Carnival, Civil War & Drummers, Telescope nights, & Kite, Art, & Music Fests

Photos are back! See the last few outdoor events of the season at the bottom.

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The Week in Weird
Cambridge Carnival Internationale 9/13 Boston Metro
The weird event of the week is Carnival! They say 150,000 will attend. 12-7pm.
Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA.617-492-2518. more
The Harvard Square Bookish Ball 9/12 Boston Metro
Also in Cambridge, the Harvard Square Business Association runs numerous events to stimulate commerce, but this is one of the more creative ones. They’re going to close off Palmer Street so you can “Dance to bookish beats”. Bookish beats? Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Palmer Street, Cambridge, MA. more
BioBlitz at the Seacoast Science Center 9/12 New Hampshire
Or try this weird event, which involves finding and counting animals, in this “marathon”, presumably for some kind of biodiversity research.
570 Ocean Blvd., Rye, NH.603-436-8043. more
Acton Day 9/12 Metro West
Closer to home, Acton is more creative than its size would suggest! I can’t find a description for this year’s festival, but last year’s included a bungee run, moon bounces, Dance Dance Revolution, and a dunk tank. Then, a Rolling Stones tribute band!
NARA Park, Acton, MA.978-264-9608. more
The Long Arm of the Law 9/12 Metro West
While you’re out west, there’s just no stopping MIMA, the national park. This re-enactment is a 1770’s courtroom.
Hartwell Tavern – Rt. 2A, Lincoln, MA. more
Drummers Call @ Sturbridge Village 9/12 Southern Mass
I’m going to tell you a secret about Sturbridge Village. JUST GO. It doesn’t matter that they’re having hundreds of historical re-enactors come and demonstrate military drumming. The village itself is a marvel, with tons of live actors representing 19th century New Englandy goodness. Just go, for Pete’s sake.
1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.508-347-3362. more
Civil War Re-enactment & Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Sprague Mansion Gala 9/12 – 9/13 Rhode Island
Are you willing to travel for history? It’s still Lincoln’s 200th birthday! Followed by a gala in Cranston, RI.
Lincoln, RI. more
Civil War Living History Weekend 9/12 – 9/13 Connecticut
Or head even further out to this one in Connecticut. It’s not well described, so I would tend to say, do the Rhode Island one.
Roseland Cottage, Route 169, Woodstock, CT. more
Revere Beach Kite Festival 9/12 Boston Metro
There is no Boston Kite Festival this year, so check out this instead. They’ll have kite making for kids and a moon bounce. I’ve been to many events like this and it’s always fun to see professionals and learn about kite flying, which is not as easy as it looks. 10am-4pm.
Revere Beach, Revere, MA. more
Connors Farm Corn Maze (and Night Maze) 9/12 – 10/31 North Shore
Yet another corn maze opens for the season. See website for coupon. And night maze every Saturday in October plus Halloween.
30 Valley Road (Rt. 35), Danvers, MA.978-777-1245. more
Free Stand-up Paddlesurf Session on the Charles River 9/8 Boston Metro
What is paddlesurfing? Isn’t that the part of surfing when you get ready for the big waves? Well, go enjoy the cleanest urban waterway in America. At the Charles River Canoe and Kayak dock. 5:30pm.
1071 Soldier’s Field Road, Herter Park, Allston, MA. more
Jamaica Plain World’s Fair 9/12 Boston Metro
This street fair is in nearby JP. Music, vendors, the usual. 12-6pm.
Hyde/Jackson Square along Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA. more
DASH Boston – an Afternoon of Puzzle Hunting! 9/13 Boston Metro
This is yet another urban scavenger hunt.
RSVP for start address, Boston, MA. more
USS Constitution Sunset Cruise & Victory Dinner 9/15 – 9/17 Boston Metro
I’m pretty sure the victory dinner really is happening, but there’s no information on their website. I went to an event here last year and all I can tell you is that the only thing more excruciating than a high school band performance is a high school band performance that, to honor veterans, is done over-the-top seriously without smiles or a sense of pacing. That being said, I’m sure their historic dinner & cruise is lovely.
Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston, MA.617-426-1812. more
Arlington Astronomy Night 9/12 Boston Metro
I’m totally thrilled at this park telescope night. They’ll be showing off Jupiter. 7:30pm.
Robbins Farm Park, Arlington, MA. more
Public Observatory Night – Boston University 1/1 – 12/31 Boston Metro
Of course, there are a bunch of regularly recurring telescope nights. Here are some. The first one’s at BU. Weds 8:30-9:30 Apr-Oct, else 7:30-8:30 winter.
725 Comm Ave, 5th floor, Boston, MA.617-353-2630. more
Prudential Skywalk Observatory 1/1 – 12/31 Boston Metro
Daily 10-10. And visit Top of the Hub, the fancy restaurant, 52nd floor.
800 Boylston St., 50th floor, Boston, MA.617-859-0648. more
Public Observatory Night – Museum of Science Boston 1/1 – 12/31 Boston Metro
Fridays 8:30-10pm. Not if cloudy. Museum of Science, Boston.
Science Park, Boston, MA.617-589-0267. more
Public Observatory Night – Brookline 1/1 – 12/31 Boston Metro
Tuesday evenings, but NOT June-Aug, weather permitting, call ahead.
20 Newton Street, Brookline, MA.617-454-2718. more
Dexter School’s Clay Center public observatory nights 1/1 – 12/31 Boston Metro
Tuesdays 7-9pm. Or 617-454-2718. The “best telescope on the East coast” they claim.
20 Newton Street, Brookline, MA.617-454-2795. more
Public Observatory Night – Harvard 1/1 – 12/31 Boston Metro
Observatory night is the third Thursday of every month. Nontechnical lecture & telescope observing if weather is good.
60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA.617-495-7461. more
Public Observatory Night – UMass Boston 1/1 – 12/31 Boston Metro
Weekly viewings, weather permitting. Not sure when.
100 Morrissey Blvd, Dorchester, MA.617-287-4000. more
Public Observatory Night – North Andover 1/1 – 12/31 Boston Metro
Wednesday evenings, weather permitting. Call in advance.
Merrimack College, 315 Turnpike Street, North Andover, MA.978-542-6452. more
Public Observatory Night – Salem 1/1 – 12/31 Boston Metro
Mondays 7-10pm, weather permitting. Call in advance.
Salem, MA.978-542-6452. more
Wellesley — Whitin Observatory 1/1 – 12/31 Metro West
See website to be added to mailing list.
Wellesley, MA. more
Audubon Society – Raptor Weekend 9/12 – 9/13 Newport Area
Not involving any velociraptors, this event features live avian hunters such as eagles and owls. You’ll see demonstrations of falconry, and — no kidding — “Owl Pellet Dissection”. What Mr. Owl’s been eating lately?
Audubon Environmental Education Center, 1401 Hope Street (Route 114), Bristol, RI.401-245-7500. more
Hooked on Who @ Brattle Theatre 9/11 – 9/13 Boston Metro
I used to love Doctor Who. But that was before I knew that low budget television was bad. Now I am a man of the world, and I still love the *concept* of Dr Who….
Brattle Theatre, Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA. more
Endless Summer Waterfront Festival @ Nantasket 9/12 South Shore
Summer’s not actually endless, so take advantage of these outdoor festivals while they last! Rain date the next day. It’s free! They’ll have a participatory sandcastle competition and a street chalk art event (Sign up). And they’ll have hot dog, pizza eating, and “brain freeze” smoothie eating competitions. Sounds great! 12-6pm.
Nantasket Beach, Nantasket Avenue, Hull, MA. more
Boston Arts Festival 9/11 Boston Metro
Here’s an example of pumping up a music event. The Boston Arts Festival starts with music and short theatre performances on just 2 stages, but adds in glassblowing, steel drums, Blue Man Group, and even poetry reading.
Christopher Columbus Park, Boston, MA.617-635-3245. more
Boston Folk Festival 9/12 – 9/13 Boston Metro
The Boston Folk Festival, held on the campus of UMass Boston, always seems to be a Very Big Deal. They only have two stages, though, and Saturday’s event is evening-only, a songwriting competition finalist performance. For the first time, 2009 will be all-indoors.
UMass Boston, Boston, MA.617-287-6911. more
Irish Connections Festival 9/12 – 9/13 Southern Mass
This Irish festival almost didn’t happen this year, I think! I’ve seen it. They’ll have three stages of music and dance, and a few booths. I didn’t find Irish Connections particularly innovative or different, unlike the Scottish Festivals I’ve been to. But then, I did go on a Sunday. Off Rt. 138. Largest on the East Coast.
200 New Boston Drive, Canton, MA.781-821-8291. more
Annual Banjo & Fiddle Contests 9/12 Northern Mass
They try so hard in Lowell to attract tourists with culture things. Come check this out. It’s free and you get to see lots of fiddling around. 10am-6pm.
Boarding House Park, Lowell, MA.978-970-5028. more
New England Culturefest 9/12 Northern Mass
While you’re in Lowell, they’re having an entirely separate event with music and dance from all over the world. They’ll have lots of art vendors and even a fashion show. 2:30-10pm.
Enterprise Bank Parking Lot, 172 Middle Street, Lowell, MA. more
Codman Estate Fine Arts and Crafts Festival 9/12 Metro West
This event goes without description, but last year it seemed pretty good.
36 Codman Road, Lincoln, MA.617-227-3957 X270. more
Clinton Olde Home Day 9/11 – 9/12 Worcester
Also out west, this is the perfect New England home town experience, complete with a demo of crash test dummies, a pie-eating contest, martial arts, live music, arts & crafts, step dancers, you name it. This is VERY close to Davis Farmland in Sterling, MA.
Central Park, Church St at Union St, Clinton, MA.978-365-6723. more
Wachusett Mountain Music Festival 9/13 Worcester
One notch further down the classy-ness pole, this one’s probably good to skip. The problem is, it’s too expensive for an event where the vendors and attendees are sort of “agricultural fair”, complete with racing pigs. However, it’s a beautiful mountain venue, and so much fun to ride the gondola (which costs extra) or go to a hike in the nearby Wachusett Mountain state park (free). While you’re in the area, check out Davis Farmland in Sterling, MA for their petting zoo and corn field maze,
Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, Princeton, MA.978-464-2300. more
Tub Parade 9/12 Western Mass
Not involving bathtubs, this is a parade of horse-drawn carriages and is followed by an ice cream social.
Ventfort Hall, Lenox, MA. more
Harwich Cranberry Festival / Beach Day 9/12 Cape Cod
Also on Cape Cod, and another nice surprise is this cranberry festival. It’s hard to base an entire festival on cranberries, but they seem to be up for it, including a parade, fireworks, a carnival and a craft show. It’s also a beach festival!
Harwich, MA. more
Boston Charter Day (Native American Festival) 9/10 – 9/13 Boston Metro
Native american peoples will be giving holding lectures and “giving workshops” on cultural topics at the Boston Public Library. Also, there will be a boat tour of Boston Harbor focusing on native american topics!
Boston Public Library, Copley Square, Boston, MA. more
Billerica’s Yankee Doodle Homecoming Festival 9/11 – 9/13 Northern Mass
This festival goes way past small-towny! They’ll have a parade, magic and storytelling, and colonial re-enactors who’ll demonstrate a “tar and feathering”. Now that’s weird! Also dance-a-thon, fireworks,.
Billerica Common, 365 Boston Rd, Billerica, MA. more
Somerville Greek and Music Festival 9/11 – 9/13 Boston Metro
Now for a few small little festivals that warm the heart. I love to go out and see people who are enthusiasts, and small settings can bring you closer to their culture. The Somerville Greek and Music Festival has been well-advertised and seems like fun.
Church, 29 Central Street, Somerville, MA.617-625-2222. more
Greek Fest 9/11 – 9/13 Boston Metro
Another small Greek festival.
Brookline, MA. more
Festival of the Healing Saints Cosmas and Damian 9/12 – 9/13 Boston Metro
It’s Cambridge vs. Somerville and Brookline! Italian vs. Greek! Maybe you could sneak into both festivals. This one features the healing saints, so there might be a lot of sick people there, I dunno. Wear a mask and try not to touch anyone. They’ll have a small carnival and a parade Sunday. Personally I would pick Somerville this time.
Warren St at Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA. more
Annual Seafood Festival @ Hampton Beach 9/11 – 9/13 New Hampshire
I generally look down on single-food events, but this one seems to pack a punch and the location is beautiful. As well as the seafood, they’ll have a ton of art vendors, chef demonstrations, two stages for live music, and they’ll have fireworks Saturday and a skydiving performance Sunday.
Ocean Boulevard, Hampton, NH.603-926-8718. more
Pet Rock Festival 9/13 Worcester
This is a benefit for animals, with a bunch of pet competitions, live music, the ubiquitous kids “face painting and unspecified and probably lame crafts”, and a vegetarian food court. The real drawn here is that you can see dogs playing frisbee and baseball!
Quinsigamond Community College, Worcester, MA.508-832-8918. more
Larz Anderson Classic European Motorcycle Day@ Larz Anderson Museum 9/13 Boston Metro
The season of lawn car shows won’t last forever. Here’s the next one.
15 Newton Street, Brookline, MA.617-522-6547. more

Also Fun
Applecrest Antique Tractor Show 9/13 New Hampshire
Tired” of car shows? Try this tractor show. “Tired”… get it? They’re also having an apple harvest festival.
Rt 88, Hampton Falls, NH.603-926-3721. more
Rhode Island Day at Southwick’s Zoo 9/12 Southern Mass
Free admission at the largest zoo in New England continues, this time for those with a Rhode Island ID.
2 Southwick Street, Mendon, MA.800-258-9182. more
CCTV’s Annual Backyard BBQ 9/17 Boston Metro
CCTV is only a small TV station, but I’ve been on it three times (and nowhere else, except once on CNN when I dressed as Darth Vader but that’s a digression) so I suppose I owe them my thanks and help eating BBQ!
675 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA.617-661-6900. more
Fall Festival @ Lookout Farm 9/12 – 9/20 Metro West
Train rides, hay pyramid, live animals, fruit picking.
89 Pleasant Street, South Natick, MA.508-651-1539. more
Verrill Farm Barbecue 9/13 Metro West
This one’s small but good. It’s a farm but it’s in classy Concord, and they’ll have hayrides. And BBQ!! Unfortunately the ponies and clown are just for kids. 12-4pm.
11 Wheeler Road, Concord, MA.978-369-4494. more
Music Festival @ Sweetwilliam Farm 9/12 Worcester
1-6:30pm. It’s an outdoor concert series at a farm, where presumably they’ll have animals and fresh veggies.
153 North St., Upton, MA.508-529-2000. more
Charlestown Art in the Park Festival 9/12 Boston Metro
Although outdoors, it seems this is simply art vendors, a small draw kind of festival. Rain date: the next day.
Charlestown, MA. more
Pawtucket Arts Fest 9/13 Rhode Island
More art is for sale in Pawtucket as part of a larger event. 10am-5pm.
Slater Memorial Park, 401 Newport Avenue, Pawtucket, RI. more
Pawtucket Stone Soup Folk Festival 9/12 – 9/13 Rhode Island
For example, the Stone Soup Folk Festival is a day of folk music, and there are other arty things happening across the city this week.
Slater Memorial Park, 401 Newport Avenue, Pawtucket, RI.401-724-5200. more
Sandwich Glass Museum Glass Show & Sale 9/12 – 9/13 Cape Cod
If you like glassblowing, this is the place to be. (Perhaps on your way back from the Heritage Museums & Gardens.) I stopped here last year and was given a spontaneous demonstration with no pressure to buy anything. This event will likely be worth a visit.
Sandwich Glass Museum, Sandwich, MA.508-888-0251. more
Mattoon Street Arts Festival 9/12 – 9/13 Springfield
There’s really not much reason to visit Springfield, except for some decent museums, or if you’re on your way to Six Flags New England. But if you’re going to go, why not go now and see a local arts festival?
Mattoon Street, Springfield, MA.413-736-0629. more
Polish Harvest Festival 9/13 Boston Metro
This one of only two Polish festivals I know of in New England. But the other one has a dunk tank.
655 Dorchester Avenue, South Boston, MA.617-268-4355. more
Blackstone CanalFest 9/12 Worcester
This event will have street performers, music, kayak rides, and a “full size canal replica”. Full size?? Do you have any idea how big a canal is??
Harding Street, between Temple and Winter Streets, Worcester, MA. more
Winchester Pickle Festival 9/12 New Hampshire
What a pickle they’ve gotten themselves into! This will pickle your fancy.
Winchester, NH. more
Franklin County Fair 9/10 – 9/13 Western Mass
Fiesta Shows will have their traveling carnival there.
Fairgrounds, Greenfield, MA. more
Hillsborough County Fair 9/11 – 9/13 New Hampshire
Fiesta Shows will have their traveling carnival there.
Hillsborough, Rt 13, New Boston, NH. more
Connecticut Folk Festival & Green Expo 9/11 – 9/13 Connecticut
Yet another music festival….
New Haven, CT. more
American Heart Walk 9/12 Boston Metro
If you like hearts, and don’t like heart disease, consider this Yet Another Charity Walk for a really good cause. 1mi, 3mi, or 6mi route along the Charles River.
Hatch Shell, Esplanade, 10 Storrow Drive, Boston, MA. more
Harbor to the Bay AIDS Bike Ride 9/12 Boston Metro
Yet another charity. This time, bikes do the walking. Boston to Provincetown.
Ride to Provincetown starting from Boston, Boston, MA. more
MSPCA Walk for Animals 9/13 Boston Metro
This time animals do the walking! Also events in Springfield and Hyannis.
Boston Common, Boston, MA. more

Recurring Events
Brazilian Independence Day Festival 9/6 – 9/15 Boston Metro
The Brazilian Independence Day Festival continue. They’ll have a parade, music, and the usual kids stuff like balloon animals.
Artesani Park, Soldier’s Field Road, 1234 Charles River, Boston, MA. more
Carousel on Boston Common 9/8 – 10/20 Boston Metro
Also in Boston, visit the carousel on Boston Common! The merry-go-round is open daily from 11am to 9pm, next to Frog Pond. Only $2. Closing whenever weather gets cold.
Boston Common near Frog Pond, Boston, MA. more
Wings of Freedom Tour 9/16 – 10/2 North Shore
This airplane show is all over: 9/8-10 in Lincoln, RI; 9/10-12 in Hyannis, MA; 9/12-15 in Plymouth, MA; 9/15-17 in Plymouth, NH; 9/17-19 in Manchester, NH; 9/19-9/22 in Beverly, MA; 9/22-24 in New Bedford, MA. This one you actually get to fly in an old bomber aircraft and it’s far more expensive.
Various Locations. more
Brimfield Antiques Festival (Fall) 9/8 – 9/13 Springfield
The antiques festival continues. They’re the largest in New England and I’m sure it’s great if you’re an antique, um, antique collector. Off of Rt 20.
Rt 20 at Rt 19, Brimfield, MA.413-245 3209. more
King Richard’s Faire (Ren Faire) 9/5 – 10/25 South Shore
New England’s largest renaissance faire continues. Weekends & holidays only. Plenty of Ren Faire vendors and people-watching, with 8 performance stages. Only 1/3 of the acts are worth watching, but definitely see the Aerial Angels, Paolo Garbanzo, and especially the jousting! Rt 3 S to Rt 44 W to Rt 58 S.
Carver, MA.508-866-5391. more


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Outdoor Theatre, Music, & Events grade
Tue 9/8
Wed 9/9
Thu 9/10
Fri 9/11
Sat 9/12
Sun 9/13
Mon 9/14
Tue 9/15
Astronomy Night @ Robbins Park Arlington, MA                
Robbins Farm Park, Arlington, MA. more
Landmarks Orchestra or Oldies at the Shell Boston, MA                
2009: 7pm. Free. Every Wednesday.
Esplanade, Boston, MA. more
Kendall Square Concert Series Cambridge, MA                
Sponsored by the Kendall Square Corporation. 2009: Tuesdays through Aug 25, & Thursdays through Sep 10, 12-2pm.
300 Athenaeum Street, Cambridge, MA.617 577-7354. more
Music at the Manse Concert Series Concord, MA                
2009: Concerts 2-4pm. Through the end of September.
The Old Manse, 269 Monument Street, Concord, MA. more
Lowell Summer Music Series Lowell, MA                
Boarding House Park, Lowell, MA. more
Southbridge Summer Concert Series Southbridge, MA                
Sue Pelletier 508-765-8800 or 508-248-6687. more