Johnny’s List of Quirky Boston Events: 10/04/06

Plenty of events this Thursday, Oct 5. Adult Spelling Bee, at the Brattle Theater in Cambridge, 9:30pm.

Also Oct 5, the Ig Nobel Prizes,, Sanders Theatre, Cambridge. Comedy night of joke awards for scientists for bad or funny research. A spoof on the Nobel Prizes.

Also Oct 5, the Salem Haunted Happenings Grand Parade, which opens the season. Salem, MA. Starts at Shetland Park and ends at Salem Common. 6:30pm. I think it’s participatory, so you can join in.

The weird events of the week are still haunted houses, see the bottom. But here’s a filler weird event. There’s a music festival called the Honk! Festival, Oct 7-8, in Davis Square, Somerville. 617-497-9889. Gathering of activist brass bands from across the US for horn-inspired performances. 9am-11pm Sat, 8pm-12am Sun. Free. Apparently involved lots of honking.

The New England Film & Video Festival is Oct 5-9, Brookline, MA. 617-989-0588

This weekend, check out An Evening with Champions Ice Show, Oct 6-7 at Bright Hockey Center, Harvard, Cambridge, MA. Bright Hockey Center, Harvard. Jimmy Funa / Dana Farber charity ice show.

Jon Stewart, the comedian and host of the Daily Show is appearing October 6th, Wang Theater, Boston. $45-$65.

If you’re feeling like traveling, the National Storytelling Festival is happening in Tennessee. Jonesborough, TN. Oct 6-8.

The Ringling Bros. Circus visits every October, and they appear Oct 6-8, at the TD Banknorth Garden. MITAC discount.

Because we just can’t get enough charity walks, see the Juvenile Diabetes Walk, Oct 7,; and the Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women, Oct 9, Boston Common, Boston.

It’s also the Made in Massachusetts Festival at Sturbridge Village. Sturbridge Village is a re-enactment village, so this is a crafts fair and a good excuse to visit one of New England’s three re-enactment museums. Live actors show off crafts.

And because basing a festival on a single food product is a great way to celebrate diversity in our society, there are not one, but TWO cranberry festivals this weekend. Massachusetts Cranberry Harvest Festival, Oct 7-9, 158 Tihonet Road, Wareham, MA. 508-747-7525. 10-5pm. At A. D. Makepeace. Smaller of the two.

And the National Cranberry Festival, which is cooler because it takes place at Edaville Railroad, an amusement park centered around the false idea that people still have nostalgia for trains. Oct 7-9, Edaville Railroad, Carver, MA. 877-332-8455. Rt 3S to exit 6, Rt 44W 8 mi to Rt 58S.

Speaking of a festival based around just one “food” product, if you missed the beer last weekend, check out International Oktoberfest, Oct 7-9, in Newport, RI. Don’t go just for this, but to also see rest of Newport. Also Harvard Square Oktoberfest is Oct 8, it’s just an excuse for vendors to sell wares on the streets. But a cute event.

The Newburyport Fall Harvest Festival is happening Oct 8-9, Attracts 10,000 annually.

Also, the Fenway Cultural Festival is this weekend, Oct 9, 10am-4pm. An arts, music, dance festival throughout the regions many venues.

See the MFA Columbus Day Open House,, Oct 9, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston. Free admission to event celebrating South Asia & selected exhibits. Henna tattooing lessons, music, art.

I’ve just heard of an event called the National Solar Tour. It’s like the Alt.Wheels hybrid cars festival, except with houses. Go tour the various homes in the area that use zero emissions technologies and solar power, etc. Oct 7. Nationwide event featuring homes and businesses which demonstrate renewable energy and energy conservation features.

Also this weekend, Oct 7-8, is the Roslindale Open Studios. Yet another excuse to walk around a local community. And see the “Floating Gallery”, 4-7pm Oct 7, 965 Canterbury Street, Roslindale.

Recurring events, King Richard’s Faire (Ren Faire), Cirque du Soleil – Boston to Oct 8th, and the Topsfield Fair (agricultural fair) thru Oct 9,

And now, the Haunted Houses! Note: even more haunted houses open the following weekend so if you want to see a bunch, you have to go now to see the early openers.

Livingston Street Terror. Livingston St, Tewksbury, MA. MY RATING: A+. Fri-Sat 7-10, Sun 7-9. Weekends Oct 6-29. Rt 93N to exit 42, into Tewksbury. One of the smaller ones. See website for coupon.

Barrett’s Haunted Mansion. 1235 Bedford St, Abington, MA. 781-871-4573. MY RATING: A. Rt 3S to Rt 18S. 7-10:30pm daily except 1-5,10,11,12,31. A BIG one worth seeing.

Asylum of Horror (haunted house). Anawan St. Fall River, MA. 508.324.7709. MY RATING: A-. Sep 29,30, Oct 1,6,7,8,9,13,14,15,19,20,21,22,26-31, 7pm+ . See website for coupons.

Haunted Mansion @ Victorian Park. Salem, NH. 603-898-1803. UNRATED. Rt 93N to ex 3, Rt 111E to Rt 28S. Fri-Sun Oct 6-22 + 25-31 from 6:30pm. See website for coupon.

Jaycees Haunted House @ Walpole Mall. Orpheum Theatre, 1 School St. Foxboro, MA. 508-543-0712. UNRATED. Fri-Sun Oct 6-30 + Oct 31. FS 7-11, Sun 7-10. Rt 95S to exit 10. Right off exit. 1/4 mile on rt.

Witch’s Woods (haunted house). Nashoba Ski, Westford, MA. 978-692-3033. MY RATING: C. Rt 2W to Rt. 2A/119, 6mi to Powers Rd. The worst one, skip it! Every Thu-Sun night Sep 29-Oct 28 + Oct 30,31.

Spooky World. Bayside Expo Center, Boston, MA. Same as “Hallowscream” possibly, which I rated C+. 6pm-11pm Fri Sat Sun. Matinees start 1pm Oct 21,22,28,29


OK, so that’s 28 events happening this weekend. That ought to keep you out of the “dunno, let’s go to a bar or a movie” problem. Get out there and enjoy that you don’t need a coat outdoors — yet!!