Harvard Square Hosts 43rd Annual Oktoberfest | New

Harvard Square hosted the 43rd annual Cambridge Oktoberfest on Sunday, with beer, sausages and music to entertain the crowds.

The event, which took place on Church St. and Brattle St., has been held at the square every year since 1978, when it was first hosted by Frank Cardullo.

The event coincided with the 17th annual HONK! Parade, the first-ever Filipino American festival in Harvard Square, and a poetry festival celebrating the 95th anniversary of the Grolier Poetry Book Shop.

Harvard Square’s popular restaurants, Alden and Harlow and Wusong Road, hosted Oktoberfest beer gardens, as well as the Commonwealth Wine School.

Several live music stages have been set up in the square, featuring a range of bands from Cambridge and beyond.

The weekend festivities began at 1 p.m. with the HONK! Parade, a brass street music performance that featured over 20 bands.

Performers entertain HONK! Parade of crowds from a stage set up in the square. By Marina Qu

Many musical groups performed on the Oktoberfest main stage, including La Banda Internacional de Chelsea, the Jamaica Plain Honk Band and the School of Honk.

Sunday’s festivities also included the Filipino American Festival, hosted by the Harvard Square Philippine American Alliance for the first time this year in honor of Filipino American History Month. Filipino artists and bands performed on a stage in a Church St. parking lot, alongside booths set up by local Filipino businesses.

The festival was headlined by a 5:30 p.m. performance by rapper EZ Mil, who was joined by other artists and dance troupes on the Church Street stage.

The weekend also featured an art installation called “Chalk on the Walk”, which invited attendees to create chalk artwork on the Church Street sidewalk.

The acrobats wowed the public in Brattle Square.
The acrobats wowed the public in Brattle Square. By Joey Huang

The Grolier Poetry Book Shop, founded in 1927, joined Oktoberfest for the first time this year to celebrate its 95th anniversary. The shop has hosted poetry readings, including by young Boston Poet Laureate Anjalequa Birkett and current Boston Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola.

Revels, a Cambridge-based performance group, also joined the festivities on Sunday to promote their Midwinter Revels programme, which will be held at the Sanders Theater in December.

Jennifer Sur, head of the organization’s administrative services, said Revels’ productions “look at different cultures and different time periods.”

“We’re looking at traditions around the solstice for those cultures, or Christmas as well, depending on the culture,” she said.

This year’s production will look at the Mexican, Irish and Jewish cultures set on Ellis Island in the 1920s, Sur said.

The celebration ended at Grendel’s Den, which hosted an Oktoberfest after-party with the 20th annual keg tapping ceremony.

—Editor Kate Delval Gonzalez can be reached at [email protected]

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