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15 minutes of fame? Fluff gets a full day

If there are festivals to celebrate apples, pumpkins and beer, why not Fluff?

On Saturday, Union Square will become the center of all things Marshmallow Fluff, the spread invented in 1917 by a Somerville resident, Archibald Query, who once sold the creamy concoction door-to-door.

There will be Fluffacinos and Fluff-inspired cocktails, Rice Krispies Treats, and, of course, the maligned Fluffernutter sandwiches, made with Fluff and peanut butter. Toscanini's even made a special Fluffy Chocolate ice cream flavor for the celebration.

Three bands will perform Fluff-inspired jingles, and a local dance troupe calling themselves the Flufferettes, after the weekly radio program the owners produced in the 1930s, will perform a kick line to ``Marshmallow World."

Mimi Graney, executive director of Union Square Main Streets, said her organization came up with the idea to host a Fluff festival before state Senator Jarrett Barrios took on the Fluffernutter sandwich earlier this year, offering an amendment to a junk-food bill that would have limited the serving of marshmallow spreads in schools. Graney was a tad annoyed that he stole her thunder.

She was hoping he could make it up to her by attending the event and even participating in a tug-of-war over a giant pool of Fluff with state Representative Kathi-Anne Reinstein, who countered Barrios's proposal with a suggestion to name the Fluffernutter as the official state sandwich.

But last week, Barrios spokesman Mike Bloom sighed when asked about the festival and said his boss had other commitments. ``Even if he wanted to, he wouldn't be able to," Bloom said.

Not to worry. Graney plans to stage a tug-of-war anyway, and she's busy preparing for other events, including a Fluff cooking contest, a Fluff art exhibition and a Fluff science fair.

She said she has had more than her share of Fluff. She spent the summer testing it to find out how many bees it would attract (not that many) and how hard it would be to clean up (not very ).

Organizers worked to pull in local businesses, such as P.A.'s Lounge, which is selling the Fluffacino -- an espresso with a shot of Frangelico or Amaretto liqueur and a glob of Fluff on top. The Independent created two cocktails for the event -- the Fluffernutter Martini, a chocolate martini with Fluff and Reese's Pieces on top, and the Coney Island Men's Room, a blue martini with a scrape of strawberry Fluff floating on top. And Sherman Cafe is making Fluffernutter sandwiches, including one with banana, and a variety of Rice Krispies Treats made with N utella hazelnut spread .

Dina Gjertsen, a member of the Somerville Arts Council board, a sponsor of the festival, said she's been trying to put together a science experiment for it.

``I'm going to see if Marshmallow Fluff will conduct electricity," she said. Her plan is to take a battery that powers a small light bulb and hook it up to tubes that are filled with Fluff.

``I think Marshmallow Fluff probably doesn't conduct electricity," she conceded. ``If it does, that will be awesome."