A madcap festival honoring Archibald Query who invented Marshmallow Fluff, the gooey, great American foodstuff here in 1917.
What the Fluff? A Tribute to Union Square Invention is an annual street festival that honors Marshmallow Fluff creator, Archibald Query, who invented the gooey, sticky spread right here in Union Square, Somerville, MA in 1917. The 2011 festival takes place Saturday, September 24, 2011 from 3 to 7 pm. (Raindate Sept. 25)
For the past five years, on the last Saturday in September, artists, musical and theatrical performers, culinary inventors and humorists gathered in our neighborhood to pay silly yet earnest tribute to the creation of this great American foodstuff.
This year's festival, our sixth, is expected to be larger than ever before, with 10,000 anticipated – drawn by their love of Marshmallow Fluff, enamored by the genius of Archibald Query, and, we strongly suspect, because folks will want to meet the three famous Fluff lovers joining us this year. This year's VIPs are Rick Linnehan, a NASA astronaut who served up Fluffernutters on the International Space Station, Allee Willis is an amazing songwriter who’s written a slew of songs you totally know, and most Fluff-tastic, Susan Olsen, also known as Cindy Brady from the Brady Bunch.
At What the Fluff? 200+ volunteers help us host tons of fun things to do for people of all ages. We keep all the fun free.
Some might mistakenly think that Durkee Mower, the company that manufactures Marshmallow Fluff in the nearby city of Lynn, MA, are sponsors this event. While those kind folks do provide us with a carload of Fluff and provide a tour for the winner of our Fluff Cooking Contest, they don't provide financial support. We rely on kind friends and supporters to make it all happen.
What the Fluff? includes:
Performances: This year we're joined by the 70s inspired bands Booty Vortex and Columbus, as well as a special engagement from the cast of The Donkey Show.
Cooking Contest: All are invited to submit their culinary creations for one-of-a-kind trophies and prizes. The Grand Champion gets a tour of the Fluff Factory. We've had 75+ entries in past years.
Shenanigans & Midway Games: From a games stage we lead fluff-filled silliness like Fluff Hair-Dos, the Lick-Off, and Blind Man's Fluff. This year we're planning several rounds of Fluff jousting! There's dozens of small scale games to test your skills or taste buds, from Fluff Bowling to sampling Fluff with everything from broccoli (not so good) to tuna (surprising well.) All the games have sweet prizes.
Fluff Grub & Stuff: As you might expect, there's lots to eat here at the festival. Lots of fluffernutters and whoopie pies (3000+ of each last year!), s'mores and krispie treats. All the nearby restaurants and bars get in on the event offering festival-exclusive special deals and treats.
Fluff Art: We have two shows happening in the neighborhood during the festival, with Fluff-inspired prints by Susan Olsen at one venue and an exhibit of traveling works from the Museum of Bad Art at another.
You can see all the details on the festival on our website, which is regularly updated via blog and twitter. http://unionsquaremain.org/fluff-festival/
How you can help us:
•Financially support the festival – Your contribution helps us cover the can't-beg-or-borrow stuff like the additional stages, sound systems, and portapotties, and helps us pay for supplies like printing and materials to build the games. We've got some really fun rewards to express our thanks.
•Volunteer - It literally takes a city to make this festival happen. Even if your pockets are only filled with fluff your support is still important to us! Well more than 200 volunteers are needed before and during the event. So if you can tie a balloon, smile as you pass out a program, spread peanut butter on bread or have the energy and talent to build one of the games, we'll find a way to express your sweet intentions. Volunteers get rewards too! You can email us directly for this at firstname.lastname@example.org
•Come to the event - The festival is most fun when joy-filled folks are here to spread the goodness. So pass the word and come celebrate with us!
Above is the image for this year's poster and postcard. Below is the image for 2011 t-shirt and limited edition silkscreen poster. Both were designed by Andrew Emerson.
I thought Marshmallow Fluff was from Lynn, MA and the festival is held in Somerville, MA. What gives?
Archibald Query, an Irish immigrant, created and manufactured a number of sugar based confections from a basement kitchen in Somerville. Among them was a whipped concoction of egg whites and sugar he called Toot Sweet and Mary Jane chews. His wife, Kate, worked in a nearby supermarket and he sold many of his products there.
Shortly after World War One, two veterans, H. Allen Durkee and Fred L. Mower, partnered with Archibald to make and sell Fluff. Legend has it that Durkee and Mower contributed $500 and Query his recipe. They renamed their primary product Marshmallow Fluff and sold it door to door. After about eight years working together Query left the business.
Today, the Durkee Mower company exclusively manufactures Marshmallow Fluff from their facility in Lynn, MA.
Maybe you can. We've got a selective process for vendors because we seek to create the right mix. Please contact us directly (email@example.com) for information about opportunities to sell food, crafts, other Fluff-inspired items, or to promote your business.
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Every dollar counts! We'll thank you on our website.Estimated delivery:
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Receive a cool 2011 "F" for Fluff pin.Estimated delivery:
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Audio file, appropriate to use as a phone greeting, from "Archibald Query," inventor of Marshmallow Fluff.Estimated delivery:
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Ticket to our VIP reception the evening of Friday, September 23. Meet Susan Olsen (aka Cindy Brady from the Brady Bunch) and schmooze with the Right Fluff Team.Estimated delivery:
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2011 Fluff Festival T-shirt.Estimated delivery:
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Limited edition, silkscreen poster of the wicked awesome, 70s-inspired, 2011 festival image by Andrew Emerson.Estimated delivery:
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Be a judge at the Fluff Festival Cooking Contest. Sample dozens of fabulous Fluff treats and rub elbows with fellow judge Rick Linnehan, the NASA astronaut who brought a Fluffernutter into outer space! Your name will appear in our program and on the festival website.Estimated delivery:
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Step on the stage to crown our Fabulous Pharaoh of Fluff. Your name will appear in our program and on the festival website.Estimated delivery:
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Reserved table for 4 at the Precinct patio in the thick of the Fluff Fest action and a pitcher of your brew of choice. 21+ only.Estimated delivery:
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Fluffernutter picnic for 4 with lots of tasty local food treats from the top of the closed-to-the-public Prospect Hill Tower. Amazing views of greater Boston! To be scheduled at a mutually agreed date. Includes 4 Fluff festival t-shirts.Estimated delivery:
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Dinner and a Fluff-cocktail at the Independent Restaurant with Fluff Festival producer Mimi Graney. To be scheduled at a mutually agreed date.Estimated delivery:
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Your name and/or logo on one of the Midway games at the festival such as Fluff Bowling, Fluff Fishing, Fluff Fear Factor, Pin the F on Fluff Boy and more!Estimated delivery:
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