Wake Up the Earth Festival returns May 2

The 36th annual Wake Up the Earth Parade and Festival returns to Jamaica Plain on Sat., May 2.

One of JP’s biggest annual celebrations, it highlights the neighborhood’s famed artistic and political-activist sides. It is a production of Spontaneous Celebrations, a JP-based festival and youth-programming organization.

The celebration begins with two separate parades that eventually merge and continue to the festival grounds on the Southwest Corridor Park at the Stony Brook T Station.

The larger parade will start at Curtis Hall, 20 South St. in central JP, assembling around 10:30 a.m. and beginning around 11. The other parade starts at the Egleston YMCA at 3313 Washington St. at a similar time.

The festival runs noon to 5:30 p.m. It features three stages of live music, street theater and dance by JP and Roxbury groups; food; children’s activities; a drum circle, a maypole, nonprofit organization information tables; and a health fair.

Wake Up the Earth was founded in 1979 as a celebration of both springtime and of local activists’ defeat of a plan to run a highway through what instead became the Southwest Corridor rail line and parkland. The festival remains a popular place to highlight local activism. One new group reportedly joining the parade this year is NoBoston2024, the movement protesting Boston’s Olympics bid.

For more information, see the guide inserted in this issue of the Gazette, or visit spontaneouscelebrations.org.

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