Ignite! Festival Returns to Union Square

Ignite!The Asociación Carnavalesca de Massachusetts. Photo courtesy of the Somerville Arts Council.

The annual Ignite! Festival will return to Union Square on Saturday for a night of food, cultural exchange, performances, and fire.

Designed to “showcase the incredibly delicious and diverse food landscape of Union Square”—according to Rachel Strutt, cultural director for the Somerville Arts Council—the festival weaves together dishes from the fabric of the city. There will be Bolivian quinoa dishes, Ethiopian stews, Brazilian fruit salad, Bangladeshi snacks, and more to represent the home countries of many Somervillians. Cooking demos will show attendees how to make Peruvian ceviche and Mexican blue corn tortillas.


Nibble entrepreneur Sandra Suarez, who hails from Bolivia, will be vending quinoa dishes at the festival. Photo courtesy of the Somerville Arts Council.

Performances will add to the effect as well: there will be traditional Mexican dances from the Xuchipili Folkloric Ballet, a performance from the Asociación Carnavalesca de Massachusetts, and Brazilian folk dance.

A fire performance from the Boston Circus Guild will transition the festival into a dance party featuring DJ Flack.

“We’re calling it a ‘Global Beatz’ dance party,” Strutt says. “[DJ Flack] does beat research, so he’s really good at matching different beats, so we’ve asked him to match different beats from music from all over the world.”

The Ignite! Festival will run in the Union Square Plaza from 6 to 10:30 on Aug. 11, with a rain date of Aug. 12. There is a suggested $2 donation, and people can bring canned food for a food drive for the Somerville Homeless Coalition.

For a full schedule of events, visit the arts council website.