As someone who has been compared to Pee-wee on a number of occasions by more than one person, I’m particularly excited about The Brattle Theatre’s screenings of “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” in Paul Reuben’s memory this Friday and Saturday. But that’s not the only happening in and around Boston this weekend! From the city’s longest-running Italian festival to a Porchfest in Jamaica Plain, we’ve got you covered.
Thursday, Aug. 17
Here’s one for those of you who appreciate a brew while you peruse your local arts and crafts offerings. It’s also a good one for people who take the Mass Pike in and out of Boston. If you haven’t been to Boston Landing yet, the newly developed neighborhood has a more squeaky-clean feel than many of the other cultural hubs of the city. It’s home to nearby concert hall Roadrunner (the largest indoor general admission venue in New England) and plenty of surrounding restaurants and shops. On Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m., Athlete’s Park will transform into a beer garden with live music, food and crafts for sale. If you’re looking for something to do as you wait for the Thursday 5 o’clock traffic to subside, this is a fine option for a free after-work hangout.
Thursday, Aug. 17-Sunday, Aug. 20
When you visit Boston’s Fisherman’s Feast, consider just how old it is. This event has taken place in Boston each year since 1910, and the history goes back even further. The event traces back to the 16th century when Italian fishermen would show gratitude to Madonna del Soccorso, also known as Our Lady of Help. What does that mean in 2023? It means this street festival is adorned with many of the old traditions of Italy. There will be blessings, grand processions, classic Italian games, live performances and, of course, food. If food is your personal draw to a festival like this, be sure to check out the 5th Annual Best Meatball Competition on Saturday from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., where attendees help decide who takes home the title.
Saturday, Aug. 19
I attended a block party at the Worcester Public Library this past weekend, and it was such a lovely experience that I couldn't resist including one this week. And what a block party this is! The Watershed Block Party at Boston’s ICA brings together a wide range of art and summer activities for four hours starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday. In addition to the museum itself being open, there will also be items for sale and activities outside, including coffee, snacks, yoga and performances from the Veronica Robles Cultural Center, who are dressed as beautifully as they dance. Also, be sure to check out the exhibit titled “Mariposa Relámpago” by Guadalupe Maravilla before it closes in less than a month! The block party is free and open to the public, but you’ll need a timed Water Shuttle ticket.
Saturday, Aug. 19
If you haven’t been to a Porchfest-style event yet, it’s something you should check out at least once. With people performing on porches throughout the neighborhood, it’s a way to introduce yourself to an area while also checking out the hyper-local music scene. Boston has a few Porchfests throughout the summer, but each festival is as unique as the neighborhood that hosts it. For Jamaica Plain Porchfest, halfway through the day, all porch concerts stop for one hour for what the event planners call “Community Hour.” During that hour, people are encouraged to gather at one of three main stages where there will be activities, classes and art on display. It’s a special way to bring people together during what is usually a decentralized festival.
Sunday, Aug. 20
Creative Hub Worcester, the group behind stART on the Street, is offering a free workshop to local artists who want to learn more about the challenges of the small business world. This part-workshop, part-informal meetup is an opportunity for artists to meet like-minded people. Both new and experienced artists and art sellers are welcome to join the event. The workshop will take place at Creative Hub Worcester’s headquarters in downtown Worcester. It’s free, but you can reserve a spot.