ONE: The Folk Festival. It’s the nation’s second largest free folk festival. The downtown area will be car free, children friendly and smelling of foods both fried and savory. You won’t want to miss King Sunny Adé, a major force in African music. Rahim AlHaj, a political refugee from Baghdad, now living in New Mexico, will play the oud. Hard-driving bluegrass, rockabilly, Indian slide, polka, Irish dance, Peking opera, gospel, Inuit throat singing, and much more make this an event not worth missing.
TWO: If you want to avoid the crowds and are looking for a more relaxed afternoon, visit Lucia’s Bodega in Windham, N.H. On Saturday, they’re featuring a wine tasting with Mike from 90+ Cellars from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Our own Steve Goddu has written about 90+ Cellars – check out his article here to learn more.
THREE: Cobblestones in Lowell is a great place for people who like to relax, listen to live music and drink a pint of Newburyport’s own NBPT Green Head IPA. The party starts tonight at 7 p.m. and will continue through the weekend. Saturday night, find out why roots and reggae sound better over a plate of oysters. On Sunday, brunch is cancelled to make room for their annual Cobblestock afterglow party. Sunday is typically a quiet day of the fest. Most of the bands and people have left. The streets are still car free, but the crowds have largely gone. At 4 p.m., Cobblestock will started quietly with unplugged music, hair wrapping, live art and sculpture.
FOUR: Henry David Thoreau was an avid journal keeper and some people consider his journals among his most honest and poetic works. At 9:30 on Saturday, start at the Concord Museum and bring a chair, sunscreen, and bug spray – paper and drawing supplies will be provided. Naturalist and artist Clare Walker Leslie will guide you on how to observe and record changes in wildlife and weather. The registration fee includes admission to the museum.
FIVE: BookGivers distributes free books to people in need in the Lowell area. On Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. they will be distributing books outside the Lowell Transitional Living Center and are in need of volunteers. Please contact Crystal McCarthy if you would like to help.
SIX: Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury is presenting Legends Live On! The show features the talented offspring of musical icons such as Gregg Allmann, Ray Charles, and B. B. King as well as Grammy Award winner Charles Neville from the Neville Brothers.
SEVEN: For outdoor enthusiasts, Plum Island is a birder’s paradise. Joppa Flats Education Center in Newburyport is hosting Focus on Seabirds. Early risers, grab your binoculars and explore mudflats and salt marshes as Dave Larson teaches you about proper identification and feeding techniques. Register and learn more here.
EIGHT: On Sunday afternoon, just outside the valley in Ipswich, Boston Swing Central and The Trustees of Reservations celebrate vintage culture at The Roaring Twenties Lawn Party. The event features swing dance lessons and live music. The event starts at 3 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit here.