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MIT makes way for Cambridge festivals

The city of Cambridge is throwing a party, and MIT is invited!

Make that two parties.

The city has planned two large festivals, one this Sunday and one next, that will affect parking and traffic around MIT.

On Sunday, Aug. 21, "Salsa at Sunset"--a dance and music festival similar to the one held last year during the Democratic National Convention--will "celebrate the magic of salsa music," according the city's website.

Festivities start at 3:15 p.m. and will include a salsa dance group, lessons, a competition for children 12 and under and a salsa exhibition.

At 7 p.m., El Chaval and his group will play bachata, music from the Dominican Republic. Chaval will be followed by Paquito Guzman playing salsa and El Jeffrey playing merengue. The festival ends at 10 p.m.

The stage for the event will be set in MIT's East Parking Lot (the East Garage Annex Lot). From 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., the section of Main Street between Vassar and Ames streets will be closed.

Vehicles with MIT permits can access the back section of the East Lot from Ames Street between Buildings 66 and 68, but approximately two-thirds of the East Lot will be posted with no parking signs on Sunday, Aug. 21, from 1 a.m. to 11 p.m. Vehicles left in no parking areas will be towed on Sunday.

The following Sunday--Aug. 28--the city plans to hold the 12th annual "Cambridge Carnival - A Caribbean Style Festival" in a new location on Main Street between Kendall and Central squares.

Festivities begin at noon in Kendall Square and will include two stages with live music, ethnic foods, arts and crafts, dancing, steel bands and activities for children.

At 12:30 p.m., a parade will start at the corner of Sidney and Pacific streets, ending at Main and Vassar. The festival will end at 7 p.m.

It is not clear yet what effect the carnival will have on parking around the Institute.

"We encourage the MIT community to attend both the festivals," said Paul Parravano, MIT's co-director of government and community affairs.

Questions may be addressed to Larry Brutti, Operations Manager of the Parking and Transportation Office at

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