Capitol Square’s 20th Anniversary “Feast of the East”
Saturday, June 16, from 12 to 4 pm
“Feast” Founder Returns to Lead the Fox Festival Parade
Mass. Ave. in East Arlington will come alive during Capitol Square’s 20th Anniversary “Feast of the East,” on Saturday, June 16, from 12 to 4 pm. This year the Feast founder returns to help lead the popular Fox Festival Parade, Arlington Public Art unveils their “Chairful Where You Sit” exhibit, food trucks and tents line the streets, live music fills the air, and guests of all ages enjoy free interactive activities.
Former selectman Jack Hurd founded the festival 20 years ago to celebrate and support the burgeoning community of East Arlington. This year he returns to help lead the Fox Festival Parade along with Selectman Joe Curro.
“It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years,” Hurd said. “We wanted an event that would promote the many excellent shops and restaurants that were popping up in East Arlington, and also make it an enjoyable experience for people of all ages. It’s a testament to the vibrancy of this community that these goals are still being met with the support of local business owners, business sponsors and volunteers.”
One of the longest-running cultural events in Arlington, Feast of the East is the first of several annual community events in the Capitol Square neighborhood and was a critical factor to Arlington being designated a Cultural District by the Mass Cultural Council. “As the gateway to the Arlington Cultural District, East Arlington holds events like Feast of the East as an important way to bring people together,” says Jan Whitted, owner of Artbeat and part of the original organizing committee. “As more new families move to Arlington, the Feast serves as an introduction to the area as a unique destination among Arlington’s many neighborhoods.”
PARADE AND MUSIC
Feast of the East begins at noon when the Fox Festival and Parade, led by the New Orleans-style Second Line Social Aid and Pleasure Society Brass Band, steps-off in front of the Fox Library. The parade winds its way throughout Capitol Square and ends with a performance on the corner of Mass. Ave. and Winter Street.
Live music will feature everything from bluegrass, jazz, folk and acoustic rock to brass pop! Shukulele, a 6-member ukulele group, takes the Cleveland Street stage at 1 pm, followed by the Grüvmeiners 70s and 80s pop hits at 2 pm and Jessica Green’s jazz ensemble at 3pm. Acoustic musician Greane will play near Za at 1 pm.
FOOD FEST WITH INTERNATIONAL FLAIR
There’s something for every taste from Arlington’s favorite restaurants, newly joined this year by food trucks stationed along the Avenue. Choices include Italian, Indian, Greek, Mexican, Asian, Vegan and classic American cuisine. Arlington’s popular Punjab Indian restaurant returns, along with La Victoria Taqueria, Thai E-Sarn, Menotomy Grill, Not Your Average Joe’s, and Somerville’s Guru the Caterer.
Bartelby’s Seitan Stand will offer vegetarian-friendly sandwiches, Gogi On The Block will serve Korean Fusion food, and the authentic Perros Paisas will have hot dogs a la Colombia!
The newest member of the neighborhood, Thrive Café at 169 Mass Ave, will be passing out samples from its 100% plant based menu of salads, wraps, and smoothies. Za will be sampling its inventive pizzas, Otto will be serving gourmet pies, Olympic will serve spanikopita along with its greek-style pizza, and Anthony’s East Side Deli will have meatball sliders.
Festival goers looking for sweets and snacks will find free popcorn at Leader Bank, free toppings for ice cream at the Capitol Creamery, cookies and cupcakes at Quebrada Baking Company, and handmade cannoli cones at Sugo.
INTERACTIVE ART & ACTIVITIES
The festival abounds with things to do. Local favorite “Chairful Where You Sit” public art exhibit unveils its re-imagined chairs saved from obscurity by local designers. All chairs will be on sale for $100, with proceeds benefiting the public art fund. There will also be a Fairy Chair version of this exhibit at Artbeat, 212A Mass Ave, where miniature chairs will be on sale for $40, with the proceeds also benefiting the public art fund. A Haiku Poetry Booth with Arlington Poet Laureate Cathie Desjardins will join the festivities near Chairful.
Youth of all ages can visit the popular Kid’s Zone at Trinity Baptist Church, where there will be bounce houses and games. Free activities will be led by the Lesley Ellis and Capucine Montessori Schools. Arlington Children’s Theatre will host a costume dress up party. The Artmobile, a DIY arts truck, will be parked near Melrose St, offering slap bracelets and vintage bleach t-shirt activities.
On the Capitol block, Kids can get their faces painted and enjoy balloon animals by Clarity the Clown while they wait. Artbeat will be offering free sand painting outside, along with a sand art table for designing bottles, and sailboat sand painting in the studio.
Stores will be offering specials and sidewalk sales. The Muse’s Window at 191 Mass Ave will be celebrating its grand opening. Giveaways, raffles and spa products will be available from InBody Spa and Shayna Loffler returns with her handmade bags. The Guatemala Aid Fund will be selling handmade Guatemalan crafts to benefit abandoned children and needy families in Guatemala.
Feast of the East is brought to you by the businesses in Capitol Square, with additional support from Leader Bank, Mark Lesses Real Estate, Watertown Savings Bank, Cambridge Savings Bank, and Bowes Real Estate.
For a complete list of participants visit: www.capitolsq.com
Capitol Square is located in the heart of East Arlington, MA, near Routes 2 and 16, and less than three miles from Harvard Square. Visit unique, artsy shops and galleries and a variety of great eateries along Mass. Ave.