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Best block party ever

According to the Mass Cultural Council, a cultural district is defined as: “a compact, walkable area of a community with a concentration of cultural facilities, activities, and assets.” Central Square’s got that part down year-round,

but on Saturday, May 18th, it will become even more highly concentrated with culture—interactive street art, food, science, technology, music, dance, and ideas—for the 2013 Central Square World’s Fair.

For the exclusive announcement of who is playing the World’s Fair, click here.


Presented in part by the Central Square Business Association, and overlapping with the Together Festival and Cambridge Open Studios,

the World’s Fair is like a giant block party—if all your neighbors were artists, DJs, chefs, and scientists.

“It’s this incredible synchronicity of all this great art event karma,” says Robin Lapidus, Executive Director of the Central Square Business Association. “And being the same weekend as the Together Festival gives us a great cultural distinction in what’s new and exciting and authentic.”

It’s a celebration of Central Square’s recent designation as a cultural district, mashed with music, art, and technology from the Together Festival (whose headquarters you can visit at 328 Mass. Ave.), and artistic inspiration from Cambridge Open Studios, featuring 75-plus open artists studios and 20-plus gallery spaces.

There’s a lot to harness at a world’s fair, so here’s the lowdown on where to eat, drink, dance, and create during the day-long blowout showcasing the best of Cambridge’s culture. 


Local restaurant vendors and food trucks will be providing dancing and art-making fuel. Look out for Mei Mei Street Kitchen and Cambridge-based Clover and Area Four food trucks, as well as Thelonious Monkfish, All Asia, Dosa Factory, and Moksa, who will be bringing the international flavors.

To quench your thirst, step into The Middle East & Zuzu Beer Oasis and Grill, presented by Heineken. Located right near the main stage, this beer garden promises Middle East favorites like spinach pie, chicken kebabs, and lamb skewers, says Lapidus.


“Pretty much everything we have is for kids and adults,” says Lapidus. “Everything will be equally entertaining to both.”

So don’t be afraid to jump into the Together Kids’ Inspiration Garden, where you (and your youngin’) can paint old keys and string them together to make a wind chime. Urban Canvas, a group of “street art chalk rebels” will also be on hand to create chalk murals, and maybe even a game hopscotch, if you ask nicely.

On the science side, Cambridge-based Science Club for Girls will be presenting their projects, plus more workshops and installations from the likes of Sept/May, a community interdisciplinary event planning group from the MIT School of Architecture + Planning.

For a peek into Cambridge artists’ workshops, hop on a trolley that will transport you to more than 75 studios, as part of the Cambridge Open Studios, presented by the Cambridge Arts Council. The East/Central Cambridge studios and galleries will be open May 18-19 and feature everything from backyard installations to a community mural and outdoor gallery at the Community Art Center, on the corner of Mass. Ave. and Albany Street.

Mural by Caleb Neelon



Central Square’s earned a reputation for the best dance party this side of Somerville, with the annual City of Cambridge Dance Party that takes place in front of City Hall every June. They wanted to incorporate that spirit into the fair, Lapidus says, so they came up with the idea of a community dance stage, the Soul Train Runway. Anyone can sign up, from Little League teams to local nonprofits, and they will be collecting donations for the One Fund Boston and the Sean A. Collier Memorial Fund.

And trust Together to get the music side covered. Says Together Festival Creative Director David Day: “Music includes the funky sound of Soulelujah’s Claude Money and Best of Boston DJ Leah V in addition to an eclectic line-up of live bands, a broad array of mixes coming from the AeroShot Energy DJ stage.”


SAT 5.18.13








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