The biggest party of the year at MEDIC Regional Blood Center is right around the corner. The 13th Annual Parrot Head Party is scheduled for Thursday, May 25th, and this year’s event is expected to attract more donors than ever before.


The annual event at MEDIC’s Knoxville Donor Center at 1601 Ailor Avenue is the official kickoff to summer for the locally based non-profit blood center which serves 28 East Tennessee-area hospitals.


The event helps MEDIC prepare for the upcoming summer months when blood donations typically decline. “Although we usually see fewer donations, the demand from our local hospitals remains unchanged, and this year, many blood centers are expecting a nationwide shortage,” said MEDIC spokesperson Benjamin Prijatel. “Our Parrot Head Party is such an important event because it helps ensure we’ll be able to meet the needs of patients at our local hospitals.”


The Parrot Head Party includes decorations, music, games, live music, and free food. WNOX’s Frank Murphy will be broadcasting live and Knoxville’s most famous parrot, Einstein, from Zoo Knoxville will be entertaining donors.


Donors can come as early as 8 a.m. The food and entertainment begins at 10:30 and continues throughout the afternoon.


As a thank you for their lifesaving gift, all donors will receive a limited edition Parrot Head t-shirt, a coupon for a free Chick-fil-A Sandwich, a coupon for a free Texas Roadhouse appetizer, and a coupon for free Rita’s Italian Ice.


In addition, all donors will also be entered to win gift certificates from Margaritaville in Pigeon Forge, tickets to see the Tennessee Smokies, and a gift from Smoky Mountain Knife Works.


A typical blood donation takes about 45 minutes. Although Parrot Head Day is one of the busiest days of the year, MEDIC is tripling its staff at its donor center to minimize wait times so “Givin’ is Easy” at this party.


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