Artists and vendors take to downtown for Kent’s annual Art and Wine Festival


Leah Shepard

The art and wine festival takes over N. Main St. downtown.

Leah Shepard, Reporter

Artists, vendors and musicians flooded N. Main Street for Kent’s annual Art and Wine Festival Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The event featured 13 wineries, 50 local artists and seven music acts in what vendors called an event to “bring the community together” and promote local businesses.

Artisan Dontty Lakina said this is his second year participating in the Art and Wine Festival. He said he first heard about the the event years ago when he volunteered in Kent. Lakina’s stall featured jewelry, drums, baskets and paintings from his home of Northern Ghana.

He said the proceeds from his stall help those in need.

Paintings featured in artisan Dontty Lakina’s stall. (Leah Shepard)

“We particularly sell baskets and woodwork to help kids go to school in my country,” Lakina said. “I don’t make all of it. Mostly I make the drums and the wood and the necklaces.”

Lakina said his grandparents are among some of those who contribute to his stall.

Local artist D. Wayne Moore, who began painting as a hobby ten years ago, said this was his second year participating in the Art and Wine Festival. Moore participates in Kent’s annual Art in the Park event as well.

Moore, who won best in show at Art in the Park last fall, said the mix of wine and art downtown is what made Saturday’s event so unique.

“This show is great,” Moore said. “The wine doesn’t hurt, obviously. It makes people a little more conversant and happy. It’s a good vibe.”

Festivalgoers crowd N. Main St. for the art and wine festival. (Leah Shepard)

A.J. and DeAnne Wade, co-owners of West Main St. Winery and Brewery, manned their stall where they served wine, beer and hard cider. They said this is the brewery’s fourth year participating in the art and wine festival.

West Main St. Winery and Brewery, a veteran and family owned business, is based in Ravenna and has been in business for five years. It started as a hobby, DeAnne said, and it grew from there.

She said festivals like the Art and Wine Festival help get the word out about their small business.

“Any festival, anything we go to gets the word out,” DeAnne said. “And we also try to spread the word about other things in Ravenna, other things in Portage County that we know is going on, because then it just helps everybody.”

Leah Shepard is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].