FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The TK Blockstar backpack giveaway at Palatine Park on Saturday provided local students of all ages with backpacks filled with school supplies. Local hip hop artist TK Blockstar has been hosting these events for several years.

“This is my third time doing it here in Marion County. The difference this year is the outcome and how many bags we were able to provide. The past two years we only had a little over 300 backpacks and this year we have over a thousand backpacks,” said Blockstar.

Even with a limit of three backpacks per car, within the first two hours of the event, supplies were down to about three hundred bags. Community members showed up ahead of time and were also offered free food.

“I couldn’t be more satisfied. An hour before the event started, there was already a line up the street and they were ready, so we’re more than halfway through,” said Blockstar.

The original plan was for the event to be located at the park’s main stage with live music and social activities including face painting and dunk tanks, but the recent pandemic coupled with bad weather forced the drive to be changed to a drive through pickup event.

“I’m doing it right now with a lot more determination because of COVID because of the position that it’s put a lot of our families in-a lot of the children. So it’s a lot more serious now,” said Blockstar.

Backpacks were offered for three different age groups and have masks included to prevent the spread of COVID-19.