a special
inducement to people living outside the city, bus and railroad companies
are offering reduced round trip fares in order that they may attend the
of the highlights of the day will be a parade more than one mile
in length with numerous beautifully decorated floats to be entered by
Kingsport's industrial plants. Merchants of the city will not
but arrangements have been made
for 15 "character
giant heads are designed to add the finishing touch to a successful
parade. They are a new, laugh provoking creation and portray characters
of story book fame.
feature of the celebration is the pony show, with prizes to be awarded
the best boy and girl rider respectively and also a blue ribbon for the
best pony. Youngsters who have already entered the contest are: Harold
Birdwell, Tommie Nelms, Jack Crawford, Chuck Gilmer and Dickie Brockman.
entries have been received for the horse show with prizes to be awarded.
much time to preparations for the gigantic parade, Bill Huber said today
that the reviewing stand had been completed and
of church circles and other organizations will build lunch
Officials said today that a request to
block Broad Street Saturday night from Market
street, north to New Street and
from Center street
east to the
Chevrolet sedan will be given away to the holder of the lucky ticket at
this point at 6 p. m.
At 1 p. m. and continuing until 4 p. m., Major Montell will
conduct his special amateur program.
Amateurs who play musical instruments, sing, dance or entertain
in any way are eligible to enter the contest.
Times, July 28, 1936
Census Records | Vital Records | Family Trees & Communities | Immigration Records | Military Records Directories & Member Lists | Family & Local Histories | Newspapers & Periodicals | Court, Land & Probate | Finding Aids