What the Fluff, the oddball annual Union Square, Somerville, Massachusetts, festival celebrating the gooey marshmallow confection is a hoot. My personal history with Fluff includes travels with a tub of it, and I've shared some of my favorite snaps from Europe and the US here. Updated with details for 2023.

I love an oddball festival

I love me an oddball festival, and Somerville’s What the Fluff festival is right in my backyard. Going back to 2006, the festival celebrates one of Somerville’s most famous inventions: marshmallow Fluff, an oeey-gooey sweet concoction beloved in the Northeastern part of the US.

The What the Fluff festival itself has become a beloved tradition. Check out details below to plan your fest for 2023.

Fluff in Florence
Fluff in Florence

My own Fluff celebration

My own experience with Fluff includes not only attending the festival since its inception in 2006, but also using a tub of Fluff as a prop in my tourist photos. 

Travels with Fluff

My early travels weren’t entirely solo: I used to bring along a tub of Fluff. It started when an American friend of mine requested that I bring 4 tubs of Fluff, along with a few boxes of Jiffy Cornbread mix with me when I met up with her in London. While I was in line at the supermarket checkout, I contemplated the design of the Fluff tub and had an idea.

An idea

A bit camera shy myself, I didn’t take selfies, but decided to use Fluff as my standin. Fluff traveled to the UK, France, Italy, and a number of destinations in the US, and I had a blast with the project while it lasted. I still have my well-traveled Fluff tub, but, alas, it has sustained an injury and can no longer travel.

Travels with Fluff: a few of my favorite snaps

Fluff’s Somerville origins and the famous Fluffernutter

Marshmallow Fluff’s origins trace back to 1917 in Somerville, Massachusetts, when Archibald Query began selling his magical concoction that he made in his kitchen. After the war, he sold the formula to a company based in Lynn, Massachusetts, where it is still made today. Fluff stars in Fluffernutter sandwiches (peanut butter and marshmallow, and soft white sandwich bread). While absolutely delicious, and my favorite sandwich as a girl, they make me super woozy, now that I’m in my dotage.

History of Fluff
Fluff's Somerville history. Conway Park, Somerville, Massachusetts, USA

The very first What the Fluff Festival

One of Fluff’s favorite adventures was to the very first What the Fluff festival in Somerville’s Union Square in 2006, before I moved here. Burlesque Flufferettes, “Archie Query,” and some fun games delighted all.

Fluff proudly posed with its likeness. I still have the t-shirt. A tradition was born, joining other oddball Somerville events.

What the Fluff snaps

What the Fluff Festival 2023

This year’s What the Fluff festival will take place 23 September (rain date 24 September) in Union Square, Somerville. Check the official website for more details as they become available.