Main Street Kent’s Art and Wine Festival returns for first time since 2019


Berkeley Chadwick

Randy Horvath playing at Home Town Bank Plaza during the Art and Wine Festival on June 4, 2022. Randy was the first musician of the day to take the stage.

Berkeley Chadwick, Reporter

After a two-year hiatus, Main Street Kent’s Art and Wine Festival returned to downtown at noon on June 4, 2022. Attendees poured onto the closed North Water Street and enjoyed the many amenities lining the streets including more than 50 local artists, 13 Ohio wineries and 6 food vendors.

“We are regulars around a lot of the wineries in the area, but it’s great to get downtown to listen to music and try all of them side by side with all these people,” said Marsha Owens, Kent resident and regular attender of the event before the pandemic.

Attendees lined up to purchase wristbands for $20; included with the purchase of a wristband was a tasting glass and 10 drink tickets. Additional tickets could be purchased for $1 each from the Main Street Kent booth and many people did.

“At a dollar a ticket, why not get more and try it all?” Julie Hritz, an event attendee, said.

The return of the festival and its large attendance enjoyed by patrons and vendors alike caused some wineries to need to restock in the middle of the event.

“It’s our third year coming and we’re so excited to be back,” said Erica Wathey, owner of Nauti Vine Winery. “ We brought 12 cases and we had to get two more thanks to the amazing turnout. We even added a second line to help serve more people.”

Painters, sculptors, ceramists, jewelers and photographers took over North Main Street to exhibit their art to patrons of all ages.

“It’s my first year attending the wine fest,” said Lauren White, owner of Rotten Barbie Boutique, who started making jewelry during the pandemic and now travels to events and festivals to pursue her passion. “It’s something I really love doing and people seem to like my stuff – I had 15 sales in my first hour here.”

Over 2,000 attendees patronized the festivities not just for the wine and art, but also the food. Six vendors ranging from barbequed meats to vegan and vegetarian foods served guests into the evening.

“We sold out of everything at the Beer Fest last weekend, and we look forward to doing the same this weekend,” Ray Brooks of Brooks Homestyle BBQ said. “There really is something here for everyone.”

Crowds gathered to listen to seven live bands playing between noon and 9 p.m. at two venues: The Hometown Bank plaza and the Brewhouse Pub patio.

Whether it was a commemorative tasting glass, a bottle of wine, a piece of art or a full stomach, attendees each went home with something.

“I’m just glad things are getting back to normal, and we get to be back out in public doing what we love,” Melissa Pock, a Kent resident, said.

Berkeley Chadwick is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected]