If you haven’t had reason to notice the giant banner hanging on the Police station at the intersection of Water Street and Haymaker Parkway, or if you’ve missed the articles in the paper, the painted windows or posters downtown, the City of Kent is celebrating it’s 200th birthday this year. In honor of this milestone a small committee of Kent volunteers have put together events and programs that will go on all year long. One musically inclined Kent resident actually wrote and recorded a song called “That’s Kent” that can be downloaded for free and will be performed by Kent’s kids (including my 8 year old) during the heritage festival.
From art shows, to movies, guest speakers, picnics, time capsules, tours, banners, you name it — the Kent Bicentennial year will be filled with things for the youth of all ages to participate in. The theme is “Honoring our heritage, shaping our future” and besides having fun the goals of the year long programming is to:
1. Focus attention on Kent, it’s history, it’s people, schools, businesses and organizations;
2. Relfect on Kent’s heritage, remembering and paying respect to the people who came before us;
3. Plan events that appeal to a variety of interests and ages, with as many downtown events as possible;
4. Bring schools, businesses, organizations and citizens together to enhance existing relationships and build new ones;
5. Create a permanent memorial commemorating the Bicentennial year.
There’s a lot of great stuff planned and it’s all very impressive but my favorite event is the plan to have 200 children (or as close to that number as they can get) in the parade singing the new “That’s Kent” theme song. I had the pleasure of having a live version of this played in my living room by my next door neighbor– who happens to be co-author and headline performer of it, Hal Walker.
In the spirit of celebrating Kent’s past here’s a link to some good historical photos. Kent Historical Photos
To keep current on the planned events or if you want to volunteer for some of the events, contact the Kent Chamber at 330 673-9855.