Summer is a good time to discover (or rediscover) the rich arts and culture of Greater Boston neighborhoods. Why? We'll give you one word -- festivals!
Artbeat 2012 Every July, thousands descend on Somerville's Davis Square to celebrate local arts, music, dance, and creativity. This year's theme is migration. See how artists interpret that, and get in on the action yourself at a Migratory Movements Parade and interactive mapping activities. Two stages of music, craft vendors, local restaurants, and performers including Contrapose Dance, Mariachi Estampa De America, Big Digits, and Len Solomon make for a festive, artsy couple of days. Artbeat July 20, 6-11 p.m. July 21, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Davis Square, Somerville. www.somervilleartscouncil.org
Festival Betances Does climbing a greasy pole on a sweltering July day sound like your idea of fun? We'll settle for watching others attempt the slippery feat at Villa Victoria's annual celebration of Latino arts and culture. (See video above.) In addition to the annual grease pole competition, this year's edition features a tribute to Frankie Ruiz with salsa star Mel Martinez, the Puerto Rican Grupo Borinquen in music from the Bolero tradition, and vocalist Osvaldo Roman. All this and dance groups, yummy cuisine, and traditional handcrafts, too. Festival Betances July 20, 6-9 p.m. July 21, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. July 22, 1-8 p.m. Free. Plaza Betances, 100 W. Dedham St., Boston. 617-927-1707, www.iba-etc.org
Kermesse 2012 Metch and nazook are among the Armenian delicacies you can try when the Armenian-American community celebrates its rich cuisine and culture. Performers include Arman Hovanisyan, the Arev Armenian Folk Ensemble, and the Karen Kocharyan Quartet featuring Jerry Bergonzi.July 20, 6-11 p.m. July 21, noon-11 p.m. July 22, noon-7 p.m. Exhibits, vendors, kid entertainment free. Entertainment $10-$55. Armenian Cultural and Educational Center, 47 Nichols Ave., Watertown. www.boston-kermesse.org
Stephanie Callahan is a native Bostonian who loves cooking, traveling, spa treatments, and being on the ocean.
Milva DiDomizio is a New England native who's fond of cooking, singing, and Boston's arts and culture scene.
Swati G. Sharma is a Somerville resident and is a fan of city living, exploring Bostons nightlife, and dancing.
Emily Sweeney is a Boston native who goes out all over, from Irish pubs in Southie to the roller rink in Dorchester.