The development at Assembly Row has reached warp speed, with new stores and restaurants opening all the time. But last year, before any of that was built, the Assembled art market was drawing people over to the neighborhood. And it will do that again when the market kicks off its 2014 season this Saturday.
“It was the first year we were doing it and just like most first year events, you don’t know how to define success,” said Andrea Simpson, the director of marketing, tourism and corporate communications for Assembly Row. “We based our success on what people were telling us. At the end of the season, we had so many positive remarks. It was such a success for us last year, it absolutely made sense to do it again.”
The Assembled market will feature many new and returning arts and crafts vendors from around the area each Saturday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. through September 13. The kick-off this Saturday is being held in conjunction with the Somerville Food Truck Festival and the final market coincides with Riverfest.
The Food Truck Festival will bring 22 trucks to Somerville, two of which call the city home: The Bacon Truck, which operates out of Kitchen Inc. on Somerville Avenue, and Pennypackers, which has a brick-and-mortar shop in Magoun Square. Many of the other trucks will be all-new to Somerville.
“What we try to do with these festivals is try to introduce communities that don’t have a vibrant food truck scene yet what it’s all about,” said Janet Prensky, spokesperson for the Food Truck Festivals of New England. “We bring the best and brightest from around New England.”
In addition to the Somerville trucks, festival attendees will be able to purchase food from Bon Me, Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, Frozen Hoagies, Makin’ Jamaican and Whoo(pie) Wagon, among many others. Admission to the Somerville Food Truck Festival is $5, with free admission for those 12 and younger. Food and drinks, including beer and wine, can be purchased separately and tickets are on sale now.
“Last year at Assembled we had a handful of food trucks on the weekends,” Simspon said. “Food trucks just resonate really well in Somerville. They’re just fun. Everybody loves getting gourmet food out of a food truck.”
After the success of the food trucks at last year’s Assembled market, it seemed natural to the organizers to tie in a bigger event with this year’s opening weekend.
“Theres no question in our minds that Somerville is foodie heaven,” Prensky said. “We worked with Assembly Row on Assembled and the success included food trucks. They came to browse the art and they loved the trucks and the trucks loved Somerville.”
While the Food Truck Festival reflects Somerville’s gastronomic rise, Assembled is trying to tap into the city’s rich artist community.
“Assembled is really important because it ties into Somerville being so steeped in art,” Simpson said. “And we being a neighborhood in Somerville want to make sure we’re tying into that DNA.”
Assembled Arts Market
June 7-September 13
Saturdays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Somerville Food Truck Festival
Saturday, June 7 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Tickets on sale now: $5 admission, children 12 and under are free
Food and drinks purchased separately