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Holiday festival in Somerville's Assembly Row coming December 6

Posted by boston.com  November 15, 2013 12:14 PM

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Photo opportunities with Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available to festival attendees, compliments of Globe Santa.

Tickets for the first ever Holiday Arts & Eats Festival in Somerville’s Assembly Row went on sale this week. The three-day European style Christkindl market—which will take place December 6 through 8—will feature 25 New England food trucks, 60 Etsy artisans, performances by local choral and acapella groups, and other holiday activities.

Andrea Simpson, the director of marketing and tourism at Assembly Row, said this is the first event of its kind to hit the Boston area. She said that with Assembly Row’s opening in 2014, hosting another arts- and food-centric event will be a great way to continue to introduce people to one of Somerville’s newest neighborhoods.

“This whole year for us has been about engaging with the community as much as possible in a really fun way. This felt like—with the holidays and this type of an event over several days—a great way to end 2013 on a very positive, fun, and magical note,” Simpson said.

The festival, which is inspired by traditional European Christkindl markets, is one part food truck festival and one part arts marketplace. Simpson said it will take handcrafted holiday shopping under one giant, heated tent, bringing with it seasonal music, drinks, and a sense of community.

“In Europe, these Christmas markets dot the European landscape in all their great little towns,” Simpson said. “It really brings the community out to kick off the holiday season.”

Throughout the course of the weekend, festival goers will be able to buy and eat from 25 food trucks, including Pennypackers, The Pasta Pot, Bon Me, and Frozen Hoagies.

Saturday and Sunday will feature an array of family-friendly activities including photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, gingerbread cookie decorating, a community stage in addition to the food trucks and arts markets. There will also be “Reindeer Games,” sponsored by Sports Authority, and a full-sized replica of the 2013 Trophy won by the Red Sox made from 2500 Lego bricks, sponsored by LEGOLAND® Discover Center.

Friday night, “Arts & Eats After Dark,” will be a 21+ evening, where attendees can drink Gluhwein—a European-style hot wine—and other beverages while enjoying live music and completing their holiday shopping.

Simpson said that this event promises to be great for people of all ages. She said that the holiday season is the perfect time to create a sense of community, and that shopping with local artists is a great way to give unique gifts. She hopes that everyone takes this opportunity to get out to Assembly Row and help bring it alive this holiday season.

“When we open next year, we’re opening a new neighborhood, and a neighborhood’s soul is not built over night. Come down to have a fantastic night with friends and family, no matter the age category,” Simpson said. “Because [the festival] is unique, I’m hoping people will walk away with a feeling of fun, and that it will be a memorable experience. [We hope] they’ll want to come back next year.”

The Holiday Arts & Eats Festival in Somerville’s Assembly Row will take place Friday, December 6 through Sunday, December 8. Friday night from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. is limited to ages 21+ while Saturday and Sunday are open to everyone from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are now available online. For more information, visit Assembly Row’s website.

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