A new amphitheater is coming to Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium next year. Eastman has given a lead gift for this project in honor of its centennial celebration in 2020, and the City of Kingsport has matched that donation.

The Bays Mountain Park Amphitheater has been home to many events and programs over the years, whether it’s a night at Cinema Under the Stars, a summer day camp activity or live storytelling at Campfire Tales. This venue has been an important part of BMP’s programs since the park’s early foundational days.

“In celebration of Eastman’s 100th anniversary, we proudly support this project at one of Kingsport’s most iconic attractions, Bays Mountain Park,” said Perry Stuckey, Eastman Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. “For more than 100 years, Eastman has proudly called Kingsport our home, and parks like Bays Mountain and its beautiful green spaces are one of the many contributors to our city’s quality of life. We are proud to invest in ensuring that Kingsport remains a sustainable community and a desirable and attractive place to live and work.”

The new amphitheater will be roughly the same size as the current one, but located at a more central area in the park, closer to the Nature Center. It will have a lower level with restrooms and changing rooms, outdoor seating for 341 occupants and ADA parking. Guests will be able to access the new amphitheater more easily, allowing BMP to expand the programs it offers there and furthering its mission of educating the region about the natural area that surrounds us. 

The deer habitat and fox habitat will receive updates as part of this project as well, due to their proximity to the new amphitheater site. These projects come at the end of a momentous year for Bays Mountain Park as it celebrated its 50th anniversary. Other improvements announced this year include the Fox Den Playground and a 3.75 mile legacy trail, currently under construction.

“The announcement of this amphitheater is a great way for Bays Mountain to finish a fantastic 50th year,” said Kingsport Mayor Pat Shull. “I’m happy to see the city come together with Eastman to support the future of one of Kingsport’s greatest natural resources.”

Dineen West and GRC Construction are also partners on this project. The bidding process will begin on Bays Mountain Park’s new amphitheater in early 2022, and construction is expected to be complete that same year. The project will cost an estimated $1 million.

To learn more about Bays Mountain Park, go to baysmountain.com or call 423-229-9447.