Heritage Festival brings food, fun, business to downtown Kent

Katie Shevlin

Music, food and celebration drove crowds of all ages to the 18th annual Kent Heritage Festival Saturday.

This year’s festival included Erie Street, which was blocked off for construction during last year?s festival, making it larger than ever before.Three stages provided all-day entertainment, and more than 100 craftsmen, vendors and information booths were set up downtown.

The new downtown redevelopment and nice weather is what made for a great turnout, said Maggie McKendry, Kent Jaycees vice president of community and chair of the Jaycees’ rubber duck race. She said there were a lot more people at this year’s festival than last year’s.

“Our sales increased from what we made last year,” McKendry said. “We are able to give a donation to the non-profit organization Nothing But Net, and we have an additional $2,000 to give out to local organizations.”

Tom Gavozzi, owner of Belleria Pizza and Italian Restaurant, also said sales increased for the restaurant on Saturday. Participating in the Heritage Festival for the first time, Gavozzi said it was a great time and he cannot wait for next year.

“It was outstanding for sales and exposure,” Gavozzi said. “The amount of people eating and getting take-out was very dynamic.”

Despite the torrential rain right before the fireworks, locals said the annual event remained a success.

Contact Katie Shevlin at [email protected].