Holyoke Street came alive on Sunday as people danced downright, ate a barbecue and drank beer at “Hoedown on Holyoke,” a one-day block party hosted by the Harvard Square Business Association.
The eight-hour event officially hosted the Smoke Shop BBQ, which opened its Holyoke Street location last October, in Harvard Square. On the block party, the restaurant served up some of its staples, like barbecue sliders, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, cornbread, and sweet and spicy coleslaw.
The Smoke Shop BBQ was voted the best barbecue in Boston by Boston Magazine this year. The restaurant has four other locations in the state besides Harvard Square: Assembly Row, Kendall Square, Seaport, and TD Garden. In addition to dining and catering, the restaurant offers a variety of internal special events ranging from whiskey tastings to a Kentucky Derby party.
The hoedown also featured performances by comedian Jimmy Tingle, Frank Drake Trio and DJ Ron Ferrell.
Liz Cohen, an Arlington resident, said she stumbled upon the hoedown while searching online for fun activities near Boston.
“It smells amazing,” Cohen said. “We came here trying to do country dancing – square dancing. “
Wynne L. Freed, a participant who lives near Central Square, said she was particularly excited about the closing act, local artist Frank Drake, whom she called “an incredible musician.”
While the Harvard Square Business Association hosted several events last year with Covid-19 safety precautions, it only resumed programming in earnest last summer, according to Denise A. Jillson, the president of the ‘association.
“We knew before this event that it would be mellow and a little quieter, but it was very nice,” Jillson said in an interview at the event. “We want to be able to assure people that they can come to Harvard Square, that we can host these events, that they will be safe, that we will take whatever precautions we need to be outside.”
Jillson added that Cambridge residents can look forward to more events in the coming months, including Oktoberfest and the Winter Carnival.
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