Johnny’s List of Weird Boston Events: 2/02/09

I changed the main website to but everything should still be working without your needing to do anything. Apparently it caused a one-time hiccup in sending out blog posts. Sorry about that. Now on to the week in weird!


The Week in Weird
Darwin Day “Assassins” Game @ Harvard Feb 6 – Feb 12 Boston Metro
The weird event of the week is another Darwin Day activity. Darwin Day isn’t actually until February 12. But what better way to demonstrate survival of the fittest than a “circle kill game”, or “assassins” game? These games usually involve a bunch of players armed with spoons who track each other down.
Harvard, Cambridge, MA. more
Chinese New Year Celebration in Harvard Square Feb 8 Boston Metro
Also a number of winter celebrations happen this week! First off, there’s a Chinese New Year celebration in Harvard Square, complete with lanterns and a lion dance. Also, heads up, Mary Chung in Central Square, Cambridge will be having a lion dance too, probably Feb 6-8 but currently unscheduled, so call.
Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. more
Lowell’s WinterFest Celebration Feb 5 – Feb 7 North Shore
Another Chinese Lantern Festival is part of this Lowell winter event, where they’ll have fireworks, a snowman competition, and a “human dog sled championship”. All this, and Quincy doesn’t even have their 2009 arts calendar up yet. Woo hoo!
Lowell, MA. more
Chelmsford Winterfest Feb 6 – Feb 8 Northern Mass
The winter festivals don’t just stop, though. Chelmsford, sort of the dumber younger brother of Lowell, is having a weekend of celebrations as well. No fireworks, but a chowder fest, pancake breakfast, snoeshowing, and free public ice skating sound worth a trip.
Chelmsford, MA. more
Mount Washington Valley Ice Festival Feb 5 – Feb 8 New Hampshire
If you dare to go up north to the White Mountains, where you can climb a waterfall of ice, and other adventures that all sound insane.
International Mountain Climbing School, North Conway, NH. more
Town of Greenfield Winter Carnival Feb 7 New Hampshire
This one is far more sedate, and also in New Hampshire. They’ll have a pancake breakfast, a log sawing competition — need to see that!! — cardboard sled races, including for adults, dancing, an ice fishing derby, including a mock “ice rescue” demo by firefighters!
Greenfield, NH. more
Annual Greenfield Winter Carnival Feb 6 – Feb 8 Western Mass
Neck and neck for the “We on Greenfield” competition is the other Greenfield, MASSACHUSETTS. 2009: Friday night, board game night, a photo contest, and hockey. Saturday, an art exhibit, a road race, snowshoeing, ice skating, a circus, and zydeco music. Sunday, breakfast, a cookie bake-off, a “Siberian huskies demonstration”, free ice skating lessons, and they’ll have sledding with a big outdoor fire. Ooh, and they’re building an entire “snowman village”.
Greenfield, MA. more
Winter Festival at DCR’s Dunn Pond Feb 7 Northern Mass
State parks are getting into the carnival game, too, with a lot of cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and letterboxing, which is a kind of orienteering. Because what you really want to do is get lost in the forest in the snow with just a compass.
Gardner, MA. more
Owl Festival Feb 7 Metro West
Also there’s a guided tour at another state park where you can spot owls in the wild and see them up close, too.
Broadmoor, 280 Eliot Street, Natick, MA.508-655-2296. more
Rent snowshoes at Gore Place Feb 7 – Mar 28 Boston Metro
You can also rent snowshoes at nearby Gore Place, the historic mansion. And they have llamas. And goats.
52 Gore Street, Waltham, MA.(781) 894-2798. more
N.E. Network Polar Plunge Feb 8 Boston Metro
But wait! We aren’t done with crazy winter events yet! How’d you like to dive into the ocean for charity? 2009: 1pm.
Curley Recreation Center, 1663 Columbia Road, South Boston, MA.617-876-4444. more
Freezin’ For A Reason Feb 7 Maine
It can only get crazier by doing the same damn thing, but in *MAINE*. Woo hoo!
Portland, ME. more
Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival Feb 6 – Feb 14 North Shore
Salem’s also in the competition. What is it about this particular weekend in February? Anyway, they’ll have ice sculptures dotted all over town. This is basically an excuse to visit Salem and shop.
Salem, MA. more
Gadgets & Gizmos @ Phillips House Feb 8 North Shore
While you’re in Salem, they’re show off 18th century kitchen appliances again at the Phillips House. 2009: Also Mar 8, 10:30am-12pm.
34 Chestnut Street, Salem, MA.978-744-0440. more
Shepard Fairey Feb 5 – Feb 6 Boston Metro
OK. Enough with the outdoor festivals. The ICA is opening a new exhibit of Shepard Fairey. And they have two sold out parties but if you call right now and you’re very lucky, they may have openings.
100 Northern Avenue, Boston, MA.617-478-3100. more
Hasty Pudding Man/Woman of the Year Awards Feb 5 – Feb 13 Boston Metro
Also due to be sold out — so buy now — is the parade for the Hasty Pudding Man/Woman of the Year. Oddly they always give the prize to a celebrity who will show up, as opposed to the ‘best’ celebrity. This year it’s Renee Zellweger, and they haven’t found a male actor willing to visit yet. Feb 15 Woman of the Year Roast, Feb 23 Man of the Year Roast.
Zero Arrow Street Theater, Cambridge, MA.617-495-5205. more
Forbes House Museum Annual Lincoln Celebration Feb 8 – Feb 19 South Shore
Here are three events that are substantially classier. There’s a museum on the South Shore that I’ve never heard of, except that they are doing a celebration in honor of Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday. 2009: The main celebration is on Sunday, 12-4pm. And then two lectures, Feb 12 & 19.
Forbes House Museum, 215 Adams Street, Milton, MA. more
This Wasn’t Love Letters: The Election of 1860 as Seen Through the Eyes of Two Cape Cod Newspaper Editors Feb 8 South Shore
And a play based on the election that Lincoln won.
Cultural Center of Cape Cod, Old Main Street, South Yarmouth, MA. more
Frederick Douglass Read-a-thon Feb 8 Southern Mass
Or, perhaps you’d like to hear the autobiography of Frederick Douglas read cover to cover. It only takes 4 hours. 2009: 2-6pm.
First Unitarian Church, Union & Eighth Streets, New Bedford, MA.508-979-8828. more
Rock Fetish Night Feb 6 Boston Metro
Also, there is a new nighclub event that combines rock music with fetish / goth themes. I visited and the decor and atmosphere is out of this world. Highly recommended. Unfortunately, it is in Everett, so you’ll have to drive or taxi.
Castillo’s, Everett, MA. more
This is Your Brain on Love: Why Him? Why Her? Feb 4 Boston Metro
Finally, it’s a little too soon for Valentine’s Day, but here is the first themed event of the season. It’s a lecture on the brain science of falling in love. How sweet.
Museum of Science, Boston, Boston, MA. more

Also Fun
Groundhog Day at the Coolidge Corner Theatre Feb 2 Boston Metro
There’s not much going on for Groundhog Day (I checked), but they’re showing the classic movie at the Coolidge Corner Theatre.
Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA. more
Regattabar Jazz Festival Feb 8 – May 5 Boston Metro
Finally, every year the Regattabar holds a number of jazz performances spanning 4 months, and insist on calling it a ‘festival’.Here it is.
Charles Hotel, One Bennett Street, Cambridge, MA. more
Speed Date with an Editor Feb 28 North Shore
I’m listing this early because you should sign up immediately. It costs $30 but you get to submit 5 pages and talk with a real editor. How real is unknown.
Cornerstone Books, Salem, MA. more

Recurring Events
Sleigh rides & smores at Point of View Farm Jan 2 – Feb 28 New Hampshire
Weekends through February, you can get a real sleigh ride in New Hampshire.
160 South Road, Deerfield, NH.603-463-7974. more
Kimball Farm Horse-Draw Sleigh Rides Jan 2 – Feb 28 Northern Mass
Or closer to Boston in Haverhill, MA, if there’s snow.
Kimball Farm Corn Maze, 780 East Broadway, Haverhill, MA.978 521-3990. more

Cabaret Jan 11 – Feb 8 Boston Metro
I’ve seen this show and it’s genuinely fantastic. It’s a glimpse into the culture that prepared Germany for World War II and the persecution of Jews, set to a musical.
Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA. more
Dirty Dancing, the Musical Feb 7 – Mar 15 Boston Metro
Dirty Dancing is now a musical. If you liked the movie, give it a shot.
Opera House, Boston, MA. more


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