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It's That Time of Year: New England's Summer Festivals -- Massachusetts

Discovery New

Every Summer New England states host some of the best festivals. Many are kid-friendly or are just for families. Some of these events are for charities, town support, or sponsored by various local business. Some events this year are free to attend!


Grecian Festival 2014
June 6, 7 and 8
St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Cathedral

Be Greek for a Day! The festival is one of the first ethnic festival of its kind in New England and remains one of the largest with over 25,000 attendees. The festival runs Friday 5pm - 12am, Saturday 11am - 12am and Sunday 12pm -10pm with Greek food and pastries, St Spyridon Greek Orthodox Cathedral is located at 120 Russell Street directly across from Historic Elm Park! Live music and dance performances, a car raffle, kids' fest, admission is just $2.00 and kids under 12 are FREE! For more information visit their website

Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival
Mid-June through late August
Becket, Massachusetts

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival is the ideal destination for a summer getaway. A National Historic Landmark and National Medal of Arts recipient, Jacob’s Pillow is nestled in the beautiful Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts. Called “the dance center of the nation” by The New York Times, the Pillow brings together dance, music, art, and culture, with more than 300 free and ticketed events including performances, photography and art exhibits, lectures and discussions, tours, dance class observation, onsite dining and much more. Dance companies from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, and across the United States perform in two theaters and an outdoor stage throughout the summer.

Food Truck Festival at Elm Park
June 21, 2014
Worcester, Massachusetts

Introducing the 2014 Food Truck Festivals – rolling through the Bay State from Worcester to Topsfield, from Lowell to Cape Cod– and several communities in between this summer and fall. All festivals will take place from noon to 4 pm, with a special VIP Preview hour from 11am – noon.

Martha's Vineyard: Annual Oak Bluffs Harbor Festival
June 21, 2014
Oak Bluffs -- Martha's Vineyard Island, Massachusetts

More than 40 vendors from near and far, including many of the Vineyard favorites, plan to return for one of the Island’s most popular events. As always, an abundance of native seafood and gourmet treats await the festive gathering at this year’s Harbor Festival. Admission for this event is free and the public is encouraged to come and spend the day. For children, the Annual Faerie Festival will entertain all ages with mystical storytelling and Celtic musicians.

Cape Ann Artisans Spring Studio Tour
June 21-22, 2014
Cape Ann, Massachusetts

This self-guided tour along the scenic coastline of Gloucester and Rockport presents a unique opportunity to see the work of 21 professional artists in 18 studios. The work represented includes: pottery, painting, sculpture, photography, mosaics, weaving and jewelry. Several of the artists will be demonstrating their working process during the tour. Brochures with route maps will be available at the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, the Rockport Information Booth on Rte. 127 and at each of the artisans. A bright magenta Studio Tour banner will mark each location. Download a brochure. This event repeats in October.

15th Annual African American and Juneteenth Festival
June 28, 2014
Institute Park
Worcester, Massachusetts

This great family and community event celebrates African American history and culture and the oldest nationally recognized end of slavery with music, art and craft, food, dance, and vendors from the Worcester community.

St. Peter’s Fiesta Festival
June 25-29, 2014
Gloucester, Massachusetts

Starting at the turn of the century, many Italian families from Sicily settled in the fishing community of Gloucester. They continued many of the customs they had practiced in the old country; among these, paying homage to St. Peter, the Patron Saint of Fishermen. This annual festival honors St. Peter and is a celebration of the community and its rich heritage. This festival includes an annual open air Mass at the Altar at St. Peter’s Square, followed by a procession and the blessing of the Italian-American fishing fleet. In the afternoon is the famous and entertaining Greasy Pole competition in which brave souls run across a grease-covered pole above the water trying to capture a flag. In the Seine Boat Races, twelve-man crews prove their strength and stamina by rowing against each other in old Seine boats in a grueling mile long race.

Charles W. Morgan Homecoming to New Bedford
June 28 - July 6, 2014
State Pier, New Bedford, Massachussetts

Built and launched in New Bedford in 1841, the Charles W. Morgan is now America’s oldest wooden whaling and commercial ship still afloat — only the USS Constitution is older. Over an 80-year whaling career, the Morgan embarked on 37 voyages between 1841 and 1921. She is known as a “lucky ship,” having successfully navigated crushing Arctic ice, hungry cannibals, countless storms, Cape Horn roundings and, after she finished her whaling career, even the Hurricane of 1938. The Morgan’s historic Homecoming to New Bedford will be nothing short of spectacular with NINE days of concerts, programs, regattas, whaleboat races and parades, a whaling history symposium, public ceremonies and much more!

Annual Gloucester Schooner Festival
August 29-31, 2014
Gloucester, Massachusetts (North Shore)

The Gloucester Schooner Festival celebrates the impact of the fishing schooner on the history of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Featured are the last remaining great Gloucester schooning vessels competing in the Mayor’s Race for the Esperanto Cup, a trophy from the first International Fishermen’s Race sailed in 1920. See schooner masts fill the harbor’s skyline, a lighted boat parade and fireworks over the harbor.

Annual Boston Harborfest
July 2-6, 2014
Boston, Massachusetts

Boston Harborfest is a five-day long Fourth of July Festival that showcases the colonial and maritime heritage of the cradle of the American Revolution: the historic City of Boston. The award-winning festival strives to honor and remember the past, celebrate the present, and educate the future with reenactments, concerts, historical tours and much, much more. More than 200 daily events during the festival are concentrated in Boston’s historic downtown and waterfront districts, with sponsored main events on Boston’s City Hall Plaza. Visitors to the Annual Chowderfest will vote for “Boston’s Best Chowder” after sampling traditional New England-style clam chowder from some of the Boston area’s top restaurants.

An 1830′s Independence Day Celebration at Old Sturbridge Village
July 4, 2014
Sturbridge, Massachusetts

Old Sturbridge Village is the largest outdoor history museum in the northeast and portrays life in a New England village in the 1830s. Step back to a time when America was new, and veterans of the fight for freedom still lived. Join in the fun as the martial band leads the citizen’s procession as they march through the streets. Cheer and huzzah during a rousing patriotic reading of the Declaration of Independence and sign a giant reproduction of the document. Make your own tri-cornered hat to wear as you learn to drill with the Sturbridge Militia. Learn dances done by 19th-century Americans and play a game of “base ball.”

Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular|
July 4, 2014
Boston, Massachusetts

America’s premier Independence Day celebration, this annual event is a Boston holiday tradition which is televised across the U.S. Hundreds of thousands of visitors come from around the world to celebrate America’s birthday on the banks of the Charles River. The Boston Pops Orchestra leads the celebration, including a famous rendition of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” which features real cannons and the live ringing of area church bells. The entire event ends with a spectacular fireworks show in the skies above Boston. Take public transportation, bring some picnic food and drink, and arrive before noon to find a good seat!

Opening Night: Tanglewood (Summer Home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra)
July 5, 2014 (and dates throughout the summer)
Lenox, Massachusetts

Tanglewood, an estate and music venue in Lenox, is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and hosts the annual Tanglewood Music Festival and Tanglewood Jazz Festival. This opening night event is followed by fireworks.

Brimfield Antique and Flea Market Shows
July 8-13, 2014
Brimfield, Massachusetts

The Brimfield Antiques Show is the largest outdoor antiques show in the country, with more than 4,500 dealers and 130,000+ visitors during the course of the week. Often referred to as “The Show,” it is actually comprised of 23 fields, owned by “Promoters,” who lease spaces to dealers from all over the world. The show takes place three times a year. Different fields open on different days, and run for different periods of time. The show runs about a mile along Route 20, on both sides of the road, extending several hundred yards back from each side of the road. Most dealers opt to show their wares inside large and comfortable tents, and all fields are contiguously located next to each other, so seeing everything is an easy stroll. This event is held again from September 2-8, 2014.

Nantucket Yoga Festival
July 11-13, 2014
Nantucket, Massachusetts

The Nantucket Yoga Festival will bring together the very best world class yoga instructors,wellness experts and healthy living guides. The Westmoor Club will host an exciting opening night celebration followed by classes and workshops outdoors under tent at Bartlett’s Ocean View Farm. 24 workshops; 15 teachers; one inspiring weekend.

Green River Festival
July 12-13, 2014
Greenfield Community College - Greenfield, Massachusetts

One of the top musical events in western Massachusetts, the Green River Festival combines superb musical talent from around the U.S., local food and fine crafts and hot air balloons for two days of sun and fun.

National Sand Sculpting Festival
July 18-20, 2014
Revere Beach, Massachusetts

The 11 th Annual Revere Beach National Sand Sculpting Festival (NSSF) will be held Friday–Sunday, July 18 -20 , 2014 . The festival is a greatly anticipated annual summer event in the Greater Boston area with approximately 300,000 attendees. It was voted one of Boston’s Top Events by BizBash Magazine, a leading media publication in the event industry. Master sand sculptors from around the world compete in this national contest that attracts international, national and regional media coverage.

Lowell Folk Festival
July 25-27, 2014
Lowell, Massachusetts

The largest FREE folk festival in the country attracts thousands of people over three days. The Lowell Folk Festival strives to present the very finest traditional artists from across the country and around the world. Festival stages reverberate with the sounds of traditional music more often heard in homes, social clubs, dance halls and annual celebrations. Enjoy ethnic food and crafts. In the area, visit the Lowell National Historic Park which offers museums and exhibits highlighting Lowell’s significant contribution to the American Industrial Revolution. Ride a historic replica trolley or cruise the canals aboard a tour boat.

LGBT Family Week in Provincetown
July 26 - August 2, 2014
Provincetown, Massachusetts

Family Week is the largest national gathering of the LGBT-headed family community in the United States and this year marks the 19th annual event. LGBT parents, their children, their extended families, prospective parents and friends will gather at the tip of Cape Cod in gay-friendly Provincetown, to relax and enjoy an amazing week filled with great conversations, singing, dancing, games, beach parties and more!

100th Annual Portuguese Feast of the Blessed Sacrament
July 31 - August 3, 2014
Medeira Field, New Bedford, Mass.

Founded in 1914, this traditional mid-summer event has become the largest Portuguese Feast in the world and the largest ethnic festival in New England, attracting more than 300,000 visitors. The Feast features Portuguese and American food, live music and entertainment, midway, carnival rides and the largest parade in New Bedford.

LGBT Family Week
July 26 - August 2, 2014
Provincetown, Massachusetts

Family Week is the largest national gathering of the LGBT-headed family community in the United States. LGBT parents, their children, extended families, prospective parents and friends will gather at the tip of Cape Cod in gay-friendly Provincetown to relax and enjoy an amazing week filled with great conversation, singing, dancing, games, beach parties and more!

Salem's Annual Maritime Festival
August 2, 2014
Salem, Massachusetts

Salem’s Maritime Festival at Derby Wharf celebrates New England’s long seafaring history and traditions. Come for music, exhibits, demonstrations, tours of the Custom House and the Derby House, harbor cruises, food and family-friendly activities. Head down the street to visit the House of Seven Gables. Climb aboard a reconstructed 1797 merchant ship and immerse yourself in the stories surrounding the Salem witch trials of 1692 — all in the same day! Get to Salem easily from Boston on the Salem Ferry or by commuter train.

Tanglewood Wine and Food Classic -- Western Massachusetts
August 7-10, 2014
Lenox, Massachusetts

Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, presents the Tanglewood Wine and Food Classic, featuring wines from around the world and locally-sourced foods enjoyed in an incomparable setting on the Tanglewood grounds. The Wine and Food Classic includes seminars, celebrity chef dinners, a Grand Tasting and cooking demonstrations.

The 132nd Bolton Fair
Bolton, Massachusetts
August 8-10, 2014

The Bolton Fair is a traditional New England fair with animal Exhibits and shows, crafts, artisans, entertainers, a midway, an a farmer's market. The fair was originally held in neighboring Bolton, but moved to its new location in Lancaster in 2004 to further expand the exhibits, booths and entertainment. The Bolton Fair draws attendees from all over New England and is one of the few remaining fairs to focus on agriculture and animals.

Boston Pops on Nantucket
August 9, 2014
Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

Head for island fun at the annual Boston Pops on Nantucket concert to benefit Nantucket Cottage Hospital. Experience outstanding music and a stunning fireworks show on one Nantucket’s most well-known beaches. Rated ‘Best Summer Event on Nantucket’ by readers of the Inquirer and Mirror for 15 years in a row!

Annual TD Bank Pops by the Sea Concert
August 10, 2014
Hyannis, Massachusetts (Cape Cod)

The TD Bank Pops by the Sea concert is Cape Cod’s single largest cultural event. This is the only time of the year that the Boston Pops play on Cape Cod. This fundraising concert regularly sells out to a live audience of more than 15,000 – the Cape’s largest single audience. Cape Cod residents and visitors from throughout the United States and abroad gather for this magical afternoon event.

Annual Cotuit Arts & Crafts Festival
August 16-17, 2014
Cotuit, Massachusetts (Cape Cod)

For two days in August the Cotuit Village Green becomes the largest outdoor crafts festival on Cape Cod. Come to this quaint, seaside village to see the wares of 100 outstanding artisans and craftsmen. Free parking and free admission.

Annual Stockbridge Summer Arts & Crafts Show
August 16-17, 2014
Bidwell Park - Stockbridge, Massachusetts

The town of Stockbridge, blessed with internationally renowned summer festivals of music, theater and dance, major art museums and historic homes, brings hundreds of thousands of art and craft lovers to visit the most famous Main Street in America, as painted by Norman Rockwell. More than 80 jury-selected artists and crafters will display their work ranging from paintings to ceramics, fiberware to glass blowing.

Annual Gloucester Waterfront Festival
August 16-17, 2014
Stage Fort Park -- Gloucester, Massachusetts

Historic Stage Fort Park along Gloucester Harbor will once again blossom into the colorful Gloucester Waterfront Festival. A collection of more than 175 juried artists and craftsmen from throughout the U.S. will display their unique creations, along with live music and delicious ethnic foods. A pancake breakfast and traditional New England lobster bake complement this picture-perfect seaport event! Free live “family style” entertainment includes Celtic, ragtime bands, country and folk music. The North Shore Old Car Club will display over 75 antique autos on Sunday. Free admission, held rain or shine.

Annual Provincetown Jazz Festival
August 16 & 18, 2014
Provincetown & Cotuit, Massachusetts (Cape Cod)

Two days of great jazz in two towns on Cape Cod. At the very tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown is a colorful community with many shops and restaurants, whale watching and beautiful beaches.

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