Shakespeare’s Disco, Ig Nobels, Re-enactments, Steam engines, WWII Planes, Fluff, Free Museums

Don’t mope because summer is gone! There are still plenty of outdoor harvest festivals coming up and some early bird attractions are beginning the Halloween season!

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The Week in Weird
The Donkey Show 8/21 – 10/31 Boston Metro
Like the Matrix, no one can tell you what The Donkey Show is. You have to see it for yourself. But I’ll try. It’s a disco dance party that you can join from the 1970s, but with a mix of modern music, and interspersed with the dance party are scenes from 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
Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony & Lectures 10/1 Boston Metro
Also a must-see are the phony comic “awards” are given to real scientists doing bizarre and unintuitive research.
Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, MA. more
Colonial Faire & Muster of Fyfe & Drums 9/26 Western Mass
I’m always a fan of Revolutionary War re-enactors. This event will have plenty, doing a mock battle, with games, drill instruction, vendors, and fyfe and drum. Rain date is following day.
Wayside Inn, Rt 20, Sudbury, MA. more
Innovations of Yesteryear 9/26 Metro West
Historical inventions are the focus of this event. You get to shoot a Viking-era catapult and see steam engines and these ancient machines called “typewriters”. 10am-4pm.
Charles River Museum of Industry, Waltham, MA. more
Collings Foundation Living History Weekend 9/28 – 10/7 Metro West
This one’s from the World war II era. They’ll have tons of aircraft and vehicles, and even a flying demo that seems to include a mock battle! Also some WWII veterans will be speaking. No reservation needed.
137 Barton Road, Stow, MA.978-562-9182. more
What the Fluff? (Marshmallow Fluff festival) 9/26 Boston Metro
Going back to World War I, Marshmallow Fluff, the sandwich spread, was invented in Somerville in 1917. So the city is having an outdoor festival / merchant event to celebrate. 4-7pm. There will be a ton of outdoor vendors and games. 2009: Rain date next day.
Union Square Plaza, Somerville, MA.617-623-1392 x119. more
Danehy Park Family Day 9/26 Boston Metro
Nearby Cambridge is having a festival, too. This one’s for kids, and those who are kids at heart. They’ll have arts & crafts, amusement park rides, but sort of kids-only. And kite and music and a lovely day out in the park that anyone can enjoy. 11am-4pm.
Danehy Park, Cambridge, MA.617-349-4301 or 617-349-6229. more
Arlington Town Night / Arlington Town Day 9/25 – 9/26 Boston Metro
Don’t leave Arlington out, because they’ll have fireworks on Friday (rain date: Saturday) and a big street festival Saturday (rain date: following week).
Spy Pond Field, Arlington, MA. more
Tufts Community Day 9/27 Boston Metro
Not much happens in Medford. So, this is your chance to catch something happening! Lots of community booths and kids activities.
Tufts University, Medford, MA. more
Jamaica Plain Open Studios 9/26 – 9/27 Boston Metro
Jamaica Plain is taking its turn to have an open studios, where you get to walk around the community visiting local artists at their homes or working studios. It’s a good Fall activitiy because you’re partly outdoors but partly indoors.
Jamaica Plain, MA. more
Lowell Open Studios 9/26 – 9/27 Northern Mass
And I’m sure Lowell has a good open studios as well.
Lowell, MA. more
Family Harvest Festival @ Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm 9/26 North Shore
This seems to be the best of the far-from-Boston festivals this weekend. 11am-4pm. They’ll have a hay bale maze, wagon rides, an antique tractor, and pie eating and corn shucking contests.
5 Little’s Lane, Newbury, MA.978-462-2634. more
Working Waterfront Festival 9/26 – 9/27 Southern Mass
This is your chance to learn why the crazy fisherman in The Perfect Storm did what they did. It looks quite interesting. They’ll have demonstrations of net mending, trap making, book readings, dance, music, learn knot tying, etc.
New Bedford, MA. more
Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon 9/26 Western Mass
How awesome is this? They’ll read all of Emily Dickinson’s 1,789 poems in 18 hours, from 7am to 1am. It’s the same day as their anniversary celebration, and they’ll have a special play and tours.
280 Main Street, Amherst, MA.413-542-8161. more
Harvest Moon Festival @ Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum 9/27 New Hampshire
I’ve been to this museum and, well, it is small. But very genuine and worth a stopover if you’re on your way to or from the White Mountains.
Warner, NH.603-456-2600. more
BeanTown Jazz Festival 9/18 – 9/26 Boston Metro
The serious part of the jazz festival is this weekend with a big street festival on 9/26.
Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA. more
Earthdance 9/26 Western Mass
Earthdance is one of these Internet events where everyone dances with music that’s synchronized all over. There isn’t a site in Boston, but there is one way out in Stockbridge, where the Norman Rockwell Museum is (it’s okay). 7-11pm.
Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, Stockbridge, MA. more
Good Vibrations Amateur Erotic Film Festival 9/24 – 9/25 Boston Metro
Last, but also strange, this “toy” store is sponsoring a festival of films made by local amateurs at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, with a pre-party in the store itself. They have a reputation for being tasteful, um, so I’ve heard.
Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA. more

Also Fun
New Hampshire, VT, ME Day at Southwick’s Zoo 9/26 Southern Mass
This week it’s New Hampshire resident’s turn to get free admission to New England’s largest zoo.
2 Southwick Street, Mendon, MA.800-258-9182. more
MFA College Night 9/24 Boston Metro
The MFA is free, if you have a college ID!
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA. more
Free Museum Day 9/26 Boston Metro
But that’s not all! Another 40 museums are free through some kind of promotion.
All Around, Nationwide. more
CollegeFest 9/26 – 9/27 Boston Metro
Every year the vendors who target college students hold a merchant event which I have no idea why anyone would want to attend. Except they’ll have top music performers, and you’ll pick up $100 or so in free samples if you go.
Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St, Boston, MA. more
Hub on Wheels 9/26 – 9/27 Boston Metro
I can’t believe they’re going to shut down Storrow Drive so that bicyclers (who have plenty of bike paths, frankly) can dominate the city. Amazing. Goes to a student charity.
Various, Boston, MA. more
Phantom Gourmet Food Festival 9/26 Boston Metro
For this commercial event, you pay $40 and sample food from 80 restaurants. I don’t normally even read “tastings” ads but the Phantom Gourmet is a good judge. Must buy tix in advance! Seriously, I showed up one year and was told they were out of tickets.
Landsdowne St., Boston, MA. more
New England Fringe Festival 9/24 – 10/4 Boston Metro
Arty but small, this ‘festival’ is a series of dance, theatre, and storytelling performances. I went once and it was creative but not well attended.
Roxbury Center for the Arts at Hibernian Hall, 182 Dudley Street, Roxbury, MA.978-667-0550. more
Oak Street Fair – A Fun Day for Over 1000 Children and Families 9/26 Boston Metro
This festival is sponsored by the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, which I thought was worth a mention.
Josiah Quincy School Playground and Oak Street, Boston, MA. more
Faire on the Square 9/26 Boston Metro
Much closer to Boston, try this street fair in Watertown. Rain or shine. Free. They’ll have an apple pie contest, live music including “doo wop” and a capella, martial arts, and juggling.
Saltonstall Park, in and around Town Hall, Watertown, MA. more
Fall Harvest Festival and Perennial Divide 9/26 Boston Metro
My first thought seeing the event was, they have events in Mattapan? And greenery? And I almost didn’t list it but I noticed they’ll have a *bee-keeping* demonstration. OoOoo!! 10am-2pm.
BNAN’s City Natives Nursery, 30 Edgewater Drive, Mattapan, MA. more
Bedford Day 9/26 Metro West
Bedford day is a parade that ends at a street festival, with the usual high-school and ‘community’ entertainment.
Bedford, MA. more
Afternoon Canoe on the Concord River 9/27 Metro West
While you’re out there, here’s an opportunity for a guided tour where you can learn some history, too. Register in advance.
Broadmoor, 280 Eliot Street, Natick, MA.508-655-2296. more
WCPA Poetry Contest Winners’ Reading 9/27 Worcester
I’m not sure how much poetry I can sit through without screaming. But if you like this stuff, here’s the best of the best, from Worcester.
Worcester Public Library, Salem Street, Worcester, MA. more
Davis Farmland Harvest Celebration 9/26 – 9/27 Worcester
And my favorite mid-size amusement park, Davis Farmland, has a harvest festival… but you need a kid along to get in.
145 Redstone Hill, Sterling, MA.978-422-8888. more
Annual Mass. Outdoor Expo 9/27 Worcester
Also in the Worcester area, stop by and learn to shoot and fish wildlife, archery, rock climbing, and other braggable manly stuff.
Sturbridge, MA. more
Franklin County Fiber Twist 9/26 Western Mass
And heading further out west, this is a wool spinning demonstration. There may be some kind of open studios, too.
Greenfield High School, Greenfield, MA. more
Apple Squeeze Festival 9/26 – 9/27 Western Mass
Although I could not find a description, with the right attitude, you can turn this street festival into a true celebration.
Lenox, MA. more
Out at Plimoth Plantation 9/26 South Shore
Are you gay or interested in gay issues? What does that have to do with 1620 Plimoth Plantation? Sssssh!! Just go. They’ve have discounted admission, lectures on LGBTA topics, and a traditional-style Thanksgiving dinner.
137 Warren Avenue, Plymouth, MA.508-746-1622. more
Bourne Scallop Festival 9/25 – 9/27 Cape Cod
On nearby Cape Cod: a festival based on a single food. I’ve seen so many ads for this that it’s hard to believe the festival is based on scallops. I guess there’s a powerful scallop lobby. They claim that 40,000 people will attend, with the usual art and craft vendors, carnival rides and live music, and they don’t actually mention scallops amongst their food choices, which is odd.
Main Street, Bourne, MA. more
Meet Me Downtown Festival of the Arts in Lynn 9/26 North Shore
Now let’s head up the North Shore. It seems like this festival will be small (they claim 3,000 people). They’ll have the usual vendors and music, a talent show and unspecified “performances”.
Central Square, Lynn, MA. more
Annual Fall Festival @ Marblehead 9/26 – 9/27 North Shore
Marblehead is having a ‘festival’ which sounds very much like a tiny yet heavily merchant-oriented event. Fair enough, but not a real draw. They’ll have hay rides, though!
Marblehead, MA.781-631-2868. more
Gloucester New Arts Festival 9/26 – 9/27 North Shore
Theatre, improv music jamming and dance, sounds small but very creative. They’ll even have “sound sculptures”.
Gloucester, MA. more
Italian Fest in Haverhill 9/27 Northern Mass
The city has declined to give ANY details but last year they had a troupe of impersonators doing the original “Rat Pack” from movies. (Before they remade Ocean’s Eleven with George Clooney.) Live music, tons of vendors as usual, the ubiquitous face painting, and a Miss Italy contest.
Haverhill, MA.978-373-5663. more
Harnden Tavern Colonial Event / Harvest Festival 9/27 Northern Mass
While you’re there, see the historical re-enactment of “crafts and skills” in Wilmington.
430 Salem Street (Route 62), Wilmington, MA.978-658-5475. more
Rochester Fair 9/18 – 9/27 New Hampshire
Fiesta Shows will have their traveling carnival here.
Rochester Fairgrounds, Exit 13 off Spaulding Turnpike, Rochester, NH. more
Harvest Festival @ Remick Museum & Farm 9/26 New Hampshire
Horse drawn wagon, cider-making, corn maze, and “traditional farm equipment”.
58 Cleveland Hill Road, Tamworth, NH. more
Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival 9/26 – 9/27 New Hampshire
What do you do with a drunken sailor? This educational festival will tell you! :).
Portsmouth, NH. more

Salem Haunted Happenings Grand Parade 10/1 North Shore
Halloween starts this week! And I bet this is the cutest thing ever! It’s a kids parade, all in costume.
Shetland Park to Salem Common, Salem, MA.978-744-0004. more

Carousel on Boston Common 9/8 – 10/20 Boston Metro
Visit 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
Wings of Freedom Tour 9/16 – 10/2 North Shore
This airplane show is all over: 9/8-10 in Lincoln, RI; 9/10-12 in Hyannis, MA; 9/12-15 in Plymouth, MA; 9/15-17 in Plymouth, NH; 9/17-19 in Manchester, NH; 9/19-9/22 in Beverly, MA; 9/22-24 in New Bedford, MA. This one you actually get to fly in an old bomber aircraft and it’s far more expensive.
Various Locations. more
Boston Film Festival 9/18 – 9/24 Boston Metro
The Boston Film Festival continues.
Kendall Landmark Theatre, One Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA.617-621-1202. more

Recurring Events
FirstWorksProv 9/24 – 10/15 Rhode Island
This series of performances and gallery exhibitions should in no way be considered a ‘festival’. That being said, a number of the concerts look interesting.
Various Places, Providence, RI. more
Celebrate Bisexuality Day (Bis Night Out) 9/24 Boston Metro
As I mentioned last week, here’s a social and some films about bisexual people. Stop by Cambridge 1 at 27 Church Street before the films (7:30-9:30) for a casual meet up.
Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA. more
Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival 9/24 – 9/27 Cape Cod
As I mentioned last week, I guess these people really like Tennessee Williams.
Provincetown, MA. more
Eastern States Exposition 9/18 – 10/4 Springfield
It’s the 9th largest agricultural fair in the United States, and it shows. Over 1.1M people attend and every kind of hokey “as seen on TV” product is available at the many vendors booths. They’ll have an okay traveling carnival, a horse show, actual famous musicians, and a great circus! They’ll also have a slightly alarming “New England in Miniature” called Storrowton which is the only part of New England that many tourists will ever see. Rt 90W to exit 4. Rt 5S.
1305 Memorial Avenue, West Springfield, MA. more
Trails & Sails Weekend 9/18 – 9/27 North Shore
This ‘festival’ continues, a series of 140 independent events all over the region. Take shuttle at
Various areas, Ipswich, MA. more

King Richard’s Faire (Ren Faire) 9/5 – 10/25 South Shore
New England’s largest renaissance faire continues. 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

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
Adirondack Ballon Festival 9/25 – 9/27 New York
If you really feel like a long drive, there’s ballooooooons out theeeerreee.
Glen Falls, NY. more


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