Kissiar Sunflower Patch in Licking will host a season-opening event from 11 a.m. to sunset on Saturday, July 31. The community-oriented event will feature food vendors, novelties and a candlelight vigil that owners and event organizers John and Cherie Kissiar expect will light up the sunflower patch.
Visitors to the Patch can “adopt” sunflowers and place specially-designed memorial cards on them bearing notes in memory of lost loved ones. During the all-day event, donors will also receive a candle for the evening vigil (participants are asked to bring a lighter or matches to light their own candles). Photo opportunities with lit candles, memorial cards, lost loved one photos or adopted sunflowers can be purchased separately through professional photographers who will be on hand.
Kent Nichols (of Kent Nichols Signs) will be providing drone coverage of the event.
Other photo opportunities will be available with the murals and props around the main building at the Patch. New at the patch this year is a Bait Shop mural, a stained glass window and Piper the Cat peeking out near the butterflies, railroad crossing gates, addition of a bench at the sign in front of the building, a sunflower face board for pictures, hopscotch and tic-tac-toe on the sidewalk in front, a Class of 2022 emoji, and some colored sunflowers at the edge of the patch. Motorcycle parking is marked in front near the sign as well.
The Kissiars launched the nonprofit Sunflower Patch after their son, Bret, died of testicular cancer in early 2020 at the age of 29. One of Bret’s wishes was to go to Disney World, and his parents promised to take him there after he finished his chemotherapy treatments and his health returned. While that never took place, the Kissiars’ plan is to fulfill the promise by sending a local terminally ill child to Disney World in Bret’s memory. Donations and proceeds from the event will go toward the fulfillment of that goal.
“Bring your cameras and loved ones to make some memories,” Cherie said. “And please stick around to participate and enjoy the candlelight vigil to light up the sunflower patch.”
The Kissiars continue to add to their venue, and are seeking old photos of their building from the community in that effort.
Kissiar Sunflower Patch is located at 115 N. Main St. in Licking, one block north of the four-way stop. More information is available on Facebook.