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Worcester Announces 12th Annual Out to Lunch Festival and Farmers’ Market and Movies on the Common

For Immediate Release: 6/28/2022 10:01 am

WORCESTER - The City of Worcester and the Worcester Cultural Coalition are pleased to announce the return of two summer series on the Worcester Common.

The Out to Lunch Festival and Farmers’ Markets will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Aug. 4, Aug. 18, and Sept. 1, with a rain date of Thursday, Sept. 8. Movies on the Common will present Disney’s “Encanto” on July 21 and “Spiderman: No Way Home” on Aug. 18.

Now in its 12th year, Out to Lunch events are free and open to the public, hosting musical performances, local artists and crafters, area restaurants, farmers, and community organizations and nonprofits. More information can be found on the City of Worcester website: worcesterma.gov/worcester-common-oval/out-to-lunch.

In addition to mainstage acts, the series will showcase entertainment from the community during intermissions.

The 2022 performance schedule is:

• Aug. 4: The Alchemystics: reggae, hip-hop, soul, rock, and rhythms of Jamaica, Cuba, and Trinidad

• Aug. 18: East Coast Soul: funk, soul, and R&B

• Sept. 1: Whitney Doucet and the Moonshine Band: New England country music

According to Yaffa Fain, program coordinator for the City of Worcester’s Cultural Development Division, Out To Lunch saw a record number of applications for the 2022 season, and has adapted plans accordingly. She said that previous Out To Lunch events hosted between 30 and 45 vendors, and in 2022 that number will be closer to 60 for each event. Fain also noted that this year’s artists, crafters, food vendors, and community organizations also represent, “diversity in businesses, local partnerships, and a tremendous variety of offerings available.”

Before 2020, Out To Lunch was a 10-week series. Fain said that the decision to shorten the season was in response to feedback from local vendors, many of whom are dealing with financial impacts of the pandemic.

“We recognize the tremendous stressors vendors have been facing over the last couple years. Rather than spread these events out over 10 weeks, we’ve streamlined the series so that there will be more to see and engage with at each event,” Fain explained.

Evelyn Darling, executive director of the Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District, is looking forward to a venue change for this year’s Movies on the Common.

“In partnership with the City, we’ve hosted these free movie screenings in a nearby parking lot for the past two years, so people could be socially-distanced in their cars,” she said. “As much as we enjoyed the drive-in style experience, we are excited that current COVID guidance allows us to host the movies in the fresh air and green space of the Common this year.”

Darling also noted that the Movies, and all City of Worcester events, will continue to observe the latest COVID-19 guidance to ensure public safety.

Both “Encanto” and “Spiderman” will begin at sundown, though Darling suggests movie-goers arrive closer to 6:30 p.m. for each screening. Attendees are welcomed to bring their own seating or use seating available on the Common and can purchase refreshments on-site or bring their own.

As with all City of Worcester events, the latest COVID-19 guidance will be observed to ensure public safety. Learn more at worcesterma.gov/coronavirus.

The 12th annual Out to Lunch Festival and Farmers’ Market series is produced by the City of Worcester in partnership with the Worcester Cultural Coalition. The Movies on the Common series is produced by the City of Worcester, in partnership with the Worcester Cultural Coalition and the Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District.

About the Worcester Common:

The Worcester Common offers year-round events in one of the country’s oldest and most historic parks. The Common has hosted thousands of visitors at events such as City Field Day, Festival of Lights, the Latin American Festival, Movies on the Common, the Regional Environmental Council’s Spring Garden Festival and Plant Sale, the Women’s World Cup Watch Party, the Worcester Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival, and additional events. For a complete list of upcoming events, visit WorcesterCommonOval.com. Event organizers interested in hosting their event on the Common should call the City Manager’s Office at 508-799-1175, or email specialevents@worcesterma.gov.

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