Daily Kent Stater
Light snow fell over NO CAPS ON DOWNTOWN Downtown Kent as the Festival of Lights lit up the Home Savings Plaza Saturday night with hundreds in attendance.
At 5:30 p.m., the line LINE LINED UP… SNAKED AROUND THE …. for Santa lined up around the plaza filled with anxious children and their parents.
Amy Martz, a Kent resident, brought her two boys Dylan, 6, and Owen, 4. They got in line at 5:15 and were one of the few first in line. Dylan was asking Santa for a Zhu Zhu Pet. Owen wants a Choo choo train or a Zhu Zhu Pet.
“He only wants a Zhu Zhu Pet because his brother wants one,” Martz said. WHAT THE HELL IS A ZHU ZHU PET?
The free hot chocolate and cookies table and the letter writing station were busy the whole night as children went from the writing station to the free goodies.
“Santa station is a huge hit,” Lorri Wemhoff, executive director of the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce, said. “We’re real excited.” NOPE, DOESN’T DO IT FOR ME.. LORI, NOT LORRI? FACT ERROR
Ann Moneypenny, past president of the Chamber of Commerce, said this night couldn’t be more perfect.
“We have good weather and the snow helps it,” Moneypenny said. Moneypenny said this year international students came to observe the annual festivity, and the Kent Roosevelt High School Choir A.C.E.S came to perform like they do every year.
Megan O’Shaughnessy, a senior managerial marketing major, said she wasn’t planning on coming to the festival, but it caught her attention.
“I was having dinner at Franklin Square Deli, and I wanted to check it out,” O’Shaughnessy said.
Santa arrived around 6 p.m. on A TRAIN … ON A TRAIN…
train into downtown. Parents and children ran across the street to greet him. The plaza lawn was covered with residents as well as the sidewalk and Main Street. The train was decorated with Christmas lights.
A boy’s face lit up as he sat on his father’s shoulders.
Another boy, with a wool Elmo hat, shouted, “I hear Santa’s train!”
As Santa arrived, the tree was lit and Mayor Jerry Fiala made his appearance as well.
“I got to ride in the train with Santa with my three grandsons,” he said.
Fiala said he thinks the festival is good for the community to come together and bring friendship and happiness to downtown.
Santa finally settled on his wooden rocking chair, and the first child greeted him with a smile. Santa’s first toy was on his list: a Buzz Lightyear.