In many ways, Arts at the Armory on Highland Ave. feels like the heart of Somerville. It’s not in a square, but it’s geographically centrally located and the events it hosts tend to focus on the local community. Next weekend’s Harvest Fest, put on by Somerville Local First, promises to continue that theme, bringing together local restaurants, breweries, businesses and residents at an event celebrating all things Somerville.
“It’s going to be awesome,” said Somerville Local First Executive Director Kat Rutkin. “We exist to support the local economy. Harvest Fest brings the community together to see what our members are doing. It creates partnerships and friendships.”
Harvest Fest is being held in two sessions on October 27, each with its own flavor. While both sessions will have live entertainment, the afternoon session (1 p.m.-5 p.m.) promises a more relaxed vibe with local bands and the evening session (6 p.m.-10 p.m.) will feel more like a night out dance party with a DJ from Mmmmaven, a DJ and music production school in Cambridge.
Both sessions will be chock full of local food and beer, with Somerville’s own Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project and Somerville Brewing Company (Slumbrew) pouring samples alongside Blue Hills Brewery, Berkshire Brewing Company, Clown Shoes, Mayflower, Narragansett and Rapscallion.
Several Somerville Local First members will be providing tasty eats for the event, like 3 Little Figs, Pescatore, Eat at Jumbo’s, The Independent, P.J. Ryan’s, Olde Magoun’s Saloon and Daddy Jones. City Chicks Boston (look for a story on this new business soon) and Cuisine en Locale will be providing samples of their cooking and baking as well.
In addition to the food and drink, Harvest Fest will also offer several raffle prizes from local businesses like Ball Square Fine Wines & Liquor, Union Square Chiropractic, Metro Pedal Power and many more. And because Harvest Fest falls so close to Halloween this year, there’s going to be a costume contest with some cool prizes, so come dressed to impress!
Tickets are either $30 for a supporter ticket or $40 for a super supporter ticket and are still available for both sessions, though they probably won’t last long. Now in it’s fourth year, every previous Harvest Fest event has sold out completely. And Rutkin expects the Armory’s full capacity of 395 to be full for both sessions this year, which means Somerville Local First will be able to continue its programming and even possibly expand in the coming year.
“As a nonprofit this is our big gala of the year,” Rutkin said. “It makes up a big part of our budget.”
The funds raised from Harvest Fest will go to support Somerville Local First’s work in the community like providing marketing assistance to businesses and hosting chapter lunches to establish networking connections.
“Planning Harvest Fest has given me a lot of insight into the community,” Rutkin said. “It’s a celebration of Somerville for the day.”
Putting on Harvest Fest is a big job and Rutkin and the Somerville Local First board members are working hard to prepare for it. Every year they ask community members to volunteer and they are putting out the call again this year. So if you’re interested in assisting, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. One perk of volunteering? You get to attend the event free for two hours!