Category Archives: Featured

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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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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.


Union Lunch

USM Union Lunch
It’s Friday. You deserve a good lunch break.

Get out of the house or step away from your desk and hang out in the Square for lunch.

Each Friday all summer long (7/17-9/18), enjoy lunch specials from neighborhood restaurants, live music from local bands, and cool happenings from your favorite Union Square shops and friends. Bring your friends, your coworkers, your kids, and meet us for lunch!

Check back regularly to find out who’s providing the food, music, and fun for the week!

Friday, July 17th, look forward to…
FOOD from Momo n Curry
MUSIC from Somerville Ukulele Club
and FUN from Beadkreative

Now Open: Union Square Farmers Market

Mid May through Thanksgiving, Saturdays, 9 AM – 1 PM.

In the heart of Union Square, Somerville MA. Served by MBTA buses 86,87 and 91

This weekly market offers the best locally grown and regionally produced agricultural items including vegetables, fruits, cheese, eggs, meats, fish, breads, pastries, chocolate, and wine. We feature rotating guest vendors each week, as well as live entertainment.

We accept cash (of course!), SNAP/EBT, CREDIT and DEBIT cards.  SNAP users receive a $1-to-$1 match up to $10 each week on purchases.

See you at the market!

Save the Date: 2015 Fluff Fest on September 26

Save the Date for this year’s Fluff Festival.  It will take place on Saturday, September 26.  We need your help to make the tenth anniversary of the Fluff Festival great.  We are looking for the right theme so we are soliciting ideas.  As this is a big undertaking, we also need lots of help so if you are interested in working to put the Festival together or in volunteering on the day of Festival, let us know.  Just Fluffsend your theme ideas and/or your name, contact info and area of interest in volunteering to

Please help with the 2015 Farmer’s Market SNAP Match

Union Square Main Streets needs your help to provide fresh, local food from the farmers market to Somerville’s lowest income residents.

How it Works

SNAP (formerly known as food stamp) recipients use their benefit cards to purchase farmers market tokens. Union Square Main Streets then matches every dollar up to $10 dollars, allowing SNAP customers to purchase $20 instead of $10 worth of healthy, fresh, local food.

Your contribution will help feed our neighbors. All donations are tax deductible. So please, give today.

Please join the campaign online at:

Why This is Important

Between 2000 and 2010, the poverty rate in Somerville grew from 12.5% to 18%. More than 13,000 Somerville residents live below the poverty line. And recent federal budget cuts have further reduced food benefits making healthy farmer’s market food inaccessible for most.

How You Can Help

Since 2010, Union Square Main Streets has spent $10,000 matching SNAP payments and helped hundreds of our neighbors eat good, fresh, locally grown food. Help us ensure that we can continue to provide access to healthy food for those in need. We need $4,500 to sustain the SNAP match for the 2015 Union Square Farmers Market season. The opening of the farmers market is just around the corner and we need your donation today.

Your contribution will help feed our neighbors. All donations are tax deductible. So please, give today.

Donations of any amount help!

Here is what your donation provides:

  • $10 = one SNAP match for one family
  • $40 = SNAP match benefits for one family for one month
  • $100 = one SNAP match for ten families
  • $200 = all the SNAP match funds for one Saturday farmer’s market