Committee seeks help in celebration

Katie Hillbert

You’re invited to a party that’s going to last all year.

The celebration is in honor of Kent’s 200th birthday, and the Kent Bicentennial Committee has planned a variety of activities for the occasion. The 16-member committee wants to get students and faculty involved in the planning process.

The committee is co-chaired by Mayor John Fender and Kent resident Pat Morton. Morton said committee members want to focus on the diversity of the Kent community and the university.

Committee member Margaret Garmon said the history of Kent would not be what it is without the university.

“We would not be a college town,” she said. “The university is such a big part of our history.”

Garmon also is a doctoral student in the School of Communication Studies.

The committee is looking for feedback from community members, students and faculty, Morton said. Committee members are looking to organize a project that the community can do with the university, and they are looking for people to help organize bicentennial events.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve been students,” Garmon said with a smile.

Members also are looking to build awareness about a parade, which will take place in the fall.

Committee members hope students will participate in the parade by building a float or something, said Karen Barrett, co-owner of City Bank Antiques and a member of the Bicentennial Committee. Barrett also is in charge of Downtown Innovative Community Events.

“We’re really looking forward to a wonderful celebration,” she said.

Barrett said committee members encourage students to participate.

“We want to try to get the college involved as much as we can,” said Ray Swaney, the chair of the sub-committee for the parade.

The university and the community should be intertwined, he added.

If you are interested in learning more about bicentennial activities or are interested in contributing ideas, contact the Kent Chamber of Commerce at (330) 673-9855.

Also, The Bicentennial Committee meets every Monday at 9:30 a.m. at the Kent Chamber of Commerce, at 138 E. Main Street, and anyone is welcome to attend.

Contact public affairs reporter Katie Hilbert at [email protected]