My Giant Carnival & Costume Charity Walk, plus… other stuff! Like rowing!

Google’s Feedburner has been sending out emails up to a week late. It’s annoying. This week I am trying to fix the problem, and also separating the blog into a lightweight “overview” that can be easily emailed out, and the hard-code “big list” as usual.

I’m running my own event next week! Called the Boston Monster March, it will be 10,000+ people on Boston City Hall Plaza to benefit the Samaritans, with a giant carnival, costume charity walk and contest with prizes, and a concert. See below and please sign up.

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The Week in Weird
Boston Monster March 10/24 Boston Metro
The event of the week is my own festival! I’m running what’s going to be the largest festival in Boston in October (and I would know). It’s a costume charity walk, a huge carnival, plus we’ve just added Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys, Case Desmond, Ketman, other bands, and “Thrill the World”, which will ask the audience to join in setting the world record for most people dancing Michael Jackson’s Thriller. It’s all free to those who register and walk for the Samaritans. (Or just show up and pay a donation.) Please start a fundraising team! And click “Volunteer” and forward the email to friends.
City Hall Plaza, Boston, MA. more
Zombie March in Copley Square 10/17 Boston Metro
Also monstrous is this event where hundreds of people will dress as zombies and go on a fake ‘rampage’, entertaining themselves and hopefully passersby.
Copley Square, Boston, MA. more
Head of the Charles Regatta 10/17 – 10/18 Boston Metro
Can you believe they practice at 5am, five to six days a week, all year, so they race take part in 5-minute boat races? Does that seem insane, or is that just me? I’m not much for sports, but it’s easy to get behind the Head of the Charles, which as you know it’s the largest 2-day rowing competition in the world. Just go to the Boston or Cambridge side of the Charles River and watch people who are not you sweat and grunt.
Charles River, Boston, MA. more
Head of the Zeisinger Carboard Boat Regatta 10/16 Boston Metro
MIT students make their own boats and you get to see ’em race. Or sink. 2:30-4pm.
Zesinger Center Pool Deck, MIT, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA. more
Anstarra 10/16 – 10/18 Worcester
This one’s a live roleplaying event for charity. It’s like being in the theatre, except you ad lib the script, and the audience is other actors.
Ye Olde Commons, Charlton, MA. more
Fitchburg Forge-In and Autumn Festival 10/17 Worcester
Also out west, you can see blacksmith compete to make the best metallic stuff. They’ll have lots of arts vendors, and pumpkin carving after dark, too.
Riverfront Park, Fitchburg, MA. more
Fort Point Open Studios 10/16 – 10/18 Boston Metro
I love open studios. Walk around visiting the artist studios and private homes in Boston’s ‘best’ arts district.
Boston, MA. more
Arlington Open Studios 10/17 – 10/18 Boston Metro
Not knowing or not caring about the conflict, the Arlington Open Studios will involve more homes and fewer studios. A little more walking which is just right if it’s a nice day. 12-5.
Arlington, MA. more
Natick Open Studios 10/17 – 10/18 Metro West
They have artists in Natick? I mean… of course they have artists amontst New England’s mecca of malls.
Natick, MA. more
Hingham Arts Walk 10/18 South Shore
Yet another open studios conflict. Don’t these guys coordinate at all? 12-5pm.
Hingham, MA. more
North Adams Open Studios Weekend 10/17 – 10/18 Western Mass
Personally I’d rather drive out to North Adams, as an excuse to visit the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA), the nearby museum of awesomeness!
North Adams, MA. more
Open Sound 10/17 Boston Metro
I sort of don’t get it. It’s an improvised concert. But it includes a laser harp. A laser harp? A LASER HARP! And a Wii.
Third Life Studio, Somerville, MA. more
Tour de Somerville: Bicycle Tour of Somerville 10/17 Boston Metro
Another fun way to see your local community is this bicycle tour of Somerville, which I believe is free. Meet at 10 am at Seven Hills Park in Davis Square (behind the Holland Street T entrance). Rain date is next day, same time. Bring your own bike & helmet. For info 617-628-8895 or The ride will be 15 miles. Food from RedBones.
Seven Hills Park (Davis Square), Somerville, MA.617-628-8895.
Keene Pumpkin Festival 10/17 New Hampshire
It’s a 2 hour drive from Boston, but they will feature more than 25,000 carved, lit pumpkins! It’s quite a sight!
Main Street, Keene, NH. more
Goffstown Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off and Regatta 10/17 – 10/18 New Hampshire
Pumpkins by the quantity or quality? Come see the eerily oversized pumpkins.
Goffstown, NH. more
Orionids Meteor Shower 10/21 Metro West
Take a friend and head out to see these meteor showers. To get a good view, go someplace without street lighting, like a large park or a pond. Look up and look for streaks of light in the sky. (Any suggestions for this near Boston?) The Orionids are best seen from the 1am to 5am any morning Tuesday to Thursday, Oct 20-22.
Just Look Up, Someplace Dark. more
Comet Tales 10/17 North Shore
Here’s a park event where you can learn about meteors. Bring a warm jacket for stargazing afterwards. 7:30-9:30pm.
Ipswich River, 87 Perkins Row, Topsfield, MA. more
Massachusetts Poetry Festival 10/15 – 10/18 Northern Mass
The Mass Poetry Festival tries to make poetry cool again (if it ever was). They’ll have poetry performances (which are not dry like you’d think but more like one-person theatre shows), workshops, a reception party, workshops, film, they’re really pulling out all the stops for this one.
Various venues near Lowell, Lowell, MA. more
Energy Night at the MIT Museum 10/16 Boston Metro
This is the MIT Energy Club’s big event of the year and will feature food, music, and technology presentations on green topics.
265 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA.617-253-4444. more
Annual Goreyfest and Auction 10/17 Cape Cod
Edward Gorey was the cartoonist who could have been Tim Burton, but wasn’t. I recently visited his strange house museum on Cape Cod, and learned of their big annual fundraiser. 6-9pm.
8 Strawberry Lane, Yarmouth Port, MA.508-362-3909. more
Fall Funfest @ Faneuil Hall 10/17 – 10/18 Boston Metro
I called up Fanueil Hall and they’re combining two festivals into a single weekend: the Street Performers Festival (all weekend with special shows), and their A Capella Festival.
Fanueil Hall Marketplace, Boston, MA.617-523-1300 x7021. more
Swedish Car Day @ Larz Anderson Museum 10/18 Boston Metro
Oh Larz! How I love thee.
15 Newton Street, Brookline, MA.617-522-6547. more

Also Fun
Thunderama Classic Thunderbird Show 10/18 New Hampshire
No doubt this one will be good, too. Weren’t the shakers the ones against technology? I guess cars don’t count.
288 Shaker Rd, Canterbury, NH.603-783-9511. more
South End House Tours 10/17 Boston Metro
Here’s a walking tour of Boston where rich people show off their houses because they want to educate you. Or impress you. A glimpse into the past, and also into high society.
Boston, MA. more
Annual Field Day @ Robbins Farm Park 10/17 Boston Metro
Close to Boston, a nature scavenger hunt, three-legged race, moonwalks, face painting and “seasonal refreshments”. For a second there I misread that as sexual refreshments.
Arlington, MA. more
Fall Family Festival @ Garden in the Woods 10/18 Metro West
I’ve never been to the “Garden in the Woods”, but they’re having undescribed “special events” 12-4pm. Well, last year it was a festival about spiders and kids-level ‘scary’ Halloween stuff. I’m sure it’s worth a peek if you’re in the area.
Garden in the Woods, 180 Hemenway Road, Framingham, MA. more
It’s A Hoe Down! 10/17 Southern Mass
This one’s pure fun, with square dancing, authentic BBQ, mechanical bull rides and a unique auction!
Nantucket Island, MA. more
Rockport Harvest Festival 10/17 – 10/18 North Shore
Also nearby is a festival Rockport of little interest, but I’m sure it’s completely authentic New Englandy goodness if you just want a relaxing small town experience. It’s something more to do while you’re visiting the North Shore.
Downtown Rockport, Rockport, MA. more
Green Meadows Farm Harvest Festival 10/17 North Shore
Free. Hayrides, music, food, farm animals. 11am-3pm.
656 Asbury Street, South Hamilton, MA. more
Cogswell’s Grant Pumpkin Day 10/17 North Shore
Horse-drawn wagon rides, pumpkin pie eating contest, decorate pumpkins, and try your hand at pressing cider.
Essex, MA. more
Birds of Prey — Birding for Beginners 10/18 North Shore
The good news: finally a birdwatching event for non-birdwatchers. The bad news: who wants to get up so early on a Sunday and drive way up past Gloucester? 8am-10am.
Halibut Point State Park, Gott Ave., Rockport, MA. more
Boston Palestine Film Festival 10/16 – 11/1 Boston Metro
This film festival seems to truly be a festival, not just a series of screenings. They’ll have an opening reception and a few filmmakers appearing to present some of the showings.
Various, Boston, MA. more
Greater Boston Antiques Festival 10/17 – 10/18 Northern Mass
Shriner’s Auditorium, Wilmington, MA. more
Walk for Autism Research 10/18 Boston Metro
Suffolk Downs, East Boston, MA. more
Boston UFO Show 10/16 Boston Metro
Hibernian Hall, 151 Watertown St., Watertown, MA. more
MAP Book Release 10/16 Boston Metro
And literary.
Cambridge Center for Adult Education, 56 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA. more

Carnival on Derby Street 10/16 – 10/31 North Shore
Now on to Salem! Do you really need a carnival as an excuse to visit Salem in October? Well, there is one.
Derby Street, Salem, MA. more
Halloween Tales 10/16 Metro West
The Minuteman National Park has so many creative events and they are all excellent and original. This time it’s ghost stories by candlelight. They have an early session for kids at 4:45pm and then more scary stories for adults at 7pm. Free.
Hartwell Tavern – Rt. 2A, Lincoln, MA.978-318-7825. more
Halloween Hike at Boo Meadow Brook 10/16 – 10/17 Worcester
This is more of a guided nature walk at night than a haunted forest event, but it looks genuinely substantive and fun.
414 Massasoit Road, Worcester, MA.508-753-6087. more
Rock & Shock Horror Convention 10/16 – 10/18 Worcester
Out west, it’s a convention oriented towards horror film fans. It’s a movie marathon, with a vendors room, and celebrities including Jason Mewes and Brian O’Halloran from Clerks 2 who have not actually been in any horror films.
Palladium, Worcester, MA. more
Dracula Ballet 10/16 – 10/18 Rhode Island
This is some kind of haunted house?? Or performance?? Well its’ set in one of the best venues in Newport, one of the old mansions.
Belcourt Castle, Newport, RI.401-847-4470. more
Martin’s Pond Children’s Haunted Playground 10/17 North Shore
Clarke Park, Burroughs Rd, North Reading, MA. more
Artists Ball at Eliot Hall @ Jamaica Plain 10/17 Boston Metro
This event is not very well described, but it appears to be a masquerade ball with circus performers and an art auction. Only $25.
Eliot Hall, Jamaica Plain, MA. more
Ghosts of Somerville 10/17 Boston Metro
This is a spooky Halloween play about Somerville history. It’s outdoors, so dress warm, and walk along with the actors who are planted throughout the cemetery. Rain date the next day. 4pm. $5. 617-331-7726,
Meet at Milk Row Cemetery, 400 Somerville Ave., next to Market Basket, Somerville, MA.617-625-6600, x2532. more
Great Pumpkin Weekend 10/17 – 10/18 Northern Mass
This event seems very kids-oriented, but hopefully 6’4″ adults who are having a birthday can get in too if they make a cute pouty face. Take a hay ride and go trick or treating, live music and pumpkin picking, and “musical entertainment”, which is somebody’s way of saying “music”, I hope. By the way, they have possibly the worst website I’ve seen all month.
315 South Bradford Street, North Andover, MA. more
The Haunted Trail 10/17 – 10/18 North Shore
Spooky skits throughout the public park by a theatre troupe. Rain date: following weekend.
Maudslay State Park, Newburyport, MA.978-465-2572. more

The Donkey Show 8/21 – 10/31 Boston Metro
I was very impressed by The Donkey Show, which is a 1970s disco dance party that you can join in, with a musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. By itself, that would be worth seeing. But then they take it one level higher with special effets, and then one level higher than THAT with a twist ending. I’ve seen a lot of weird events in my time. This one is a must-see!
2 Arrow Street, Cambridge, MA. more
King Richard’s Faire (Ren Faire) 9/5 – 10/25 South Shore
New England’s largest renaissance faire. Weekends & holidays only. Plenty of Ren Faire vendors and people-watching, with 8 performance stages. Only 1/3 of the acts are worth watching, but definitely see the Aerial Angels, Paolo Garbanzo, and especially the jousting! Rt 3 S to Rt 44 W to Rt 58 S.
Carver, MA.508-866-5391. more
Fall Foliage Hiking Around New England 10/10 – 11/10 Worcester
It’s the peak of Fall foliage in the Berkshires. Where’s a good place to go to see Fall Foliage closer to Boston? The closest is the Blue Hills in Canton, MA, Wachusett Mountain Reservation (which is the same mountain but a separate entrance from Mt. Wachusett Ski Resort), and the Berkshires. Or go north to Mount Monadnock in southern NH. Don’t have a car? Try the Middlesex Fells which you can get to on the subway. Or see this website for other parks.
Various, Various. more
Carousel on Boston Common 9/8 – 10/20 Boston Metro
Also the last weekend for the carousel on Boston Common! The merry-go-round is open daily from 11am to 9pm, next to Frog Pond. Only $2. Closing whenever weather gets cold.
Boston Common near Frog Pond, Boston, MA. more

Recurring Events
Salem Halloween Happenings 10/1 – 10/31 North Shore
Salem is on the commuter rail and there’s no excuse to miss it this time of year. JUST GO. All the attractions are located near the visitors’ center. Avoid anything that looks touristy. I recommend: the Pirate Museum, the Salem Witch Museum, The Peabody Essex Museum, and catch the theatre shows at the House of Seven Gables. Rt 128N to exit 25A, Rt 114E, follow signs to visitor’s center.
Park at Visitors Center and walk around, Salem, MA.978-740-1650. more
Ringling Bros. Circus (annual) 10/14 – 10/18 Boston Metro
Everybody loves the circus! I bet it’s great fun.
Boston, MA. more
Wachusett Mountain Applefest 10/17 – 10/25 Worcester
Bigger but probably hokier is the Wachusett Mountain Applefest, which I’ve been to. The vendors tend to be “As Seen on TV” types rather than art festival types. But they do have a skyline ride (the ski lift) and great views and hiking opportunities. Rt 2W to Rt 140 S. Weekends. Other festivals, see site. While you’re in the area, make sure to stop by nearby Davis Farmland.
Princeton, MA. more
Salem Pumpkin Festival on the Commons 10/17 – 10/31 North Shore
Beyond just “lots of pumpkins”, they’ll have a 1,000 lb monster pumpkin and a hay bale maze! I just saw it! And they have a moonbounces, too. 10am-5pm, Nov 1-2. JUST GO TO SALEM, ok?
Salem Common, Salem, MA. more
Canstruction 10/19 – 11/6 Boston Metro
What does Food Bank, the charity, have a lot of? Canned food! What can you do with cans? Build lots of towers! Engineers & architects compete to build buildings and sculptures.
The Boston Design Center, One Design Center Place, Boston, MA. more
Concord Festival of Authors 10/21 – 11/8 Metro West
This “festival” is really a series of author events and book readings, but many of them look quite interesting, especially dry southern humorist Roy Blount, Jr. on Oct 15 (the kind of guy who likes the cartoon Marmaduke), and a spooky night of thrillers and Dracula Oct 31.
Various Places, Concord, MA. more

Maine Pumpkin Festival 10/15 – 10/17 Maine
This pumpkin event seems surprisingly creative and interesting. They’ll have music and science shows all day, and then light the pumpkins after dark.
Cumberland Fairgrounds, Cumberland, ME. more
Connecticut Renaissance Faire 9/26 – 10/18 Connecticut
I’ve heard this one is better and bigger than King Richard’s Faire, and it’s not too far: just 1.5 hrs from Boston. It’s just across the border into Connecticut. Raine or shine. Weekends & holidays, 10am-6pm.
Woodstock, CT.860-923-0454. more
Granite State Storytelling Festival 10/17 New Hampshire
They’ll have more storytelling, both adult stories and ones for kids, in New Hampshire, followed by a concert. With 28 storytellers, it’s likely to be large enough for a trip.
Main Street, New London, NH. more
LCMM Storytelling Festival 10/17 Vermont
This one’s more colorful, if further away. It’s part of the Champlain Quadricentennial and it might be fun to hear the storytelling, which is like a one-person theatre show. And you get to see a shipwreck!
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT. more


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