Big cultural fests won’t be in Franklin Park this year

May 17, 2013
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The annual Puerto Rican and Dominican cultural festivals will relocate from Franklin Park to City Hall Plaza downtown this year because re-sodding of part of the park is taking longer than expected, according to City and park advocacy officials.

The large summer festivals and parades are major Latino cultural events that usually draw thousands of people from around New England. The Playstead area of the park, where the festivals are held, was re-sodded in recent months. While it is green now, City officials want to give it more time to take root and will keep it fenced off through August, according to Christine Poff, executive director of the park advocacy and programming group the Franklin Park Coalition.

“The plan is to relocate the festivals to Boston City Hall Plaza for this year,” said Jacque Goddard, spokesperson for the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, adding that the fests can return to Franklin Park next year if the organizers want to.

Another major summer cultural festival, the Caribbean Carnival, will be held in Franklin Park as usual in August because it uses a different section of the park, Poff said.

The Playstead work, as well as other re-sodding elsewhere that is struggling, is also forcing the relocation of other events, including tomorrow’s Franklin Park Kite & Bike Festival and the annual Elma Lewis Playhouse in the Park concert and performance series. Those events will be held in a different part of the park near the Shattuck Hospital.

Poff noted that the good news is how much better the landscape will be once the re-sodding effort is successful.