News

Former Defense Department General Counsel Appointed Harvard’s Top Lawyer

News

Democracy Center Protesters Stage ‘Emergency Rally’ with Pro-Palestine Activists Amid Occupation

News

Harvard Violated Contract With HGSU in Excluding Some Grad Students, Arbitrator Rules

News

House Committee on China to Probe Harvard’s Handling of Anti-CCP Protest at HKS

News

Harvard Republican Club Endorses Donald Trump in 2024 Presidential Election

‘Another Great Time’: Cambridge Hosts 24th Annual City Dance Party

Despite the summer heat, hundreds of Cantabrigians turned out for the event, which began in 1996 to celebrate Cambridge's 150th anniversary.
Despite the summer heat, hundreds of Cantabrigians turned out for the event, which began in 1996 to celebrate Cambridge's 150th anniversary. By Elyse C. Goncalves

Dana Parello Jr., a native of Waltham, Mass., runs a pressure washing and car detailing business during the day. But with a bit of free time and an invitation from his friends, he found himself at the 24th annual City Dance Party in Central Square last Friday night.

“I’m just somebody who likes to bring people together,” Parello said. “I met some pretty cool people who seemed like pretty good dancers, and we kind of just kept the circle stronger and stronger.”

Despite the summer heat, hundreds of Cantabrigians turned out for the event, which began in 1996 to celebrate Cambridge’s 150th anniversary, pausing just briefly for the Covid-19 pandemic before making its return last year.

The event took place across a closed section of Massachusetts Avenue lined with restaurants and shops. The streets were decorated with multicolored tape and a children’s section with swings, a seesaw, and an inflatable rainbow, which deflated a ways into the night.

Sonal Rathod, who works in Cambridge, came for her second year in a row, this time bringing a friend to dance and try out local eateries.

“It’s the crowd which makes you feel lively, so you just have fun with lots of people around, lots of activities, a lot of things to do with food and drinks,” Rathod said.

The event featured three local DJs, all of whom played differently themed sets. DJ Nomadik opened up the evening’s events at 6 p.m. with a slew of ’90s hits, including The Village People’s “YMCA.”

Friends Steve Pompeo and Tim Howe committed to the theme before the event, donning sparkly gold shirts, rhinestoned glasses, and curly blond wigs. On top of that, the two wore matching jackets featuring Madonna's “Vogue” album cover on the back.

“I hope they play the Madonna ‘Vogue’ song because look what I’m wearing,” Pompeo said.

“Part of the reason we dress like this is because it puts a smile on people’s face,” he continued.

Having attended the event last year with friends, Pompeo and Howe said they returned to have “another great time.”

“We’re so thankful that the city of Cambridge puts this on for the community. It’s very good for the community; it’s uplifting for the community,” Pompeo said.

Locals of all ages came to the event, including Rachel A. Darrick, a 14-year Cambridge resident who brought her kids. Darrick and her family had come to the event briefly in the past, but she said she was looking forward to coming this year.

“I love this event. I hope they keep it forever,” she said. “Also, I want to get a babysitter and just come with my friends.

—Staff writer Elyse C. Goncalves can be reached at elyse.goncalves@thecrimson.com. Follow her on X @e1ysegoncalves or on Threads @elyse.goncalves.

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tags
CambridgeMetroPhoto EssayFront Photo Feature