Fashion meets farm at Princess St. Promenade

This year’s fall Princess St. Promenade brought attention to the diversity of downtown Kingston’s local restaurants, stores and community organizations.

By blocking off the main strip on Princess, over 25 Kingston businesses set up booths, tents or both in order to show residents what services they had to offer.

These businesses ranged from David’s Tea to Wallack’s Art Store to Minotaur’s Games and Gifts. Each one provided something unique to the customers walking by — David’s Tea handed out tea samples while Wallack’s chose a different route and provided audiences with instructive lessons on the art of printmaking.

Izzy Garrison, an event volunteer for the area on the street that allowed for farm animal viewing, said that the festival had a welcoming atmosphere.

“I like the people, because they keep coming up to me and asking me questions, and are just so happy to see all of the animals,” she said. “I’d definitely come here again — I like the atmosphere and I don’t think I’ve seen a frowning face here yet.”

The event provided entertainment for a variety of viewers, some of which included the farm animal viewing, skateboarders executing tricks for people to watch, bouncy castles for children and a few buskers including artist Jonas Lewis-Anthony.

The promenade began in 2010 and occurs every summer in August, as well as in the fall. This year, in an effort to help make a difference, the festival included the “Cancer Sword” booth, a local organization set up to raise awareness and money for cancer research.

Kevin Merritt, a graphic designer, illustrator and artist working for Wallack’s art store, said the festival is a good way for businesses to connect with the community and potential consumers on a more intimate level.

“It’s a great way for us, as a store, to interact with the community and show Kingston what our store has to offer,” he said. “Retail stores in [downtown] Kingston are very independent and being able to act independently and creatively will definitely help us engage with our community.”

The Princess St. Promenade provides an opportunity for the businesses in Kingston to give back, Merritt said.

“We’re demonstrating to people how to do things that we would normally do in our store, such as this print illustrating, but it’s easier here,” Merritt said. “It’s our way of giving back to the community.”

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