Johnny’s List of Quirky Boston Events: 09/23/08


Summer is over, but Halloween is here! The first haunted houses and ghost tours open for the season this week. See below for a complete
list. Also, I’ve separated Halloween into its own post. There is a limit to how big a LiveJournal post can be, apparently.

The Week in Weird
J. Cannibal’s Feast of Flesh Sep 27 Brookline, MA
This week’s blog is in chronological order, backwards! Let’s start with the apocalyptic future. It’s the weird event of the week, a zombie festival! Hosted in a movie theatre, you’ll see live music and burlesque, a costume competition and more, followed by a zombie film. I’ve been and it’s strangely classy & intelligent, really great.
Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA. more
Boston Greenfest Sep 26 – Sep 27 Boston, MA
Also the future is the technology of saving the environment. Here’s a festival on that. 10am-5pm. Rain or shine. They’ll have lectures, technology demos, juggling, and more.
City Hall Plaza, Boston, MA. more
AltWheels Transportation Festival Sep 29 Framingham, MA
I’m not sure what happened, but AltWheels used to be at city hall Boston for everyone. Now it’s $65 for “car industry people” in Framingham. Funky new cars are awesome, though.
Staples World Headquarters, Framingham, MA.508-698-6810. more
What the Fluff? (Marshmallow Fluff festival) Sep 27 Somerville, MA
Did you know that Marshmallow Fluff was invented in Somerville? Take THAT, Cambridge!! They’re having an outdoor festival / merchant event to celebrate. 4-7pm. There will be a ton of outdoor vendors and games.
Union Square Plaza, Somerville, MA.617-623-1392 x119. more
Beatlejuice Sep 26 – Sep 27 Somerville, MA
Rocking back to the 1960s… I’ve never seen a Beatles tribute band, but this is the one to see, apparently.
Johnny D’s, Somerville, MA. more
Three Apples Storytelling Festival Sep 26 – Sep 28 Bedford, MA
I’ve been to this and it’s fantastic! Adult storytelling, including ghost stories, and kids stuff too. See
617-499-9529. more
Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon Sep 27 Amherst, MA
Continuing on our backwards trip, to the 1880s, how awesome is this! They’ll read all of Emily Dickinson’s 1,789 poems in 18 hours, from 7am to 1am. It’s the same day as their anniversary celebration, and they’ll have a special play and tours. Am I allowed to giggle at the word dick in Dickinson? No? Ah. Right.
280 Main Street, Amherst, MA.413-542-8161. more
Annual Yankee Steam-Up Sep 27 – Sep 28 East Greenwich, RI
Also 19th century, before they had gas engines, they used steam. Can they bring steam engines back to solve global warming? Probably not since all that steam came from coal. This festival showcases working steam engines of every kind.
New England Wireless and Steam Museum, 1300 Frenchtown Rd., East Greenwich, RI.401-885-0545. more
Colonial Faire & Muster of Fyfe & Drums Sep 27 Sudbury, MA
Yet further back in time, here are some Revolutionary War re-enactors. They’ll have plenty, doing a mock battle, with games, drill instruction, vendors, and fyfe and drum. Rain date is following day.
Wayside Inn, Rt 20, Sudbury, MA. more
The Seige of Boston in Roxbury and Dorchester Sep 27 Boston, MA
Pick up from Back Bay 9:30am, and from Roxbury Heritage State Park 10am, for this guided tour of Revolutionary War to-ing and fro-ing. Buy tix in advance.
Back Bay Station, Boston, MA. more
Coronation @ SCA Sep 27 Lexington, MA
Now going WAY back! The SCA does medeival re-enactments, and one of their two biggest events is “coronation”, in which some lucky person gets to be the monarch of the local club. They say 500 attend. 10:15am-9pm.
Battle Green, Lexington, MA. more
Connecticut Renaissance Faire Sep 27 – Oct 19 Woodstock, CT
I’ve heard this one is better and bigger than King Richard’s Faire, and it’s not too far: just 1.5 hrs from Boston. It’s just across the border into Connecticut. Raine or shine. Weekends & holidays, 10am-6pm.
860-923-0454. more
Aerial Angels @ Gypsy Bar Sep 26 Boston, MA
I visited King Richard’s Faire this year and have a review below of the various performers. One favorite — the clear winner — was the Aerial Angels. They’re aerial silk acrobats like Cirque du Soleil. (Hint: never mention Cirque du Soleil to an aerial silk acrobat.) They’re performing so I’m listing it. Highly recommended.
Gypsy Bar, 116 Bolyston St, Boston, MA.617-482-3399. more
Fall Family Campout Sep 26 Acton, MA
Finally, going all the way back to the neanderthals, they’re having a campfire in Acton. Call for details.
NARA Park, Acton, MA.(978) 264-9608. more
Coppal House Farm Corn Maze Aug 1 – Oct 31 Lee, NH
I visited Kimball Farm’s corn maze and now I want to see this one, too! The best is still Davis Farmland.
118 North River Road, Lee, NH.603-659-3572. more
Working Waterfront Festival Sep 27 – Sep 28 New Bedford, MA
This is your chance to learn why the crazy fisherman in The Perfect Storm did what they did. It looks quite interesting. They’ll have demonstrations of net mending, trap making, book readings, dance, music, learn knot tying, etc.
Jamaica Plain Open Studios Sep 27 – Sep 28 Jamaica Plain, MA
Jamaica Plain is taking its turn to have an open studios, where you get to walk around the community visiting local artists at their homes or working studios. It’s a good Fall activitiy because you’re partly outdoors but partly indoors.
Lowell Open Studios Sep 27 – Sep 28 Lowell, MA
And I’m sure Lowell has a good open studios as well.
Annual Fall Festival @ Marblehead Sep 27 – Sep 28 Marblehead, MA
Marblehead is having a ‘festival’ which sounds very much like a tiny yet heavily merchant-oriented event. Fair enough, but not a real draw. They’ll have hay rides, though!
781-631-2868. more
Fall Harvest Festival @ Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm Sep 27 Newbury, MA
This one looks like a better bet for North Shore festivating. 11am-4pm. They’ll have a hay bale maze, wagon rides, an antique tractor, and pie eating and corn shucking contests.
5 Little’s Lane, Newbury, MA.978-462-2634. more

Also Fun
Trails & Sails Weekend Sep 26 – Sep 28 Ipswich, MA
This ‘festival’ is a series of 140 independent events all over the region.
Various areas, Ipswich, MA. more
BeanTown Jazz Festival Sep 25 – Sep 27 Boston, MA
Do you like jazz? I’m not much for it. But I do like festivals! And they claim to be the ‘largest festival in Boston’, which is clearly not true since First Night Boston is so large. They’ll have 3 stages and street performers. It looks good.
Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA. more
New England Fringe Festival – Boston, MA Sep 24 – Sep 27 Roxbury, MA
Also arty, but far smaller, this ‘festival’ is a series of dance, theatre, and storytelling performances. The festival continues October 1-4 in Nashua, NH.
Roxbury Center for the Arts at Hibernian Hall, 182 Dudley Street, Roxbury, MA.978.667.0550. more
Bolton Fair Sep 25 – Sep 28 Lancaster, MA
Perhaps you’d prefer racing pigs to modern dance. Both smaller and not arty, it’s yet another agricultural festival! They’ll have a lumberjack contest and show, martial arts, and a “sheep agility” contest. Let’s just hope it’s the sheep who are demonstrating the agility in that one, not the owners.
Rt 117, Lancaster, MA. more
Apple Squeeze Festival Sep 26 – Sep 28 Lenox, MA
Although I could not find a description, with the right attitude, you can turn this street festival into a true celebration.
Italian Fest in Haverhill Sep 28 Haverhill, MA
It’s free and they’ll have a troupe of impersonators doing the original “Rat Pack” from movies. (Before they remade Ocean’s Eleven with George Clooney.) Live music, tons of vendors as usual, the ubiquitous face painting, and a Miss Italy contest. 12-6pm.
978-373-5663. more
Ipswich ChowderFest Sep 27 Ipswich, MA
So here’s the thing. You show up. You eat chowder. A few local churches and groups will have a table with some handouts. It’s a festival! 12-4pm. Rain or shine.
Parking lot of EBSCO, 10 Estes Street, Ipswich, MA.978-356-1988. more
Faire on the Square Sep 27 Watertown, MA
Much closer to Boston, try this street fair in Watertown. Rain or shine. Free. 10am-4pm. They’ll have an apple pie contest, live music including “doo wop” and a capella, martial arts, juggling, and a charity of a friend which reduces the number of feral/street cats, 2008: 10am-4pm.
Saltonstall Park, in and around Town Hall, Watertown, MA. more
MFA College Night Sep 25 Boston, MA
Admission is free if you have a college ID! 6pm-midnight.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA. more
New Hampshire Day at Southwick’s Zoo Sep 27 Mendon, MA
This week it’s New Hampshire resident’s turn to get free admission to New England’s largest zoo. And I just heard that they have a new gondola ride!
2 Southwick Street, Mendon, MA.800-258-9182. more
Great Glass Pumpkin Patch @ MIT Sep 27 Cambridge, MA
MIT has a glassblowing laboratory and every year they sell glass pumpkins in a big outdoor display. May be worth stopping by.
Kresge Oval, MIT Campus, Cambridge, MA.617-253-5309. more
Swansea Carnvial Sep 25 – Sep 28 Swansea, MA
This is a traveling carnival, decent but the kind that folds onto trucks and can’t be too stunning. Website coupon.
Grace Gospel Church, 271 Sharps Lot Road Rear Parking Lot, Swansea, MA. more
Lantern Financial Sep 24 Boston, MA
A local financial group is having a free “risqué workshop” with themes like “Having a Quickie” and “Experimenting with Something New”, for newlyweds who could use some tips on planning. They swear it’s a charity event, for Business and Baseball, with free food and giveaways, and not overly commercial.
Lantern Financial, LLC, 50 Franklin Street, 3rd Floor, Boston, MA.617-482-2700. more
Barnstable County Harvest Festival Sep 27 – Sep 28 East Falmouth, MA
Rain or shine, with live music and various agricultural faire goodness.
County Fairgrounds, Rt 151, East Falmouth, MA.508-563-3200. more
Manhattan Short Film Festival @ MFA Sep 27 Boston, MA
So you’re probably thinking that it’s a film festival by people living in Manhattan. No. They get submissions world-wide. So you’re probably thinking it takes place in Manhattan. No. Over 200 cinemas around the world. Huh. But you get to vote on the films you like.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA. more
United Nations Association Film Festival Sep 25 – Sep 28 Cambridge, MA
Yet more films from around the world. They will have a reception though and a couple of filmmaker talks, making this a real festival.
Brattle Theatre & Kennedy School of Gov’t, Cambridge, MA. more
Boston Harbor Islands Regatta Sep 27 Boston, MA
This is an excuse to visit the Boston Harbor Islands before it becomes too cold. They’re giving tours and fishing lessons all day, and watch the 100+ boats race the race.
Georges Island, Boston, MA. more
CollegeFest Sep 27 – Sep 28 Boston, MA
Every year the vendors who target college students hold a merchant event which I have no idea why anyone would want to attend. Except they’ll have Chamillionaire and Soulja Boy performing, and you’ll pick up $100 or so in free samples if you go.
Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA. more
Presidential Debate (1st of 3) Sep 26 Everywhere
You might want to watch the political debate. The 1st of three. See this website for unbiased issues-based information.
On TV, Everywhere. more

Recurring Events
King Richard’s Faire (Ren Faire) Aug 30 – Oct 19 Carver, MA
Rt 3S to 44W to 58S. Saturdays & Sundays only. I’ve just been and here’s my report. It’s fun to stroll around people-watching and seeing all the shops, which are Ren Faire themed and not hokey carnival themed. There are a few olde timey amusement park rides but primarily the entertainment is the 8 stages. I’m told they don’t pay much, and about 2/3 of the acts are not really worth watching. They embarass volunteers on stage and have a lot of overhead trying to draw in the crowd. However, we were very impressed with the Aerial Angels and Paolo Garbanzo. I would avoid the Ded Bob Sho and the Flying Freak Show. The main event is always the jousting, a must-see!! Rt 3 S to Rt 44 W to Rt 58 S. Weekends and Holidays only.
(508) 866-5391. 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
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
Davis Farmland & Megamaze Sep 2 – Nov 9 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.

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
The T Plays Sep 17 – Oct 4 Boston, MA
How would you like to see a play that was written in less than 20 minutes, on a bustling subway? Yeeeeeea, that’d be awesome, riiiiight.
The Factory Theatre, 791 Tremont Street, Boston, MA.617-240-6317. more
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Opera Sep 26 – Sep 28 Brookline & Cambridge
Free, but reserve now to get a space.
Janet Jackson and LL Cool J Oct 1 Boston, MA
I feel a wardrobe malfunction coming on.
TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, MA. more
The Canterville Ghost Sep 19 – Sep 26 Lenox, MA
It’s a comedy! It’s Oscar Wilde! Go see!
Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, 70 Kemble St., Lenox, MA. more


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