If you're new to Jamaica Plain you're going to want to check out this weekend's Jamaica Pond Lantern Parades. Hundreds of people of all ages (and dogs), some costumed and some not, will gather for pre-Halloween fun in the annual presented by Spontaneous Celebrations and the Friends of Jamaica Pond. This year marks the 36th year of the Jamaica Pond Lantern Parades that happen on both Saturday and Sunday. Before the parade, people gather by the Jamaica Pond Boat House, and hang their lanterns to display for all to enjoy the varied designs. The parades start at dusk on both Saturday and Sunday, as people walk around the pond holding their lanterns.
The Latin Quarter World's Fair, will feature live music, food, vendors and more on Sept. 15 and it's all free. The fair is sort of a reboot of Jamaica Plain's World Fair, which ended in 2008, but many residents and merchants have wanted to have a street fair in the Hyde-Jackson Squares area. This year's fair is a great way to celebrate National Latinx Heritage Month. There will be numerous live performances, including The Ray Liriano Experience, MetaMovements Latin Dance Company, Eric German & Orquesta, Caramelo Boston, Leo Alarcon and more.
Businesses are being asked to offer their opinions on what they'd want to see if Centre/South Street were redesigned. The Boston Cyclists Union and JP Centre/South Main Streets are conducting a survey of businesses in the district, and will be sharing the survey's results with the Boston Transportation Department. The city's plans for the Centre/South redesign are on hold, but are expected to restart soon, according to the JPCSMS newsletter. It is part of the already completed redesign of Jackson Square and Hyde Square. The city has allocated more than $700,000 for the design alone, which would go from Hyde Square down Centre and South streets to the Arborway, said Ginger Brown, director of JPCSMS.
The survey asks business owners to rank seven options on what they feel is most important in a redesign: increased pedestrian/sidewalk space; improved bike infrastructure and bike parking; improved bus service; improved streetscape (like benches, lighting, greenery, public art); better signage for the business district; and increased parking for cars.
Board members are needed for Jamaica Plain Centre/South Main Streets and one of the board's initiatives will be addressing the coming Chase Bank. Board members are volunteer positions and provide a great opportunity to get involved with Jamaica Plain's central commercial district. "We recently learned that JP Morgan Chase will be opening a branch in the district. We have heard from residents that they would like to get more involved with addressing this new addition. This work will be part of our Economic Vitality committee and we need your involvement!"
There's no way the Francis Parkman Playground looked like this back in 1924 when it first opened. The city recently finished a $1.7 million renovation of the playground on Wachusett Street, and it's got some pretty darn cool features like a splash pad with a runnel, an adult size basketball court and a mini-basketball hoop for the little ones (please bigger kids, don't hang on the rim), and an embankment slide. The new playground has an inclusive play structure and springers for children ages 2 to 5, and a large inclusive climbing structure for ages 5 to 12. There's also a shaded and covered picnic shelter, a water fountain with a drinking bottle refiller, an exercise station, as well new seats and benches, LED lighting, trees, plantings, and a dish swing. The city will be celebrating the reopening of the playground on Aug.