Spring descended on Jamaica Plain this past weekend with the annual Wake Up the Earth Festival presented by Spontaneous Celebrations. This was the 35th annual festival, an event that grew out of the “highway revolt” of the 1960s & 70s when local activists opposed the construction of highway infrastructure in Jamaica Plain & Roxbury, leading to the creation of the Southwest Corridor as a system of train lines, bike paths, and parks that we enjoy today. Ironically, some people who want to create new prioritized highway infrastructure for cars marched in this year’s parade which I guess shows that this festival takes all kinds. The festival itself was home to many tents of activists of many causes, food, games, and musical performances. My family and I sang a few songs with the intergenerational chorus SingPositive, JP in preparation for our concert on May 19th. We also danced to Maaak Pelletier’s jam band the Mystical Misfits as they played Grateful Dead classics. Finally, the potato sack slide down the hillside was great fun for everyone.
A peace sign and yin yang grow out of the hillside at Jamaica Pond’s Sugar Bowl.
Peace and flowers!
The Brendan Behan quote seems appropriate to the occassion.
Spanish banner for the festival.
Here comes the parade.
The stilt walkers always impress.
I’m pretty sure this woman participates every year.
The theme of the year is snakes and these folks won the Best Family Costume award.
Hula hooping is another big highlight of the festival.
Mobile percussion unit.
The wolf and the lamb dance in the street.
A rocking marching band and dancing stilt walker.
Scholars from my son’s school march.
The Mystical Misfits lead the dance.
More photos from the parade and festival on Universal Hub and JP Patch.
My son and I journeyed to the Ecotarium for Free Fun Fridays. The Ecotarium is a science museum surrounded by outdoor compound including nature trails, animal exhibits, a playground, and even a train ride. We had a great time with the only downside being that my parochial Bostonian view found the drive to Worcester a bit too long.
Walking on air.
A fox named Sox.
Turkeys on the prowl.
A photo collage of sites in Boston’s South End.
Learn more about these sites on the South End Walking Tour presented by Boston By Foot, this Sunday August 26th at 2pm.
Buy advance tickets for the tour online and meet us across from Back Bay Station on Dartmouth Street.
There’s no place like home for the holidays, and Boston is our holiday home. With a week off from work and school, my wife Susan, son Peter, and baby Kay sought and found many adventures including: The Museum of Science, Boston Common, The Children’s Museum, The New England Aquarium, The Christmas Revels, The Larz Anderson Auto Museum and Park, and Edaville USA. Thanks to the Boston Public Library for providing the museum passes that allowed free entrance to the Museum of Science, Aquarium, and Auto Museum.
Some of my favorite photos are below. If you want to see more, check out my online photo slideshow.
San T. Rex is coming to town.
Leatherback Turtle surfaces for a snack in the giant ocean tank.
Anderson Auto Museum license plate collection.
The Edaville Railroad's steam engine
Big fun on the big wheel
Today I enjoyed another special Boston By Foot tour focusing on Boston Common and the Public Garden. Our guide taught us a lot about the history of these two great public places, their features, and many works of public art. It was a wet day, maybe not the best time to enjoy the parks, but on the plus side I got to take lots of pictures without people getting in the way.
Jamaica Plain continued welcoming in the spring with Lilac Sunday at the Arnold Arboretum. We took some time to pedal our bikes and sniff the petals. Here are a few photos.
My son and I attended Woolapalooza today, Drumlin Farm’s celebration of all things pertaining to sheep. We saw one man working hard with the shears to remove the wool of many sheep quickly and skillfully. It was surprise that there wasn’t a team of people using electric shearing tools, but he got the job done (although we did see one sheep in the meadow with a big boo-boo from the shears). We were also impressed by the sheepdog demonstrations as a border collie expertly herded a small flock around the pasture. This made an impression since we recently watched Babe. The only pig at the farm was a large, pregnant sow named Hattie sleeping in the pig shed. There were many pregnant ewes as well as new-born lambs and kids. It was a fun day and made for some good photographs.