Revived JP World’s Fair will have added attractions Sept. 12

Sandra Storey

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The 20th annual Jamaica Plain World’s Fair, a celebration of Jamaica Plain’s diversity and community pride, will take place on Sept. 12 from noon to 6 p.m. The event will take place in Hyde/Jackson Square along Centre Street, also known as Boston’s Latin Quarter.

The fair, which usually attracts thousands, was not held last year due to staffing and funding issues. “It takes a tremendous amount of work to put on the fair every year,” Richard Thal, executive director of the JP Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC), one of the hosts of the fair, told the Gazette in June 2008.

This year’s fair will feature several changes organizers say they hope will enrich the experience for fairgoers. First, the event is being held on a Saturday, instead of Sunday, to involve more local merchants in the activities. The event has also been moved down Centre Street towards Jackson Square to incorporate Mozart Park in fair activities.

In addition, for the first time, the fair will be one of three Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council voting locations. [See related articles.]

The Hyde/Jackson Square Main Street Program (HJMS), another host, is organizing a special food booth called A Taste of Boston’s Latin Quarter, featuring dishes from several of Hyde-Jackson Square’s most popular restaurants. In collaboration with JP Centre/South Main Streets, the fair will feature a JP Art Show in front of Blessed Sacrament Church with the participation of local JP artists.

The event is free and open to the public and will feature world music, children’s activities, arts and crafts and international food. More than 50 arts and crafts and food vendors will be participating in the fair. Children’s activities include moonwalks, a Ferris wheel, face-painting, arts and crafts and games.

The world music line-up at the fair will feature performances by emerging and well-established musical groups. There will be two stages, with musical styles including salsa, merengue, mariachi, cumbia, reggae, soul and jazz. Headliners include: Tony y sus Típicos, Conjunto Raices, Zili Misik, AfroBrazil, Mariachi Mexamerica, and Miles Davis Tribute Band. The Fair will also feature dance performances by Ritmo en Acción, La Piñata and others.

In addition to the JPNDC and HJMS, the World’s Fair is co-hosted by the Hyde Square Task Force and the Hyde/Jackson Square Business Association. This year, fair organizers are also collaborating with the JP Centre/South and Egleston Square Main Street programs to ensure that residents and merchants from across the neighborhood participate in the Fair.

The JP World’s Fair began as a large-scale sidewalk sale in the Centre/South business district, ground to a halt in 1995 and was later revived in Hyde/Jackson Square.

The World’s Fair is made possible through the support of local sponsors. This year’s Presenting Sponsor is Boston Private Bank and Trust. Gold sponsors include El Oriental de Cuba and Wainwright Bank. Additional sponsors include: Beth Israel Deaconess HealthCare Jamaica Plain, Boston Beer Company, City Feed & Supply, The Thomas Menino Committee, Committee to Elect Sam Yoon, Peabody Properties and The John Tobin Committee.

For more information about the fair or to volunteer at the event, call 983-3317 ext. 362 or e-mail at [email protected] There is also information on the event web site at

Based on press materials provided by JP World’s Fair co-hosts.

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