Celebrate all things tiny and nautical in Union Square!
Tiny Tall Ships Festival sails into Somerville’s Union Square May 14
The Somerville Arts Council and Greg Cook, the fellow behind last year’s “Pity Party,” present “The Tiny Tall Ships Festival” in Somerville's Union Square from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 14. (Rain date: Sunday, May 15.) Admission is free. The festival is a celebration of everything tiny and nautical for people of all ages. Small ships, sea monsters and other floating sculptures will bob in kiddie pools spread across Union Square. Children and grown-ups will be able to make their own tiny boats to race in temporary lagoons. Pirates and mermaids will attend. Plus a tattoo contest (come show off your permanent or temporary tattoos), stories for children, sand castle building, a pirate-themed obstacle course, seafood, crafts, and nautical/pirate/mermaid/fishy tunes. Costumes are welcome and encouraged!
Somerville’s own Sandcastle Matt Kaliner, who’s internet famous for making sandcastles that look something kind of like “what happens when lightning hits sand,” will present a demonstration of his sand-sculpting technique. There will be extra sand available for festival-goers to try sand castle making. Kids and grown-ups can learn about the engineering of boats when they build their own vessels with the USS Constitution Museum and Rachel Mello and then sail them in temporary lagoons made by Somerville artist Hilary Scott. CrossFit Somerville will offer a pirate-themed obstacle course. Play a ring-toss game with a narwhal’s horn created by Kerri McGill.
The Somerville Arts Council will host a tattoo contest around 4:45 p.m. Come show off your permanent (or temporary) tattoos.
Storytelling for children will be at 3:45 and 4:45 p.m. Loreto Paz Ansaldo will offer a bilingual Spanish and English tale for children and help guests make origami paper boats. Bharat Babies, a Somerville publisher of children's books about India's heritage, offers storytelling by Amy Maranville, author of “Padmini is Powerful” and other picture books, and boat building for toddlers to pre-K kids.
Kiddie pools will be filled with a solar-powered sailing ship by Mitch Ryerson; sea monsters by Emily Arkin, Dan Moynihan and Mango Island; boats by Fish McGill and Randy Regier; a village flooded by global warming created by Kari Percival; and something wonderfully nautical by Ktron. Drabby the Sad Clown (Tom Bush) in pirate attire and mermaid Jessicalee will make appearances.
ARRR!!!, the Somerville Ukulele Club, and Below the Gaff will perform sea shanties and other fishy music.
Heather Kapplow invites visitors to write climate change notes in bottles. Alex Salsberg will draw pirate caricatures of visitors. Fiber artist Amanda Cook and oceanographer Amanda Babson present a tapestry illustrating the effects of global warming. Citizens Climate Lobby presents a demonstration of how melting arctic ice is raising sea levels.
Several Union Square restaurants will offer seafood specials and Honeycomb Creamery will sell nautical ice cream.
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