B.C. Stout and his train are a crowd favorite at the annual Johnson County Imagination Library Carnival in Mountain City. Photo by Bethany Anderson

By Bethany Anderson
Freeleance Writer

The Friends of the Johnson County Library held their annual Imagination Library Carnival this Tuesday evening at the local Methodist Church. The event is popular amongst local preschool and elementary-aged children. This year’s crowd was as big as ever, and all were there looking forward to having a fun time at the annual family-friendly event.
Vendors and volunteers included the Johnson County High School Marching Band Boosters, Hux-Lipford, and other community organizations and businesses. The game tickets were all affordably priced at 25 cents each to encourage attendance and participation, and free drink tickets were provided as well.
Volunteers were eager to welcome all to the carnival and were excited to share in their love of reading. Free books were given out along with other carnival prizes. The outdoor space was all about games, rides, and snacks, while the indoor area was all about the silent auction and raffle.
The inflatables, including a bounce house and an obstacle course, were a big hit with all ages as was the mini train. Smiling faces were seen all around as parents and kids alike had fun playing games, eating snacks, and enjoying the fun community event.
The Imagination Library was founded by East Tennessee native Dolly Parton to promote literacy for young children throughout the state. The foundation provides free books for children from birth to age 5.
The Friends of the Johnson County Library’s goal is to get 100 percent of Johnson County’s children in that age bracket registered to receive these books in the hopes of promoting “the joy of reading.” According to Event organizer Leni Smith, so far this year, 80 percent are registered with an additional 15 children registered at this year’s carnival.
The annual carnival is the organization’s biggest fundraiser, but Smith made clear that the purpose of the event is to promote literacy in Johnson County. “We want kids to associate libraries and reading with fun,” Smith enthusiastically said.
For more information about the Imagination Library or the Friends of the Johnson County Library organization, contact the Johnson County Library at (423) 727-6544.