On Sunday July 30th, BCF along with the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, welcomed over 500 community members to the first-ever Brookline Community Parkfest, a free event featuring lawn games, energizing performances, delicious food, and more all outside in historic Olmsted Park.

“Brookline has an abundance of free and open greenspace,” said Aba Taylor, Executive Director of the Brookline Community Foundation. “Affirming to every member of our community that they are welcome, that they belong here, and coming together to celebrate these shared outdoor treasures—that’s what Parkfest is all about.”

BCF executive director Aba Taylor welcomes community members to Parkfest from the main stage

Aba Taylor welcomes community to Parkfest (Photographer: Tyahra Angus, AfroCentered Media)

Parkfest opened with welcoming remarks from Karen Mauney-Brodek, the Executive Director of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and Aba Taylor. Boston Bhangra kicked off the performances with high-energy dancing that had audiences on their feet. Brookline Symphony Orchestra musicians played beautiful music throughout the day, and dancers from the Treveni School of Dance showcased classical Indian choreography. Finally, Boston Rhythm Riders closed out the performances with an audience-wide line dance party.

Two dancers in brightly colored costumes pose gracefully as they perform classical Indian dance on Parkfest's main stage

Treveni School of Dance dancers perform classical Indian dance for Parkfest guests

Throughout the day, guests enjoyed delicious food from Kush by Saba Mediterranean Food and Zaaki Food Truck, free soft drinks courtesy of CulturePop, lawn games like corn hole and giant Connect 4, and even a guided tree walk hosted by Emerald Necklace Conservancy Guides. Community organizations including Brookline Mothers Out Front, Heart of a Giant Foundation, Gateway Arts, and more connected with community members to share more about their work.

“It’s great to be here and really talk with so many members of the Brookline community about our work and our artists,” said Greg Liakos, Director of Gateway Arts. “It’s rare to have time like this when we can all slow down and really get to know folks. This has been a great event and hopefully the first of many.”

A selection of brightly colored postcards depicting different art are displayed on a stand

Gateway Arts showcases original postcards of artists’ works

For more stories from Parkfest, check out Ashley D’Souza’s article for the Brookline Hub.