2nd Annual Mystic River Celebration Saturday

Medford resident and lifelong artist Paula Hackett painted by the river during the Mystic River Celebration last year.

This Saturday, October 20th, five musical performers will take the stage of the beautiful Condon Shell on Route 16 in Medford to literally set the tone for the 2nd annual Mystic River Celebration. This free event from 11am-4pm brings the community together to celebrate the Mystic River, the arts, and the city of Medford. Produced by the Coalition for Arts, Culture, and Healthy Economy (CACHE), the Mystic River Celebration is the highlight event of the month-long Medford on the Mystic Arts Festival, which celebrates the arts in over 25 different events throughout the city of Medford during October.

The Mystic River Celebration will feature musical performances by local musicians, the unique crafts of 16 artist vendors, delicious food from local vendors, and activities for all ages produced by local non-profit organizations and businesses.

The musical lineup begins with the reggae, funk, and Latin sounds of Los Three, made up of Alex Alvear (bass, from Quito, Ecuador), Pablo Bencid (drums/percussion, from Caracas, Venezuela) and Matt Jenson (keyboards, from Boston, MA). The lineup continues with the Happy Factory. Festival attendees who remember last year’s performers will recognize the fun, eclectic music of the Porch Party Mamas, a Boston area band made up of musicians eager to combine their individual talents and create their own brand of Urban Folk, Country and Blues. The lineup continues with the soulful music of seasoned singer-songwriter Al Peterson, who also performed at last year’s festival. Finally, the event will cap off with an unforgettable performance by Philip Hamilton, who will return to his hometown of Medford from New York to fill the Condon Shell with his stunning contemporary Jazz vocals.

Visitors to the festival will also be able to browse a selection of 16 different local artist vendors exhibiting work including: photography; fabric arts such as jackets, bags, and scarves; stained glass; a large array of unique jewelry; tile-work, woodwork, paintings, and doll clothing. Attendees can also fill up on the delicious food of Culinary Cruisers, Jannabees, Depot Square Grill, CB Scoops, Clearview Farms, and Mystic Coffee Roaster.

Participants can take part in activities offered by local non-profit organizations and businesses. A Story River public art installation will adorn the banks of the river, and participants are encouraged to add their own 6-word story or picture to the community collection and contribute to a piece of art on a massive scale. A pavement path will become a flowing river as participants use chalk to create their own river creatures that will flow through the festival site. Local artists will be located around the festival site doing Plein Air outdoor paintings, which will later be displayed and sold at a gallery exhibit at the Royall House and Slave Quarters on Saturday and Sunday, October 27 and 28th. Participants can watch artists produce their work, ask questions, and see the beautiful sites of the Mystic River from the eyes of an artist.

There is no shortage of entertainment for all ages at the Mystic River Celebration on Saturday, October 20th from 11-4pm. The Condon Shell is located at 2501 Mystic Valley Parkway. Parking is limited, so participants are encouraged to walk, ride their bike, or park at the commuter lot between Springstep and the Hyatt and take the free shuttle bus to the event. In the case of rain, the event will be held on Sunday, October 21st from 11-4pm.

The Medford on the Mystic Arts Festival is supported by a generous sponsorship from Brookline Bank, as well as the support of the Medford Arts Council, Made in Medford, Medford Health Matters, Tufts, and individual private donations. For more information about the Mystic River Celebration and other events during the Mystic River Celebration, visit www.medfordfestival.org or visit the Medford on the Mystic Arts Festival Facebook page.

– Submitted by Allison Fiske

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