Lilac Sunday, Astronomy Day, Open Studios (Boston, Cambridge), Robot Wars, and Roman Legion

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The Week in Weird
Lilac Sunday at the Arnold Arboretum 5/10 Boston Metro
Lilac Sunday is the event of the week because there’s it’s the perfect way to ring in the Spring. The Arnold Arboretum, run by Harvard, is not just a park but a botanical zoo, and the dancing and singing is very worthwhile. Morris dancing, 10:30am to 3pm. Center St Gate. 617.524.1718. And “Red Herring Kettle of Fish Ale” the previous day.
Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, MA.617.524.1718 ext. 176. more
Kettle of Fish” Ale 5/9 South Shore
It’s preceded by this less well-known folk dancing performance. An “Ale” is apparently a festival in old-timey speak. Quincy Public Library, 10:30am. Then various sites around Quincy, finishing up at the first May Pole erected in North America at 4:30pm. Call for info.
Quincy Public Library, Quincy, MA.(617) 710-2299. more
RI Folk Festival 5/9 Rhode Island
Speaking of folksy, the RI Folk Festival has five stages and includes my favorite group, Atwater-Donnelly. If you like folk, I guarantee you will like it. Just go.
Peeptoad Coffeehouse, 81 East Killingly Road, Foster, RI. more
All American Rhode Island Soap Box Derby 5/9 Rhode Island
While you’re in Rhode Island, check this out — an actual soap box derby!! I’ve never seen one. Race starts at 9am, goes to 12pm or 1pm.
Memorial Blvd, Newport, RI. more
National Astronomy Day & Kite Fly 5/9 Boston Metro
I also recommend this festival in Brookline which features rockets! And indoor kite flying. (Is that even possible?) And tethered balloon rides! Oh, and telescopes, of course. 3-10pm.
Clay Center Observatory, 20 Newton Street, Brookline, MA.617-522-5544. more
Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower 5/4 – 5/6 Metro West
As I mentioned last time, this week there’s a minor meteor shower.
Somewhere without lights, like a pond or open field, Away from the City. more
Family Play Day on the Kennedy Greenway 5/9 Boston Metro
You’ve heard of the new park in Boston: the Kennedy Greenway. Here’s your chance to hang out there. 10am-3pm. Music and dance, jugglers and other street performers.
Kennedy Greenway, Boston, MA. more
Carousel on Boston Common 5/1 – 6/21 Boston Metro
Or visit the carousel on Boston Common! The merry-go-round is open daily from 11am to 9pm. (I think.) Only $2.
Boston Common near Frog Pond, Boston, MA. more
Youth Pride Parade & Festival 5/9 Boston Metro
Also on Boston Common is the youth version of Pride Week, the GLBT community celebration. 11am. Parade down Beacon to Bowdoin to Cambridge to Tremont. Then a festival on Boston Common featuring a female Elvis Presley! The BAGLY prom on City Hall Plaza that evening is ages up to 22 only.
Boston Common, Boston, MA. more
Fresh Pond Day 5/9 Boston Metro
Another local town events will be… In the big city! Go for a nature tour or see the water treatment plant.
250 Fresh Pond Parkway, Cambridge, MA. more
Charles River Moonlight Canoe 5/8 – 9/30 Metro West
Further West up the Charles River, I just learned that the local canoe rental place has regular night events, for 3 days every full moon. May 8, Jun 4-7 and other dates!
Newton Boathouse, Commonwealth Ave., Newton, MA. more
Fort Point Spring Art Walk 5/8 – 5/10 Boston Metro
Fort Point has enough artists that they want three open studios a year. Here’s the first one. Basically, you walk around and visit the studios of local artists and get to meet them and see (and possibly buy) their work.
Get a map, Boston, MA. more
Cambridge Open Studios – Central 5/9 – 5/10 Boston Metro
But my heart’s with Cambridge this weekend, which has a competing event.
Get a map, Cambridge, MA. more
MIT 2.007 Engineering Competition 5/7 Boston Metro
Also in Cambridge is the first and best of all the engineering competitions. Mechanical engineering students build clever devices and race them side by side. 7-9pm.
MIT, Johnson Ice Rink, Cambridge, MA. more
Altcom! Alternative Comedy Fest 5/7 – 5/10 Boston Metro
Yikes! Check out the website for this comedy festival. They have quite a few genuine celebrities attending!
Various Sites, Somerville, MA. more
Armor Show & Legio III Cyrenaica Roman Legion 5/9 – 5/10 Worcester
I’ve been to the Higgins and it’s very impressive. You really should go when they’re doing something fun like this Roman Legion re-enactment and armor show. And they’re doing a LOT of great re-enactments all summer, too, so you have plenty of excuses to go.
Higgins Armory, 100 Barber Ave, Worcester, MA.508-853-6015. more

Also Fun
Billerica Lions Carnival 5/6 – 5/10 Northern Mass
I’ve decided to list all the Fiesta Shows. The traveling carnival packs up onto trucks and isn’t top class. But it’s genuine fun if you’re in the right mood. This one’s not even listed on the Lions Carnival website.
Billerica Mall (Route 3A), Billerica, MA. more
Boys & Girls Club Carnival 5/6 – 5/10 North Shore
But this one’s listed on the Boys & Girls Club website, without any frills. Basically, both events seem to be the rides and nothing more.
Showcase Cinemas, Woburn, MA. more
Annual Boston Gay and Lesbian Film/Video Festival 5/6 – 5/17 Boston Metro
This film festival is where everyone too old for BAGLY will be going, I suppose!
MFA, Boston, MA. more
Boston Cyberarts Festival 4/24 – 5/10 Boston Metro
But I’d rather check out the interactive Cyberarts Festival that I mentioned last week.
Various venues, Cambridge, MA. more
Draft Horse Plow Match @ Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm 5/9 North Shore
Or go totally low-tech and see how draft horses are harnessed, sheep are sheared, and metal is worked. They’ll have hay rides too. 11am-4pm.
5 Little’s Lane, Newbury, MA.978-462-2634. more
Sholan Farms Apple Blossom Festival 5/9 Northern Mass
There’s another farm festival out west on Route 2. They’ll have a “butterfly release parade”, hay rides, a craft show, a petting zoo, etc.
Sholan Farms, 1125 Pleasant St., Leominster, MA.978-840-3276. more
Annual Dog Walk @ Forest Hills Cemetery 5/9 Boston Metro
If you prefer your animals more urban, get your puppy fix by tagging along with this dog-friendly tour of Forest Hills Cemetery.
Forest Hills Cemetery, Boston, MA. more
Flower Moon Twilight Walk 5/7 Western Mass
If you live way out West there’s a full moon hike at this state park.
Tyringham Cobble, Tyringham, MA. more
Boston Asthma Walk 5/9 Boston Metro
Or, for an ego boost, go for a 3.1 mile walk with thousands of asthmatic and take first place! Along the Charles River. Registration starts at 8:30am. Walk at 10am.
Artesani Park, Soldiers Field Road, Brighton, MA.781-890-4262. more
Walking Tour of Chinatown 5/9 Boston Metro
But in the city they’ll have this tour of Chinatown which I’ll bet is interesting. And then go for dim sum!
Chinatown Gate, Boston, MA.617-730-2700. more
Revels: Pub Sing at Doyle’s Cafe 5/18 Boston Metro
This is a heads up on the local participatory sing. They will sell out, so get tickets now.
Doyle’s Cafe, 3484 Washington St, Jamaica Plain, MA. more
Annual Coolidge Award 5/6 – 5/7 Boston Metro
As I mentioned last week, the Coolidge is having their annual awards ceremony with some film talks.
Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA.617-734-2500. more
Free Mother’s Day at Old Sturbridge Village 5/10 Worcester
Plenty of restaurants will try to lure you in for Mother’s Day. How about doing a festival instead? Moms get free admission to OSV, the re-enactment village, for example.
Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, MA. more
Mother’s Day at the Manse 5/10 Metro West
The Old Manse is playing the same trick with a free tour and concert.
269 Monument Street, Concord, MA.978-369-3909. more
Mother’s Day Buffet @ Verrill Farm 5/10 Metro West
Verrill Farm is having a buffet with live music. I don’t know if they have the usual farm stuff like a petting zoo and hay rides. Looks like maybe not?
11 Wheeler Road, Concord, MA.978-369-4494. more
Free Admission to the Phillips House on Mother’s Day 5/10 North Shore
Mom’s also get a price break in Salem at this historic home.
34 Chestnut Street, Salem, MA.978-744-0440. more
Make Way for Ducklings Parade 5/10 Boston Metro
Not a mother’s day event, except that it’s for kids, is dressing up like ducklings and marching, as in the children’s book. Registration starts at 10am. Then parade at 12pm.
Boston Common at the Shaw Memorial, just below the State House., Boston, MA.617-723-8144. more
Science On Screen: Ray Kurzweil 5/11 Boston Metro
Ray Kurzweil is an evangelist and like many futurists he’ll make some guesses and recommendations that are too far out to be supported by science. So go but bring your skepticism with you.
Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA.617-734-2500. more

Big Apple Circus 4/4 – 5/10 Boston Metro
The Big Apple Circus is still here! I’ve been and it’s a lot of fun.
City Hall Plaza, One City Hall Plaza, Boston, MA.(800) 922-3772. more
Dane Cook in NH 5/10 New Hampshire
Dane Cook, the comedian, is touring in-between making movies.
Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester, NH. more
B-52s 5/16 Boston Metro
And heads up, the B-52s will be coming with their upbeat happy music… Totally the antithesis of the “Blues” but hey, who’s counting.
House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne Street, Boston, MA.888-693-2513. more


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