Johnny’s List of Quirky Boston Events: 07/19/06

The weird event of the week is a Japanese festival, including drumming performance and ships. It’s the only Japanese festival I know of in New England. It’s the Newport Black Ships Festival, July 20-23, is coming to Newport, RI.

If that’s not weird enough, check out the Houghton’s Pond Family Fish Festival, July 22nd, at Houghton’s Pond, Hillside St, Milton, MA. 617.698.1802. 10am-2:30pm. It’s the only festival that provides you withi fishing rods for you to try your luck with angling.

And the long-awaited Shakespeare on the Common, which is free and happening at the Parade Grounds in Boston Common in Boston, July 22 – August 13. 617-482-9393. 8pm T-S, 7pm Sun. Near Beacon & Charles. Rent a chair for $5. Note this is different from the other outdoor theatre, the Publick Theatre,

The Taste of Cambridge is also happening, a restaurant festival, July 20th, at Technology Square
in Cambridge. 5-8pm. Benefits the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center & Transition House. MITAC discount. Buy tix in advance for discount.

Also, the largest agricultural faire in New England is happening, July 21-29, the Barnstable County Fair. It’s on Cape Cod in East Falmouth, MA. 508-563-3200. Rt 28S to Rt 151E, 4.7 mi. Largest annual event on Cape Cod.

George Carlin, the standup comedian widely known for swear words, is performing July 21st at the South Shore Music Circus. Cohasset, MA.

Also the Puerto Rican Festival, July 21-23, at Playstead Field, Franklin Park, Boston, MA. 866.481.0695. 12pm-11pm, rain or shine. Free. Parade on Sunday.

The South County Hot Air Balloon Festival is the closest balloon festival to Boston, in Kingston, RI, at the URI Athletic Fields off Rt 138. July 21-23. Rt 95S to ex 9. Rt 4S, 10.4mi joins Rt 1, then Rt 138W, 401-783-1770.

It’s also the Blackstone Valley Celtic Festival, July 22-23, at King Farm in Sutton, MA. 508.234.9090. Mass Pike to exit 10A, Rt 146 South to Sutton, follow signs.

If you feel like traveling this weekend, check out the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, in Hillsdale, NY, July 20-23. Its just over the border from Western, MA.

Or see Vermont Brick Blast, July 22-23, which is the largest and only Lego festival in New England. It’s in Middlebury, VT. Also see You can play with legos and see huge dioramas and sculptures created with the brick toys.

Try taking a walking tour of Boston,, which are historical and mainly architectural.

Try visiting Nantucket Island,, 508-228-1700. Or Martha’s Vinyard, Or Great places to rent a bicycle and just ride around and enjoy the beaching.

Or try out some unusual water sports, such as waterskiing, parasailing, o jet skiing, with for example Gold Coast Parasailing, 508-398 SAIL. South Yarmouth, MA. They also rent water trampolines.

Finally, there is a street performer festival in Union Square on July 22 in Union Square Plaza, 4-8pm. Rain date 7/23.

There are a number of gardens around New England worth seeing. Here is a guide to the most popular ones around Boston.

Arnold Arboretum 125 Arborway Jamaica Plain, MA 617.524.1718
Fenway Victory Gardens Boylston Street at Park Drive Boston, MA 617 267-6650
Garden in the Woods 180 Hemenway Road Framingham, MA 508-877-7630
Lyman Estate 185 Lyman Street Waltham, MA (781) 891-4882 x244
Sedgwick Gardens at Long Hill 572 Essex St Beverly, MA 978-921-1944
Tower Hill Botanical Gardens 11 French Drive Bolyston, MA 508.869.6111