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Honkers hit the street Columbus Day weekend


Photo by Allison Mowrer

For most New Englanders, early October is a time for apple picking, leaf peeping, and sipping mulled cider by the fire. But for Cambridge residents, it means only one thing: It's time for the annual HONK! Festival.

And this year's festival promises not to disappoint. On Sunday afternoon, over 350 musicians from across the U.S., Canada, and Europe, will descend on Davis Square to reclaim the streets for horns, bikes, and feet. After a two-mile parade down Mass Ave., they will perform at Harvard Square's 30th annual Oktoberfest and again at 8pm at the Somerville Theatre.

Drawing from folk traditions as diverse as New Orleans second line brass, Romani music, and Brazilian Afro Bloc, HONK! bands bring a unique sensibility to their instrumentation and attire, making this one of the most unusual musical spectacles in the world.  According to HONK! founders, "Every one of these bands has a unique sense of humor to complement their sound, as they mock and discredit the roots of hatred and injustice through the whimsical act of making music together."

But "Honkers" also celebrate community, drawing spectators into their revelry and often recruiting new members right off the street. Whether you honk to protest injustice or to just plain have fun, come to the HONK! Festival this weekend and see what all the noise is about.

For more information and a full schedule of events, visit