Contributed by Melanie Mosshart
Sunshine! Lots and lots of sunshine. That alone will bring Kent residents out from hiding in their homes for fear of getting wet in the rain-drenched Kent Valley. On Saturday, June 26th however, not only were people fleeing from their homes to get outside, they actually enjoyed getting wet ~~ in the fountain downtown!
What curious event brought mommies, daddies, children and even dogs in droves to the Kent downtown area? The captivating and exuberant Kent International Festival, that’s what. It wasn’t the sunshine alone this time urging people to get out and go. What a glorious day to partake in the second annual International Festival in conjunction with the Kent Farmers Market in downtown Kent.
Children splashed, vendors vended, cooks cooked, and dancers danced! The Kent International Festival offered a variety of entertainment, food and an assortment of unique items with an international flair.
Kent’s Farmers Market started on a little plot of land near the Library with perhaps 8 booths, each housing the fruits of local growers and craftsmen. The Kent Farmers Market has grown substantially since its inception, and is a grand mixture of photography, crafts, colorful flowers, fresh garden vegetables and plants in addition to a diverse array of distinctive gifts for every taste.
Taste? Did I mention taste? The International Festival touted delicious food, whether your taste buds were craving hot dogs, Mexican, Indian, Thai or Teriyaki, food booths filled the air with the tempting aromas of your favorite cuisine, enticing wanderers to wander over for a plateful of delectable delights.
Delight? Yes indeed, the dancing was decidedly delightful and the crowds enthusiastic with each and every entertaining event. There were dancers representing Ireland, India and Chili to name a few, bringing broad smiles to the throng of onlookers. In addition, the martial artists, drummers and various variety acts truly gave the event its international flavor. And of course, our littlest dancer brought many a chuckle and applause as she twisted, dipped and tapped her toes with the music like the women on stage that she so enthusiastically emulated.
Representative Dave Upthegrove could be seen coaching the dancers and encouraging the crowd to support the efforts of Harpreet Gill, the chair woman of this successful event. As a Kent resident, I took great pride in showing off Kent’s International Festival this weekend to a visitor from San Jose, who was duly impressed as well. I was so pleased to have heard about the festivities through local vendors, because I hadn’t been aware of it before. I have marked my calendar to watch for next year’s festival, and my suggestion is that you do the same; because if you are able to attend next year with me, I have no doubt that you too will be captivated by Kent’s tribute to a diverse culture and community.