KENT—It will be a day not to be missed this Saturday when the Chamber of Commerce stages its annual Kent Community Holiday Fest.
The day will include such perennial favorites as the town tree lighting at 4:30 p.m., followed by the fire department’s annual Parade of Lights at 6 p.m., 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.
And finally, visitors will be able to get a glimpse of the creative gingerbread houses being created by more than a local bakers. The Gingerbread Festival will continue throughout December. They will be exhibited throughout the community in 18 to 20 stores and maps will be distributed to help visitors locate them.
There is an added twist to the Gingerbread Festival this year as well. Because not all stores have space to display a full-size gingerbread house, the Chamber is taking inspiration from “Where’s Waldo?” and some stores will play “Where’s the Gingerbread Person?”
Chamber of Commerce Vice President Ellen Corsell has said that this year’s Holiday Festival stresses the idea of unity. “I’m so excited about the Community Holiday Fest,” she said. “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.”
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,” said Corsell.