Johnny’s List of Quirky Boston Events: 07/13/06

The weird event of the week is: Disc Golf! It’s a sport that’s played on a large green like regular golf, except that you use frisbees. So it’s more fulfilling than mini-golf and more accessible than regular golf, because no training is needed. Just show up and throw a frisbee. There are three parks close to Boston, and each of them has no admissions booth. It’s free, just show up, bring a frisbee, and go. Pye Brook ( in Topsfield is the closest, Pines Town in Amesbury ( is the easiest, and Borderland in Sharon is pretty close too (

I hear you thinking: not weird enough. OK, how about this, it’s the New England Sand Sculpting Festival. Arguably the largest of its kind in New England, it’s happening July 13-16 at Revere Beach,, which is in Revere obviously. 617-650-2213. It’s an invitational competition of professionals, but kids day Saturday and amateur adult day Sunday. So you do get to join in if you want to make something, but beware — it takes 4-6 hours to make something real. Awards & entertainment Sunday afternoon/eve.

There’s a latino festival this weekend called Festival Betances, July 13-16, which sounds like crazy fun. Among the festivities, on Friday, is “Christmas in July”. And there’s a greased pole contest Sunday. It just doesn’t get better than that (except maybe for mud wrestling). Boston.

It’s also the Forest Hills Lantern Festival this weekend, July 13th, 6-9pm. They float a bunch of lanterns down the water. Rain date July 20th. This event sounds too simple to be worth going, doesn’t it, but I went last year to a Forest Hills event and it was awesome so this is probably more than it seems. Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston, 617-524-0128. $10.

Did you miss out on the July 4th festivities? Well it’s not too late to catch Bastille Day, which is France’s version. The Bastille Day Party & Dance in Boston is happening July 14th, at Marlborough Street in Boston. 6-11pm between Berkeley & Clarendon. Sponsored by the French consulate I think.

The largest New England event of the year is happening for the Society of Creative Anachronism. It’s the Great Northeastern War, July 14-16, in Hebron, ME. Although it’s a 2.8 hr drive from Boston, it draws over 1000 people and will be full of feasting, workshops, and medeival fighting. No really, hundreds of people show up in armor with swords and duke it out. How crazy is that.

Slightly closer to Boston, about 2 hours away in Greenfield MA is the Green River Festival (a Balloon Festival), at the Greenfield Community College. off Rt 91 exit 26. 413/773-9393. As usual with balloon festivals, call ahead to reserve a flight and the show will definitely be grounded if there’s poor weather, but the weather’s supposed to be sunny and fine this weekend.

While you’re out west, check out the Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival, July 15th. Look Park, 300 North Main St. Northampton, MA. 9am-5pm. Rain or shine. All kinds of music and athletic games, kids activities. And where else can you see a competition of sheep and duck herding? (413) 862-8095

Also the Italia Unita Festival, July 14-16,, in “Central Square” in East Boston, MA. I guess they didn’t get the memo that Central Square is really in Cambridge. 617-561-3201. Food, bocce, sausage eating contest, kids activities, music. Probably more fun than going to any of the saints festivals in the North End, unless you like cheese sculptures.

Also it’s the Somerville Art Beat, July 14-15, in Davis Square in Somerville. 617 625 6600 or Lots of outdoor music and art. Let’s face it, Somerville is no Cambridge but it sure beats out most every other town in New England.

While you’re there, check out the Floating Gallery, which is floating to 20 Madison Street #1
in Somerville. 4-7pm. They’ll have live music as well as art on display and for sale.

But wait, there’s more! It’s the King Arthur Fair at Hammond Castle Museum, which is their biggest event of the year, and it actually runs over two weekends, July 15-16 and July 22-23., or 80 Hesperus Ave, Gloucester, MA. 978-283-2080. Hammond Castle is an actual castle brought over from Europe, and it’s definitely worth seeing.

And two hobby events are happening this weekend. One of the two big events is happening for model airplanes and helicopters, the CRRC Hand-Launch Classic, July 15-16 at Davis Field in Sudbury. 518 798 1321. Off Rt 117. Call Mark Drela at 617 253 0067, or Lunch included in admission. 9:15am to 4pm? $20. Register ahead for discount. Directions, see

Also they’re having Race to the Bottom, which is a Cardboard Boat Race. July 15th at Ashler Lodge in Rockport, MA. 987-546-6788. It’s basically an event for kids (or people who are kids at heart), you pre-register for $100 and get a ship-building kit. Build the ship and race it! Prizes include “first to sink”! It’s probably fun just to show up and watch, too, and cheaper.

The Brimfield Antiques Festival which I mentioned last week is still happening. And speaking of that, I was wrong about the Longfellow Summer Festival, it’s not just one event but it happens all summer every Sunday June-August, poetry & classical music. Most events 4-5pm but see website. And they’re still doing interactive murder mystery at Murder at the Coconut Cabana,, at the Tremont Playhouse in Boston, but the season sends August 1st so get those tickets now.

Phew. Get out there and enjoy, it’s the best time of the year for festivals.