Ren Fest, Block Party, Beach Festivals, Pow-wows, Steam Engines, & Air Show

This week I’m leading a group trip to the Cambrige City Dance Party on Friday. We’ll meet for dinner at 6:30pm in Central Square. Email if you’d like to join us, johnny at

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The Week in Weird
Winslowshire Renaissance Festival 6/27 – 6/28 Southern Mass
The event of the week is this summer festival in Norton, Massachusetts. Your first thought is going to be: Norton? Do I even know where Norton is? But I went last year and it was fantastic, definitely worth a visit. 11am-5pm.
37 Eddy Street, Norton, MA.508-285-6451. more
PDQ Bach 6/30 Western Mass
Also not to be missed! PDQ Bach is a comedy music performance. The closest thing you can get to seeing Harpo Marx live! I saw this group in the 1980s and it’s a must-see.
The Colonial Theatre, 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA.413-997-4444. more
Masterworks Chorale Summer Sings 6/30 – 8/4 Boston Metro
Perhaps you’d prefer to join in. This group does participatory singing all summer long of classical works.
Noble and Greenough School, Lawrence Auditorium, 10 Campus Drive, Dedham, MA.781-235-6210. more
Soirée Karaoké 6/25 Boston Metro
But this is clearly the event of the join-in-singing week: Karaoke in French! 6:30pm.
French Library, 53 Marlborough St, Boston, MA.617.912.0400. more
Cambridge City Dance Party 6/26 Boston Metro
I’ve been to this one twice and it is to die for. No really, you have to go to this! It’s an outdoor block party with colored lights on City Hall. What better to celebrate that the people own the government, not the other way around. 7-11pm. Massachusetts Avenue in front of City Hall.
795 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA.617-349-4301. more
Opening Day @ Frog Pond 6/26 Boston Metro
But wait! There’s more! Now how much fun can you have? Every year Frog Pond opens for wading with a big festival. 2pm-3:30pm. They’ll have vendors, jugglers, live music, and the ubiquitous face painting.
Boston Common, Boston, MA.617-854-7667. more
Annual Children’s Day On the Plaza at City Hall 7/1 Boston Metro
I’m not a child, and I don’t have any children. Yet, I still have plans to sneak into Children’s Day, which is part of Boston Harborfest. They’ll have yet more face painting. And jugglers.
City Hall Plaza, One City Hall Plaza, Boston, MA.617-227-1528. more
Boston Harborfest (includes Chowderfest) 6/30 – 7/5 Boston Metro
The remainder of the week are small events throughout the city. It looks quite touristy, but plenty of fun, including re-enactments of the Boston Tea Party (reserve in advance).
City Hall Plaza, One City Hall Plaza, Boston, MA.617-436-6339. more
Sandcastle Festival @ Yirrell Beach, Winthrop 6/27 Boston Metro
This one’s also unique beacuse Yirrell Beach is where the planes from Logan Airport take off over. You can see planes landing about 100 feet off the ground, no exaggeration! For this reason it’s a lovely beach to visit at night, too. 10am-3pm. Contest fee is $10, music, food, games like hula hoop and bubble gum contest. Also a mile swim competition for adults 16+.
Yirrell Beach, Shirley Street, Winthrop, MA.617-846-8243. more
Sand Sculpting Competition (Hampton Beach) 6/13 – 6/28 New Hampshire
Fireworks tonight, Wednesday, and the sand sculpture competition continues. Note: probably most of it has been washed away, but they will have live music.
Ocean Boulevard, Hampton, NH.603-926-8718. more
Salisbury Beach Sand & Sea Festival 6/27 – 6/28 North Shore
I love fireworks! Here are some more at this beach festival. Live music, water races, pet parade, really a ton of creative dance and party stuff! Sat 10am-10:30pm, Sun 10am-5pm.
Salisbury Beach, Salisbury Beach, MA.978-462-7274. more
Amesbury Days 6/24 – 7/4 Northern Mass
While you’re on the North Shore, check out Amesbury Days. This is another small town festival that goes way past the ordinary, with fireworks, balloon rides, live music, tours and other fun stuff.
Various Locations, Amesbury, MA.978-388-8110 x314. more
Summerfest in Monson 6/27 – 7/4 Western Mass
They’ll have games, rides, and — fireworks!! — at this small town festival. And a parade, a soap box derby, a frog jumping contest, a BMX show, looks really interesting!
Quarry Hill School, Monson, MA.(413) 267-9118 or (413) 267-3649. more
Provincetown Portuguese Festival 6/25 – 6/28 Cape Cod
Perhaps you’re looking for an excuse to visit Cape Cod. Here’s one.
Provincetown, MA.508-487-3298. more
Splash into Summer Weekend & Olde New England Days 6/27 New Hampshire
Another old-town festival, this one with fire truck rides! And they’re opening the new “Cascade Park”.
Lincoln, MA.603-745-6727. more
Summer Splash at Whales Tale 6/26 New Hampshire
Discounted admission and live music at this opening-day festival for a major water park. Buy tix in advance, event will sell out!
Lincoln, MA. more
Croquet Day 6/25 Cape Cod
And I couldn’t resist listing croquet day, also on Cape Cod. 1-5pm. The Heritage Museum and Gardens is one of those places you MUST see, so why not go when there’s a festival?
Heritage Museum & Gardens, Sandwich, MA.508.888.3300. more
Newport Flower Show at the Rosecliff mansion 6/26 – 6/28 Newport Area
Another excuse for a daytrip, this time to visit the Newport mansions and cliffwalk, is this flower show. They have a butterfly house, too!
548 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI. more
Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre @ Salem Cross Inn 6/26 – 8/21 Worcester
Last week I introduced a series of interactive murder mystery dinner nights in Newport, which continues. And here’s another series, near Worcester.
260 West Main Street, West Brookfield, MA.508-867-2345. more
Yankee Engine-uity Steam Engine Show 6/27 – 6/28 Western Mass
Are you interested in cars? How about tractors? Airplanes? Tanks? Well, they might not have any tanks, but you can find a variety of old timey steam engines and new fangled machines at this festival. Notice how I classify Orange, MA as “Western Massachusetts”, as though anything further west than Worcester is “here there be dragons!”.
Orange Airport, Orange, MA.978-544-5295 or 413-253-9574. more
Rhode Island Open Air Show 6/27 – 6/28 Rhode Island
It’s going to be hard for them to compete though with the airplanes in this air show! Wow! Take a look at some of the photos on this one!
Quonset State Airport, Minuteman Way, North Kingstown, RI.401-886-1342. more
A Morning with the Alcotts 6/26 – 7/9 Metro West
The past also has a place this week. It says it’s for people ages 7 and up. That’s me!! I’m ages 7 and up! Um, mostly the up part.
Orchard House, 399 Lexington Road, Concord, MA.(978) 369-4118. more
Now We Are One: George Washington and the Birth of the Continental Army 6/27 – 6/28 Metro West
This one’s looking more interesting, with re-enactments of a revoluntionary war encampment, a visit by George Washington, and court martial trials!
Hartwell Tavern, Rt 2A, Lincoln, MA.(978) 318 – 7825. more
Pawtucket Powwow 6/27 – 6/28 Northern Mass
You’ll see a huge array of native american festivals on this website. I’ll list the biggest for you as the year goes on.
Livingston Street, Tewksbury, MA.978-677-7153. more
Native American Pow-Wow and Prowse Farm Tour 6/27 – 6/28 Metro Boston
Here’s another, just as a sample, with storytelling, live music, dance, all on a farm turned public attraction. 11am-5pm. Just $5.
Prowse Farm, 5 Blue Hill River Road, Canton, MA.781-828-FARM. more
FAC Pinewoods Weekend and FolkDays 6/25 – 7/2 South Shore
You have to register for this one if you want to camp out and learn folk dancing. But I bet that if you don’t plan to stay overnight, they’d allow you to just stop by unannounced.
Pinewoods Camp, Plymouth, MA.781-662-7475. more
International Fair at Overlook Farm 6/27 – 6/28 Worcester
This is the most interesting event of the week that I simply cannot figure out. Basically it’s a charity of some sort, involving cows most likely, and they’re having a festival about… The Earth? Global outreach? With live music and hayrides. Hmm.
216 Wachusett St., Rutland, MA.508-886-2221. more
Gilsum Rock Swap & Mineral Show 6/27 – 6/28 New Hampshire
Here’s your chance to pan a stream for minerals and see lots of rare stones get swapped. They’ll have a rock climbing wall, too. Rain or shine.
School, 640 Route 10, Gilsum, NH. more

Also Fun
4th of July Carnival @ Wilmington 7/1 – 7/5 Northern Mass
The traveling festival of Fiesta Shows continues to bring carnival rides to New England.
Town Common, Church St., Wilmington, MA. more
Lexington Lions Club Carnival 7/1 – 7/5 Metro West
… In more than one location at once!
Center Playground, Worthen Rd., Lexington, MA. more
Lynn Carnival 6/24 – 6/28 North Shore
Yet another festival with Fiesta Show’s traveling carnival.
Lynn English High School, Lynn, MA. more
Phantom Gourmet BBQ Party 6/26 – 6/28 Boston Metro
This food festival will probably sell out, so get your tickets in advance. 11am-11pm. Just $10.
Suffolk Downs, Rt 1A North, Boston, MA. more
Taste of Cambridge 6/25 Boston Metro
This ones closer and more expensive. 5:30-8pm. Benefits Boston Area Rape Crisis Center & Transition House. MITAC discount. Buy tix in advance for discount. It’s $50.
Charles Hotel Courtyard in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. more
Boston Chili Takedown 6/28 Boston Metro
Basically, you show up, they compete, you eat! 3pm.
Great Scott, 1222 Commonwealth Ave, Allston, MA. more
Taste of Allston 6/28 Boston Metro
Also in Allston, a festival with you can eat for $20. Or buy in advance for just $15. Sample from Allston’s restaurants.
The Murr Center, 65 North Harvard Street, Allston, MA. more
Zoobilee: Feast with the Beasts 6/27 Rhode Island
Probably the strangest food festival is where you can see live animals, and eat dead ones.
1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence, RI.401-785-3510. more
Strawberry Festival @ Smolak Farms 6/20 – 6/28 Northern Mass
The strawberry festival from last week continues. Pick your own berries, hay rides, balloon rides (8am-11am).
315 South Bradford Street, North Andover, MA.978-682-6332. more
EurekaFest 6/24 – 6/27 Boston Metro
Geeks continue to geek out this week.
MIT, Cambridge, MA. more
Wakefield Awaken Festival 6/27 North Shore
I really have no idea what this is, or what time. But it seems to involve some live music.
Wakefield Common, Wakefield, MA.
St. Peter’s Fiesta 6/24 – 6/28 North Shore
As I mentioned last week, there’s a religious festival in Gloucester. Religious activities, music, food, sporting events, parade, culminating with the Blessing of the Fishing Fleet from the Boulevard (near Fishermen’s Memorial Statue).
Gloucester, MA. more
Environmental Agriculture Field Day 6/27 New Hampshire
This festival is seriously oriented towards learning modern farming practices. I don’t think I will list it next year…
58 Cleveland Hill Road, Tamworth, NH. more
Earthdance SEEDS Festival 6/14 – 6/28 Western Mass
And this organic festival is for the seriously green-hearted who also love seeds.
Plainfield, MA.413-634-5678. more
National Watermelon Seed Spitting Week 6/25 – 6/28 Sweetwilliam Farm
Personally, I’d prefer to spit my seeds. The further spitter gets a free ice cream. I’m quite sure I can take out the 7-year-old competition.
153 North St., Upton, MA. more
Asian Festival 6/28 Worcester
Food, music, and traditional dances from all across Asia.
28 Mulberry Street, Worcester, MA. more
Marblehead Festival of Arts 7/1 – 7/5 North Shore
Kites, model boat building, wood carving, sand sculpture, looks surprisingly interesting.
Marblehead, MA. more
Brockton Country Fair 7/1 – 7/12 South Shore
Rt 24S to Exit 17A, Rt 123E (Belmont St) two miles on the right.
Historic Brockton Fairgrounds, RT. 123, Brockton, MA.508-586-8000. more

Providence Improv Fest 6/25 – 6/28 Rhode Island
And there’s comedy comedy comedy! Comedy!! In Providence.
Various Locations, Providence, RI. more
Queer Qomedy Festival 6/25 – 6/28 Boston Metro
And, queerly, in Cambridge. This is the first gay comedy festival in Boston! Ever!
40 Prospect St, Cambridge, MA.617-576-1253. more


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