Kirkland SummerFest -- New arts and music festival comes to Kirkland in early August

Local civic and business leaders are organizing a new arts and music festival to take place in downtown Kirkland this August. Kirkland SummerFest will be held Friday and Saturday, August 10 and 11, 2012. There will be live bands, a performance of the Shakespeare play “The Winter’s Tale,” gourmet food trucks, art displays, vendor booths, a beer and wine garden, and a variety of children’s activities including a display of different trucks that kids can see and touch. Street performers will also entertain throughout the downtown area.

Marina Park, the parking lot at Lake Street and Central Way, Park Lane, and Main Street are the primary areas where events will take place. There is no admission charge. Sponsorships and revenues from product sales will help generate proceeds to benefit the Lake Washington Schools Foundation.

Most of the local car dealers have teamed together financially to be title sponsors of the event. Other general and event-specific sponsors are currently be recruited. The City of Kirkland has also offered financial support.

Three music stages will be set up with dozens of bands and entertainers now being booked to perform.

The Seattle Shakespeare Company will perform “The Winter’s Tale” on Friday night.

The parking lot at Lake and Central and a portion of Marina Park will host more than a dozen gourmet food trucks. The food truck craze has captured the attention of festival-goers in the Puget Sound region so the cuisine is expected to be a popular draw.

Artist sculptures and other displays will be set up in Marina Park. In addition, plein aire artists will be working at their craft throughout the park.

Several inflatable-style games will be set up for children as well as a truck with video games. Storytelling and crafts will be offered. And the popular Touch-A-Truck will feature a fire ladder truck, a dump truck, a tow truck, and a garbage truck for kids to view up close.

More than two dozen local civic and business leaders began planning last year. Their intentions are to build a tradition of summer celebration in Kirkland’s downtown and create lasting partnerships that help benefit the community economically. The plans are loosely modeled after similar celebrations in other cities throughout the country. Upwards of 10,000 people are anticipated to attend the two-day event. Besides the volunteer planning committee, students at Lake Washington Institute of Technology contributed artwork used for the event logo and promotional materials.

Hundreds of volunteers will be needed to make the event successful. The Kirkland SummerFest committee encourages volunteers to contact the committee at info@kirklandsummerfest.com if interested in assisting.

Sponsors and vendors interested in participating can also contact the committee. A sponsorship pamphlet has been created to offer details.

More information can be found at www.kirklandsummerfest.com.