Heritage Festival to draw crowds in Kent

News in brief

The event, sponsored by Kent’s United Services Organization, will last from 9 a.m. to midnight on Saturday. It will feature races, car shows, music, shows, prizes, fireworks and more, said Dan Smith, executive director of the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce.

Three stages will be set up during the festival. The main stage, which will be located at the intersection of Main Street and Water Street, features the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors, who will take the stage at 6:30 p.m. Other stages featuring local bands and acts will be located by the Pufferbelly restaurant and on Erie Street.

The Jeff Graham Memorial Fireworks will be held at 10 p.m. Graham was a founding member of Kent’s United Services Organization. He came up with the idea to have fireworks at the festival, but passed away shortly after the first display 10 years ago.

Races will include a 5K, 10K and a one-mile “fun run,” Smith said. Registration for all races will last from 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. Saturday, and all races will start at 8:30 a.m. Runners will have to pay an entry fee of $15 for the 5K, $20 for the 10K and $10 for the fun run, which all benefit the United Way of Portage County.

A rubber duck river race, sponsored by Kent Jaycees, will take place at 6 p.m. at River Edge Park, Smith said. Ducks will be available for purchase before the race, and prizes will be awarded to the winners.

The Heritage Festival will also feature car shows, a wide variety of arts and crafts booths, food stands, Clydesdale carriage rides and more, Smith said.

No pets or animals will be allowed at the festival due to a new city ordinance, Smith said.

—Sean Joseph