Street festival celebrates Allston’s diversity
Thousands drawn to event
Joan Pasquale, who has lived in Allston for 41 years, always felt the neighborhood got an undeserved bad reputation.
There is “too much focus on badly behaved college students,’’ Pasquale, the founder and executive director of Allston Village Street Fair, said yesterday at the festival.
“I wanted to create a theme that would kind of invite people to come and discover Allston, and see for themselves what an eclectic and wonderful community it is,’’ she said as a rock band played in the background.
The festival celebrated its fifth year yesterday, taking over the section of Harvard Avenue between Brighton Avenue and Cambridge Street and sprawling down Farrington Avenue as thousands of musicians, families, students, and general Allston lovers and visitors flooded the streets during the six-hour event.
There were dozens of bands and performers and more than 20 tents and tables with vendors lined the streets, representing everything from female wrestlers to
The vendors pay for their spaces, bringing in about $20,000, Pasquale said. The proceeds from the fair benefit the all-volunteer Parents and Community Build Group and the Ringer Park Partnership Group.
The festival is intended to celebrate Allston and the area’s ethnic diversity, said Pasquale. Festival goers said it did just that.
“I’ve seen pretty much every kind of person that lives in Allston here today,’’ said Violet Sarosi, a Boston University sophomore. She said she lives on Farrington Avenue, and was woken by music playing outside her window.
“There were tents outside my window, so I thought, why not,’’ Sarosi said of exploring the scene.
Patty Chavez watched as her 11-year-old daughter, Thalia Bustos, drew a microphone with chalk on a street mural that included Brazilian and Japanese flags and creative designs inside the rectangular boxes.
“She wants to be a singer,’’ Chavez said of her daughter.
For John Donofrio, 26, a Cambridge resident, the festival was an opportunity to show the artwork created by his artist cooperative, Organic Imagination.
“We’re a group of young artists trying to get exposure for our work,’’ Donofrio said, standing in front of the prints made in a variety of media, including collage, oil, and spray paint, as well as graffiti. “We figured the best way to do that was to take it to the street.’’
The festival has gone from a community event to something people travel from out of state to attend, Pasquale said, and it just keeps growing.
“Allston is like a little piece of Europe,’’ she said. “Every time you turn a corner, you see another country represented by a shop or a restaurant and that’s wonderful.’’
Taylor M. Miles can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.