40 Strange Events this Week


Here are over 40 strange events to do this week!

My top pick of the week — you really must try this! — is the Declaration of Independence Re-enactment, Jul 4, in Quincy, MA. I went last year and it blew my mind. Attendees portray actual roles of men who attended the constitutional congress, and you debate slavery and taxation and justice. It’s 2pm and 7pm so you have plenty of time afterwards get yourself to some fireworks. http://www.discoverquincy.com/calendarYear.htm

What you don’t want to do is go to any major beach or public park on July 4. These beaches and parks are open all the time, you know, not just one day.

An exception is the annual Boston 4th of July Fireworks & Concert is Jul 3 (practice) and Jul 4 (concert) on the Esplanade in Boston, MA. It combines fireworks and the Boston Pops orchestra. The way to do it is arrive way early and think of it like a day in the park. Bring plenty of drink and food. http://www.july4th.org

Or how about getting out of town? There are also tons of other July 4th Celebrations: Salem, Worcester, Edgartown, New Bedford, Plymouth, Lenox, Falmouth, Orleans, Fall River, Marblehead, Pittsfield, Wakefield, Chatham, and more. http://www.visit-massachusetts.com/events_fourth.html

Especially special will be the Independence Day Celebration at Sturbridge Village, the recreation museum with live actors in Sturbridge, MA. Jul 4. (508) 347-3362. Live action recreation museum of 1850’s. http://www.osv.org

I went to Gloucester last year for their pre-July 4th fireworks and it was well worth the trip. They shoot ’em off from the right of the beach, up the hill, near a huge rock. July 3. http://www.spnea.org/things/calendar/Events.asp?State=MA

Preceding this is a “Horribles Parade” in Gloucester, which sounds like a kids Halloween procession! Jul 3. http://www.capeannvacations.com/festival-event.cfm?id=26

Following is a beach bonfire on July 4 in Rockport! I’ve never seen a bonfire. http://www.rockportusa.com/festival-event.cfm?id=26

The city of Springfield has its own 4th of July website at http://www.spiritofspringfield.org/starspangle

Are you insane? Perhaps you’d like to be in three different 4th of July parades! Boston at 9am, Sudbury at 1pm, and Wakefield at 5pm. http://www.mcvfifesanddrums.org/calendar.html

The weird event of the week is undoubtedly Firefly, which is an arts festival similar to Burning Man. It’s a festival for artists, not just a bunch of merchants hawking goods. Everyone who comes should bring some kind of artistic talent, even if it’s small. Jul 3-6, in Vermont. Bring your own tent. http://fireflyartscollective.org

Slightly closer, try the Old Orchard Beach Parade & Sandcastle Sculpture Competition, Jul 3-4 in southern Maine. Old Orchard Street at West Grand Avenue, Old Orchard Beach, ME. 207-934-9068. Parade, square dancing, sand sculptures. Less than 2 hours from Boston. And Fireworks July 4th. http://www.oldorchardbeachmaine.com/Activity.htm

Way way closer, the Marblehead Summer Festival of Arts is Jul 3-6. They have kites, model boat building, wood carving, sand sculpture, looks surprisingly interesting. And they have their own horribles parade! http://www.marbleheadfestival.org

The Brockton Country Fair is yet another agricultural fair. They have fireworks nearly every day! And a “baby contest”. What are the babies supposed to do? Hint: it occurs right after Lucky Bob the Juggler. Jul 2-13. Historic Brockton Fairgrounds, RT. 123

Boston, MA. 617-442-6644. Free. Music, martial arts, food, entertainment. http://www.cityofboston.gov/arts/festival_schedule.asp The USS Constitution, also known as Old Ironsides, is a ship museum and they are having a “Turn-Around Cruise” on July 4. They also feature a Sunset Parade, which is Jul 5. Boston, MA. 7pm-8:30pm: fife & drum, Marine Corps, firing cannons, gun exercises. http://www.ussconstitution.navy.mil/EventCalendar.htm

Greater New Bedford Summerfest has six different stages and they claim that over 20,000 attend. Jul 4-6. It’s in New Bedford, MA, where the whaling museum is. 508-999-5231. http://www.newbedfordsummerfest.com and http://www.whalingmuseum.org

Berkshires Arts Festival is Jul 4-6. It is a juried art event with 175 artists all in tents outdoors. Great Barrington, MA. 413-298-0175. http://www.berkshiresartsfestival.com Oh and speaking of Great Barrington, I can’t resist telling you about Barong Imports which claims to be the largest asian art importer in the US. I’ve visited and it’s quite amazing. http://www.barongimports.com/

I have no idea what the “Hike ‘n’ Haiku” event is, but it’s definitely odd and I am listing it. I guess the first names, Walk ‘n’ Write, and Promenade & Poetry didn’t appeal. Jul 6. Notchview Park, Windsor, MA. http://www.thetrustees.org/pages/37262_hike_n_haiku.cfm

If you’re in Cambridge, then you may have heard of the Longfellow Historic Site. Well, they have an event every Sunday called the “Longfellow Family Sundays Art in the Park”. Basically there’s music and you may get to read a poem or join in a painting workshop. Or just hang out with a picnic lunch on a blanket on the lawn. It sounds like not exactly an event worth traveling for, but mellow and serene if you are already local. Sundays, Jul 6-Aug 31. 105 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA. 617-876-4491. Usually 1-4pm. http://www.nps.gov/long

Featuring what is easily one of the worst-looking Web sites I’ve seen lately, the New England Summer Nationals is the largest auto event on the East Coast. Jul 3-6. They destroy cars and add flame throwers, it sounds very “wrestling fan” but hey, it might be good. In Oxford, MA, which is near Worcester. 508-987-2652. http://www.summernationals.com

The touristy event of the week is Boston Harborfest. It features over 200 activities that are pretty much available year-round, such as guided tours, but a few special ones as well: –July 5. “Party On The Plaza”, but no time is listed. City Hall Plaza, Boston MA. Perhaps this is the same as “Drums in the Night”, which begins at 7pm, Jul 5. Free. –July 6. “Chowderfest”, which basically means, you show up, you eat some chowder. That should hold you for at least 30 minutes of fun. Possibly an hour if you’re from Memphis. http://www.bostonharborfest.com

“Paul Revere Tonight”, a one-man play or re-enactment of Paul Revere. At the Old North Church, Boston MA. July 1-6. Seems pretty good. http://www.oldnorth.com/harborfest/events.htm — July 1-6, 3-5pm. Re-enact the Boston Tea Party! Go to the New England Aquarium, raid a British ship, and fire the cannons! Make a reservation. They also seem to do it all summer. http://www.libertyfleet.com — July 4. A re-enactment of the “no tax on tea” town meeting in 1773. Boston. July 4 at 11am. http://www.oldsouthmeetinghouse.org/ — They’re also letting people try writing with a quill pen on July 6. http://www.oldsouthmeetinghouse.org/

There’s also a Town Meeting Re-Enactment from 1774 on July 6 at the North Bridge benches, in Concord, MA. 1:30pm and 3pm. http://www.nps.gov/mima/planyourvisit/events.htm

Outdoor movies continue:

— Boston, MA. Movies by Moonlight at the Boston Harbor Hotel. July 4. “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)”. At dusk. 617-439-7000. http://www.bhh.com/special_eventcal.htm

— Dorchester, MA. Neponset River Greenway Festival & Movie Series. Jul 3. Pope John Paul II Park, Gallivan Blvd, Dorchester, MA. 617-542-7696. All movies begin at sunset, around 7:30-8pm. Every Thursday. http://www.bostonnatural.org

— Falmouth, MA. Wednesday Movies Under the Stars. July 2, “Game Plan”. Peg Noonan Park, Main Street, Falmouth, MA. 508-487-3424. At dusk. http://www.falmouthchamber.com/more/calendar/event/909

— Onset, MA. Onset Bay Movie Co. Jul 3, “Transformers”. The Bandshell, behind 197 Onset Avenue, Onset, MA. 508-295-9026. http://www.myspace.com/obmco

— It’s not outdoors, but Dinner and a Movie at the Hampshire House, continues, Jul 5, “Rear Window”. 7pm. $30 Also outdoor theatre, The Seagull, by Anton Chekhov, July 3 – Sep 7, and Hay Fever, by Noel Coward, July 24 – Sep 14. All this at the stage near the Charles River off Storrow Drive west, Boston MA. http://www.publicktheatre.com

I like circuses so I am listing this one. It is called UniverSoul Circus, the idea being that its performers are drawn from all over the world, unlike other circuses… wait a second, they usually draw talent from foreign countries, too. Hmm. July 1-6. http://www.universoulcircus.com

Continuing events:

— Amesbury Days, in Amesbury, MA, to July 4. http://www.amesburyma.gov/home.nfs?a=amesbury&group=503 — Shakespeare Under the Stars, Hadley, MA, to July 27. http://www.hampshireshakespeare.org Hint of the week: if you’re on the subway and the car’s not air conditioned, skip ahead to the next car, it probably is.-Johnny p.s. Like this blog? Do me a favor and tell your friends. Get it as a weekly email at http://tiny.cc/uYULq and see my huge list of 2000 activities at http://tiny.cc/qH4YT