Kitchens named Parks & Rec Events Coordinator

Published 7:36 am Tuesday, November 28, 2017

It all circles back to the love of Elizabethton for Kelly Kitchens.

City Parks and Recreation officials recently announced the promotion of Kitchens to programs and special events coordinator, a newly-created position within the department. Kitchens previously served as administrative assistant but is no stranger when it comes to helping organize different events.

“We had numerous people apply with great credentials and we appreciate them taking the time out to go through the process,” said Mains Mike, Parks & Rec director. “But at the end of the day, when you look at this position, one of the key roles is being part of the community. Kelly has been heavily involved in organizing the different events we offer and has made so many different partnerships with community organizations and nonprofits. That’s what we want out of this position, positive working relationships.”

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During her time as administrative assistant, Kitchens said she was able to form great friendships with different organizations, including the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library, UT – Extension and Carter County Drug Prevention Coalition.

Providing an outlet for residents to enjoy what Elizabethton has to offer is a common goal for each group, according to the new coordinator.

“This has been a part of the job I was doing in conjunction with administrative assistant  because we’re trying to do so much in the community,” Kitchens said. “We are getting such good feedback from the people that are participating and making strong connections with other organizations in the community, who are also doing events. This is the aspect of my joy where my passion lies and I’m very excited about the chance to focus on this full time and grow that area of Elizabethton.”

City Council approved the additional role for Parks & Rec during the recent budget cycle due to increased activities at the department. While considerably small compared to other departments within the region, staff has continued pumping out different events and continue to grow the tradition now with Kitchens’ sole focus going to programs.

“The amount of caring she has for the people that live in Elizabethton is such an asset,” Mains said. “Our staff is continuing to do what it can to give back to the community. During the holidays, we have people here working, because this is a community that means so much to them.”

One of the newest events on the docket is this weekend’s inaugural “Christmas at Covered Bridge Park” prior to the annual Downtown Christmas Parade.

From 2 to 5 p.m. residents are invited to visit the park and participate in a bevy of Christmas-related activities, from holiday music and treats to a visit from Jolly ‘Ol Saint Nick.

With 2018 featuring various ideas, Kitchens added that the citizens wanting to volunteer time or activities for the Recreation Center are invited to do so.

For more information on how to get involved with Parks & Rec, call (423) 547-6440.