Fireworks, Bastille Day, Re-enactments, Scavenger Hunt, Auto Shows, Thoreau, Planes & Trains

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The Week in Weird
Somerville Independence Day Fireworks 7/9 Boston Metro
The 4th of July isn’t quite over yet! Somerville has its fireworks this Thursday, because last week it rained. 5pm starts the entertainment.
Trum Field, 532 Broadway, Somerville, MA. more
Bastille Day Party & Dance in Boston 7/14 Boston Metro
Also Bastille Day is like a second shot at the 4th of July. They invented it first, but we didn’t get Napoleon mucking it about. Dinner, dancing, and French flirting! And it’s free! Free as in freedom! 9pm.
Liberty Hotel, Boston, MA.617.912.0400 or 617-876-4275. more
Bastille Day Festivities in Harvard Square 7/12 Boston Metro
However, this one should be even better. It’s advertised as a block party, so presumably they’ll close off the streets for dancing. Holyoke St, Cambridge. Free. 3-10pm, with a “French Waiters Race” at 5:15pm.
Holyoke Street, Cambridge, MA.617-491-3434. more
Glover’s Regiment (Revolutionary War re-enactment) 7/11 – 7/12 North Shore
I’ve actually been to this one. It’s small but well worth a visit as an excuse to head to the North Shore. They have a re-enacted military camp from the 1700s, with tents, cooking, craft areas, costumed militia and camp followers.
Fort Sewall, Marblehead, MA.781-631-5967. more
Town Meeting Re-Enactment from 1774 7/12 Metro West
Also revolutionary is yet another Minute Man Historical Park re-enactment, this one a town meeting you get to participate in and speak up!
North Bridge benches, Concord, MA. more
John Quincy Adams: The Bench of Friendship 7/11 South Shore
Former US President John Quincy Adams was born locally, and is celebrated by his own re-enactment in Quincy. 1pm.
Gardens at the Old House at Peace Field, Quincy, MA. more
Wenham Museum’s World War II Living History Day 7/11 North Shore
Also on the North Shore, and one that I’ve also been to, is the only World War II re-enactment I know of in New England! Re-enactors play both Axis and Allies, without any politics, just as historians, and they have a real WWII army vehicle. The Wenham is an amazing example of a world-class museum in the middle of ‘nowhere’. A true New England gem. They have an extensive collection of historical dolls, a big toy train exhibit, and also have an exhibit on superheroes too where you can try on Superman’s cape or climb into Batman’s car. 10am-4pm.
Rt 1A, Wenham, MA.978-468-2377. more
Great Northeastern War – Medievial Re-enactment 7/10 – 7/12 Maine
Going way way back is this medeival war re-enactment, a 2.8 hr drive from Boston. Largest Society for Creative Anachronism war re-enactment event in New England, draws over 1000 people.
Hebron Pines Campground, Route 124N, Hebron, ME. more
Hillsboro Balloon Festival 7/9 – 7/12 New Hampshire
This event, which is 1.7 hrs from Boston, draws 30,000 people and looks pretty serious. They’ll have a lawn tractor pull, a carnival, tons of music and dance, and fireworks on Saturday. Oh, and balloons! It’s always a good idea at these things to call and reserve a balloon ride in advance!
Hillsboro, NH. more
Model airplanes – CRRC Hand-Launch Classic 7/11 – 7/12 Metro West
Speaking of flying, I’ve been to this one too. Take an empty field, add model airplane enthusiasts, and a lot of action ensues, especially when they smash into each other! Off Rt 117. Call Mark Drela at 617 253 0067, or Lunch included in admission. 9:15am to 4pm? One of two big local model airplane events. Register ahead for discount. Directions, see
Davis Field, Sudbury, MA.518 798 1321. more
National Train Show 7/10 – 7/12 Connecticut
Other crazy hobbyists will be showing off toy trains. Sorry, they’re not toys, they’re *action figures*. Hint: planes are cooler. Seriously, trains? I have trouble imagining the 1890s when trains were the highest tech to geek out about. OK, well, I’m sure it’s fantastic. Apparently its their first time in New England and they take up an entire conference center. And they’ll have tons of Lego dioramas.
Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford, CT. more
10th Anniversary Powwow @ Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum 7/11 – 7/12 New Hampshire
I’ve been to this museum too. Geez, I “get around” as much as Carmen San Diego. Only just New England. What can I say. It’s small, but sometimes you have to go to the small ones because the enthusiasm of the organizers is beautiful to behold. They deserve your attention, but make it part of your trip, not the whole trip.
Warner, NH.603-456-2600. more
Banditos Mysteriosos Scavenger Hunt 7/11 Boston Metro
No month would be complete without something crazy from Banditos Mysteriosos. This local group runs pranks across the city, and this time it’s a scavenger hunt, where instead of stealing traffic signs they’ll ask you to take photos instead. 12:30pm.
TBD, See Website, Boston, MA. more
The Largest Skinny Dip across North America 7/11 Connecticut
This one, however, is not a joke. Help set a world record for nude bathing. No, really. What you can’t do is call up and say, so, are all the nudists, um, hot-looking?
Woodstock, CT. more
Micro Mini Car Day@ Larz Anderson Museum 7/11 Boston Metro
It’s a big week for auto festivals as well. If you live near Boston, you simply must go to the Larz Anderson at some point. Why not this weekend and see the tiny clown size cars?
15 Newton Street, Brookline, MA.(617) 522-6547. more
Miata Day @ Larz Anderson Museum 7/12 Boston Metro
Or the next day, some miatas.
15 Newton Street, Brookline, MA.(617) 522-6547. more
Annual Wacky Cardboard Race (The Fourth Annual Race to the Bottom) 7/11 North Shore
Perhaps the most inventive vehicle event this weekend is this annual kids event where you build a boat and try to float! Pre-register for $100 and get a ship-building kit. Prizes include “first to sink”! Skipped 2007 and it’s only an act of faith that it’s really happening since the venue’s website is down.
Back Beach, Rockport, MA.978-546-6788 or 978-546-2048. more
Heritage Gardens Annual Auto Show 7/11 Cape Cod
It’s the annual auto show also at the Heritage Museums & Gardens. Note the plural. This place is HUGE with a capital H and a capital everything else. If you’re on Cape Cod it’s a must-see, pure and simple. Their auto museum and arts museum are surrounded by acres and acres of gardens and parkland. Everything they do here is creative and Yankee Wonderful.
Sandwich, MA. more
Mashpee Sand Sculpting Festival 7/10 – 7/12 Cape Cod
While you’re on Cape Cod, this one has me scratching my head. Masphee has beaches, but I guess they’re just not close enough to all the shops and stores? So they’re trucking in 50 tons of sand to Mashpee Common. A pro will make something great, and amateurs get to play around in the sand, too.
Mashpee Commons, Mashpee, MA. more
Military Appreciation Day 7/10 – 7/12 Cape Cod
Nearby is military appreciation day, where you can climb into a Black Hawk helicopter and the official National Guard NASCAR.
Mashpee, MA. more
Whaling City Festival 7/10 – 7/12 Southern Mass
Speaking of boats, apparently you won’t see any at the Whaling Festival. Or whales. (Does anybody besides me see a hole there?) But they’ll have three music stages, seafood, crafts, flea market, laser light show, and a motorcycle, car & truck show. Oh, and racing pigs! What happens basically is: (1) get some pigs; (2) they race!
Buttonwood Park, New Bedford, MA. more
Overnight @ Roger Williams Park Zoo 7/11 – 8/8 Rhode Island
They also won’t have any whales at the Roger Williams Park Zoo. But “ages 7-adult” will enjoy these programs. That includes me, right? I’m ages 7-adult! The program is 7pm-9pm… So… Do you get to stay overnight there or not?? And they have a butterfly enclosure.
1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence, RI.401-785-3510. more
Butterflies of Summer 7/11 Worcester
Or go to this park event and learn about the types of butterfly in the wild.
Cedar Hill Reservation, Northborough, MA. more
Worcester Big Dipper All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival 7/11 Worcester
Also near Worcester, if you missed the Scooper Bowl in Boston, you can run your diet right off the tracks at this event in Worcester instead. They’ll have live music, including an American Idol finalist, and you can get your kids fingerprinted, which I guess is a good thing?
Elm Park, Intersection of Rt. 9 & Park Ave, Worcester, MA.508-459-6443. more
Thoreau Society Annual Gathering 7/9 – 7/12 Metro West
Just when you thought the 19th century was going out of style: Thoreau. Loved nature, but lived at Walden Pond just two miles from bustling Concord center. Hated taxes. Bit of an over-idealist. But he’s ours. Go meet some people who like Thoreau way too much. Hope they aren’t preachy about utopia.
Various, Concord, MA. more
19th Century Childrens Circus 7/11 Western Mass
Also old-timey: Emily Dickinson! They’ll have a circus this Saturday with period pieces. 1-4pm.
280 Main Street, Amherst, MA.413-542-8161. more
River Glow 7/11 Rhode Island
This is some kind of Water Fire type celebration, with floating bonfires.
Westerly, RI. more
Masterworks Chorale Summer Sings 6/30 – 8/4 Boston Metro
As I mentioned, this group does participatory singing all summer long of classical works.
Noble and Greenough School, Lawrence Auditorium, 10 Campus Drive, Dedham, MA.781-235-6210. more
Readercon 7/9 – 7/12 Metro West
Science fiction convention focusing on novels. Expensive but attracts top writers.
Burlington Marriott, Burlington, MA. more
Fetish Beauty Pageant 7/10 Boston Metro
Miss America is supposed to be wholesome. What if… She weren’t? You get this festival.
Castillo’s Nightclub, 355 Ferry St, Everett, MA. more
Kink 101 Club Movie Night & Party 7/11 Boston Metro
Maybe some of the new Miss Americas will come to this free party for people curious about sexuality.
Cambridge, MA. more

Also Fun
Newburyport Riverfront Festival – WXRV free concert 7/10 – 7/11 North Shore
Next up: some music fesivals that didn’t seem very weird to me. This one is a ticketed event Friday, then a free outdoor concert Saturday.
Newburyport, MA. more
North Atlantic Blues Festival 7/11 – 7/12 Maine
This one’s pretty much just the music, too.
Public Landing, Rockland, ME. more
Newport Music Festival 7/10 – 7/26 Rhode Island
To me, a ‘festival’ has to involve an open social space, and can’t be a series of concerts over 2 weeks. But everyone should visit the mansion in Newport, so here’s your excuse.
Newport, RI.401-849-0700. more
Vintage Baseball 7/11 – 7/12 Boston Metro
Similarly, seeing some old-timey baseball is just an excuse to get you out to the Boston Harbor Islands!
Fort Warren, Georges Island, Boston, MA. more
Sail Boston 7/8 – 7/13 Boston Metro
I don’t really understand what this is. A few live music events and “access to the piers”, which I guess means you get to see and explore some old-timey “tall ships”.
Various, Boston, MA. more
Sizzlin’ Summer Fun Night @ Davis Farmland 7/11 Worcester
I don’t know what ‘fun night’ is, and it’s not explained on the website. But get out to Davis Farmland, for the petting zoo, hay rides, and water spray park, but especially after July 30 when their corn maze will be open and you can go apple picking, too.
145 Redstone Hill, Sterling, MA.978-422-8888. more
Cultural Survival Bazaar 7/11 Boston Metro
Here’s a commercial event that’s sort of fun. I’ve been to one. Lots of unique and interesting world art. 10am-6pm. Other dates in 2009 in other areas of New England.
Boston Common, Boston, MA. more
MFA – First Fridays 7/10 Boston Metro
Similarly, these arts festivals every month on the First Friday are a commerical event, but also a social event for the highbrow and the rest of us, maybe, too. It’s also sort of an arty professional singles thing. First Friday of the month. Social gathering for arty types. Free with admission. 21+. In the Koch Gallery. Music, cocktails.
465 Huntington St, Boston, MA.617-267-9300. more
Arts – SoWa First Fridays 7/10 Boston Metro
And this one 5-9pm. For art lovers. Or people who love art lovers.
450 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA. more
French Film Festival 7/9 – 7/26 Boston Metro
Summer isn’t a great time for a film festival, but the MFA has a movie theatre, so they persevere.
MFA, Boston, MA. more
Free Slurpee Day @ 7-Eleven 7/11 Boston Metro
Free Slurpee Day is July 11th (get it? 7/11?) at every 7-Eleven, but I wasn’t able to confirm they’re doing it again in 2009.
Everywhere, Everywhere. more
Plymouth Harbor Folk Festival 7/11 – 7/12 South Shore
This one I’m only listing because it’s free, and everyone should be visiting Plimoth Plantation.
Pilgrim Memorial Park, Water Street, Plymouth, MA. more
Brockton Country Fair 7/1 – 7/12 South Shore
The Brockton County Fair I mentioned last week continues. They’ll have fireworks! Rt 24S to Exit 17A, Rt 123E (Belmont St) two miles on the right.
Historic Brockton Fairgrounds, RT. 123, Brockton, MA.508-586-8000. more
Ocean’s 2 7/3 – 8/28 Boston Metro
Before there was Ocean’s 11, there was Ocean’s 2. Improv comedy partly scripted after the movies. Every Friday @ 8pm from July – August.
40 Prospect St, Cambridge, MA.617-576-1253. more

Celebrate Champlain Burlington International Waterfront Festival 7/2 – 7/14 Vermont
While you’re nearby, cursing Firefly which rejected you at the door, the Champlain area is celebrating their Quadricentennial.
Burlington, VT. more
Stoweflake Mountain Resort Balloon Festival 7/10 – 7/11 Vermont
Ski resorts have to do *something* in the summer. This one’s having a balloon festival.
Stowe, VT. more
Basin Bluegrass Festival 7/9 – 7/12 Vermont
This is a real festival. They take over an entire park.
Brandon, VT. more
Solarfest 7/10 – 7/12 Vermont
This one is 90 workshops on green topics, plus live music and a festival atmosphere.
Tinmouth, VT. more
Middlebury Festival on the Green 7/12 – 7/18 Vermont
Their claiming this is “Vermont’s Favorite Festival”. Could be.
Middlebury, VT. more


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