On a warm Saturday afternoon, the streets around Union Square in Somerville were closed to cars and filled with people eating marshmallow fluff. Somerville, Cambridge’s neighbor, boasts the title of home to Fluff. The marshmallow spread was created there in 1907. In order to celebrate their famous creation, Union Square Mainstreets and the Somerville Arts Council hosted the 14th annual What The Fluff? Festival on Sept. 21. The event ran from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and boasted a variety of fluff-related food and games.
Containers of Fluff were a common sight amongst the vendors at the street festival. Fluff is a marshmallow spread that is common in “Fluffernutter” sandwiches. Fluffernutters are made with peanut butter and Fluff.
Students from Somerville High School walked through the crowd selling their own homemade Fluffernutters in order to raise money for their school’s music department.
The "Dept. of Shenanigans Stage" hosted a variety of Fluff-related games throughout the day. Fluff jousting involved two people balancing on a balance beam and hitting each other with pool noodles covered in Fluff. The goal of the game, played by both children and adults, is to knock your opponent off the balance beam. Other games included a “Fluff Lick-off,” “”Fluff on the Nose” and “Fluff Musical Chairs.”
Children could also play Fluff-related lawn games, including “The Great Fluff Shoot Out,” which entails throwing Fluff lids onto ledges.
In addition to classic Fluffernutters, a wide variety of fluffy food was available for purchase. Jennifer Lee’s Bakery — a gluten, eggs, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, and sesame-free bakery — sold treats including caramel sweet potato fluff cake jars and s'mores cinnamon buns.
Gracie’s Ice Cream, an ice cream shop in Union Square, was selling Toasted Fluff Cones for festival goers looking for a cold marshmallow treat.
Fluff was not the only food item for sale — many local food vendors offered their fares at the festival. Food options ranged from Argentinian to India cuisines, with plenty of savory plates.
For those looking to take home souvenirs with a shelf life longer than marshmallow spread, the festival also included Fluff-related merchandise. Fluff keychains, pillows, shirts, hats, and magnets were among the items for sale.
The annual festival attracted attendees of all ages. As the sun began to sink low in the sky, small children peppered the audience as adults battled with pool noodles onstage. Another day in Somerville.