Cam­bridge hosts in­au­gu­ral Groove City Cul­ture Fest

Dorchester Star - - FRONT PAGE - By NATE NKUMBU nnkumbu@ches­pub.com

CAM­BRIDGE — Music, food and fun were all in dis­play on Satur­day, Aug. 18, for the in­au­gu­ral Groove City Cul­ture Fest, lo­cated on his­toric Pine Street.

The event was a re­vival of the Black Cul­ture Day orig­i­nally held July 6, 1974. On that day in 1974 Glo­ria Richard­son Dan­dridge was hon­ored with a plaque. This year’s event show­cased the his­tory and cul­ture of the African-Amer­i­can com­mu­nity, tak­ing place in the heart of the his­toric African-Amer­i­can com­mu­nity in Cam­bridge.

At­ten­dees got to en­joy live music — in­clud­ing a per­for­mance by the band E.U. (Ex­pe­ri­ence Un­lim­ited) from Wash­ing­ton D.C., dance per­for­mances, in­spi­ra­tional speak­ers, food, ven­dors and more.

For Christo­pher Pin­der, owner of Pin­der Pro­duc­tions, the event was some­thing he’ll re­mem­ber of a long time, es­pe­cially af­ter hear­ing all the sto­ries of past events like this in Cam­bridge

“I’m over­whelmed ac­tu­ally,” he said. “This is our first year do­ing this, and we have over 2,000 peo­ple in foot traf­fic. Who’d ever thought when we got to­gether six months ago this would hap­pen.

“I have grat­i­tude in my heart and I’m glad that I could do some­thing like this for my com­mu­nity,” he said. “I’m 27. Most of my col­leagues are older than me, so I’m glad that I was able to it at my age. I would tell my kids that I or­ches­trated an event that brought cul­ture.”

This event also held a Yock cook-off with eight peo­ple bat­tling for brag­ging rights to who’s Yock is con­sid­ered the best. Yock is a noo­dle-based dish that in­volves a sauce made of worces­ter, tomato and other as­sort­ments.

Down­town Cam­bridge Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Katie Clen­daniel is very happy the day tran­spired.

“I think it was a great day, and I think it was a great vol­un­teer team that made it all hap­pened,” she said. “We got re­ally lucky with the weather today, and I re­ally think it was a great first year.”

Clen­daniel said the Yock cookoff was a big hit, and thanked vol­un­teers for get­ting the ma­te­rial need for the event.

“The Yock cook-off is re­ally a spe­cial thing, and I don’t know that there’s any­thing else for Yock like that you’ll find here in Cam­bridge,” she said. “We might be the only place to do the Yock cook-off, and I think it was a good first year.”

The win­ner of the com­pe­ti­tion will be de­ter­mined at a later date once votes are tab­u­lated.

“Peo­ple were ask­ing if it this go­ing to be an an­nual thing and they were ex­cited for the Yock cook-off,” Pin­der said. “We’ll have more stuff hap­pen­ing next year. Some peo­ple were test­ing the wa­ters, see­ing how it’s go­ing to be like and they loved it.”

PHOTO BY NATE NKUMBU

Live music and cul­ture avail­able dur­ing the Groove City Cul­ture Fest in Cam­bridge Satur­day, Aug. 18.

PHOTO BY NATE NKUMBU

Live music and cul­ture avail­able dur­ing the Groove City Cul­ture Fest in Cam­bridge Satur­day, Aug. 18.

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