The sky lantern launch scheduled for dusk at the Kent International Festival tomorrow has been canceled out concerns for fire safety.
Sky lanterns are miniature hot air balloons made of paper, which are elevated into the air by a small wax candle.
Kent Fire Chief Dave Manthey said the combination of the unpredictably of where the live wax candle flames could land and the close vicinity of downtown buildings, particularly the Star of the West flour mill, spurred him to request the event to be called off.
"They could come down on a field, on a roof, on house, on someone's car. They're just unpredictable," he said. "There were supposed to be anywhere from 75 to 100 of these candles sent up into the are and with the safety of the town in my hands, I just couldn't do it with a clear conscience."
The sky lantern launch capped off Main Street Kent's first and second Kent International Fest in previous years.
Main Street Kent Executive Director said at the organization's board decided to call off the launch at the city's request.
"We don't want to disappoint, but we think it's the right thing to do," Malarcik said. "We don't want to see something happen."
Food and live entertainment are still set to last from noon to 7 p.m. in downtown Kent's Hometown Plaza and along North Water Street for the festival. The final act of the night will be the African Drum Community and fire dancers, which starts at 6:30 p.m., Malarcik said.
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