East Somerville Gears Up for 10th Carnaval

CarnavalEast Somerville's 2018 Carnaval. Photo by Derek Kouyoumjian.

East Somerville’s 10th annual Carnaval is coming up on June 2, marking the start of SomerStreets season and offering music, performances, food, and a craft fair.

The entertainment and food at the festival will celebrate the diversity of East Somerville. Brazilian drummer Marcus Santos’s Grooversity will lead the opening parade, and three stages will feature performances from a female mariachi band, a Latin dance band, a Brazilian folk singer/songwriter, and more.

There will also be appearances from Esh Circus Arts, the Boston Hoop Troop, and El Sistema Somerville, alongside many children’s activities. At least 40 groups will be at the festival, according to East Somerville Main Streets Executive Director Jennifer Atwood.

Several local restaurants will be offering to-go food outside of their buildings, she adds.

“It’s such a great opportunity to see your friends and neighbors out, and [there’s] the general feeling that East Somerville is this great community,” Atwood says of Carnaval. “I think oftentimes East Somerville is overlooked as a neighborhood, considering there’s so much going on in Davis and Union Square. This event really tells the story, in the best way, of who we are and what makes us great, as a community.”

Carnaval is part of the Somerville Arts Council’s SomerStreets series, which closes down city streets for festivals. East Somerville Main Streets partners with the arts council to put on the festival, which runs from McGrath Highway to Pennsylvania Avenue.

Organizers are also teaming up with the Somerville Flea to bring craft vendors to the festival.

Carnaval will run from 2 to 6 p.m. on June 2, with a rain date of June 9. Last year about 6,000 people attended the festival, according to East Somerville Main Streets.

Check out photos from last year’s Carnaval below. All photos by Derek Kouyoumjian.