If you’re new to Jamaica Plain, you might not have experienced the Wake Up The Earth Parade and Festival that blossoms on the first Saturday in May each year in the Southwest Corridor Park, brought to life by Spontaneous Celebrations.
There's music galore on three stages, food trucks, artists and clothing vendors, non-profit organizations tabling, face painting, mini golf, stilt walking, and toddler drumming.
In just a few weeks, you’ll have a chance to experience the annual Lantern Parade at Jamaica Pond (Oct. 23 and 24 this year), also orchestrated by Spontaneous Celebrations. On those nights hundreds of homemade lanterns bob along the path around the pond, carried by children in Halloween costumes with their parents, and others who enjoy the spectacle each year. The event lights up the night as the weather starts to turn and the days get prematurely dark. Bands play, a chorus sings on the shoreline, an apple cider press grinds away, and hundreds (thousands?) of empanadas are devoured.
Those are just two events of the many that Spontaneous Celebrations produces and makes possible each year. Día de los Muertos, the Tropical Fiesta, and weekly Toddler Drumming are among the others. Spontaneous’ iconic building at 45 Danforth Street is also home to many beloved groups, including Kids Together in the Arts (summer camp), Girls Rock/Ladies Rock, SingPositive and Ballet Rox.
During the pandemic, Spontaneous was closed to the public, but a remarkable transformation took place. With the help of a state grant (thanks to former state representative Jeffrey Sanchez) and funding from Boston's Department of Neighborhood Development, and gifts from many supporters, Spontaneous now has an elevator to the second floor, a newly-built stage with giant rolling storage trays beneath, a sparkling new wood floor upstairs, a rebuilt bar, a new back stairway to the basement, and soon...a brand new and updated kitchen. Spontaneous needs your help to pay for all those renovations. So whether you are a golfer and want to join the fun on the 29th, or just one of the many community members who appreciate Spontaneous, give them a hand.
Oh, was this article supposed to be about golf? That’s right, October 14 (it's been rescheduled), several dozen people – which could include you – will gather in the morning at Brookline Golf Course for a golf tournament to benefit Spontaneous Celebrations, and help make all of that arts and cultural programming possible.
Interested in playing? Please contact Spontaneous board member Mike Lapham at firstname.lastname@example.org. The event also benefits the local nonprofit United for a Fair Economy (it’s a twofer!). Can’t make it? Consider heading on over to the Spontaneous website spontaneouscelebrations.org and making a small (or large) donation.