Kent is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the country…and it shows. The city offers a wide and wonderful assortment of ethnic restaurants, shops and other cultural opportunities, and its residents speak more than 130 languages.
Once a year, the community comes together at accesso ShoWare Center for a big, bold extravaganza that acknowledges its rich diversity, and draws thousands from in and around the area. The ninth annual Kent International Festival June 3 will be jam-packed with entertainment, spectacular native attire, an array of cultural booths, unique shopping and delicious authentic cuisine. Here’s a glimpse of what to expect:
Just follow the dancing Chinese lion
The fun begins at 9:30 a.m. at Town Square Plaza (2nd Ave. and Smith St.) with a festival kickoff and half-mile World Wide Walk to ShoWare Center.
With musical and dance performances on three stages throughout the day, you’ll want to plan accordingly. Crowd favorites include the Rowan Fae Irish dancers and Taiko drummers. Entertainment from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Travel the world under one roof…“passport” suggested
Wonder what it’s like to be a kid in Thailand? Curious about some of the customs in Kenya? The festival’s many cultural booths offer information, insight and a lot of fun activities. Visit them all with your festival “passport.” Booths open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A global food fest
Bring your appetite. The International Taste of Kent Food Court features cuisine from some of Kent’s most popular ethnic restaurants, including Fil Cuisine, Thai Chili, Jot Indian Sweets, Agave Cocina and Cantina, Spring Kitchen and more. Food court open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The fun doesn’t end at 5 p.m. You won’t want to miss the World Dance party (5-6 p.m.) and the grand festival finale (6-8 p.m.).