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Holiday Fest Stresses CommUNITY


KENT—The town will be ablaze with activity Saturday when the Chamber of Commerce stages the Kent Community Holiday Fest.

The day will include such perennial favorites as the town tree lighting, the fire department’s annual Parade of Lights, a visit from Old St. Nick, live music and holiday sales with giveaways and mystery gift bags (with a purchase). 

Fire pits will warm visitors as they make their way along the festive streets and holiday treats and bubbly refreshments will be available at stores. There will be outdoor movies featuring children’s holiday classics, an opportunity for a family photo shoot, raffle baskets and drawings for holiday items.

A Gingerbread Festival, which starts Dec. 2, will continue throughout December. More than a dozen persons have indicated that they wish to participate by making a gingerbread house. They will be exhibited throughout the community in stores and maps will be distributed to help visitors locate them.

“This year we are doing something different,” said Ellen Corsell, vice president of the Kent Chamber of Commerce. “Children love ‘Where’s Waldo?’ so we are putting ‘Where’s the Gingerbread Person?’ on the maps. We will have 18 to 20 locations with either a gingerbread house or gingerbread person.”

When the gingerbread festival was started over a decade ago, prizes were given for the best entries, but Corsell said this is no longer the case. “The whole idea of the gingerbread festival is to enjoy the process,” she said. “Once we started awarding prizes, it was wrong. How could I judge how much fun people had? I didn’t want judge them anymore.”

“I’m so excited about the Community Holiday Fest,” she continued. “This year the Chamber of Commerce has a subcommittee that has developed the idea of CommUNITY, which came out of all the turmoil in the world. We can’t do anything on a global level, so the idea is bringing unity back to the town. We have 37 boards and volunteer organizations in this town—just an amazing amount of people who give back. We have invited all the non-profits to take part.”

She said some 40 businesses will be staying open late and nonprofits will have booths on the street. “The Sherman Ensemble is providing live music, a lot of people are having fire pits, there will be mulled wine and hot chocolate and s’mores. But the thing I am most excited about is this idea of community—it’s our town and we should all just come together.”

Kathryn Boughton
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