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Central Square Plays Host To 7th Annual World's Fair

By Ethan M. Katz, CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Students, visitors and Cantabrigians flocked to Central Square yesterday to sample food, crafts and entertainment from around the world at the 7th Annual Central Square World's Fair.

Booths offering everything from African art to Mexican food lined Mass. Ave. from Main Street to Pleasant Street, and musicians performed at nine stages throughout the fair.

Rick B. Roth, owner of a T-shirt printing and Internet publishing business, sold T-shirts and promoted the Somerville chapter of Amnesty International at the fair.

Roth said he has participated in the fair for the last seven years. "It seems to have been getting bigger every year," he said.

Charles L. Stead, who is one of eight candidates running for the six seats on the Cambridge School Committee, said he came to the fair to gain exposure.

"I come for this thing often," he said. "It's great. Look at the people it brings out."

Ajidewe Son, a musical group that combines African rhythms, Western harmonies and Spanish lyrics, was one of the bands that provided entertainment.

Channing T. Booth, musical director and pianist for the group, said he was excited about his performance. "There is energy in this group that flows out into the audience," he said.

In an enclave near the Prospect Street corner, several community groups had set up exhibits addressing issues from zoning regulations to the planned demolition of part of Central Square.

According to Paul J. Schlaver, a fair volunteer, the fair was started by the Central Square Business Association, but is now run by an organizing committee.

John R. Clifford, committee chair and a Central Square business owner, said the goal of the fair is to emphasize unity and diversity.

The fair is also intended to bring people to the Square and to show them that it is not a dangerous area, he said.

Stead said he believed the fair achieved its goals.

"[Cambridge's] popularity has been waning," he said. "This is great for the area."

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