Winterfest is a gift from the Kent Lions to the community, but this year – due to recent statewide COVID-19 restrictions – the festival will be much different, with no official public programming.
- The good news is that the Kent Lions Club will continue the tradition of supplying the lights which are installed by the Kent Parks Department staff.
- The lights will go on over Thanksgiving weekend, but without any public events.
- Traditionally the day includes activities like games, cookie decorating, music, tree lighting with the Mayor and the arrival of Santa Claus.
- The Winterfest is beautiful display of light and festive cheer located in Town Square Plaza in downtown Kent across from the King County Library.
- The lights will be displayed from Thanksgiving through Dec. 31, 2020.
“The Lions have been putting together a Winterfest event for the City of Kent in various forms for over 40 years,” said Lions Club President Emily White. “Earlier versions included a Winter Parade, and in some years, the Lions partnered with local businesses and gave out bicycles as prizes.”
After the Town Square Plaza was built, the event largely moved to that location. In past years, the Lions purchased a live tree for display at the park; however, when the location was updated to include a flagpole, a live tree was no longer an option. The Lions purchased and donated the current tree set-up to the City, who installs and stores it when the tree when it is not in use.
The tree holds 54 strands of 50’ lights with over 10,000 lights in total. Including the lights in the trees and shrubs throughout the park, the displays add up to over 100,000 lights. The Lions supply the electrical needs for the tree in addition to the music program that accompanies the tree. They also donate the cost of the lift and other equipment used to decorate the tree.
In typical years, the Lions host a hospitality tent, provide entertainment from local choirs and bands, storytelling at the Library, a free raffle, and a visit from Santa Claus on the day of the tree lighting. The Lions have appreciated their partnership with the Kent Downtown Partnership and Kent Station in helping promote the event and providing prizes for the raffle.
The Lions could not produce the tree lighting without the partnership and manpower from the City of Kent Parks Department. The City spends hundreds of hours in labor decorating the park as well as maintaining it throughout December to keep it in tip top shape for the holidays.
To learn more about the Kent Lions organization, visit their website at http://kentlionsclub.org/.
The Kent Downtown Partnership is a 501c3 non-profit organization. The Mission of the KDP is to strengthen commerce and promote growth in historic downtown Kent through programs and events that celebrate our unique and diverse community and culture.
Visit the KDP website at https://www.downtownkentwa.com/.