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Massachusetts Fairs & Festivals create festive fun in all seasons

For more fun activities, see Massachusetts Events page

Massachusetts folks celebrate their history and heritage all year round. Make a cozy inn your lodging headquarters and head out for fun, inspiration, and adventure. You’ll find fairs and festivals with competitions, animal encounters, reenactments, fireworks and parades, barbecue dinners and pancake breakfasts. There are religious and ethnic events, hot air balloon rides, great music and dance; on the Fourth of July join the Boston Pops to celebrate Independence Day. Then keep on celebrating through the cranberry harvest and the winter holidays.

61 Market Street, Unit 1C Lowell, MA, 01852 Phone: 978-459-6150

Festivals celebrate Merrimack’s legendary history and characters

Greater Merrimack Valley is a deeply historic part of New England with a delightful variety of ethnicities, all with unique stories. Probably its best-known celebration is Patriots’ Day in mid-April, when Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord hosts re-enactments of the opening battle of the Revolutionary War. The city of Lowell turns out some marvelous annual events, like the annual Lowell Folk Fest, serving up outdoor music all around the city, and the Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival, honoring the city’s famous writer. The Southeast Asian Water Festival is among several fests that celebrate the city’s ethnic heritage. The Yankee Doodle Homecoming Festival honors patriot Thomas Ditson of Billerica, the inspiration of the song “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” Harvest, Christmas, October fests take their places in the seasonal lineup.

Arnold Arboretum 125 Arborway Boston, MA Phone: 617-524-1718

May 14, 2017

The lilac collection at the Arnold Arboretum is among the premier collections of these plants in North America. This day includes tours of the lilacs and other special collections, family activities, and food vendors. Time: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Various downtown locations Lowell, MA Phone:

May 18-20, 2017

At this free annual event, you can explore many of Lowell's historic buildings, from residential lofts to churches to rehabilitated mills and everything in between. No registration or tickets required. Lowell is for its preservation-based economic development efforts, with 97 percent 5.2 million square feet of mill space having been rehabilitated.

52 Gore Street Waltham, MA Phone: 781-894-2798

April 29, 2017

Shearers demonstrate modern and traditional shearing techniques. Herding dogs give demonstrations of controling a flock. The crafts fair offers hand-crafted goods by fine crafters. Also come to enjoy: live music, country dancing, an historic military encampment, traditional crafts, spinners, weavers and more. Time: 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Admission: $20. Children aged 12 years and under, free. 

Abbot School, 25 Depot Street, and other locations in town Westford, MA Phone:

May 10-14, 2017

A parade and the crowing of this year's Apple Blossom Queen will be held on Saturday at 10 a.m. The parade begins at Main Street and Graniteville Road and travels through the center of town to Depot Road. The parade will end at Abbott School. Fireworks display on Saturday evening. Time: Wednesday-Friday, 5-10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m.

Old Town Hall, Derby Square, Front Street, and Artists' Row and other Salem venues Salem, MA Phone:

June 2-4, 2017

The popular free event will feature over 80 artists and performers doing music, dance, and theater performances. June 2-4 The 2017 festival will consist of a gallery of juried artwork in Old Town Hall, performance in an outdoor stage, indoor performances, a street fair, and opportunities for the community to actively participate in the arts. The fest is free and enjoyable for both adults and kids.

Downtown Rockport, MA Phone:

May 20, 2017

The Motif No.1 Day Festival -- named after the humble fishing shack that has inspired work from many painter and photographer -- honors the arts in Rockport. Come enjoy film, poetry, dance, music, art-making activities, historical presentations and more, along with the Motif No.1 Day 5k and Fun Run. time: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Memorial Drive near the Charles River Boston and Cambridge, MA Phone:

June 10-11, 2017

Dozens of teams race a 500-meter course in sleek, colorful 39-foot-Hong Kong-style dragon boats. Along with dragon boat races, the festival also presents performances from various Asian cultures, Asian food, and arts and crafts representing traditions of this ancient Chinese celebration.
Saturday. Races only at MIT Pierce Boathouse, Memorial Drive just west of Route 2A, Cambridge
Sunday. Races, Asian crafts and cultural performances, Asian food. Along Charles River Near Harvard

Various Locations Nantucket, MA Phone: 508-228-1700

April 28-30, 2017

The Daffodil Festival's grand event, held on Saturday, is the Annual Antique Car Parade of more than 100 daffodil-bedecked antique cars, followed by the Daffodil Tailgate Picnic. Held on the lush lawns leading into the village, the picnic boasts fare ranging from elaborate gourmet cuisine served on fine china to box lunches and burgers. Other highlights include the Nantucket Garden Club's Annual Daffodil Show, Children's Daffodil Parade, Daffy Hat Pageant and Daffodil Dog Parade. 

Look Park, 300 N Main Street Northampton, MA Phone: 413-862-8095

July 15, 2017

Festival activities include Highland dance competition, Highland athletic competition, pipe and drum competitions, individual pipe and drum competitions, Scottish food and vendors, two entertainment stages, and lots more. New this year: The Brigadoons, and more music by Albannach, Screaming Orphans, The Brigadoons, and Charlie Zahm. Cost: Adults, $16; children age 6-12, $5. Time: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Town Green Longmeadow, MA Phone:

May 20-21, 2017

Long Meddowe Days presents the town's long history to adults and kids through tours and entertainments, See and expolore a Civil War encampment, walking tours of the Old Burying Yard, and guided architectural tours of the many historic homes on the Town Green, including Storrs House Museum. Find food, music, entertainment, activities for children, historical tours, a 5K road race or walk, a parade and some of the best artists, crafters and photographers in New England.

Revere Beach, across from Kelly’s Roast Beef Revere, MA Phone:

May 21, 2017

Come and watch or fly a kite at this favorite annual event on the beach. The first 300 kids (under the age of 12) will receive a free kite. Kids will be able to decorate their own kite and then watch it fly. Time: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Heritage Museums & Gardens, 67 Grove Street Sandwich, MA Phone: 508-888-3300

May 27-June 4, 2017

Thousands of rhododendrons cover 100 acres with spectacular color. Walk among the walls of flowers, learn from horticulture experts, and purchase your own rhododendron. Festival is free with museum admission and do not require advance registration. Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 

Various locations Provincetown, MA Phone:

June 14-18, 2017

The Provincetown International Film Festival is dedicated to showcasing new achievements in independent film and honoring the work of acclaimed and emerging directors, producers and actors. Location: Various around town. Times and Costs: vary; consult event website. 

along Cambridge Parkway and Lechmere Canal Park, First and Cambridge streets Cambridge, MA Phone: 617-349-4380

June 3, 2017

Celebrate the arts with this free festival on the East Cambridge waterfront, with hundreds of jazz, folk, blues, gospel and roots music performers on multiple stages, dance, theater, storytelling, poetry and performances, public art installations, family entertainment & art-making activities. Enjoy specialty food purveyors and craftspeople. Festival map. Time: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Many locations Brewster, MA Phone:

May 5-7, 2017

Come for a full weekend of entertainment from golf to antiques. Captains Golf Course Closest To The Pin Contest, Friday-Sunday; Arts & Antiques Excursion, Friday-Sunday, self-guided tours of Brewster's antique and art galleries; Brewster Band Spring Concert, Friday; Juried Fine Arts & Crafts Show, Saturday and Sunday; Kid Fest At Drummer Boy Park on Saturday; Bloomin' Parade on Sunday at 1 p.m. from Eddy Elementary School to Main Street to Swamp Road

Downtown Greenfield, MA Phone:

April 29, 2017

Five stages with musical by some of the best musicians from the Pioneer Valley and beyond, including Adynkra, Blackstone Cuil, Blind Revision, Carinae, Celtic Heels Irish Dancers, Chris Scanlon, Community Smokes, The Diamondstones, Disquiet, Eric Colville, Holly May, Incurable Semantics, John Sheldon, Julie Cira, Katie Clarke and the Green River Band, Larry Allen Brown and the Acoustic Earth Orchestra, Lexi Weege, Luddy Mussy, Lynn Saoirse, Old Flame w/Emma Ayres, Rosie Porter, Sheez Late, Shokazoba, Sister Jawbone, Span of Sunshine, Stephen Brown, Tawdry, Trīne Chéile, Tides, Zak Trojano. Cost: $15-$20. Time: Noon to midnight