Kent International Festival kicks off Saturday in downtown Kent

Max Secre

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Kent Residents can get a taste of many different ethnic foods and customs this weekend at the first Kent International Festival.

Main Street Kent, a non-profit organization that focuses on the revitalization of downtown Kent, and International HOME Markets grocery store are hosting the event Saturday from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. in downtown Kent.

Main Street will be closed off from DePeyster Street to Water Street for the festivities that will feature live entertainment all day.

Mary Gilbert, executive director of Main Street Kent, said vendors would offer food and merchandise from different cultures around the world.

Ethnic cuisines offered are Hungarian, Polish, Indian, Thai and European.

There will be children’s activities 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. where children will be given a passport that they will fill with stickers in order to earn a prize.

The Kent Jaycees, a community organization, is also sponsoring a beer garden for the festival that will have beer and sake.

The first 100 people to attend the festival will receive a free sky lantern, a Chinese tradition, from International HOME Markets that can be set off at 8 p.m. during the festival’s sky lantern release.

Sky lanterns, which are lit and set off like balloons, can be purchased during the festival for around $5 at International HOME Markets, located in Acorn Alley.

“The festival is happening to celebrate our diversity in Kent,” said Gilbert. “I expect a great turnout.”

Contact Max Secre at [email protected].