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World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > United States of America > Massachusetts > Boston

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Boston Events

Annual Boston Wine Festival

The Boston Harbor Hotel plays host to over 50 guest wineries for 3 months of wining and dining on a grand scale. As well as some of the best established names in the world, the festival is renowned for introducing some of the very best new wines available and so is very popular with connoisseurs.

Date: 11 January 2019 - 29 March 2019
Venue: Boston Harbor Hotel.
Website: http://www.bostonwinefestival.net
Cost:

Various.


Boston Celtic Music Festival

This unique event features 100 musicians and performers representing Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton, and other Celtic traditions. This is a great opportunity to sample Celtic culture with lots of concerts, ceilidh and workshops for all ages.

Date: 17 January 2019 - 20 January 2019
Venue: Various.
Website: http://www.clubpassim.org/BCMFest
Cost:

Various.


Dr Martin Luther King Jr Birthday Weekend

The city of Boston celebrates the anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King Jr's birth on 15 January 1929 with a series of concerts, exhibitions and special events. The revered civil rights leader was a figurehead of the campaign for equality for African Americans whose famous €œI have a dream€ speech is known throughout the world. King gained a PhD in Systematic Theology from Boston University in 1955 and is enshrined in the city's cultural identity. In 1986, 18 years after his assassination on 4 April 1968, the anniversary of his birth became a public holiday throughout America. Boston marks the holiday weekend with a series of special events, church services and exhibitions in various locations across the city.

Date: 21 January 2019 - 21 January 2019
Venue: Various locations in Boston.
Cost:

Most events are free.


Boston International Film Festival

The Boston International Film Festival is a must for cinema fans.

Date: 11 April 2019 - 16 April 2019
Venue: Various venues.
Website: http://www.bostoniff.com/
Cost:

Various.


Boston Marathon

The Boston race is the oldest annually contested marathon in the world. Beginning in the rural New England town of Hopkinton, the course runs the customary 42.2km (26 miles 385 yards) to the centre of Boston, with Men's Elite, Women's Elite and amateurs starting in turn. Boston's was the first marathon to introduce a wheelchair division. The field limit is 20,000 participants and would-be runners are always advised to get their applications in early. The event enjoys a lively, holiday atmosphere and among the better vantage points are Boston College and Beacon Street, just before the finish line.

Date: 15 April 2019 - 15 April 2019
Venue: Boston streets.
Website: http://www.baa.org
Cost:

Free.


Patriot's Day Celebrations

Forever stamped in history as the place where the American Revolution began, each year the city of Boston marks Patriots Day. It was on this day in 1775 that the first major battle between the British troops and the colonists took place. According to the history books, Paul Revere rode out to Lexington to warn the colonists that the British troops had begun to march towards Concord. A bloody battle ensued and the American Revolution had begun. The day is marked each year with battle re-enactments, formal ceremonies, exhibitions, historic displays and performances and the popular Boston Marathon.

Date: 15 April 2019 - 15 April 2019
Venue: Streets of Boston.
Cost:

Free.


Arts First Cambridge

Arts First presents more than 200 music, theatre, dance, and visual arts events. The festival celebrates all kinds of creative activity at various indoor and outdoor venues including Harvard Yard, Sanders Theatre, the Harvard Museums and the undergraduate houses. It is Harvard's annual four-day celebration of the arts, instigated in 1992 at which undergraduates and graduate students present a great programme of drama, music, dance, film, and literary and visual arts.

Date: 02 May 2019 - 05 May 2019
Venue: Various locations around Boston.
Website: http://ofa.fas.harvard.edu/arts/
Cost:

Many events free.


Cambridge River Festival

The Cambridge River Festival celebrates all things arts-related with a free outdoor event, attracting an enthusiastic audience of 200,000 people annually to the banks of the Charles River. The event starts with a procession from Harvard Square to the river, with a variety of visual and performing art and food which reflects the city's diverse neighborhoods and cultural heritage. Enjoy everything from national and local jazz, folk and world music to dance, poetry and theatre performances.

Date: 01 June 2019 - 01 June 2019
Venue: Memorial Drive.
Website: http://www.cambridgema.gov/arts/Programs/riverfestival
Cost:

Free.


Boston Harborfest

Ending with a bang to coincide with the US's Fourth of July celebrations, Boston Harborfest is a seven-day celebration that gets the city in the party spirit with a packed programme of entertainment. Events show off the city's rich colonial and maritime heritage through a series of re-enactments, exhibitions, guided city tours and historic displays. Always popular with families, Children's Day is one of the main events where younger visitors can enjoy a mix of sports events, performances, jugglers and face painters. With fun, games and entertainment for visitors of all ages, the Boston Harborfest is one of the biggest celebrations in the city.

Date: 27 June 2019 - 04 July 2019
(Date to be confirmed)
Venue: Boston's downtown and waterfront districts.
Website: http://www.bostonharborfest.com
Cost:

Most events are free.


Independence Day Commemorative Events

As the city inextricably linked with the start of the American Revolution, Boston takes its independence seriously. The day starts at 0900 with an official flag raising in City Hall Plaza. Then a parade begins on route from Tremont, Bromfield, Washington, to Court Street, pausing at the Old Granary Burial Ground to place wreaths on the graves of John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Peter Faneuil, and Robert Paine, followed by reading of the Declaration of Independence in front of the Old State House. There are then 4 July celebrations all over the city followed in the evening by a spectacular fireworks display (10,000 shells and devices are used each year). The Boston Pops have entertained music fans on the Esplanade along the banks of the Charles River since 1930 and the tradition continues with the orchestra providing the soundtrack for the celebration.

Date: 04 July 2019 - 04 July 2019
Venue: Various location in Boston.
Cost:

Most events are free.


Fisherman's Feast of Boston

This is the oldest continuous Italian festival in the North End of Boston. Since 1911, this North End Feast has celebrated the devotion of immigrant Sicilian fishermen to the Madonna del Soccorso di Sciacca (Our Lady of Help). Besides a delicious selection of Italian food and cooking demonstrations, there is also a variety of entertainment, live music, traditional processions and an assortment of children's events, contests, giveaways, and games. In the evening, the fishing waters are blessed, followed by the Cheese Tower building competition, and a procession with the statue of the Madonna.

Date: 15 August 2019 - 18 August 2019
Venue: North End.
Website: http://fishermansfeast.com
Cost:

Free.


Saint Anthony's Feast

Saint Anthony's Feast is the largest Italian religious festival in New England. This authentic Italian street festival has something for people of every age: parades, strolling singers, live entertainment, contests and daily religious services. Visitors can stroll the beautifully decorated streets sampling the best Italian foods from about 100 different pushcarts. Enjoy arancini, sausage peppers and onion, quahogs, calamari, pizza, pasta and of course zeppole, cannoli and gelato. The highlight of the Feast is the 10-hour procession of the Statue of Saint Anthony through the streets of the North End accompanied by devotees, numerous marching bands and floats.

Date: 22 August 2019 - 25 August 2019
Venue: Streets of Boston.
Cost:

Entry is free.


Head of the Charles Regatta

Each fall, rowers and spectators from around the world gather in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, for the two-day Head of the Charles Regatta. First held in 1965, the race was established by the Cambridge Boat Club members D'Arcy MacMahon, Howard McIntyre, and Jack Vincent, under the guidance of Harvard University sculling instructor Ernest Arlett. Each year the event attracts some 7,000 rowers and crowds in excess of 300,000 who turn out to enthusiastically cheer them on.

Date: 01 October 2019 - 31 October 2019
(Date to be confirmed)
Venue: Charles River.
Website: http://hocr.org
Cost:

Free to spectate.


Boston Tea Party Reenactment

Relive one of the most iconic public protests in American history - the Boston Tea Party. Gather at Old South Meeting House, the actual historic landmark where the colonists met in 1773, with Boston's infamous rabblerousers like Samuel Adams and Paul Revere, to debate the tea tax and demand liberty from the British crown. It's followed by a procession to Griffin's Wharf accompanied by fife and drums, before the tea is then dumped unceremoniously into the waters at Boston Harbour.

Date: 16 December 2019 - 16 December 2019
Venue: Old South Meeting House.
Website: http://www.oldsouthmeetinghouse.org
Cost:

Various.


First Night Boston

The event First Night Boston is a free two-day celebration to bring in the New Year. Open to the general public, the beloved traditions from 1975 are still carried out, including cultural and musical performances, ice sculptures and light displays. Watch the parade as it passes through the city and enjoy the fireworks display as they count down to the New Year.

Date: 31 December 2019 - 01 January 2020
Venue: Various venues in downtown Boston.
Website: http://www.firstnightboston.org

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