This has been the summer of eye-popping tickets and tours. That’s nice if you have the budget, but your local street corner offers more accessible fun. I found joy in the annual Fiesta Patronales de Holyoke, a celebration of civic pride. A street fair is one of the best uses of public space – it gives you a chance to see neighbors, reconnect with friends, and eat treats out of a styrofoam cup. What more could you want?
For me, student dancers are always a highlight. If you’ve ever watched an episode of Dance Moms, you know the drill. The A+ students who know all the choreography (as opposed to the A for effort students who look a little lost.) The crowd-pleasing soundtrack (in this case a super cut of Gloria Estefan, Celia Cruz, and Willow Smith’s Whip My Hair.) There’s always the dance teacher marking steps in the corner. Festival vibes meet the rehearsal room and I am here for it.
There’s something compelling about arts kids working through their imperfect performance. Not to mention the excited parents in the cheering section, sending love no matter the quality or outcome. It’s the purest form of works-in-process. So check your local calendar. I’m sure there’s at least one festival, block party, or street fair coming up near you before summer ends!
Yours in these streets,