Kingsport, Tenn. -


     You could call it the unofficial start of the festivities surrounding Kingsport's community wide Fun Fest celebration, the annual trash barrel paint in.
     
     This year brought hundreds to the lawn of the Allandale Mansion for a day of creativity and fun.
     
     Believe it or not but this is the 29th year for Kingsports trash barrel paint-in.  The artists are painting trash barrels to celebrate fun fest and to make sure it stays neat during the popular community event.

     "These trash barrels are used not just at Fun Fest but they're used at over 80 events this past year for instances that the city of Kingsport has throughout the city.  The charity walks, road races, the festivals downtown, parades, everything," Says Keep Kingsport Beautiful director Robin Cleary.

     And the ideas behind these decorative barrels are as numerous as the young artists and their brushes.

     "Camping under the stars," Says artist Anna Fain as she looks over her work

     "When did you think this up?  This morning or did you have it in mind a long time ago?  "This morning probably," She said.

      Not a lot of time to talk when you're creating a masterpiece.

      "Fireflies," Explains young artist Aiden May.

      "It's a jar of what?"  "Fireflies," He says.

       Makes perfect sense, created with glow in the dark paint.

       The fun and community aspect runs through every barrel and even this years fun fest theme came from a barrel.

       "The really neat story from last year from the trash barrel painting event is that this years fun fest theme, "Fun in the Sun and Under the Stars", was actually selected off one of the trash barrels painted last years.  Actually one of the winning barrels in the six to eight year old category," Cleary said.

        The real fun comes when the artists and their families look for their barrels as they attend all of the Fun Fest activities that are getting ready to get started this week.