Johnny’s List of Quirky Boston Events: 09/24/07

What’s Coming Up in New England – Sep 24

[Sep. 24th, 2007|04:05 pm] Hi there,

You want weird; you got it. In fact there’s too much to choose just one as the best.

J. Cannibal’s Feast of Flesh, Sep 29, is a zombie themed costume competition, performance, and movie. I went last year and it was surprisingly fun! Saturday Sep 29 at midnight, Coolidge Corner Theatre. Brookline, MA. I called and what they mean is Saturday at 11:59pm not Friday at 11:59pm like last year.

What’s better than 3 hours of zombies? Eighteen hours of the poetry of Emily Dickinson! During the Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon, volunteers will read 1,789 poems in 18 hours. That’s Sep 29, 6am to midnight, at the Emily Dickinson Museum, 280 Main Street, Amherst, MA. 413-542-8161.

Closer to home, but also poetry, the WCPA 2007 Poetry Contest Winners’ Reading. Sep 30. Worcester, MA.

It doesn’t get much stranger than this. Did you know that Fluff, the sandwich spread made from marshmallows, was invented in Somerville? Well, they’re having a festival to celebrate. “What the Fluff?”, Sep 29, 4-7pm, Union Square Plaza, Somerville. They’ll have food and games.

Do you want to save the environment and see funky hybrid cars? Check out the AltWheels Transportation Festival, Sep 28-29. Last year the Sunday was at Larz Anderson Auto Museum but this year it appears to be both Saturday and Sunday at Boston City Hall Plaza in Boston. 508-698-6810. Also, the silver statue lady will be there. She’s a performer who literally just stands around.

We haven’t seen a re-enactment in a while. Here’s one, Sep 29, Colonial Faire & Muster of Fyfe & Drums, at the Wayside Inn, by which I believe they mean the one at 72 Wayside Inn Rd in Sudbury, MA. As well as the military drills and parade, they’ll have contra dancing and what appears to be a re-enactment wedding.

It’s not too late to visit King Richard’s Faire, to Oct 21, weekends only, That’s in Carver, MA.

However! I have heard that the Connecticut Renaissance Faire is even better. Sep 29-Oct 21, in Woodstock, CT, which is only barely in CT and just 1.5 hours from Boston. Raine or shine. Weekends & holidays, 10-5:30. 860-923-0454.

The MFA is having a free night for college students. Just bring your ID. Sep 27.

Highly recommended! I’ve been to the Three Apples Storytelling Festival, Sep 28-30 in Bedford, MA. This appears to the most popular New England storytelling festival, and it’s not at all just for kids.

Also storytelling, Laura Packer is giving her performance as part of the New England Fringe Festival, Sep 29, 9pm – “Death (because we all end up there)”. Roxbury. The festival goes to Sep 30,

The Big E, is still going, the region’s largest agricultural faire, to Sep 30,, but you’ll probably have just as much fun visiting the much closer Topsfield Fair, Sep 28-Oct 8. Arrive early to get good parking. I’ve been to this one and it’s Moo-ey Oink-y Neigh-y fun.

I didn’t know that agricultural fairs had changed at all since 1850, but apparently they’re having “An Early 19th-Century Agricultural Fair” at Sturbridge Village. I was just there a month ago and the re-enactment museum is wonderful even without an ongoing festival. You really owe it to yourself to go. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA. (508) 347-3362. 9:30-5. Craft demonstrations, food vendors, music. Sep 29-30.

Out west, I just visited the Amherst College Museum of Natural History, which has the world’s largest collection of dinosaur footprints. It’s not the biggest, but it’s well curated and definietly worth seeing — a delightful surprise that admission is free. On the campus of Amherst College, Rt 9 & Rt 116, Amherst, MA. 413-542-2165. Tue-Sun 11-4.

While you’re out west, the Apple Harvest Festival Craft Fair is Sep 29 on the Amherst Town Common in Amherst, MA. 413-545-2129. 10am-5pm. Looks fun but generic.

This weekend is Trails and Sails Weekend, Sep 28-30, a loose collection of events all over the North Shore. You can go on a hike, take a tour of a cemetery, and see a salt marsh farm, or hear storytelling in Salem. Their really funky Web site is

My favorite professor, Joe Haldeman, has won the biggest awards in science fiction for his novels. He makes appearances only rarely, so be sure to attend his book reading, “The Accidental Time Machine”, Sep 27, at MIT Room 6-120 in Cambridge, MA. 617-253-7894. 7pm. Free.

Danehy Park Family Day happens every year in Cambridge at Danehy Park which is near Alewife. They’ll have kids rides, arts & crafts, music and other performers, free t-shirts & snacks and other gifts such as kites! Sep 29.

Have you heard of the NBC show “Last Comic Standing”? They are coming to the Lowell Auditorium, Sep 28,

Unfortunately for Lowell, there’s a much closer open studios in Jamaica Plain. Jamaica Plain Open Studios, Sep 29-30,

While you’re in town, attend the Lowell Open Studios. This is when local artists let you intrude on their private homes and workplaces, mainly because they want you to buy stuff. But it’s much more fun than a gallery experience. Lots of walking around, chatting with the actual artists. Sep 29-30, Lowell MA.

ZZ Top plays Sep 29, at the Bank of America Pavilion. They’re b-b-b-bad to the bone.

FirstWorksProv is an arts festival in Providence, RI, Sep 28 – Oct 13. I’ve seen their first act, Pilobolus on Sep 29. They are acrobats and dancers and it’s wonderfully powerful, definitely worth seeing if you like gasping and modern dance. They’ll have other performances and funky high-tech visual art installations, too.

The BeanTown Jazz Festival is Sep 28-29, Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA.

The Manhattan Short Film Festival at the MFA is Sep 29, at 5pm.

The Boston Harbor Islands Regatta is Sep 29, a good excuse to take the ferry out and explore the islands while the weather’s still good.

98.5FM MixFest is a big concert thrown by one of the larger radio stations in town. Sep 29, at the Agganis Arena at Boston University. Boy so many things happen at the Agganis Arena. I wish MIT would build a huge concert hall and attract world-class shows like this.

Instead, MIT is opening an extension to the MIT Museum, and that’s pretty col too, because it’s probably the place where robots will start their world takeover. Sep 29 is opening day.

Not to be outdone, the Museum of Science, Boston, is opening a new exhibit based on the TV show CSI, “Crime Scene Investigation”. CSI: The Experience opens Sep 30, and runs to Oct 31.

Samaritans 5K Run/Walk and Family Fest is Sep 29, Artesani Park, Soldiers Field Road. Brighton, MA. 617-536-2460. It’s not just a run along the Charles River. It ends with a festival with music, games, kid’s events. Benefits the Samaritans, suicide prevention.

Obviously not reading the charity calendar, the Juvenile Diabetes Walk is the same day, 10am Sep 29 at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade in Boston.

Somebody crazy has put up a Web site with many of the playgrounds in New England. I notice they’re missing the entire cities of Boston and Cambridge.

The Ghosts and Gravestones Tour takes you around Boston visiting various locations purported to be haunted. Sep 21-Oct 31, 7 nights a week. It’s a 90 minute tour that perpetuates the kind of lack of critical thinking that goes into belief in ghosts. Also it’s fun.

Continuing events: Wicked, to Nov 11., Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps, to Oct 14.

It’s not too early for Halloween! Below is the Halloween special. Note, all these haunted houses will have lines the later at night and the later in the season, so it’s completely worth it to go early. Think haunted houses are stupid? The worst ones are (Spooky World) but the best ones are a kind of interactive theatre you just can’t get elsewhere.

***** HALLOWEEN SPECIAL — only what’s open this week *****

— Barrett’s Haunted Mansion, 1235 Bedford St, Abington, MA. 781-871-4573. MY RATING: A. Rt 3S to Rt 18S. 7-10:30pm daily except 1-5,10,11,12,31. A BIG one worth seeing. See website for coupons. You can also pick up coupons at the restaurant next-door.

— The Asylum of Horror, Fall River, right next to the Factory of Terror. Anawan St. Fall River, MA. 508.324.7709. MY RATING: A-. Sep 28-30, Oct 5-8, 12-14, 18-21, 25-31, 7-11pm. See website for coupons.

— The Factory of Terror, Fall River, MA. MY RATING: B-, but worth seeing if you are in town for the Asylum of Horror. Rt 195E to exit 5. Left off exit. Behind Dunkin Donuts. Sep 21-22, 28-30 @ 8-11pm, Oct 5-8, 12-14, 18-21, 25-31, 6:30-10pm but to 11pm Fri-Sun. Extensive 35-room haunted house. See website for coupons.

— Witch’s Woods. Nashoba Ski Area. Westford, MA. 978-692-3033. MY RATING: C. Rt 2W to Rt. 2A/119, 6mi to Powers Rd. The worst one, skip it! Sep 28,29,30, Oct 4-7, 11-14, 18-21, 25-31.