Second Annual “First Day Festival” Is Thursday

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

For the second year, agencies, businesses and the entire community will gather at the First Tennessee Pavilion to set in motion the new school year for all of Hamilton County’s school children.

Geoff Shook, Vice-President and General Manager of Comcast said, “Comcast began this festival as a way to encourage parents and children to celebrate the beginning of the new school year and kick it off in a positive manner. We wanted to make sure that all of our students know how much we care about them and the idea of a festival celebrating the successful start to the school year just makes sense.”

This year’s event will take place from 11-2 at the First Tennessee Pavilion on Thursday, Aug. 6, and focuses on children from kindergarten through fifth grade. Also joining Comcast as major sponsors for a second year are First Tennessee Bank and the Public Education Foundation.

First Tennessee President Keith Sanford said, “This is just a great family friendly event to promote the beginning of school and we are glad that Comcast is encouraging all students - homeschoolers, private schoolers as well as public school students - to come out for this event. We are looking forward to a fun day and a great crowd.”

Among those participating in the free festival are Bi-Lo, Bright School, Chattanooga Fire Department, First Things First, Kids on the Block, TVA Police, Coca-Cola, Krispy-Kreme, The Honors Learning Center, Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, Creative Discovery Museum, Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, Memorial HealthCare System, Boy Scouts, Ooltewah Adventist School, PALS, Chattanooga Police Department, Chattanooga Nature Center, Scenic Land School, Tennessee Aquarium, Urban League of Greater Chattanooga and the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults.

In addition to back-to-school items, food, child safety tips, activities and health related information, 50 back packs have been donated by Land’s End which will be given away at this years’ event.

Dan Challener from the Public Education Foundation said, “In this year of funding challenges, we are glad to see so many aspects of our community coming together for this event to celebrate education.”

The festival will also feature many cartoon characters known to the area’s children including Jimmy Neutron, Shaggy, Scooby-Doo and one of Chattanooga’s favorites- -Looie the Lookout.

Geoff Shook said, “We are also encouraging folks to come out to the First Day Festival to sign a giant “thank you” poster for County Mayor Claude Ramsey and his awesome staff who worked so hard to promote the education summit process. As a community, we’ve been through some challenging days. However, we want to thank those who work so hard to promote education and to let our school children know that in the midst of some hard decisions, we can actually find just a little bit of fun.”


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