Union Square

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Annual Candlelight Vigil for Domestic Violence Awareness this Wednesday in Somerville

This Wednesday, from 6pm to 7pm at the Public Safety Building in Union Square, Mayor Joseph Curtatone and the Somerville Commission for Women will host the annual Candlelight Vigil for Domestic Violence Awareness. Domestic violence or Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a complex and widespread problem that affects all types of individuals in every community, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. According to a 2010 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention national survey, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime while 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. This physical abuse has severe emotional impacts for victims, with studies showing that there is a link between IPV and depression and suicidal behavior. The physical and emotional effects of IPV are compounded by the economic toll that victims often experience. Studies have shown that IPV causes the loss of 8 million days of paid work nationally each year, and anywhere from 21% to 60% of victims lose their jobs due to reasons stemming from the abuse.

Earlier this year, the Massachusetts legislature passed comprehensive domestic violence legislation that seeks to address these issues by improving prevention efforts and affording victims greater protections. The bill establishes employment leave for domestic violence victims, increases training and education regarding domestic violence, and creates the first offense of assault and battery on a family member and requires violators to complete a certified batterer’s intervention program.

Event information:

What: Annual Candlelight Vigil for Domestic Violence Awareness

When: Wednesday October 1- 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Where: 220 Washington Street Police Academy – (Union Square, Public Safety Building)

“What the Fluff?” is back this Saturday at Union Square

This Saturday, Somerville celebrates the fluffy invention of the great American confectioner Archibald Query at the Ninth Annual “What the Fluff?” Festival in Union Square. The party gets started at 3pm and will feature live music, a cooking contest, and the crowning of the Pharaoh of Fluff. This year, the festival theme is inspired by the creativity of Steampunk, a sub-genre of science fiction that combines steam power technology with the fashion aesthetic of Victorian England and America’s Wild West, so you can expect lots of goggles, protective jackets, watches, and lens to look through. Check out the festival’s frequently updated Facebook page and Twitter account for more news about this fun annual party in Somerville.

“What the Fluff?” is presented by Union Square Main Streets as part of ArtsUnion and is always a lot of fun, as you can see from last year’s photos. Come on down to Union Square this Saturday and see what all the fluff is about!

The Fluff That Dreams Are Made Of

H.R. Fluff'nStuff
The look on this partygoer’s face from last year’s Fluff Festival says it all. Image via Somerville Arts Council.

The house at 106 Bromfield Road in Somerville is an unassuming structure, but more than 100 years ago, the man who lived here changed the way we see peanut butter. This was where Archibald Query made his first batches of marshmallow fluff, which he sold door-to-door before licensing the recipe to a pair of local candy manufacturers. By 1920, the sweet, gooey stuff was being successfully marketed as Toot Sweet Marshmallow Fluff, and the rest was stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth history.

This Saturday, Somerville celebrates fluff, the sugary substance that gave jelly a run for its money as peanut butter’s best friend, at the Eighth Annual “What the Fluff?” Festival (you can follow the Festival’s frequent Facebook updates here). The party gets started at 3pm, and if the weather doesn’t cooperate, we’ll try again on Sunday. There’s live music, a cooking contest, something called the FluffaTron3000 (your guess is as good as mine), and the crowning of the Pharaoh of Fluff. For those over 21, Somerville’s own Pretty Things Brewery is once again teaming up with the festival to offer a special fluff-topped brew at Precinct, and for little kids, there’s a bounce house, an inflatable slide, and other family-friendly games behind the Independent. This event is always a blast, as you can see from last year’s photos.

Come on down to Union Square this Saturday and see what all the fluff is about!