Author Archives: unionsquaremain

2015 Union Square Holiday Stroll

Join your neighbors, family and friends for an afternoon of holiday cheer to enjoy music, food, holiday decorations, and special treats while also doing holiday shopping and/or buying your tree.  Participating business to date include:  Ricky’s Flower Market, Loyal Supply, Workbar Union, Cove, Brass Union, El Potro, East Boston Savings Bank, PAs Lounge, Taza Chocolate, The Independent, Beadkreative, Gracie’s Ice Cream, Thunder Road, Union Pop Up Holiday Market and more to come

  • WHEN: Sunday, December 13, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • WHERE: Union Square
  • WHAT: A map with participating businesses and their special offerings will be provided
  • PRICE: FREE, open to the public

Stay tuned for more exciting details…

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Help Paint the New Union Square Kitchen Incubator!

Union Kitchen is Somerville’s one and only culinary business incubator and will serve as the home to Nibble classes, Pop-up events, and much of the culinary programming to support local culinary entrepreneurs.

You can lend a hand making the outdoor space of Nibble’s new home a more beautiful and inviting space to be enjoyed by all. Come out and volunteer alongside the culinary entrepreneurs currently at Union Kitchen helping to strengthen our local culinary economy. Volunteers are needed to paint the front entrance of Union Kitchen to make it more visually appealing. If there are enough volunteers,it will be possible to scale up and paint the entire building in one day.

If you have any questions about volunteering, don’t hesitate to reach out to Nick Schonberger, Culinary Coordinator at If you are able to attend, please provide your name and a time slot that you plan on painting.

When: Sunday Nov. 15th 10am-5pm Where: 121 Washington St.

Nibble is the food programming arm of the Somerville Arts Council that celebrates the existing cultural assets of Union Square: food, diversity, and a vibrant arts community.

Fluff Festival Cooking Contest Winners

Here is the information you have all been waiting for from this year’s Fluff Festival, the winners of the Cooking Contest. They are:

  • Grand Prize Best Overall: Briana Appel for Cluster Fluffs
  • Best Youth Entry: Rachel Hendrickson for Chocolatey Fluffer-Nutter Noodle Pudding
  • Best Original: Holiday Inn Somerville for Guiness Stout Chocolate Pie
  • Best Traditional: Michele Kosciak for Salted “Never Fail Fudge” Delights
  • Most Creative: Ezra Juskewitch and Cat Folet for Pumpkin and Sriracha Fluffenadas withTomato Fluff Chutney

Union Square Planning Continues – Important Information about Upcoming Meetings

See below (thanks to Erik Neu for the information) to learn about the schedule and topics that the Union Square Citizens Advisory Committee will be discussing in the coming months.

The Union Square Civic Advisory Committee (CAC) has updated its fall and early winter schedule.  An extract of the full calendar is below, and the complete calendar with clickable links can always be found at

The major changes to the CAC’s calendar are:

The following CAC meetings have been CANCELLED (they were previously scheduled as tentative):

  • Tuesday, October 13th
  • Tuesday, November 10th
The following CAC meetings have been ADDED (6:30 pm at Argenziano School unless otherwise noted):
  • Tuesday, October 27th:  Review and discuss the updated Union Square and Boynton Yards Neighborhood Master Plan as developed and presented by the City’s Somerville by Design process
  • Wednesday, December 2nd:  Discussion of Community Benefits (after the first working session with LOCUS but before the second)
  • Saturday, December 5th, 10am – 12pm:  A second discussion of Community Benefits featuring translation services provided by SomerViva

The two full-day working sessions on Community Benefits facilitated by LOCUS have been MOVED TO THE DATES BELOW.  As previously announced, the LOCUS sessions will be public but there will be a set number of community representatives (CAC and otherwise) who must commit to attend the full 16 hours:

  • Session #1:  Wednesday, November 18th from 1 PM to 9 PM at the Board of Aldermen Chamber at City Hall.
  • Session #2:  Wednesday, January 13th, from 1 PM to 9 PM at the Board of Aldermen Chamber at City Hall.

A Great Time Was Had at the 10th Anniversary Fluff Festival!!

A good time was had by all at this year’s Tenth Fluff Festival, Fluff X, “What the Fluff” A Tribute to Union Square Innovation this past Saturday, as will be evident in the photos below.

But before we get to the details of the Festival, as this was my first Fluff Festival and I came late to the game, I want to share my observations and offer some deeply deserved thanks.

I learned that the Fluff Festival is indeed a tribute and demonstration of local innovation.  In addition to celebrating the invention of Fluff in Union Square, I saw how the Festival itself is a true demonstration of how innovation lives on today in Union Square. This is thanks in particular to its creator, my predecessor, Mimi Graney, who conceived and developed the Festival over the last ten years and to Mike Katz, who each year makes Archibald Query come alive again.

The Festival is also truly a tribute to local as you will see by the sheer number of businesses and individuals who played a part in this year’s Festival.  In my seven months as the Executive Director of Union Square Main Streets, I have been repeatedly struck by what a generous, welcoming, and collaborative community Union Square is, and my work on the Fluff Festival these past months demonstrated this over and over again.

As you can imagine, there are substantial costs that go into putting on the Fluff Festival so USMS couldn’t bring you the Fluff Festival without the generous support of our sponsors: Somerville Arts Council, City of Somerville, Massachusetts Arts Council, Teddie Peanut Butter, Naveo Credit Union, US2, Brass Union/The Independent, Allstate, Workbar, and, Image Conscious Studios (who provided our fabulous new Fluff Festival web page).

Putting all of the many parts of the Festival together would not have been possible this year without an incredible team.  In addition to our incredible multi-talented Fluff Festival assistant, Maria Martinez, the Somerville Arts Council, and the City of Somerville, I want to thank the fabulous Fluff X Team who lent their advice, expertise and hard work over the past few months: Mike Katz, V Ratanakommen, Becca Rutenberg, Jessica Townsend, Jim McGinnis, Kristi Chase, Lindsay Neu, Christiana Usenza, Duncan Hughes and Brian Allyn.  And to our Volunteer Coordinator, Karin Turer.

A few special thanks:

Yonward for providing a new way to access Fluff Festival info / AC Kemp for emceeing our Main Stage / Mayor Joe Curtatone for presenting our Cooking Contest Awards / A4 Pizza for providing food for our Volunteer Orientation and Green Room / Mimi Graney for her ongoing support, advice and information / Qing Li for the very special 2015  Fluff Festival X design  / Linda Gritz and Nash Photography for Fluff X photographs / Scott MacDonald of Brass Unionfor helping in so many ways / Billy Walsh, for his fantastic job procuring gift certificates / Erica Jones at SCATV for her invaluable assistance and PR

And many thanks goes to our Banner Sponsors who also lent their financial support: J.S.Rudolph, Attorney at Law, Slumbrew, El Potro, Dunkin’ Donuts,International Optical, ABG Real State, Bantam Cider Company,Casa B, Bronwyn Restaurant, and East Boston Saving Banks.








The extensive in-kind support: Kaitlin Henry, SCATV, Masters Printing, Somerville Scout, CAAS, IPPNW, Don Warner, Boyes Watson Architects, Loyal Supply, Bantam Cider Company, The Growing Center, Citizens Bank, The Gulf Station, USMS Board of Directors, Brass Union, Crossfit Somerville, Mike’s Automotive Services, and La Cantina Mexicana.








The businesses who provided gift certificates for the prizes: Sweet Ginger, Stanhope Framers, RiverDog, Open Space Acupuncture, El Potro, Cantina La Mexican, RedBones, Paint Nite, Diesel, FlatBread, The Independent, Somervelo, Grooves, Casa B, Two Little Monkeys, Neighborhood Restaurant, Bull McCabes, Rickys Flowers, Loyal Supply, Wagner Jewelry, Hub Comics, Aeronaut Brewery and Machu Picchu.

If I have forgotten anyone (and as the support was so extensive, I fear I might have) my sincere apologies.

Finally many thanks to everyone who joined us for the Fluff Festival and was part of the activity, fun and energy that made the Tenth Anniversary a great event!

Esther Hanig, Executive Director of Union Square Main Streets.


Share Your Fluff Story with SCATV!

As a way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the What the Fluff festival, SCATV invites participants to the SCATV Story Booth from 4pm-6pm outside of SCATV.

Both new and old Fluff Festival-goers can share their Fluff story as a way to capture the long-rooted history this festival has with Union Square and Somerville. Be part of the Fluff History and share your memory with SCATV!