Summer’s going to be a lot different in downtown Kent this year with no Cornucopia Days street fair filling the streets and a postponed Farmers Market.
The Kent Lions Club, which puts on both events, announced last month the cancellation of the annual Cornucopia Days festival in July and a delay until at least July for the opening of the annual Farmers Market. Both decisions were made because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We strive to provide a fun family event each summer but find to accomplish this while maintaining social distancing would be impossible,” the Lions Club posted on its website about Cornucopia Days.
The club thanked all of the people who worked to put on the street fair and the sponsors that continue to show their support.
“Our theme this year was ‘2020: Your Vision is our Future,’ and when we chose our theme, we never could have guessed we would be dealing with a pandemic of this magnitude,” according to the club’s statement. “With that said, the Kent Lions Club looks forward to Kent Cornucopia Days in 2021.”
The 48th annual festival ran July 12-14 last year. The event draws thousands of people. Numerous downtown streets are closed for the street fair that features more than 300 vendors from across the region, everything from handmade jewelry to homemade sauces. Food courts, a beer garden and entertainment stages are part of the street fair.
The Farmers Market had been scheduled to open Saturday, June 6 at Town Square Plaza, at the corner of Second Avenue South and West Smith Street.
“With much consideration we have made the difficult decision to postpone the opening of Kent Farmers Market,” according to the Lions Club post on Facebook. “We will not be open for the month of June and will assess the status of COVID-19 as we approach July. We do not have a set date for reopening at this time, but will be sure to update you here once we do. We are sad we will not be able to see you (in June), but we take the health and safety of our vendors, guests and community seriously.”
If the market opens in July, it is scheduled to run each Saturday through Sept. 26.
In neighboring cities, farmers markets have opened with social distancing guidelines as the state early on in the governor’s stay home order declared farmers markets as essential businesses.
Federal Way opened its summer market May 30 at The Commons parking lot with social distancing and masks required. The Auburn Farmers Market will open on June 6 at Les Gove Park. The Renton Farmers Market opens June 2 at Gateway Park. The Burien Farmers Market is on Thursdays and opened in May at Burien Town Square Park.