By Francisco White
The 3rd Annual Carnaval@SomerStreets and FossFest celebration, held on Sunday, June 3, was the first of five SomerStreets events for this year. SomerStreets takes place one Sunday each month from June through October. Programming is provided by the City of Somerville, FossFest, East Somerville Main Streets, The Somerville Arts Council, and other collaborators in the community.
According to the FossFest website, “Each month the city transforms different Somerville neighborhoods into celebrations of active living, community pride, and live entertainment.” Broadway, between Temple Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, was partially closed to traffic to allow pedestrian access to the many vendors, information tents, and entertainment options.
Despite rain, wind, and a slight chill in the air, there was a steady flow of attendees to enjoy the festivities. The FossFest stage, in front of Saxon Foss Park, featured the Mike Hastings Band, The Grownup Noise, Tumbleweed Company, and The Lights Out. Children had many entertainment options as well, including participation in the Vegetable Circus’ lively performance on the Louie’s Stage or playing games with Somerville Recreation staff. International clown accordionist and unicyclist, Davey the Clown, could not be missed. There was even the opportunity to observe a Brazilian jiu-jitsu demonstration by the Wild Buffalo Team.
In an obvious commitment to diversity and appreciation of multiculturalism, there were performances by Casa El Salvador and SOS Step Team on the Main Streets Stage, in addition to traditional Thai and Nepali musical offerings on the Temple Street Stage.
Vendors included numerous local craftsmen and artists. Mudflat Pottery School and Studio opened it doors and sold some of its best earthenware on outdoor tables. Attendees were allowed to sign their names on an actual car, with neon ink, at the Zipcar tent and could purchase local organic produce from Enterprise Farm.
With something for everyone, the event lasted from noon until 4 p.m., through the less than ideal weather conditions, highlighting the charm of East Somerville and Winter Hill. In a recent press release, Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone said, “SomerStreets events have become some of the most anticipated regional events, drawing an average of 6,000 people each month, and Carnaval @ SomerStreets has proven one of the largest and most popular events to kick off the summer for the last several years.”
The next event in the SomerStreets series will be Seize the Summer – Sunday, July 29, on Highland Avenue, from the Walnut St. to Cedar St. For more information about SomerStreets, visit www.somervillema.gov.
~Photos by Karenga Ocean