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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Here’s your week in weird. Enjoy it! Want this weekly? Subscribe to email, Facebook, or Twitter.
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 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
|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
|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 http://ipswichessexexplorer.com/.
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