The B-Side

It’s almost food festival season 🍕

Plus: 💰 A $20 minimum wage?

The B-Side
Welcome to The B-Side, the daily dose of news you actually want to hear. Katie Cole

Happy Wednesday, Boston.

🎉 Also, happy Ides of March (except for you, Caesar.) 

👀 What’s on tap today:

  • A snow boom and bust
  • Ta-ta, Jakobi Meyers
  • The best St. Paddy’s Day decor

Up first…


It’s almost festival season

Illustration: Katie Cole

It may not feel like it, but food festival season is right around the corner. So if you need to get your mind off the weather, add one or two of these five upcoming festivals to your calendar:

🥘 Bowl of ‘Zole Pozole Mexican Food Festival, April 12. If you haven’t tried it, pozole is a traditional Mexican stew, and this event brings together chefs and mezcal producers to celebrate the comforting dish and Mexican cuisine as a whole. For $55 you’ll be able to sample 10 versions of pozole and over 100 types of mezcal, tequila, and more. And there will be plenty of chef talks, tastings, and workshops. You can purchase early bird tickets here


🍺 Mass. Craft Brewers Festival, April 29. This festival is your chance to sample beer from more than 40 Massachusetts craft breweries all under one roof. Tickets are $55 ($10 if you’re DD!), and proceeds will go toward the Mass. Brewers Guild, which supports the interests of craft brewers in the Commonwealth. Plus, there will be food. You can see the full list of participating breweries here

🚚 Greenway Food Truck festival, May 6. From dumplings to ice cream cookie sandwiches to po’boys, this food festival is really an all-in-one event as it also coincides with the opening day of the Greenway Artisan Market. Food truck favs like Cookie Monstah, The Dining Car, Revelry, and Papi’s Stuffed Sopapillas will be making an appearance. The full truck list should be released soon. 

🍕 Boston Pizza Festival, June 24 and 25. Pizza lovers, unite! The two-day festival at City Hall Plaza will feature over 60 local vendors selling all kinds of slices, from the classics, to gluten-free, to Detroit-style. Plus, admission this year will be free, and vendors will be selling slices. And yes, beer, wine, and gelato will be there, too. 

🍗 Boston JerkFest, July 7 and 8. Rated as Boston’s best food festival by Boston magazine, this two-day Caribbean foodie event features more than a dozen vendors selling jerk hot spiced food, Caribbean specialty products, live music, a jerk cook-off, and more. Plus, if you go to the first day of the event, you’ll get unlimited tastings of rum, craft beer, and other Caribbean-themed drinks. You can purchase tickets here.


Quick & dirty headlines


Image: Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff. Worcester.

❄️ Was this storm a boom or bust? It depends. If you’re in central and western Mass., especially in higher elevations, this was a shellacking. Some communities saw over two feet of heavy, wet snow (Rowe reported 32 inches!). Plus, more than 70,000 Mass. customers were without power Tuesday afternoon. But those of us in the Greater Boston area who have been craving just one good snowstorm were gravely disappointed, as we only got a few inches (but mostly heavy rain).

💵 New poll shows support for raising minimum wage to $20. Fifty-nine percent of Mass. voters said they would support raising the state’s minimum wage from $15 to $20 an hour (and it literally just went up to $15 two-ish months ago, making it the fourth-highest in the nation). But given the state of inflation, these results aren’t too surprising as it takes nearly $18 as of November 2022 to buy what $15 bought in June 2018. Some state lawmakers have now filed bills that would raise the minimum wage by $1.25 per hour a year until it reaches $20 in 2027. 

🤔 Have an idea of how to improve Somerville? If you’re over 12 and a resident, it’s your time to shine. Somerville Mayor Katjana Ballantyne announced the city’s first-ever Participatory Budgeting process, giving community members a direct say in how $1 million of City funds will be allocated. All ideas are eligible as long as they serve a public benefit, cost less than $1 million, are a one-time expense, and are located on city property. Residents will be able to submit their ideas online, by phone, or in person March 20 through May 20. 


🏈 Jakobi Meyers is leaving the Pats. The Patriots’ leading wide receiver is heading west to the Las Vegas Raiders after agreeing to a three-year deal worth up to $33 million with $21 million fully guaranteed (for that money I would, too). And his departure will be a reunion of sorts, as he’ll be joining former Patriot QB Jimmy Garoppolo, who is also expected to sign with the Raiders, and Raiders coach Josh McDaniels, the Pats’ former offensive coordinator. Meyers has been the Pats’ leading receiver for three years running, so it’s definitely a blow.


St. Paddy’s Day on steroids

Image courtesy of Chris Hugenberger

Some people decorate for Christmas, some for Halloween, and some pull out all the stops for… St. Patrick’s Day?

Roslindale homeowners Chris and Daisy Hugenberger go hard for all three holidays. Their impressive St. Paddy’s display has a giant inflatable T-Rex in a leprechaun hat holding a beer stein. And while this isn’t their first St. Patrick’s Day display, it’s the first time they’ve added music to the mix. Chris synched a multi-colored light display to the Dropkick Murphys song “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” because of course. 

If you want to catch a glimpse of their display in person, the Hugenbergers said they’ll probably keep up their decor for a few days after the holiday.

☘️ Thanks for reading! Hear me out: A St. Paddy’s Day collab between the Hugenbergers and Gillette’s “Magic of Lights.” 


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