Heritage Festival marks 20 years of community


The crowd downtown during Kent Heritage Festival 2015

Neville Hardman

Thousands flooded downtown Kent on Saturday to celebrate the 20th annual Heritage Festival, or to many locals, Kent Fest.

Locals enjoyed the many booths lining the streets as well as food and three stages of live music. Charlene Deininger, an academic advisor for the College of Business Administration and worker for Nectar of the Vine, sat in a booth that sold mixes for wine slushies, including flavors such as pomegranate, peach mango and lemon burst.

People wanting to try it only need to pour a bag of the mix, a bottle of wine and equal parts water into a pitcher, she said.

“A lot of people have told me it’s really unique,” Deininger said. “They’ve never seen anything like it before.”

Free non-alcoholic samples were available to anyone who wanted to try the mix.

Christine Lucas returned to her second Heritage Festival, selling hand-painted clay. Lucas has been making ceramics since she was little, but switched to pottery when she was in college. The process of making the pieces depends on the humidity and the weather, she said.

“We make everything functional, as functional as we possibly can,” Lucas said, who mentions her pieces are microwavable and dishwasher-safe.

Different colored bowls and plates lined the booth, as well as tiny inspirational words that could fit in the palm of one’s hand.

“Sometimes you’ll see pottery and it’ll be all blue or all green, so we try to do other colors,” Lucas said.

Groove-E-Juice set up a tie-dye area where locals were allowed to dye anything they had for free.

Two men stood at the corner of Erie and Water Street, busking with an accordion and a violin. Danylo Lavrentovich, one of the buskers, said the pair stood outside from 10 a.m. onward playing for the public and collecting any spare coins or bills people gave away.

“There’s a lot of people here, so there’s a lot of opportunities for people to pitch in a buck or two,” Lavrentovich said.

He said it was their second time playing on the streets during Heritage Festival and they began playing for money at last year’s festival. Both attended Theodore Roosevelt High School in Kent before heading off to college out-of-state.

“It’s a great atmosphere, we can see people we know and reunite with people,” Lavrentovich said.

Contact Neville Hardman at [email protected]