‘Dotoberfest’ will bring fall festivities to South Bay

Beautification efforts for Polish Triangle?

Dorchester will soon have its very own Oktoberfest-inspired beer garden event at Jan Karski Way hosted by South Bay. Organizers are calling the event “Dotoberfest,” and have confirmed that the celebration will run from Oct. 3 to Oct. 27 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Keith Hague, the vice president of South Bay’s real estate and development company EDENS, presented the “Dotoberfest” plans to the McCormick Civic Association last Tuesday. Civic members were generally supportive and excited for the initiative, with many calling it a smart idea. 

Hague termed “Dotoberfest” a “community event,” and said that in addition to the beer garden – with Craft Brewery Exchange as the host – and pumpkin patch there will be artisanal food, live music, a farmer’s market, children’s games and crafts, food trucks, and even and a pet adoption.

“DJ’s Market will be our featured vendor,” Hague said. “They’re going to do their Polish donuts and pickles. We’ll also have some Polish dancing and we’re looking into getting some local musicians to come out.” 

In a more macro look at the expansion and evolution within and around South Bay, developers are eyeing the Polish triangle – the neighborhoods bounded by Boston Street, Dorchester Avenue, and Columbia Road – as an opportunity for a thruway connection. 

EDENS wants to identify South Bay as a new extension to the Polish triangle and encourage pedestrian activity from its streets and neighborhoods through to the shopping center. Plans include recognizing Boston Street as a main street in the area, creating a gateway at a primary entrance to the neighborhood complete with Polish folk art and lamp post banners. 

Said Hague: “We want to improve the pedestrian experience as you’re walking from Andrew Square into the South Bay center and also all the way down Boston Street to Edward Everett Square. We’ve come up with some designs that are really geared toward Polish heritage and showing that this is the Polish triangle.” 

Another concept that EDENS proposed is the construction of a colorful mural painted on the wood fence in front of the Scrub-a-Dub Car Wash that would include greeting in both English and Polish. Polish statements and witticism were also presented as painted additions along sidewalks in the area to “provide unexpected moments and infuse Polish culture.” 

“All of these things have to go through a city approval process. We obviously want to make sure that everyone here is comfortable with it before we start that process,” Hague said of his company’s placemaking efforts. “We were trying to get it all done before “Dotoberfest,” but I think the city process will take a little bit too long to make that happen.”

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