Johnny’s List of Quirky Boston Events: 09/03/08

Today I’m trying a revised style that lets you scan the blog quickly, but allows me to be chatty and make comments as well.

The Week in Weird
I never thought the festival of the week would be in Pawtucket, RI! But here it is. They’ll have asian dance, crafts, martial arts, and dragonboat races all day. It’s also part of a larger festival that includes magic, dance, visual arts, a film festival, and a whole lot more. 8am-5pm.
School Street Pier, School St. , Pawtucket, RI.401-724-2200. more
RI Dragonboat Races & Taiwan Day Sep 6 Pawtucket, RI
I also recommend the Brazilian Independence Day Festival, even though I’ve never been, because Brazilians really know how to party. The core of the event is Sunday, 12pm-6pm, in the park on Soliders Field Road across from Channel 4. 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
Brazilian Independence Day Festival Sep 3 – Sep 7 Boston, MA
I’ve always wanted to see this one! It’s a weekend festival for serious astronomy buffs, but everyone is invited. You can camp or just visit, with model rockets and nature walks in the day and serious stargazing at night.
Arunah Hill, Cummington, MA. more
Anuna Hill Days (Stargazing Weekend) Sep 5 – Sep 7 Cummington, MA
This one isn’t that weird but you simply must get out to Old Sturbridge Village! It’s my favorite of the re-enactment villages in New England (the others being Plimoth Plantation, Strawbery Banke, Hancock Shaker Village). Go and experience the 1840s, and then stay after dark for this nighttime treat where they fire up their kiln. (Frankly, so what, but just go already.).
1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.(508) 347-3362. more
Evening at the Kiln @ OSV Sep 6 Sturbridge, MA
It’s more than just bull riding, it’s some sort of world competition. And a good excuse to catch Cape Cod because the warm weather flees. I was on Martha’s Vinyard a couple of weeks ago and it wasn’t exactly culture-tastic but the beaches were nice and they have a moderate number of cutesy shops. I did NOT actually see lots of painted seashells and watercolors of sailing ships, thank goodness.
Barnstable County Fairgrounds, Barnstable, MA.508-563-3200. more
World Cup Bull Riders Sep 6 – Sep 7 Barnstable, MA
Speaking of “WTF??” events, I was stunned to learn that there’s a Swiss event happening, the first I’ve ever heard of in New England. It’s sponsored by the Swiss travel bureau and they want to promote swimming in the Charles. Because when you think Switzerland, you think beach, not mountainous landlocked country of watches and chocolate. They’ll have games and such. 2-5pm.
Weeks Footbridge along Memorial Drive near JFK Street, Cambridge, MA. more
Swiss Beach Day at the Charles Sep 7 Cambridge, MA
What’s better than the largest zoo in New England? Free admission!! Bring a Massachusetts state ID. Bless them for doing it on a Saturday. While you’re out there, check out the Mendon Drive-in Theatre at
2 Southwick Street, Mendon, MA.800-258-9182. more
Massachusetts Day at Southwick’s Zoo Sep 6 Mendon, MA
The great people at the Minute Man National Historical Park just keep pumping out Revolutionary Warsy lovin’. This one is a 3.5 hour walk along the “battle trail” that was basically one long car chase, sans cars, circa 1775. 12:30pm. Free.
Minute Man Visitor Center – Rt 2A, Lexington, MA.(978) 318-7825. more
Battle Road Trail Walk Sep 6 Lexington, MA
Sep 4 at 7pm and Sep 6 from 2-5pm, 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
Boston Charter Day (Native American Festival) Sep 4 – Sep 6 Boston, MA
For some reason, two airplane shows are converging at the same time in New England. This one looks bigger, with flying and parachuting demonstrations, and vintage aircraft to check out on the ground. 9am-4pm.
Westover Air Reserve Base, Chicopee, MA.413-557-3290. more
Great New England Air Show Sep 6 – Sep 7 Chicopee, MA
This other one 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.
Wings of Freedom Tour Sep 8 – Sep 24 Various Locations
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. Fri 12-11, Sat 12-11, Sun 12-9.
Church, 29 Central Street, Somerville, MA.617-625-2222. more
Somerville Greek and Music Festival Sep 5 – Sep 7 Somerville, MA
It’s Cambridge vs. Somerville! 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. Sat 2-11pm, Sun 11:30-11. They’ll have a small carnival and a parade Sunday at 1pm.
Warren St at Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA. more
Festival of the Healing Saints Cosmas and Damian Sep 6 – Sep 7 Cambridge, MA
Free admission and kids events (darn those lucky kids!!!) at Ye Olde Yete Anothere Coloniale Bostone Buildinge.
Old State House Museum, Boston, MA. more
Boston’s 378th Birthday Party @ Old State House Sep 7 Boston, MA
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 and it’s followed by an evening concert outdoors at 7:30pm.
Boarding House Park, Lowell, MA.978-970-5028. more
Annual Banjo & Fiddle Contests Sep 6 Lowell, MA
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. 2-10pm.
Enterprise Bank Parking Lot, 172 Middle Street, Lowell, MA. more
New England Culturefest Sep 6 Lowell, MA
This one’s probably worth seeing, but seems to be a straight concert and not so much a festival. It’s free but they seem to expect a reservation. 2-7pm.
Stage Fort Park, Gloucester, MA.978.525.9093. more
Celebrate Gloucester Sep 7 Gloucester, MA
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
Verrill Farm Barbecue Sep 7 Concord, MA
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
Wachusett Mountain Music Festival Sep 6 – Sep 7 Princeton, MA
Also near Mt. Wachusett, 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. Fri 5-10, Sat 10-4.
Central Park, Church St at Union St, Clinton, MA.978-365-6723. more
Clinton Olde Home Day Sep 5 – Sep 6 Clinton, MA
Just for completion’s sake, here’s a reminder to check out Davis Farmland. They have a petting zoo, although you’re supposed to have a child with you, find some family and just walk in the front gate with ’em. And they have the best maze in New England, made out of a corn field.
145 Redstone Hill, Sterling, MA.978-422-8888. more
Davis Farmland & Megamaze Sep 2 – Oct 31 Sterling, MA
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
Annual Seafood Festival @ Hampton Beach Sep 5 – Sep 7 Hampton, NH
Also Fun
If anyone cares, Brimfield is having another of their regular “festivals”. 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
Brimfield Antiques Festival (Fall) Sep 2 – Sep 7 Brimfield, MA
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
Mattoon Street Arts Festival Sep 6 – Sep 7 Springfield, MA
Do you like animals? Can you walk? You have what it takes to raise money. Also events in Springfield and Hyannis.
Boston Common, Boston, MA. more
MSPCA Walk for Animals Sep 7 Boston, MA
Outdoor Movies
Sep 5: Some movie, call them.
NARA Park, Acton, MA.(978) 264-9608. more
Outdoor Movie Night at NARA Park, Acton Jun 13 – Sep 13 Acton, MA
Sep 4: Alfred Hitchcock’s “Notorious”, Seven Hills Park, Davis Square.
Various locations, Somerville, MA.617-666-3311. more
City of Somerville Annual Movie Series Jul 10 – Sep 4 Somerville, MA
Movies begin at 7:30pm. 9/5 Bee Movie, 9/12 The Wizard of Oz, 9/19 Hook.
Heritage Museums & Gardens, Sandwich, MA. more
Family Movie Night Under the Stars Aug 29 – Sep 19 Sandwich, MA
9/3: 7:30pm, “My Young Auntie”, a kung fu smackdown and wacky comedy. 9/4, 7:30pm, “Police Story”, a Jackie Chan action comedy I can personally vouch for as AWESOME. 9/5, 7:30pm: “Red Heroine”, the oldest swordplay film ever. 9/6: 7:30pm: The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, a martial arts classic. 9/7: 7:30pm Iron Monkey, preceded by a martial arts demo at 7:20.
Vacant paved lot on Hudson Street between Beach and Kneeland Streets, Boston, MA. more
Outdoor Film at the Chinatown Gate Sep 3 – Sep 7 Boston, MA
9/5: 7pm live Brazilian music and 8pm the film “Deus é Brasileiro”. 9/12: 7pm Indian music and 8pm the film “Paheli”. 9/19: 7pm live accordion music and 8pm the classic Italian film “Il Postino”.
parking lot behind the old fire station, 165 Broadway, Somerville, MA.617.623.3869. more
International Movie Nights in East Somerville Sep 7 – Sep 21 Somerville, MA
Outdoor Theatre
THE SEAGULL, by Anton Chekhov, to Sep 7, HAY FEVER by Noel Coward, to Sep 30.
Publick Theatre at Christian Herter Park, 1175A Soldiers Field Road, Brighton, MA.617-454-1444. more
Outdoor stage at the Publick Theatre Jul 3 – Sep 14 Brighton, MA
Recurring Events
Providence Place, Providence, RI.401 751-1221. more
Waterfire May 24 – Nov 11 Providence, RI
Come for the Murder Mystery Dinner, or for the Big Band Dance, with lessons beforehand.
401-846-3772. more
Murder Mystery & Evening With the Astors @ Beechwood Mansion Jul 3 – Oct 30 Newport, RI
Interactive murder mystery dinner theatre.
260 West Main Street, West Brookfield, MA.508-867-2345. more
Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre @ Salem Cross Inn Jul 25 – Sep 19 West Brookfield, MA
Trying to compete with Davis Farmland and the Davis MegaMaze, the Kimball Farm is hosting its own corn maze.
Kimball Farm Corn Maze, 780 East Broadway, Haverhill, MA.978 521-3990. more
Kimball Farm Corn Maze Aug 23 – Oct 31 Haverhill, MA
It’s yet another arts festival, this time on one of the region’s island paradises.
Nantucket Arts Festival Aug 29 – Sep 5 Nantucket Island
This is the region’s largest Renaissance Festival. It’s worth a visit, especially to see the jousting, although they don’t pay their stage acts much and it shows. So you’ll see lesser jugglers, musicians, and stuntpeople performing, and lots and lots of vendors. Rt 3 S to Rt 44 W to Rt 58 S. Weekends and Holidays only.
(508) 866-5391. more
King Richard’s Faire (Ren Faire) Aug 30 – Oct 19 Carver, MA
A comedy about actors bringing true theatre to panhandlers during the 19th century gold rush.
Huntington Theatre Company, 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA.617-266-0800. more
How Shakespeare Won the West Sep 5 – Sep 7 Boston, MA
These are the people who clown around but also do acrobatics in the air on long silk strands. I thought I’d include it.
Bayside Expo Center, Boston, MA.800-678-5440. more
Cirque du Soleil Sep 5 – Oct 12 Boston, MA
Road Trip
I’m told it’s the best Renaissance Faire on the east coast and worth a trip.
Crownsville Road, Crownsville, MD. more
Maryland Renaissance Festival @ Silver Springs Aug 23 – Oct 19 Crownsville, MD

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