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Franklin - Local Town Pages

Franklin Cultural Festival September 10th

By J.D. O’Gara

The Franklin Cultural Festival, presented by the Franklin Cultural Council, is on once again. Last year, the event drew 8,000 people, featuring artisans, food trucks, and performances throughout the day. This year, the event, taking place on Saturday, September 10th, from 12-6 p.m., will be even bigger, with 52 artists and vendor booths, including a new community cultural lane.

 “This year we have much more, and 14 community booths as well, so we really are much more full this year,” says Kaye Kelly, Chair of the Franklin Cultural Council and organizer of the event centered around Community Unity. “The bottom line (is) that all vendors – everyone is based in arts and culture. We’ve been very clear just to keep it strictly arts and culture. 

SheGrooves, a group of female Berklee professors, will perform at the festival. 

The artisan fair is juried, representing artists from all over the region. “We have one board member, Shelley Greene, who looked through and makes sure there are not many of the same vendors. We try not to create competition,” says Kelly. Featured wares range from bath and body items to watercolor paintings, sketch artists, jewelry makers, photographers, and textile items.

The Franklin Cultural Festival boasts a great lineup of entertainment again this year, welcoming back headliner Grammy-winning percussionist, Eguie Castillo and the Mar del Norte Salsa Orchestra at 4:30 p.m. Immediately prior to the salsa band, salsa instructors from the Rhode Island Latin Dance School will provide a half hour of instruction (4-4:30 p.m.), great for those who want to move to the music. Entertainers include the FHS Theater Company, from 12-12:30, ONOT Israeli Dance Troupe from 12:45-1:15, Ron Reid’s Sunsteel Quartet form 1:30-2:30, a community Indian Showcase, with an Indian wedding theme) from 2:45-3:30, and SheGrooves, featuring female professors from Berkeley College of Music (including Kaye Kelly), from 3:45-4:15.

Food trucks are also a big part of the festival, and this year, folks can choose from Indian food, tacos, Thai food, chicken wings, Caribbean food, Mediterranean & Halal food, a juicer, ice cream, cannoli, and specialty nonalcoholic drinks. For those who would like a little kick to their drinks, a beer garden across from the common, next to the Franklin Church of the Redeemer, which has donated the space, will offer some alcoholic drink options. 

This year, event t-shirts will also be available for $25.

“We’re doing pre-sale on Eventbrite, and there will be t-shirts at the festival,” says Kelly, “They’re a direct donation to the festival. We will take cash and credit cards, with a QR code at the festival.”

“We’re hoping each year gets better,” says Kelly, “and as we move forward more sponsors to help us fund it each year. Sponsors, as of Local Town Pages’ deadline, included Allegra Print, Mint Dental, Daddario Hardware, The Arienti Group Real Estate Team, Franklin Matters, Elizabeth’s Bagels, Maione Landscaping and Power Painting Plus.

Local businesses and individuals are invited to be Community Unity Sponsors, notes Kelly. Community Unity Sponsors, for a donation of $50 apiece, will be celebrated with a flower sculpture garden installed at the event. Each flower will sport a sign (all signs, t-shirts, lanyards, banners, and other artwork is being generously donated by Allegra Printing) naming various sponsors. “It will be a visual representation, an artistic representation” of supporters, says Kelly.  

Proceeds from this event (from artisan vendor fees) will benefit the missions of the Franklin Cultural Council. For updates, visit or find Franklin Cultural Council on Facebook.

For more information, please reach out to Kaye Kelly, FCC Chair at [email protected] .

All sponsorships are tax deductible. Checks may be addressed to the “Franklin Cultural Council” and sent to 355 East Central Street,
Franklin, MA 02038. 

“Last year we were overwhelmed with community support for the event, as well as the town administration support for the event,” says Kelly, who admits working seven days a week in the summer on this project. 

Kelly notes that the town of Franklin supports the Franklin Cultural Council annually with $15,000, and about $10,000 of that is helping to fund the Cultural Festival this year. Also, the Cultural Festival received a $10,000 line item in the Massachusetts state budget secured by Sen. Becca Rausch, “because the festival had such a positive impact on the community that was not expected and amazing,” says Kelly. “It was a success, and our vendors, our artists made a lot of money. It was a great time, and a great day to offer the community, with a chance to see diverse, high-quality entertainers.”

Franklin Cultural Festival Lineup 2022

Main Stage

FHS Theater Company: 12-12:30

ONOT Israeli Dance Troupe: 12:45-1:15

Ron Reid’s Sunsteel Quartet: 1:30-2:30

Community Indian Showcase (Indian Wedding theme): 2:45 – 3:30

SheGrooves (featuring female professors from Berklee College of Music): 3:45-4:15

Rhode Island Latin School of Dance—salsa lessons at 4:15 p.m.

Eguie Castrillo Salsa Orchestra: 4:30-6

Other Performers:

Big Joe the Storyteller, in Kids’ Corner (behind main stage to the left): 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

TEN31 Productions Living Statues of Ben Franklin, Betsy Ross and Harriet Tubman

Making Faces and Body Designs (face painters): sponsored by Mint Dental