By Alejandro Serrano, news correspondent
Hundreds of Fluff fans gathered on Saturday, Sept. 26 in Somerville to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the “What the Fluff?” festival. The celebration centers around Fluff, a spreadable marshmallow cream, and Archibald Query, the man from Somerville who invented the sticky spread.
“The music, games, attendance and vendors were all fabulous,” Esther Hanig, executive director of Union Square Main Streets (USMS), said. “It is my first festival as executive director, and I hope I didn’t drop the ball on anything I didn’t know about. I think it was fun.”
USMS, a Somerville community development group, organizes “What the Fluff?” every year. The organization works to both preserve the history and character of the neighborhood while also advancing small-scale businesses within the community.
“This is our second year at the festival, and it is the perfect venue for us,” Autumn Silva, owner and creator of Marshfellows, said as she sold marshmallow figurines, necklaces, buttons and stickers from her booth. “This is Marshfellows’ sixth year — it all grew out of a hobby. Next thing I knew, I had a PayPal account and a Facebook page.”
The festival featured snacks such as Fluffernutters, a sandwich filled with marshmallow fluff and peanut butter; fluff-filled empanadas; and marshmallows on sticks dipped in an array of chocolate and caramel sauces for families and Fluff fans to enjoy.
“I heard about the festival through social media,” Dennis Ambrose, a Somerville resident, said. “It is nice that the community can come together to have fun and relax and celebrate where Fluff came from.”
The festival also showcased a myriad of live music performances. Acts included School of Honk, Revolutionary Snake Ensemble and dance performances by the Flufferettes. There were also many new additions to the Fluff fest, such as the Midway Kids Area, which featured Fluff activities such as bowling, ring toss and cornhole, according to Haning.
“This is our third year performing at the Fluff fest,” Dixie Douya, a Flufferette dancer, said. “We live in the area and always came to the fest. Then we were asked to perform, and it was a great honor. We will perform for as long as we are invited – this is one of our favorite events and we love Fluff.”
There were three different stages at the festival: the Main Stage, the Shenanigans Stage and the Sideshow Stage. Each one had a plethora of acts, with the main stage having the “fluffiest” activities, such as the multiple Fluff lick-offs, a competition to be the first person to lick a glob of Fluff off of a clear sheet of paper.
This year’s festival also had a new website, alongside a new “Fluff Festival Guide” mobile app via Yonward – an app that allowed attendees to partake in creating a map for the festival.
“There is a lot to do, and it’s great to see the local turnout. I see the horn band [School of Honk] around Union Square and it’s cool to see them here,” Chelsea Rice, a Brighton resident, said.
“If someone is new to the area, I would recommend them to come next year.”
Photo by Robert Smith