Johnny’s List of Quirky Boston Events: 08/18/06

The weird event of the week is the New England Boogie, the Skydiving Festival, Aug 17 – Aug 20 at 165 Nashua Road, Pepperell, MA. 978 433-9222. It is the largest skydiving event in New England; up to 300 attend. I’m not exactly sure what happens but skydiving enthusiasts are some of the most passionate people you will ever meet.

Not weird enough for you? How about the Connecticut River Valley Astronomers Conjunction, Aug 18-20. It’s one of the two big Massachusetts astronomer gatherings of the year. (The other is Aruna Hill Aug 25-27.) It’s out in Western Massachusetts, at Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center, Northfield, MA.

A little closer to home, the Civil War Re-enactment at The Old Manse, Aug 19, 269 Monument Street, Concord, MA. 978-369-3909. Civil War encampment re-enactment. 10am-5pm. Crafts, games, drilling, firing demonstrations, ice cream social.

Two agricultural fairs are happening. It’s a great chance to see lots of kitsch. Hardwick County Fair, Town Common, Rt 32A, Hardwick, MA, Aug 18-19. Lumberjack contest, hay rides, frog jumping, cookout. Sheep, cattle, rabbit, vegetable, flower, craft exhibits. Fri 5:30-10 pm, Sat 7am-5 pm. Free.

And the Marshfield County Fair, Marshfield, MA, Aug 18-27, Route 3A at South River St. (781) 834-6629. Monday – Friday Noon – 10 pm, Saturday & Sunday 10am – 10 pm. This one I’ve been to and it was well worth it.

Going from low culture to high culture, check out The Antique and Classic Boat Festival, Aug 19-20, Hawthorne Cove Marina, 10 White St. Salem, MA. Classic sailboats, powerboats, and hand-powered craft. Sat 12-5pm, Sun 11am-3pm. Admission $5, free for children 12 and under

While you’re on the North Shore, check out the Gloucester Waterfront Festival, Aug 19-20, Stage Fort Park, Gloucester, MA.

And stop by the Southeast Asian Water Festival, Lowell Heritage State Park, 500 Pawtucket Blvd., Lowell, MA. Aug 19. Ethnic food, arts, clowns, musicians, dancing, music performances, and dragon boat races.

You can get Asian Culture closer to home though. It’s the August / Autumn Moon Festival (Quincy), Aug 20th, President Plaza, 219 Quincy Ave, Quincy, MA, 617-472-2200. 11am-4pm. Free. Performances, music, asian food, kids activities. This one I confirmed. There is also another August Moon Festival in Chinatown but I was not able to confirm this, also Aug 20.

Speaking of cultural faires, try the Boston Carnival, Aug 20-26, Dorchester, MA, 617-296-7083. Kiddie Carnival Sunday, then full carnival the ending Saturday. Note, in 2005 17 people were arrested at the Caribbean Carnival at Franklin Park.

Or visit Martha’s Vinyard this week, and see the Fireworks at Ocean Park, Aug 18. Ocean Park, Beach Rd, Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vinyard, MA. 508.693.0077. Band concert & fireworks. Free. A good excuse to visit the island. Rent bikes & cycle around, enjoy the beaches!

Or if you are feeling like hitting Maine, see the Great Falls Balloon Festival, Aug 18, Lewiston, ME. 800-639-6331.

And while you are up there, check out the Maine Highland Games. Aug 19. Thomas Point Beach, Brunswick, ME. 207-688-4515.

Two beaches are having sandcastle sculpture competitions. Crane Beach Sandblast, Aug 19, Ipswich, MA. The least impressive of them but closest to Boston. Or Sandcastle and Sculpture Day on Nantucket Island, also Aug 19, Speaking of which, to get there you can fly! Try 508-228-1700. Cape Air, 800-352-0714, Nantucker Airlines 800-635-8787, Island Airlines 800-248-7779, or take a ferry from Cape Cod or New Bedford.

Out near Worcester there is the Festival of the Lion (a Renaissance Festival), Aug 19-20, Brigham Hill Rd at Potter Hill Rd, Grafton, MA. See website for coupon. 11am-6pm. The next best thing to King Richard’s Faire that’s local.

And you’ve gotten tired of hearing about Disc Golf, but there’s a big one happening this weekend, Pokerpalooza – Disc Golf, Topsfield, MA. At Borderland Disc Golf. Aug 19.

Finally, a look ahead to next week… sign up for Dance New England – Dance Camp. Omni Camp, Poland Springs, ME. Aug 24 – Sep 2.

And Dave Chappelle is doing standup comedy at the BU Agganis Arena. Aug 23. Boston, MA. $45-60, 7:30pm.

Finally finally, continuing things from last week, the Publick Theatre goes to Sep 10, Shakespeare on the Common is now OVER, you missed it, so get yourself to the Publick Theatre. And the Longfellow Summer Festival is going to Aug 30, They are still doing AeroBalloon Rides on the Boston Common to Sep 3, call ahead to reserve tix,

It’s still Boston Restaurant Week,, and the Carnival (Provincetown) is still going on,

That ought to hold ya for a week. Get off your butt and do something fun, the warm weather is coming to an end and you will be sorry if you miss it.