Since its inception in 1976, the Cambridge River Festival has provided a fascinating laboratory for experimental public art. The free public event, which takes place along the Charles River, is one of the Commonwealth's largest celebrations of the arts, attended by over one hundred thousand people annually. For a day in June, a mile long stretch of the riverbank is transformed into an eclectic artistic medley, where visual artists, musicians, dancers, storytellers, poets, and roving performers present their diverse creations. The energy is exhilarating.
The festive spirit and the transitory nature of the Festival have fostered artistic explorations far beyond the traditional boundaries of public art. Artists have presented structures of every imaginable kind - inflatable, mechanical, digital, musical, floating, rolling -- and created installations both on the riverbank and in the river itself.