Summer Sendoff canceled, Second Saturday survives

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Summer Sendoff may have been postponed, but there was still plenty of activity on Poplar Street, at the new Butterfly Boutique and WHCP Radio (above) and at the RAR Brewery.

CAMBRIDGE — Ahead of the threatening weather, the cryptic message came down from the Cambridge Main Street offices: “Unfortunately, because of the risk of weather throughout the day, Cambridge Main Street had to cancel/postpone its Summer Sendoff — Blues, Brews and Barbecue event downtown this past Saturday. The ongoing threat of rain, including what appears to be another band of significant rainfall around 8 p.m., made live band performances and other uses of electricity by restaurants and vendors unnecessarily dangerous.”

True, the weather report looked threatening, but the weather was only questionable, leaving the evening open for the adventurous and foolhardy — a great combination for a Saturday night downtown! So in spite of the dire predictions, a few brave (foolish?) souls wandered out onto the un-closed Race and Poplar streets to see what fun could be had — there was a fair amount going on.

Poplar Street was abuzz, or course, with RAR Brewery holding down the anchor position on the south end. There’s always a crowd enjoying themselves at RAR, and on Saturday a band was setting up to add a little music to the scene.

WHCP Radio, at 512 Poplar, had spent the whole morning setting up for an open house celebration, and a little weather wasn’t going to discourage. “It’s cloudy with a chance of meatballs, as far as we’re concerned,” said Station Manager Mike Starling, stirring a crock pot full of you-know-what. “We’re going ahead with the party, and broadcasting that we’ll be here for anyone brave enough to defy the National Weather Service. Lots of our members are going to be here, and we expect to pull a bunch of folks in from the street.”  Mike’s prediction appeared accurate, as a large crowd drifted in and out of the radio station all evening.

The new store Butterfly Boutique was open, and doing a brisk business in the old Maggie’s Hatbox location. Another new boutique in town, Calista’s Boutique, even hosted the food concession for the Hyatt Riverfront, which came in and set up for the Sendoff in spite of the closure. “We had all the food prepared,” said the concessionaire on site, “no sense in wasting it!” The Riverfront was selling barbecue on the drizzly evening. Many other businesses were open as well, but since it was also Second Saturday, it wasn’t really surprising.

But for the Sendoff…it fizzled. The threat of weather chased it to its alternate date, which will be the same weekend as the Ironman Triathlon.

“Cambridge Main Street invites everyone to come back on Oct. 3, when it will throw another great event downtown in conjunction with IronMan Maryland,” said Brandon Hesson, executive director. “We’ll have the same food, drinks and live entertainment you expect from a Cambridge Main Street event.”

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