'Who's Your Mama?' festival, business expo set in Kent today

Staff report Published:

Despite expected cooler temperatures, two events in Kent today should bring out the community.

The Kent Business and Community Expo will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Theodore Roosevelt High School and the "Who's Your Mama?" block party will be held downtown from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Last year, the business and community expo set a record for the most participating businesses, organizations and crafters in the event's history.

Organizers think a new record is within reach this year.

"I'm pretty confident we're going to meet or break (that record) this year," said Lori Wemhoff, executive director of the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce.

Wemhoff said 118 spaces were rented at the expo in 2012, up 42 percent from the previous year. The rise in participants meant the Roosevelt gym could no longer hold the whole event, with booths lining the hallways outside of the gym.

The expo's annual Taste of Kent will allow visitors to try out food from 12 of the city's eateries.

In the past, the Taste of Kent has run from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., but after years of expo-goers trying to get a bite to eat early, Wemhoff said she decided to extend it to 11 a.m to 2 p.m.

Tickets are exchanged for tastes from the participating eateries in the high school cafeteria, and are $1 per ticket or $5 for six tickets.

New to Taste of Kent this year are Bent Tree Coffee Roasters, a popular shop in Kent that sells coffee both wholesale and retail; Rise and Shine Cafe, a breakfast, soup and sandwich shop opening soon in Acorn Alley II; and Aunt Mary Ann Donuts, located next to Hungry Howie's Pizza on S.R. 59.

As in years past, Kent State University's athletic department will have a table at the expo, giving fans a chance to meet Flash the eagle and get ticket information.

Also today is the "Who's Your Mama" festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown Kent on East Main Street between Depeyster and Water streets.

Performances will include an original work by "Topography" Dance Troupe, The Possibilitarians Puppet Theatre, an Eco Circus Parade and a poetry reading "From The Tree" by third-graders guided by The KSU Wick Poetry Outreach Program.

"The block party is part of the multi-media education part of the event," said Jeff Ingram of Standing Rock Cultural Arts. "It's important because we want saving the environment to be fun. Then we have the kids come out for a poetry reading at the end of the party, and in the end it's all about the kids and future generations."

Ingram said that all of these events celebrate mother earth and preserving it for generations to come.

"This festival is all about celebrating mother earth and new and different ideas of sustainability," he said. "I think there is always good energy surrounding things that are healthier for the planet and healthier for people. For me, this is not just a philosophy, it's a way of life. I try to leave the smallest footprint on the earth so that other people can enjoy what I'm enjoying. We just hope we share this earth with like-minded people."

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  • Also today is the "Who's Your Mama" festival. "This festival is all about celebrating mother earth and new and different ideas of sustainability,"...It would be interesting to know how many kids know "Who's Your Daddy"...The snow, wind and cold weather is a result of global warming...Perhaps mother is upset today...4/20 is also national POTHEAD DAY...So toke up @4:20pm.