By Susan M. Keenan © 2007
So many events occur in Boston throughout the year that it is possible to coordinate a visit to this cultural city just in time to experience one or more of them. From one-day events to weeklong festivals, the offerings are many and varied.
First Night Boston, occurring every New Year’s Eve, begins in the early afternoon of December 31. Approximately 250 performances featuring dance, film, theater, music, and visual art take place. So much is going on that it is possible to spend the entire afternoon and night enjoying this festival of the arts. Included in this extravaganza are huge ice sculptures showcased with illuminating lights.
Also, in January, the Boston Wine Festival takes place at local wineries offering dinner and an accompanying wine. In mid-January, the Jazz Festival featuring numerous jazz musicians takes place at the Charles Hotel. The Boston Wine Expo features more than 400 wineries and 1800 wines. The Cookbook Dinearound showcases the best of Boston dishes.
In February, the Boston Museum of Fine Art offers a Valentine’s Day Concert with local artists. The latest in kitchen design and cookware is showcased during the Boston Cooks event that takes place at the Boston World Trade Center.
Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Celebration is a weeklong celebration that begins the week before the first Sunday after March 17 when the parade occurs. The parade, featuring a flurry of bagpipers, bands, and floats, is a century long tradition that takes three hours from start to finish. Celtic food and music fill this weeklong extravaganza along with a bit of beer.
The New England Spring Flower Show occurs in March. In addition to bringing the first breath of spring to this city, the event showcases approximately 50 designer gardens. More than five acres of exhibits are home to this show, one of the largest and longest running events of its kind. It is held at the Bayside Expo and Convention Center and located at 200 Mt. Vernon Street. The Massachusetts Horticultural Society sponsors this event, which includes demonstrations and lectures along with the exhibits. It typically takes place about the middle of March.
The Boston Marathon takes place on the third Monday in April. Attracting top runners from many locations around the globe, the marathon covers 26 miles beginning at Hopkinton and ending at Kenmore Square. Entrants, including those in wheelchair, must qualify by achieving specific times in previous races. Approximately 16,000 entrants race each year.
Patriot’s Day in Boston also occurs on the third Monday in April. Commemorating the famous “shot heard around the world” and the Battle of Lexington and Concord, this special New England holiday features a number of enjoyable activities. A wreath laying ceremony takes place at the grave of Paul Revere along with a reenactment of his famous ride. A parade and other events also take place along the historic Freedom Trail.
Also, in April, the Boston Red Sox heats up the season with some Major League Baseball. The last Friday of this month brings the “Art in Bloom” event at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts
A celebration of maritime and Colonial heritage, Boston Harborfest takes place every July. This six-day festival includes an entire gamut of exciting and entertaining events ranging from cook offs to boat rides to historical reenactments to music concerts and more. Family activities and walking tours are also part of this gala that culminates with the fireworks display and a performance by the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra.
The Boston Tea Party, an event that initially involved thousands of colonists protesting the tax on English tea in 1773, is reenacted every year at the Old South Meeting House. A parade follows the reenactment of the debate, which is free to anyone dressed in colonial clothing. Unfortunately, limited capacity restricts this number to 600 people.
Christmas Tubas - The annual November concert during which Christmas carols and tunes are played by more than 200 brass instruments. Takes place at Faneuil Hall Marketplace.
These are only a few of the popular events that occur in Boston throughout the year. Many more, both free and with paid admission, occur at various places and times.