Johnny’s List of Quirky Boston Events: 05/03/06

We always go straight to the Weird in this blog. The Very Odd Event of the Week is “Professional Bull Riders”, May 5-8 at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire. At first I thought “what a stupid name for what is probably a rock group”. But no, they really will ride bills and do rodeo stuff! We don’t get much of that in New England. So don’t miss it.

The Arts First Festival is happening May 4-7 in Harvard Square, in Cambridge. The best day to go is Saturday, when they’ll have over a hundred arts events happening 1pm-5pm. 617.495.8676. This is not an open studios, it’s lots of dance, singing, music performances at various venues around Harvard.

A duplicate event, Harvard Square MayFair, is also happening this weekend on May 7th. They’ll have street performers, which is always fun, but basically this event benefits the many merchants who put tables on the street. Live music, dance, street performers. Kids rides, art activities.

Speaking of merchants, the Fort Point Art Walk is May 5-6. It’s another open studios event. Basically the Fort Point artists want to sell to you so badly that they now have Spring, Winter, and Christmas Shopping open houses. However, it is a fun way to spend the day, strolling around the city looking at local work and possibly buying something.

However! Since you can go to Fort Point any time (at this rate they’ll simply keep the Studios Open year-round), why not go to the Somerville Open Studios instead, May 6-7. Same deal. You walk around meeting local artists and watching them squirm as they realize you’re not going to buy anything. Somerville, MA. 617-764-2287. Sat-Sun 12-6pm.

The Cambridge Dulcimer Festival is happening May 5-7. It’s more of a ‘course’ than a festival, at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, 56 Brattle St in Cambridge. But they do have performances and storytelling. or

I prefer manly tasks like fighting pirates bare-handed with a knife in my teeth shouting ARRRGHGHGH! So I’m not into knitting at all. However! When I saw this website (inspired by a friend) I was struck by how beautiful the quilts are… they are truly works of art. So possibly I will check out the Chelmsford Quilter’s Guild – Quilt Show, May 5-6, at the All Saints’ Epsicopal Church, 10 Billerica Road, in Chelmsford. With over 150 quilts, it is one of two big local quilt shows that I found.

Peter, Paul, & Mary split up a long time ago, but they’re apparently still willing to come together again for money. May 5th. Lowell Auditorium, Lowell.

Infinitely more hip is Renne Harris Puremovement, May 5-7. It’s a dance performance, and they promise to flip off the walls and stuff. Check it out. Majestic Theatre in Cambridge.

Not enough for you, eh? What am I, your activity monkey slave?

OK, I guess I am. Here’s some more from the True Tales of the Weird.

The Wake Up the Earth Festival & Parade is happening May 6th in Jamaica Plain, MA. It celebrates (get this) when in 1979 local townspeople defeated a proposal to bring a highway to JP (Rt 95). Way to go. Now you guys get to live in an urban area with bad access to the highway! Thank God we didn’t get a highway bringing us investment and business growth, and raising property values for our homeowners! Go team USA!

Anyway, it sounds cool. Street festival. Participatory dancing & lessons. Bands, dancers, puppet show, pageant. Raindate is following Saturday. People in JP are crazy. Join them.

Finally, if you feel you must do something for others, giving up (if briefly) your all-be-damned hedonist existence, check out Walk for Hunger, happening May 7th. It’s a 20 mile route, the nations largest hunger fundraiser. I don’t believe you need to sign up in advance, registration is 7-9am. Boston, but maybe it starts elsewhere, I’m not sure.

Finally, although these next two events really apply to next week, the Ringling Bros. Circus is in town. May 7-21. DCU Center, Worcester, MA.

And the Brimfield Antiques Spring Festival is happening. They have festivals three times a year. Basically Brimfield is the biggest place in New England for antiques shopping. It’s way out near Springfield — the intersection of Rt 20 at Rt 19, in Brimfield, MA. (413) 245 3209. I have to confess I sort of don’t “get” antiques shopping. The good stuff is expensive, and the bad stuff… well, I’d rather shop at Target and get something new. It’s a kind of art collecting I guess, rather than a clever way to get a cheap mirror or desk, as I’ve always hoped.

That ought to keep you for a week.