Cambridge Arts River Festival 6/1
Announcing The Full Lineup: Mermaid Promenade, Climate Action Extravaganza, Music, Dance, Theater, Sculpture Race
Central Square Cultural District along Massachusetts Avenue from Prospect Street to Sidney Street and beyond.
The Cambridge Arts River Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary by bringing the river to the Central Square Cultural District on Saturday, June 1, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The festival will fill the neighborhood with four stages of music plus dance, theater, immersive art experiences, and vendors selling crafts, international foods and craft brews. Admission is free.
This year’s festival features the debut of the Mermaid Promenade. Marching bands and giant puppets will dance down Massachusetts Avenue at 4 p.m. All are invited to join in the parade. Just show up in your favorite marine-themed costume and be part of the festivities. (18,000 people have already registered their interest in the parade on Facebook.)
At the Climate Action Extravaganza, try the electric car ride and drive sponsored by Reach Strategies and Eversource, build solar panels, ride e-bikes, and make a protest t-shirt with Wee the People. Elsewhere in the festival, paint a mural with Liz LaManche about how women small-scale farmers are on the frontlines against hunger and climate change. Hear poetry about our warming world at the Poetry Tent. Cambridge Arts is moving the festival toward being a zero-waste event. This year half the festival stages will be solar-powered and we’re eliminating plastic water bottles and offering compost bins.
The festival day kicks off with the madcap People’s Sculpture Race at 11 a.m. Then multiple stages come alive with music, dance and theater from noon to 6 p.m. Laszlo Gardony brings his piano jazz to the Jazz, R&B, & World Music Stage. On the Folk & Roots Stage, hear Billy Wylder’s foot-stomping roots rock and Alisa Amador’s groovy blend of rock, jazz and alternative folk. Paper Citizen offers indie pop and Adam and the Flood raps over stark rock on the Rock, Indie and Alternative Stage. The Youth Stage presents singing, dance, musical theater, improv comedy and a drumline.
Festival visitors can paint a city snow plow truck; watch poems being printed by a 2-ton steamroller; and go on a tour of murals around Central Square.
Food (barbecue, Indian, Jamaican, Mediterranean, Thai, among others), arts and crafts will be available for sale. Then relax at one of the festival’s Beer Gardens with a cool drink from local breweries.