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Header Photos

 

Clockwise from top left:  Boston Bluegrass annual Joe Val Festival; 

North Adams Fall Foliage Parade; Pilgrim girl at Plimoth Plantation, credit Don Teague; Central Massachusetts; American Textile History Museum in Lowell

 

 

September 2018

 

Massachusetts is rich in arts & culture, so it's no surprise that exciting events, exhibits and festivals are held in the state's 16 regions all year long. Find out more!

 

A September to Remember

With one foot in summer and the other crossing into autumn, we cherish the seasonal change and all good things it brings. We're faced with tough decisions like, "Should we have ice cream or apple cider donuts?" and whether leaf peeping is best on foot or through a car window (that one's easy: must do both).

For antique collectors, treasure hunters, and shoppers, the Brimfield Antique Flea Market (9/4-9/9) is a can't-miss. Not only is this America's oldest outdoor antiques flea market, it's also the largest of its kind in the country! In West Springfield, The Big E takes the spotlight from 9/14-9/30 with family-friendly activities, performances, vendors, and classic fair fun. Moving further east, the Orchard House in Concord celebrates the Sesquicentennial of the beloved story by Louisa May Alcott, Little Women. With events throughout September and 2018, celebrate the 150th of this timeless classic with a visit to the home where Alcott lived that inspired the tale. Discover more ways to explore Massachusetts and jump into the fall season at massvacation.com.

For more on what to see + do in Massachusetts, visit massvacation.com.

 

 

Featured Region: Greater Merrimack Valley

Often referred to as the "Triathlon of the Art World," the Lowell Kinetic Sculpture Race is an organization whose mission is to host and produce an annual kinetic sculpture race within the city of Lowell. This year, the all-day event takes place on Saturday, September 22! Kinetic sculptures are all-terrain, human-powered, art sculptures made from repurposed materials and engineered to race over road, water, mud and sand. LKSR strives to inspire the engineers and visionaries of the future by promoting the synthesis of the STEM fields, the arts, disruptive innovation, and physical activity. The race is open to all ages and works with students of local universities, high schools, vocational schools, and after-school programs.

Find more events and information for Greater Merrimack Valley. 

 

 

Central Massachusetts

Jam out with Sugarland at the DCU Center on September 7. Celebrate Pride at the Worcester Pride Festival and Parade in Worcester Common on September 8. Celebrate your favorite four-legged friends at Pet Rock Fest at Wyman Gordon in Grafton on September 9. And celebrate art and music at the Exhilarate Worcester Music and Arts Festival on September 22 in Worcester/ Find more events and information for Central Massachusetts.

 

 

Franklin County

The annual North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival - "The Festival that Stinks" - is set for September 29-30 at Forster's Farm in Orange! Meander among 100 bountiful booths featuring regional artists, farmers, community organizations and garlic cuisine. Celebrate and relax with great bands, spoken word, and performances on three stages. Be inspired by exhibitor demos and ample activities for kids and families, with over eighty engaging workshops, activities and performances scheduled throughout the weekend! 10 am to 5 pm, rain or shine. For information, call 978-544-9023 or visit garlicandarts.org.

Find more events and information for Franklin County.

 

 

Greater Boston

If summer's over, then September in Boston is a terrific alternative! Enjoy the Asian American Festival, Cambridge Carnival, Country in the City, India Fest, Jazz Along the Charles, Local Food Festival, Boston ArtsFest, and the Beantown Jazz Festival. The new theater season opens with The Niceties, Black Clown, Hamnet and Sherlock's Last Case and the Broadway hit Hamilton. Make plans for Ed Sheeran at Gillette Stadium, Drake or Bruno Mars at TD Garden or Joan Baez and iconic Beatle (Sir) Ringo Starr at the Boch Center. Choose from the legendary libertine, Casanova or the delicate artworks of French Pastels at the MFA and women artists are front and center at the ICA in We Wanted a Revolution, highlighting the voices and experiences of women artists of color and the photography of pioneering artist Sally Mann at the PEM.

Find more events and information for Greater Boston

 

 

Cape Cod

Fall is the perfect time to explore Cape Cod! Enjoy farmers' markets, New England's best golf, walking trails, beautiful beaches and fun-filled seaside festivals. The Sandwich Arts & Crafts Show on September 1 features unique, handcrafted items by local artisans, and the Truro Agricultural Fair on September 2 celebrates agriculture, aquaculture, fishing and farming. Experience the magic of a biergarten while admiring fall foliage at Heritage Museums & Gardens' Hoppy Fall Festival September 22. And make your way on September 29 to the Mashpee Oktoberfest for authentic German music & dancing, a beer garden, kids' activities and local crafters!

Find more events and information for Cape Cod.

 

 

Greater Springfield

September kicks off with a blast as MGM Springfield presents international megastar Stevie Wonder in concert September 1 at 8 pm.  The Connecticut River Craft Brewfest returns September 7 in Holyoke, featuring 50+ craft beers and unlimited tastings of the very best creations by these passionate brewers. New England's Great State Fair, The Big E, offers family fun and entertainment September 14-30, with The Beach Boys and Marshall Tucker Band among the top musical performers.  Even more information is available at ExploreWesternMass.com!

Find more events and information for Greater Springfield.

 

 

Hampshire County

Your September playlist for western Mass. Apples. Right from the orchard. Heirloom varieties are already showing up in farmers markets! Emily Dickinson's Poetry Festival kicks off Thursday, September 20 with Doughnuts and Death: A Baker's Dozen of Emily Dickinson's Most Depressing Poems in the West Cemetery (of course). Shake off your heebie-geebies at the downtown Amherst Block Party. Come back in October for the Northampton Jazz Festival October 19, 20 and 21 with Grammy Award winner Paquito D'Rivera. Make all your plans here to visit western Mass.

Find more events and information for Hampshire County.

 

 

Johnny Appleseed Country

It's harvest time in Johnny Appleseed Country - and the harvest includes a bounty of fairs and festivals! Start the season at the Appleseed Country Fair on Labor Day Weekend at the Red Apple Farm in Phillipston, where you'll find plenty of fruit, fiddles and fun! Weekends at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area are filled with music, BBQ and more. Leominster's Sholan Farms features both produce and handcrafts, while the spotlight is on "everything garlic" in Orange, and there's lots of craft beer on tap at Gardner's Oktoberfest. It's a great time to visit Johnny's backyard!

Find more events and information for Johnny Appleseed Country.

 

 

Martha's Vineyard 

Combining the laid-back beach style of the island of Martha's Vineyard, a passionate audience of film and culture enthusiasts, and the buzz and excitement of a festival celebrating films from across the globe - The Martha's Vineyard International Film Festival is an amazing experience not to be missed! From September 4-9, come enjoy a selection of films from around the globe by international filmmakers drawn from top-notch festivals, with a few surprises thrown in. The movies are just the beginning! Guests from the film, media, politics, and art worlds will come together to celebrate, discuss and debate the films' issues.

Find more events and information for Martha's Vineyard.

 

 

Mohawk Trail Region

The FreshGrass Festival is back September 14-16 at MASS MoCA in North Adams! Features Flogging Molly, Indigo Girls, Trampled By Turtles, I'm With Her, Yonder Mountain String Band, Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Rhiannon Giddens, Steep Canyon Rangers, Béla Fleck, and more than 50 bands in total! Enjoy three days of indoor and outdoor concerts, workshops, and family programs and a bounty of Berkshire food and spirits. The FreshGrass Award includes cash prizes for breakout bluegrass artists.

Find more events and information for The Mohawk Trail Region

 

 

MetroWest

The air is getting crisp and so is the cider in Northborough as we inch closer to the annual Northborough Applefest. Not your granny (Smith)'s fall festival, this exciting four-day celebration (September 13-16) will feature moonwalks, fireworks, robotics shows, and great food! Keeping with the theme of community and celebration, don't miss the Ashland Day, Natick Days and Celebrate Holliston events, offering fun for all ages. Also, don't forget to march down to Wayside Inn on the 29th for a historical Revolutionary War reenactment.

Find more events and information for MetroWest.  

 

 

Nantucket Island

September on Nantucket is dreamy with Osona auctions, The Cocktail Hour on stage, White Heron performances, whaling, ghost and scenic walking tours, Nantucket Culinary interactive dinner series, book binding, wax, decoy carving, painting and plein air and writing classes! Add photo tours, Jazz Before Sunset, Cisco bands, Shipwreck Museum family day, Island Fair, Manhattan Short-Film and Maritime Fests and you'll be all art & cultured up. Don't forget Nantucket Fall Restaurant Week September 24-30!

Find more events and information for Nantucket Island.

 

 

North of Boston

The Schooners return to Gloucester on August 31-September 3 to celebrate the 34th Gloucester Schooner Festival! Taking place in the harbor and nearby waters of America's oldest seaport, the festival honors the major role the fishing schooner has played in the city's heritage. On September 22, enjoy Haverhill's River Ruckus, an annual festival featuring live music, classic cars, great local foods and much more. Then, help celebrate 200 years of the Topsfield Fair inspiring agriculture September 28-October 8.

Find more events and information for North of Boston.

 

 

Plymouth County

The 4th Annual Big Mass Tiny House Festival will be held September 28-30 at the Marshfield Fairgrounds in Marshfield! Tiny houses, vintage campers, tear drops, school bus conversions, gypsy wagons, and other styles of tiny structures will be available to view and tour. Tiny house celebrities in attendance! Highlights also include outdoor concerts on Friday and Saturday nights, multiple bands & daytime entertainment.  Dog friendly PLUS a drawing for a Tiny Dog House on Wheels!  In "Teenie's Tiny Wonderland" area, young ones will enjoy hands-on activities, arts, crafts, and lots of fun.

Find more events and information for Plymouth County.

 

 

Southeastern Mass

Each September during the weekend after Labor Day (this year September 8-9), the annual Acushnet Apple Peach Festival is open for the public! The festival is a family fun-filled weekend with local live music from numerous groups, local vendors selling their homemade products/goods, and fun activities and crafts for children, including a bounce house, dunk tank and face painting. It all takes place at the Acushnet Historical Society, 1203 Main Street in Acushnet.

Find more events and information for Southeastern Massachusetts

 

 

The Berkshires

Discover the Whitney Center for the Arts in the Berkshires (the Whit)! In this gorgeous 1865 Victorian mansion in downtown Pittsfield, you will find two world-class art galleries, representing artists from over 200 countries. Adding to this is their ongoing schedule of performing arts, which range from comedies and dramas to musicals and opera nights. They also offer great programming for teens and children in their intimate performance space. This fall, the Whit presents the international sensation The Vagina Monologues and The Laramie Project. Tickets and more information are at thewhit.org.

Find more events and information for The Berkshires

 

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Funded by the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism