Wake Up The Earth Festival & Parades on May 7

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The beloved Wake Up The Earth Festival & Parade will be on May 7, and you'll have three places to join a parade, as they come together at Stony Brook.

A scene from the South Street Parade at Wake Up The Earth 2015

Parades will gather at 10:30 am. If you're interested in joining the parade, and everyone is welcome, please email Zafiro at wute22parade@gmail.com.  The trio of parades will start at Curtis Hall, the Curley K-8 School, and the Egleston Square YMCA. Parades will meet at Jackson Square and then continue together down Lamartine Street to begin the festival at Stony Brook, which starts officially at noon, and goes to 6 pm.

The festival includes musical performances, food vendors, a local farm selling seedlings, lots of local organizations with information tables, a kids musical play area, and more.

This year's them is honoring the Power of the People who stopped the highway and celebrate the many non-profits, community groups, and local businesses that grew as a result. Those groups have been encouraged to tell their stories this year with banners on the fence between the Stony Brook and Jackson Square MBTA stations.

Whether you've attended every single Wake Up The Earth Festival, of it this is your first festival, it's important to know the history behind the festival. The first festival occurred in 1979 on land that had been cleared for the the I-95 highway during the late 1960s, but which thankfully stopped by a strong grassroots movement. That led to a community garden and greenhouse along Lamartine Street being built on the rubble left by the demolition that had started. The festival celebrated the cancelling of the highway.

"It was an attempt to bring together the different communities that lived on both sides of the (then) wall and railroad tracks, in celebration of spring and an appreciation of the piece of earth that was saved. The music, performances, banners, parades, and celebrations spring from the diversity of Roxbury and Jamaica Plain," explains the Spontaneous Celebrations website.

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