Eight Great Things to Do This Weekend – 5/18/17

ONE: On Saturday at 1 p.m., participants in the 14th Annual Newburyport Chocolate Tour can visit businesses and search for chocolates and chocolate-based treats, including the occasional cocktail for adult tour-goers. Proceeds benefit four area charities: The Salisbury build of Habitat for Humanity, the MSPCA at Nevins Farm, Kids as Peacemakers and area prescription refill programs for seniors.

TWO: Haverhill’s The Whiskey Barrel is fairly new to town, but they’ve already carved out a name for themselves as the best local place to see retro pop and post-grunge acts from the ’90s and 2000s. This Friday, they’ve got a show in the latter category, as Trapt and Smile Empty Soul take the stage from 6 to 11 p.m. We could be wrong, but we have a feeling this show might just give you the empowered feeling you can *ahem* take on anyone.

THREE: The Galleria at Maria’s Family Restaurant is the home of Spotlight Playhouse’s Broadway on Essex Dinner Theater Cabaret series, and they’ve got a pair of shows coming up this Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. This one sounds particularly fun: in “MISCAST!”, characters will attempt to play parts they otherwise might not be cast in … for a number of reasons you have to see (and hear) to understand.

FIVE: Join Historic New England for a Revolutionary War reenactment you won’t soon forget on Saturday and Sunday.

FOUR: Newburyport-based Exit Dance Theatre is looking back on 30 years of innovative and dynamic dance with a pair of special Anniversary Celebration performances this Friday and Saturday at the Firehouse Center for the Arts at 8 p.m. The performances will feature eight new dances — each of which, the Theatre says, “are emblematic of Exit’s deeply collaborative process with its dancers.”

FIVE: Historic New England’s Revolutionary War Encampment: Escape from Boston will see members of the Continental Line and His Majesty’s First Regiment of Foot Guards re-enact a retreat from Boston with cannon, cavalry and drills on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn how battles were planned and tour the 1690 manor house, the home of two of Newburyport’s Revolutionary War heroes.

SIX: Head to Downtown Lowell this Saturday for a therapeutic Wine & Wander put on by those festive folks at Made In Lowell. From 3 to 6 p.m., enjoy wine selections from Tutto Bene Wine & Cheese Cellars alongside a number of local bites … then sip and stroll through a “world tour” of wine as you get your promotional passport stamped. Don’t forget to turn it in at the end for a chance to win some great prizes!

FOUR: Celebrate 30 years of fancy footwork with Exit Dance Theatre at their celebration performances this Friday and Saturday.

SEVEN: The Walden Woods Project is holding “Clear Sky, Pure Light—An Evening with Henry David Thoreau,” a special theatrical event for the Thoreau Bicentennial, to support the organization’s work preserving the legacy of the legendary author and the woods where he penned his most famous work. On Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m., get to know the writer behind the words with this one-man, two-act show.

EIGHT: The weather has been great lately, so cross your fingers that it will stay that way for the Lawrence History Center‘s 4th Annual North Canal Classic 5k Run/Walk/Roll and Kids Canal Dash (how’s that for an event title? Try saying it five times fast). The choose-your-own-pace race starts at 9 a.m. on Sunday, and proceeds support the installation of a new elevator in the History Center’s main building to restore equal access for all who visit.

EXTRA: This is another one of those times we just have to give you a heads up about an event after this weekend. Next Thursday, May 25, Cobblestones of Lowell is holding Blues, Brews & BBQ: A Black Hog Craft Beer Dinner featuring the titular brewery. We don’t think we could put it any better than they do: “Smoke, slather, gather, and rock ‘n roll with a celebrity whole hog, live music, and amazing craft beer!” Only 100 tickets will be sold … hence the advance notice.

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