For four decades, the free festival has brought our community together in a celebration of our arts, foods and rich diversity. Boston Magazine named it the area’s best arts festival in 2017 and 2018.
As always, the 2019 Cambridge Arts River Festival will offer food, arts, crafts, immersive art experiences and multiple stages of live music, dance, poetry and theater.
New this year:
• The 2019 Cambridge Arts River Festival will bring the river to the Central Square Cultural District. The move from the East Cambridge waterfront into the heart of the city celebrates the state’s recent recertification of the Cultural District, the work in progress for the area to be identified as a Business Improvement District, and the seven new murals in the neighborhood thanks to the Central Square Mural Project.
• Climate change will be the central theme for the 40th annual Cambridge Arts River Festival. Festival activities and performances will speak to the urgency of these global changes and the event’s connection to the Charles River. (Details to come.) Cambridge Arts also aims to make the River Festival a model of sustainability by moving it toward a zero-waste event. This year, four stages will be solar powered. The festival will offer compost bins. And Cambridge Arts will not be distributing water bottles. Instead, water stations will be set up throughout the festival for visitors to fill their own reusable bottles. Vendors will use only recyclable or compostable dishes and no styrofoam, no plastic straws, no plastic bags. Vendors are also asked to compost all food waste and recycle used cooking oil in provided bins.
• One of the highlights of the 2019 Cambridge Arts River Festival will be a "Mermaid Parade" along Massachusetts Avenue. Community members are invited to join in the procession. Costumes, characters, puppets, and props in the theme of mermaids/mermen, water creatures, and the environment are welcome, anything from the love of the Charles River to concerns about how climate change is harming our world.