Kindness takes center stage at Snohomish fair Aug. 18
SNOHOMISH — For a mom who had “never done anything bigger than a birthday party,” creating a festival was a colossal effort, but worth it for a day “where kindness gets thrown around like confetti.”
The day is Aug.18; the destination, Kind Fest.
This is the second annual event that celebrates simple, if not random, acts of kindness. Indeed, inventor Angie Louthan is evolving the practice of kindness by having the community gather together to share it.
The day promises art installations, music, lectures, activities, and a few surprises.
Last year’s unofficial features included a little boy handing out bracelets and University of Washington Choose Love club members offering hugs and clothespins with positive inscriptions on them. Portland’s Joy Team appeared too, to “chalk the walk” with uplifting messages.
Along with impromptu acts of kindness, Louthan has scheduled a unique lineup. It includes yoga lessons, kindness story time by Sno-Isle Libraries, and a presentation on “The Grandpa Project,” helping build loving relationships between men and their grandchildren.
Louthan’s inspiration came from a multitude of sources. She’s an artist with a social work background who spent her daughters’ first years at home before teaching preschool.
Illness and conflict inspired her too. Sitting through board meetings at work, she reflected there had to be a kinder way for participants to communicate.
It was during a bout of adrenal fatigue that Louthan was struck by the frequent, touching acts of kindness by friends and strangers. She recalled when she was too sick to work or take care of her children, one stranger donated a high-dollar bonus check to her.
Those experiences, an entrepreneurial streak, and a round of counselling that taught her to treat herself with kindness were the genesis of Kind Fest.
Fortunately, her work inspired others, who signed on to help organize the event, which drew about 1,000 participants last year, Louthan estimated.
One volunteer, Kim Gunnerson, found herself stronger for allowing others to be kind to her while dealing with lupus, a kindness she extended to Louthan, coordinating all the booths for the event.
“I am glad to be involved with an event that allows people to celebrate kindness especially in the shadow of our present political climate. It allows me to spend time with people and recognize that kindness by far outweighs the negative,” she said.
Kind Fest is Aug. 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Willis Tucker Park, 6705 Puget Park Drive in Snohomish. Admission is free, suggested donation is $5 per person, $20 per family. Visit www.thekindfest.com for more information.
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