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News :: Politics
26th Annual Wake up the Earth Festival Heralds Spring!
01 May 2004

        There could not have been a more perfect day for Spontaneous Celebrations’ “Wake Up the Earth Festival” in Jamaica Plain. For 26 years this gathering has brought together the diverse communities of Jamaica Plain and Roxbury. This year’s attendance surpassed last years by far. Eighty degree weather brought thousands out to partake in the entertainment, food, and timely information from non-profit and community organizations.

costumes.jpg

        The traditional parade followed a new route this year, starting at Jackson Square T Station at Centre and Columbus and winding down Lamartine Street to the festival grounds in front of the Stonybrook stop. It is inspiring to note that this location, the Southwest Corridor Park, would have been the site of a super-highway if it were not for the efforts of activists in these neighborhoods back in the 60’s and 70’s. Several groups sported colorful costumes, stilts, pom-poms, giant puppets, and/or souped up bicycles to make the march. Mariachi’s and a steel band provided the cadence.
mariachi.jpg

        Upon arriving at the festival site the entertainers and revelers dispersed into an already bustling crowd and headed towards either of two sound stages, a mini-circus, several children’s games and activities, rows of food vendors and artists’ displays or the phalanx of info booths.

        Walking through the festival was like a year of walking through JP compressed, everyone from JP seemed to be there. Most of my own time was spent cruising the many info booths and talking up the IMC, but I also listened to what each had to say. Here are a few of the projects and groups I heard about:

        The Center for Green Chemistry This program at the University of Massachusetts at Boston (and soon to be at the Lowell campus) offers the only Green Chemistry degree in the country!

        Jamaica Plain Action Network An anti-war group that came together after 9-11 and meets first and third Monday night 7:00-8:30 at Spontaneous Celebrations. (contact # 617-524-0224

        The Freedom to Marry Coalition of Massachusetts A group that engages in grassroots education, advocacy, and lobbying in support of civil marriage rights for same-sex couples. (And has a great website!)

        The Lucy Parsons Center A non-sectarian radical bookstore and organizing space in the South End (Near Mass Ave on the Orange line!)

        Here are a few more photos of the parade...

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puppets.jpg

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Comments

americanboy
17 Jun 2006
Cool!.. Nice work...
slaider
18 Jun 2006
Cool!.. Nice work...
zaxduy
19 Jun 2006
Pretty nice site, wants to see much more on it! :)