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

Hi! Yet another, and hopefully the last format for the blog. Summer is coming to an end, don’t sit around at home or do something indoorsy. Get outside while you can do it in shorts and a t-shirt!

The Week in Weird
Miracles in Motion Medieval Faire Sep 13 Swanzey, NH
Here’s the event of the week: this medeival faire benefits charity somehow and seems to be primarily composed of a jousting tournament. It’s the biggest local event of the New England Jousting Association, which I phoned. This isn’t just a demonstration as the jousting at King Richard’s Faire. It’s an actual competitive joust, with 8 different competitors from 3 different countries. Sounds fantastic!. Cheshire Fairgrounds, 247 Monadnock Highway (Rt 12), Swanzey, NH.603-357-7282. more
Audubon Society – Raptor Weekend Sep 13 – Sep 14 Bristol, RI
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
Cape Cod Scottish Festival Sep 13 Sandwich, MA
I’m not even Scottish but I have to say Two Thumbs Up for the Cape Cod Scottish Festival! First of all, I’ve recently visited the venue, the Heritage Museum & Gardens, which has extensive gardens, a car museum, an arts museum, a pirate museum (aRR!!!) and a carousel. That’s highly recommended just by itself! But then add in music, dancing, the "bonniest knees" competition, athletic games, falconry and sheep herding demonstrations, storytelling, and a big bagpipe parade. Heritage Museum & Gardens, Sandwich, MA. more
Harwich Cranberry Festival Sep 12 – Sep 14 Harwich, MA
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. more
Irish Connections Festival Sep 12 – Sep 14 Canton, MA
I was wrong when I called something else the largest Irish festival in New England. This one is, and 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 heard of. Off Rt. 138. Largest on the East Coast. 200 New Boston Drive, Canton, MA.781-821-8291. more
Revolutionary War Living History Weekend Sep 13 – Sep 14 Newport, RI
You don’t need an excuse to visit Newport with its mansions, gardens, beach, and cliff walk, but if you did — this is it! All weekend long, the nation’s "largest coastal fortification" will have re-enactors from the American Revolutionary War, with lectures, artillery demonstrations, and mock battles. Fort Adams State Park, Newport, RI.401-841-0707. more
Eastern States Exposition Sep 12 – Sep 28 West Springfield, MA
It’s the 9th largest agricultural fair in the United States, and it shows. Over 1.1M people attend and every kind of hokey "as seen on TV" product is available at the many vendors booths. The last time I went I got shut in a glass booth with a huge fan that swooshed play money all around and I tried to grab as much as I could. I won a cap and the little girl in front of me grabbed more bills and won a car or something. *pout*. They’ll have an acceptable (but traveling, not fixed) carnival, some really nice equestrian events, name brand music performers, and a great circus! They’ll also have a slightly alarming "New England in Miniature" called Storrowton which is the only part of New England that many tourists will ever see. Rt 90W to exit 4. Rt 5S. 1305 Memorial Avenue, West Springfield, MA. more
Out at Plimoth Plantation Sep 13 Plymouth, MA
If you think you’d feel alienated at the Big E amongst the aggie population and tourist gawkers, think how you’d feel as a gay or lesbian person amongst the 1620 Pilgrims! Remarkably, now you get to find out. As you know, Plimoth Plantation is a recreation village with actor-historians portraying pilgrims and native americans. Today they’ll have discounted admission, lectures on LGBTA topics, and a traditional-style Thanksgiving dinner. They’re having a minor arts festival in Plymouth as well and a bird-watching tour (same website link). 137 Warren Avenue, Plymouth, MA.(508) 746-1622. more
Billerica’s Yankee Doodle Homecoming Festival Sep 12 – Sep 14 Billerica, MA
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
Acton Day Sep 13 Acton, MA
For a tiny town, Acton has plenty of creative events. On Sep 13, they’ll have a festival that includes 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
Boston Tattoo Convention Sep 12 – Sep 14 Boston, MA
It’s weird all right: The Boston Tattoo Convention. If you’re into tattoos, don’t miss this opportunity to gawk and be gawked at. Just don’t get a tattoo you won’t still be proud of when you’re 80! They’ll have a burlesque show and tattoo contests. Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St, Boston, MA. more
Tub Parade Sep 13 Lenox, MA
Not involving bathtubs, this is a parade of horse-drawn carriages and is followed by an ice cream social. Ventfort Hall, Lenox, MA. more
Chelsea Kite Festival Sep 13 Chelsea, MA
I’m sure the Chelsea Kite Festival will be worth seeing, with kites of all different shapes and colors. No details are given about kite competitions or vendors, so I’m guessing basically it’s people flying kites in a park with no real scheduled ‘event’. Mary O’Malley Park on the Mystic River, Admiral’s Hill, Chelsea, MA. more
Old Sturbridge Village Gala Sep 13 Sturbridge, MA
If you can afford $150 for a benefit, this is the formal ball event of the month! Pretend to be rich for a night. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.(508) 347-3362. more
College Night at The Museum of Science, Boston Sep 15 Boston, MA
Are you a student? The Museum of Science, Boston is offering free admission to the exhibits and all their theatres, for college students who can prove it. 4-10pm. more
Boston Folk Festival Sep 13 – Sep 14 Boston, MA
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. UMass Boston, Boston, MA.(617) 287-6911. more
Boston Comedy Festival Sep 14 – Sep 20 Boston, MA
I’ve been to the Boston Comedy Festival and it’s really worth seeing! The various standup comedy nights around town are hit-or-miss, but this is just hit-hit-hit-hit. The Smothers Brothers will be present and presumably they’ll perform. The really big deal is finals night, the last night of the week. Various downtown venues, Boston, MA. more
Pet Rock Festival Sep 14 Worcester, MA
It’s 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
Barktoberfest – Pound Hounds Family Fun Day & Dog Walk Sep 14 Westford, MA
Clearly not reading the pet events calendar is the conflicting event Barktoberfest. It also comes with frisbee dogs and pet trick competitions! Rain or shine. 11am-3pm. Free. 4-H Fairgrounds, 51 S. Chelmsford Rd., Westford, MA.508-435-5029. more
Fall Harvest Scarecrow! Sep 14 Concord, MA
It works like this. You visit the museum, and outdoors on the lawn you get to make (and take home!) your own scarecrow. It sounds like just the sort of thing they’d limit to kids only. I hope not! Music, popcorn, and apple cider are provided, but bring your own old clothes to stuff with hay. 200 Lexington Road, Concord, MA.(978) 369-9763. more
Harvard Fall Festival Sep 13 – Sep 14 Harvard, MA
Yet another small town event, with a BBQ cookoff, a carnival that only kids can ride (*pout*), and a craft fair. However, they’ll have fireworks!. Hazel’s Farm, 150 Ayer Road, Harvard, MA. more
Brookline Arts Festival Sep 14 Brookline, MA
Even though it’s absent from the Larz Anderson website, I believe this is actually happening. It’s yet another olde towne outdoor festival. They may have fireworks though!. Lanz Anderson Auto Museum, 15 Newton Street, Brookline, MA. more

Also Fun
Charlestown Art in the Park Festival Sep 13 Charlestown, MA
Although outdoors, it seems this is simply art vendors, a small draw kind of festival. more
Music Festival @ Sweetwilliam Farm Sep 13 Upton, MA
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
Rhode Island Day at Southwick’s Zoo Sep 13 Mendon, MA
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
Pawtucket Arts Fest & Stone Soup Folk Festival Sep 11 – Sep 14 Pawtucket, RI
The umbrella event for last week’s RI Dragon Boat Day, the arts "festival" goes on over 3 weeks, but this weekend is the centerpiece. They’ll have 80 art vendors including glassblowing and pottery demonstrations. While that’s not a terribly big draw, the Stone Soup Folk Festival is a day of folk music, Sep 13, 1-5pm, and there are other arty things happening across the city this week. Slater Memorial Park, 401 Newport Avenue, Pawtucket, RI.401.724.5200. more
Feast on This" Film Festival Sep 11 – Sep 14 Keene, NH
I don’t expect anyone to actually go to this, but it sure is weird… A film festival dedicated to food and nutrition! At least it’s free. 603-499-5606. more
Boston Film Festival Sep 12 – Sep 17 Cambridge, MA
I’m sure this film festival is worth seeing, but there don’t seem to be any lectures or events, although they’ll have an opening night party and claim that big name restaurants will come and serve food. Kendall Landmark Theatre, One Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA.617-621-1202. more
American Heart Walk Sep 13 Boston, MA
If you like hearts, and don’t like heart disease, consider this Yet Another Charity Walk for a really good cause. 8:30am registration, walk at 10am. 1mi, 3mi, or 6mi route along the Charles River. Hatch Shell, Esplanade, 10 Storrow Drive, Boston, MA. more
Quincy Arts Fest Sep 13 – Sep 14 Quincy, MA
Quincy is having an "arts festival", but it’s really a series of paid art workshops (plus demonstrations that are presumably free). Yoga & Wellness Center, 605 Hancock Street, Quincy, MA.617-770-2482. more

Outdoor Movies
Family Movie Night Under the Stars Aug 29 – Sep 19 Sandwich, MA
Movies begin at 7:30pm. 9/12 The Wizard of Oz, 9/19 Hook. Heritage Museums & Gardens, Sandwich, MA. more
International Movie Nights in East Somerville Sep 7 – Sep 21 Somerville, MA
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

Outdoor Theatre
Outdoor stage at the Publick Theatre Jul 3 – Sep 14 Brighton, MA
HAY FEVER by Noel Coward, to Sep 30. Publick Theatre at Christian Herter Park, 1175A Soldiers Field Road, Brighton, MA.617-454-1444. more

Recurring Events
Waterfire May 24 – Nov 11 Providence, RI
Providence Place, Providence, RI.401 751-1221. more
Kimball Farm Corn Maze Aug 23 – Oct 31 Haverhill, 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
King Richard’s Faire (Ren Faire) Aug 30 – Oct 19 Carver, MA
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
Davis Farmland & Megamaze Sep 2 – Oct 31 Sterling, MA
Davis Farmland has a petting zoo (although you’re supposed to have a child with you). And they have the best maze in New England, made out of a corn field. 145 Redstone Hill, Sterling, MA.978-422-8888. more
Wings of Freedom Tour Sep 8 – Sep 24 Various Locations
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. more

We Won’t Pay, We Won’t Pay! Sep 4 – Sep 28 Cambridge, MA
It’s a comedy about a housewives’ revolt!. Central Square Theater, 450 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, MA. more
Cirque du Soleil Sep 5 – Oct 12 Boston, MA
These are the people who clown around but also do acrobatics in the air on long silk strands. Bayside Expo Center, Boston, MA.800-678-5440. more
Pilobolus Dance Troupe Sep 13 Boston, MA
I’ve seen this troupe and it’s truly amazing the dances that they do. A must see! Also Nov 8 in Plymouth, NH. Shubert Theatre, 270 Tremont Street, Boston, MA.800-447-7400. more

Road Trip
Maryland Renaissance Festival @ Silver Springs Aug 23 – Oct 19 Crownsville, MD
I’m told it’s the best Renaissance Faire on the east coast and worth a trip. Crownsville Road, Crownsville, MD. more

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