HEATHER MALARCIK: Downtown Kent ready to burst into bloom

MAIN STREET KENT Published:

Main Street Kent is serious about sprucing up downtown Kent for the season. It's officially time to clean up some litter, put up 75 giant hanging flower baskets, and plant 32 Adopt-A-Spot flower beds and planters in the downtown area. For the third year in a row, Smithers-Oasis Company is our main sponsor for the hanging flower baskets, and it takes another 27 sponsors and droves of volunteers from the community to get the flower beds planted. This is a huge group effort to beautify our downtown, adding vibrancy and an increased sense of community to the area. We're so thankful to all of the people, organizations, and companies who help us pull this all together.

Our generous flower bed sponsors include: Abshire & Haylan Jewelers, The Burbick Companies, Car Parts Warehouse, The Davey Tree Expert Company, Downtown Gallery, Dr. Belli, Edible Kent, Flynn & Paoloni, Franklin Square Deli, Gold Dust Salon & Dreadlock Studio, Groove-E-Juice, Haymaker Farmers' Market, Henry V. and Frances W. Christenson Foundation, Hometown Bank, Image Consultants, Kent Jaycees, Kent State Hotel and Conference Center, Kiwanis Club of Kent, Klaben, McKay Bricker Framing & Black Squirrel Gifts, PARTA, Rotary Club of Kent, South Water Street Design Studios - Tattoos & Illustration, Star of the West Milling Company, State Farm Insurance - Lauren Talion Agency, Sue Nelson Designs and Young & Associates. We are also fortunate to have the assistance of these volunteers, who, along with most of the sponsors, help to plant the beds: Jill Chabra, owner of The Dragonfly; Nadine Gomez, Kent Community TimeBank, Leah Patterson, Brian and Marilyn Sessions, the Wills family and the Winterich family. What an awesome community of people we have here to run this program. Thank you all so very much!

Hanging baskets Friday

On Friday, May 30, the Veterans of Freedom Lawn Care will be hanging the flower baskets all over town. In partnership with the City of Kent, we're happy to work with this great group of dedicated workers. Be sure and thank them, when you see them out watering the beds and baskets throughout the summer. Also on Friday, May 30, Main Street Kent is holding another Clean Up Kent Day from 1 to 4 p.m. Those who are interested in helping should simply show up at the Hometown Bank Plaza to pick up supplies, and choose an area in which to work. We'll have brooms, dustpans, trash bags, gloves, etc. on hand to share with anyone who wants to help. We will hold the clean-up day, rain or shine.

Planting time Saturday

On Saturday, May 31, downtown Kent will really burst into bloom. Hundreds of flats of flowers will be delivered for our volunteers who will then begin to plant them all over town. We have quite a transformation in store for our city over the next couple of weeks.

Festival season begins

All of this will be done just in time for the eighth annual Masterpieces on Main Art & Wine Festival, which takes place Saturday, June 7, and The Kent Historical Society Town and Garden Tour that takes place that June 7 and 8. Oh, and the free outdoor concerts hosted by Hometown Bank at the Hometown Bank Plaza and the Thursday Night Live concerts Main Street Kent has in store for you. It's all going to be fabulous here in downtown Kent.

Happy spring! Enjoy Kent, inside and out!

Heather Malarcik is executive director of Main Street Kent.

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