With Sumner Downtown Association Executive Director Kevin Caviezel settling into his new role, organizers of the annual Rhubarb Days and Arts and Crafts festivals decided to retool the format of both events this year.
This year’s Rhubarb Days, which runs this weekend, is a little different than in years past, and has taken on a new format where businesses are taking the lead of the community event.
“Every event (at Rhubarb Days) is sponsored by a business,” said Kim Straight, one of the Sumner Downtown Association’s board members. “Companies are really taking ownership of the events.”
The association decided to combine the Arts and Crafts festival with Rhubarb Days this year to make one large community and family-oriented event.
Organizers are expecting Rhubarb Days to bring more than 7,000 visitors and residents out to the streets of downtown Sumner.
“I would really like to see our community of Sumner come out,” Straight said. “(So) residents and travelers can see what we can do together.”
“Sumner is a small town that is still thriving,” Caviezel added.
Rhubarb Days will include entertainment, a kids area and plenty of food vendors.
Options include rhubarb pies, hamburgers, Fisher Scones, Urban Timber coffee, ice cream and snow cones, Caviezel said.
“It’s a good variety of stuff,” he added.
The Sumner High School marching band kicks off the event at 10 a.m. Saturday (July 18), and the day features events until 6 p.m, when Elvis impersonator Danny Vernon keeps the party going until the evening. Sunday’s festivities run from 10 a.m. to noon.
“We really want people who have never been here to fall in love with Sumner,” Straight said.
The event also marks Caviezel’s first major event as executive director.
“I’m looking forward to seeing everybody and meeting vendors,” he said.
Board members say the event is not only family friendly, but pet friendly as well.
“Sumner has a great history, the Arts and Crafts festival has a great history,” Straight said. “It’s an exciting event that is a lot of fun.”
“The quaintness and history of Sumner is something everyone should experience,” Caviezel said.