Kingston Sunset Market to kick off in founder’s honor

Although the inaugural event’s lead organizer recently passed away, the other local business owners involved are prepared to take over and kick off the Kingston Sunset Market in her honor.

Similar to Bainbridge Island’s Moonlight Market, the Kingston Sunset Market will be held the first Saturday of every month, starting in May, from 5-8 p.m., through October. It will be held outside of Thistle Floral & Home, Ono Poke Too and Sweet Life Cakery, taking over Cleo’s Landing corner. The event will feature local artisans and vendors selling their creations along with a lineup of local live music.

The vision of the market began with Shannon Castillo, local florist and owner of Thistle Floral & Home in downtown Kingston, who recently died in a car accident. With her unexpected passing, local business owners Megan Foley and Cathy Johnson have stepped up to run the market. Foley owns PNW Seaglass Jewelry & Gifts, and Johnson owns Dreambird Candles. They both work from home.

“This was her baby, this was her brainchild,” Foley said of Castillo’s idea for the market. “She had her hands in literally everything. She was an amazing person. Cathy and I are forever grateful to her for the opportunity she gave us to be able to carry on what she wanted for this market.

“We are both 110% sure that she would want us to continue with this,” Foley went on to say. “She really wanted the community to be together. This is her vision, this is her dream, and this is how we’re going to honor her.”

The first Kingston Sunset Market is scheduled for May 6. Vendors will fill the parking lot and surrounding areas and a gazebo will be used for the music. For the first market, there will be about 12 vendors, and three music performers.

Johnson said Kingston hasn’t really had a night market like this before and hopes it will help small businesses and bring vibrancy to downtown. Some nearby businesses will be extending their hours on market evenings.

“We’re trying to stimulate the economy and bring more people out to the businesses,” Johnson said. “We, as vendors and crafters, know how much talent there is just within Kitsap County, and we are trying to show that to the community.”

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