River, Renaissance, Scottish, & Ice Cream Festivals, Re-enactments, & James Joyce

I’m leading a lunch and social trip to the Cambridge River Festival on Saturday at 12pm. Email me if you’d like to come at johnny at weirdbostonevents.org, and include your cell so the group can find you. Or come visit at my big art project Sunday.

Here’s your week in weird. Enjoy it! Want this weekly? Please subscribe.


The Week in Weird
Wheel Questions Opening Day 6/14 Boston Metro
This one is mine! I run a community project where people write questions on cards, I write answers on the backs, and they’re all posted on an outdoor art installation. For opening day, the Harvard Square Business Association is sponsoring live music, street performing, and folk dancing by Red Herring Morris of Belmont. I’ll give a very short speech, too. Come for the celebration and see what deep thoughts and life questions people are asking.
One Brattle Square, Cambridge, MA.617-899-7794. more
Cambridge River Festival 6/12 – 6/13 Boston Metro
But the weird event of the week is the Cambridge River Festival. Dancing under the stars on Friday, then the festival Saturday with 5 different stages and a ton of artist demonstrations, vendor booths, and more. 12pm-6pm. Rain or shine. Along Memorial Drive b/w Harvard & Central Squares. Come see a preview of Wheel Questions, my community art project. Also, the hummus maker Sabra is putting together a mini-Mediterranean village complete with fountain and flowers. It’s a promotional booth to give away samples, but sounds fun if you’re in the area.
Along the Charles River, between JFK Street and Western Avenue., Cambridge, MA.617-349-4380. more
DeCordova Museum’s Art in the Park Festival 6/14 Metro West
The next day, everyone should get out to the DeCordova. I’ve been three times and it’s wonderful. The museum itself always features new and different sculpture, accessible to the layman. And it’s surrounded by a park that is itself inhabited by sculptures. During this festival, they’ll pile on top of that 150 juried artists in tents selling their wares. 10am-5pm.
51 Sandy Pond Road, Lincoln, MA.781/259-8355. more
Super Secret Summer Surprise @ ICA 6/12 Boston Metro
This is the ICA’s first outdoor party with Giant Twister and other great stuff. Just go. Everything at the ICA is fantastic. Get your tickets immediately.
Institute for Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Avenue, Boston, MA.617-478-3100. more
MFA Summer Party & Masquerade 6/13 Boston Metro
But wait! The MFA is also having a summer party. This one’s a masquerade, and from the ‘black tie’ dress code, will be classier and less wild. Which museum is more hip? You decide. Bring a mask. 8pm-12am. Get your tickets immediately.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA.617-267-9300. more
Boston Pride Week 6/5 – 6/14 Boston Metro
I mentioned this last week, but this week is the real high point for gay pride. June 13th is a parade, and festival on City Hall Plaza. Also block parties 6/14 and a bunch more.
Various, Boston, MA. more
Boston Kite Festival 6/13 Boston Metro
This one is highly recommended! It’s so much fun to see real professionals do choreographed ‘dance’ with their kites and have kite competitions. Artists will bring their own custom giant flying lobsters and box kites, and you can learn to fly a stunt kite with two strings. Free. 10am-5pm. No rain date.
Pope John Paul II Park, Hallet St., Boston, MA.781.925.3277. more
Riverfest 6/13 – 6/14 Metro West
This ‘festival’ is really a loosely related series of events — but a ton of them! — from the Concord area, up to Billerica and Lowell. You’ll find boat rides, sculpture walk, river walk, music, canoe trek, scavenger hunt, nature walks and a bunch more on their website.
Various, Concord, MA.617-223-5225. more
Annual River Fest on the Old Manse grounds 6/13 – 6/14 Metro West
While you’re there, stop by the Old Manse, a historic home, for this free mini-festival.
269 Monument Street, Concord, MA. more
Shelburne Falls Riverfest 6/13 Western Mass
Totally separate, I believe, is another river festival, this time in Shelburne. They’ll have live music, environmental demonstrations, live birds of prey to see, and a kids parade that charitably they have invited adults to join.
Shelburne Falls, MA. more
Sand Sculpting Competition (Hampton Beach) 6/13 – 6/28 New Hampshire
This competition is worth seeing, although the real ‘meat’ is towards the end. This year you can sign up to take sand sculpting lessons! They’ll have fireworks at 9:30pm every Wednesday Jul-Aug, too.
Ocean Boulevard, Hampton, NH.603-926-8718. more
Annual Scottish Highland Festival 6/13 Rhode Island
I haven’t been to this one, but I’ve been to Scottish festivals and there’s a fantastic level of energy and ethnic pride to be seen. You can expect tons of dancing, music, and odd athletics, such as a boot toss and sheep dog demonstrations.
Washington County Fairgrounds, Richmond Townhouse Rd., Carolina, RI.401-596-5849. more
Town Meeting Re-Enactment & Music Show 6/13 – 6/14 Metro West
Re-enactors will demonstrate a town meeting (1:30, 3pm) and you get to add your opinion too. And they’ll have old timey music and musket demonstrations all day. 10am-5pm.
Hartwell Tavern, Rt 2A, Lincoln, MA. more
Gaspee Days Colonial Encampment, Fireworks, Parade 6/13 – 6/14 Rhode Island
A colonial encampment is when re-enactors set up tents like a real military would have done in the field. That’s all weekend, plus they’ll have fireworks on Friday 6/12, a parade 6/13 at 10am. Sounds like a blast.
Pawtuxet Park, Narragansett Parkway, Warwick, RI.401-781-1772. more
Quincy Flag Day Parade and Celebration 6/14 South Shore
It’s my American right to be ignorant and proud of it. So I have no idea what Flag Day is, but I like parades, and I love fireworks! The parade starts at Coddington Street in Quincy and goes down Hancock Street to Merrymount Parkway.
Pageant Field, Quincy, MA. more
Bunker Hill Day (Parade, Re-enactment) 6/14 Boston Metro
It’s always the Sunday BEFORE 6/17. For info call 617-242-5652 Ethan, or Bill Casey 617-242-5628.
Charlestown, MA. more
Bloomsday Boston 6/14 Boston Metro
This festival is a celebration of James Joyce’s Ulysses. They will have a film, lecture, readings by actors, and live music. One organizer swore it was to help the mainstream understand this most complicated of authors. Another organizer said really only the literati will “get it”.
McMullin Art Museum, Devlin Hall, Boston College, Boston, MA. more
Corvette Day @ Larz Anderson Museum 6/14 Boston Metro
I have sweet spot in my heart for anything they do at the Larz Anderson Museum on the lawn. Go see some cars before General Motors becomes passe.
15 Newton Street, Brookline, MA.(617) 522-6547. more
Scooper Bowl (world’s largest ice cream festival) 6/9 – 6/11 Boston Metro
Also the Scooper Bowl continues! As I mentioned last week, you pay one small donation for charity, and it’s all-you-can-eat ice cream from the best vendors. 12-8pm daily.
Boston City Hall Plaza, Boston, MA. more
Silver Kingdom Renaissance Festival 6/6 – 6/14 Worcester
As I mentioned last week there’s more than one renaissance festival in Massachusetts. Here’s an alternative one just past Worcester.
120 Northside Rd, Charlton, MA. more
Not Your Average Date Night” Movies 6/11 Boston Metro
Summer outdoor movies are taking off slowly. This week there are just two, with one at the Pru. Soon more will come! Entertainment at 6pm, movies at sundown.
Lawn at the Prudential Center, Boston, MA. more
Outdoor Movie Night at NARA Park, Acton 6/12 Metro West
The other is in Acton.
NARA Park, Acton, MA.(978) 264-9608. more
Wizard of Oz Celebration 6/15 Boston Metro
The best indoor movie event is combined with a lecture illustrating the (supposed!) political and historic meaning behind the Wiz that Was.
Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA.617-734-2500. more

Also Fun
New England Celebrates Israel 5/31 – 6/18 Boston Metro
Celebrating Israel continues, and I have to point out how awesome it is that they are combining Pride Week with Shabbat observance and a pre-pride-march bagel breakfast. Oy!
Boston, MA.617-457-8500. more
Boom Town Festival 6/1 – 6/11 Boston Metro
This free festival is eclectic, with walking art tours, dance and music.
Cambridge, MA. more
Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 6/5 – 6/14 Vermont
Do you like jazz? Do you like Vermont? Here ya go.
Burlington, VT. more
Block Island Annual Music Festival 6/9 – 6/14 Rhode Island
This one I listed last week but it should have been this week. It’s free and includes free barbecue. Sounds like a great excuse to check out the island.
Captain Nick’s, Ocean Avenue, Block Island, RI. more
Day of Portugal Festival Weekend 6/11 – 6/14 Southern Mass
Boston isn’t the only place with a “North End”. Visit New Bedford and learn about the history of the Portuguese, including a re-enactor who plays a military man from 1760 who became important in the American War of Independence. Make sure to buy some Portuguese Sweet Bread! No really!! Eat up!
New Bedford, MA.508-997-7928 or 508-990-3703. more
Boston GuitarFest 6/10 – 6/14 Boston Metro
Workshops and guitar competitions. I really shouldn’t list this one, since it’s indoors and seems to be for real guitarists, not onlookers. Take a look at the video on their home page. They have 3 guitarists playing together and then you realize… It’s just this one guy! He must have extra fingers hidden somewhere.
New England Conservatory, 290 Huntington Ave.,, Boston, MA. more
New England Fiddle Contest 6/13 Connecticut
This one looks a little more layman-friendly. And it’s outdoors, so it’s a real festival.
Manchester, CT.(860) 236-4445. more
World’s End Rocks! 6/13 South Shore
It’s free. You get to hunt for ancient volcanic rock. What more do you need?
World’s End, 250 Martin’s Lane, Hingham, MA. more
Sommerfest 6/13 – 6/14 Metro West
The summer version of the German Oktoberfest. Ethnic food and polka music.
Walpole, MA. more
Hadley 350th Celebration Parade 6/13 – 6/14 Western Mass
I’m told this is one of their two big weekends during the tri-sesqui-whatever-centennial, with a parade. A Hadley-sized parade, but no doubt fun.
Hadley, MA. more
Bike to the Sea Day 6/14 Boston Metro
Meet in Malden, and bike to Nahant Beach. They have a shorter ride for kids, just 10 miles. Adults go 18 miles.
Dockside Restaurant, 229 Centre St., Malden, MA. more
Fathers’ Day Cookout and Concert in the Park 6/14 Metro West
Don’t panic! Father’s Day is actually June 21. But that’s not stopping the forest rangers at Bird Park! Live music, barbecue.
Bird Park, Washington Street, Walpole, MA. more
Earthdance SEEDS Festival 6/14 – 6/28 Western Mass
This organic festival is for the seriously green-hearted.
Plainfield, MA.413-634-5678. more
Summer Solstice Celebration 6/16 Boston Metro
This special night of twilight tours and “trolley rides” honors the solstice, a few days early.
Forest Hills Cemetery, 95 Forest Hills Ave, Boston, MA.617-524-0128. more

Sexual Perversity in Chicago/The Duck Variations 6/11 – 6/18 Boston Metro
Everybody loves David Mamet, because his name rhymes with dammit.
Zero Arrow Theatre, Cambridge, MA. more
Pirates! (Or, Gilbert and Sullivan Plunder’d) 5/28 – 6/14 Boston Metro
This looks so interesting! It’s a reworking of Gilbert & Sullivan with the same music but a new, improved storyline.
BU Theatre, 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA. more
JP UnPlugged Annual Lawn Concert 6/13 Boston Metro
There’s a totally free lawn concert in JP. Sweet. Bring a blanket. Watch out for the goose poop.
Loring-Greenough house, 12 South Street, Jamaica Plain MA.617-524-3158. more
JAMN 94.5 FM Summer Jam 6/14 Southern Mass
The big annual event for radio 94.5 FM is this week.
Comcast Center, Mansfield, MA. more


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