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Jamaica Plain pays tribute to JP Music Festival mascot: legendary albino squirrel of Jamaica Pond

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  August 24, 2012 01:31 PM

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(Steve Garfield / YouTube)

In 2008, Jamaica Plain resident and blogger Steve Garfield shot video of the famed albino squirrel of Jamaica Pond.

Jamaica Plain businesses are gearing up for the second-annual JP Music Festival with an array of events and promotions, including specially-made beer, cookies and cupcakes that pay tribute to the festival’s mascot – a legendary albino squirrel that once scurried around Jamaica Pond.

(JP Music Festival)
The festival's mascot logo.
The rare white-furred, pink-eyed squirrel – some have said there were once multiple albino squirrels – lived for several years around Jamaica Pond drawing attention from locals. The celebrity mammal was closely followed, documented by photographers and videographers.

On April 18, 2009, the squirrel was found dead by the pond’s shores, according to the Friends of Jamaica Pond. She was six years old.

When the JP Music Festival launched last year, it selected a cartoon-style albino squirrel face, which wears a hat, as its mascot.

The free, all-ages event features music from artists and bands who either live or work in Jamaica Plain. About 1,000 spectators attended the festival last summer at Pinebank Field.

The second JP Music Festival is scheduled to be held at the same venue on Sat., Sept. 8 from 12 to 7 p.m.

Organizers said that neighborhood businesses have begun selling promotional products and are donating a portion of the proceeds to help cover the festival’s cost.

To help promote the festival and the fair-skinned squirrel it memoralizes, Notch Brewing in Ipswich has produced a limited-quantity, 13-keg batch of “Squirrel Brew,” according to a press release from festival organizers.

The 4.5 alcohol by volume brew is “an unfiltered blonde bitter and uses American hops (citrus and pine aroma) for a balanced hop flavor and dry finish,” the release said.

It will be sold at the following Jamaica Plain restaurants and bars: Brendan Behan Pub at 378 Centre St.; Doyle’s Café at 3484 Washington St.; Galway House at 710 Centre St.; The Haven at 2 Perkins St.; James’s Gate at 5-11 McBride St.; and The Midway at 3496 Washington St.

To celebrate the special beer, festival organizers said they plan to hold a pub crawl at those locations on Sept. 5, starting at 7 p.m.

Ula Café will bake batches of sugar cookies shaped like the albino squirrel, the festival release said. The cookies will be sold starting Aug. 25.

Blue Frog Bakery will bake a JP Music Festival cookie “that any squirrel would love.” The cookie, made with nuts, including pecans and walnuts, will be sold starting Aug. 27, according to the release.

And, Monumental Cupcakes will bake a special “Squirrel Cupcake” featuring chocolate cake with orange icing. It will be sold starting Aug. 27.

Others joining in the pre-festival festitivies, include the Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts, which will be hosting a “Music Instrument Workshop for Kids” on Aug. 25 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the school, event organizers said.

Using household items provided at the workshop, families can make “simple and fun” instruments, including “a paper towel tube rain stick, a cigar box guitar, and straw pan pipes,” the release said. Children can then bring their homemade instruments to the festival. The workshop will also include live music and a raffle.

Meanwhile, City Feed, plans to offer a special JP Music Festival sandwich for sale, the release said.

And, Narragansett Beer has created and donated bar coasters to help advertise the festival. The coasters are available at bars across JP.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at
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