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
|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