Although Thanksgiving hasn’t passed yet, people are already preparing for the winter holidays. If the cold winds and early nightfall aren’t getting you in the mood for winter festivities, the city has planned some events to spark cheer and excitement. Tree lighting ceremonies are taking place all over Boston in the upcoming weeks to usher in the holiday season.
On Saturday night, Faneuil Hall showcased Blink!, an LED light show featuring music from the Boston Pops. The marketplace was packed with eager spectators wanting to see not only the tree lighting, but musical performances and an appearance by Mayor Menino.
The Street at Chestnut Hill is currently featuring a new light display that has been in the works since last summer.
The trellis at Christopher Columbus Park will be lit this evening at dusk. This ceremony will feature special activities and snacks.
There will be an 8 day long lighting ceremony for the menorah in Boston Common, starting on 11/27, the day before Thanksgiving.
The Prudential Center will celebrate with their traditional 31 Nights of Light, which begins on December 1st. Each pillar of light that is lit will represent a different organization in Boston, such as AIDS Action and Alzheimer’s Association.
The Boston Common tree lighting ceremony will take place on December 5th, featuring Mayor Menino, in his last tree lighting ceremony as mayor. This lighting ceremony will have a a performance by the Skating Club of Boston and musical performances.
The city will list all winter programs on their website.
President Obama is scheduled to visit Boston on Wednesday, 10/30, to talk about his healthcare program.
In light of the recent difficulties with the new healthcare website, the President has planned a speech at Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall to discuss the benefits to Obamacare. Faneuil Hall was previously used as a backdrop to former governor Mitt Romney’s signing of Massachusetts’ health care bill in 2006. Obama’s advisers felt that using Faneuil Hall as the setting of a speech on healthcare would be symbolic of compromise between Democrats and Republicans. The goal of the trip to Boston is to bolster public support of the healthcare plan.
The speech is set to begin at 3:55 pm. Health and Human Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is supposed to testify about the problems with the healthcare website in front of Congress on Wednesday.
Halloween is quickly approaching! With one week left, there’s still time to make plans and costumes. If trick-or-treating isn’t your thing, try visiting some of these events for some spooky fun.
SOWA’ Market of the Living Dead
If you’ve never visited SOWA’s Open Market before, this is your last chance to go before the season ends! SOWA Open Market is a collection of artists, designers, food trucks, and farmers that meet every Sunday to form the Open Market’s farmer’s market, vintage market, and food truck fair. The Open Market is free to attend and will be “spookified” for Halloween, with this year’s theme being “Dia de los Muertos” (Day of the Dead). There will also be a costume contest at the market.
Go trick-or-treating at the Prudential Center! This yearly event is great for kids. With a $4 donation (which goes to Home for Little Wanderers), children will receive a trick-or-treat bag to collect goodies from the stores in the Prudential Center. There will also be face-painting, magic tricks and other events for the children during the day.
The Beehive Zombie Prom
The Beehive is holding a prom with one little twist, everyone will be undead! The bar will be serving Halloween themed food with zombie servers until 1 AM. They will also be featuring the 80’s cover band SAFETY. In addition, there will be a costume contest for best undead outfit.
Coolidge Corner Theater will be having a Halloween movie marathon featuring a double feature of Psycho and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, in addition to five more horrifying films. The Brattle Theater will also be playing horror films, but instead of a marathon, they’re playing the films over the course of a few days. The Brattle Theater is featuring a special presentation of The Haunting for its’ 50th anniversary.
The city is currently working on renovating the historic South Station. The station, which was opened in 1899, is the country’s oldest train station. The city felt it was finally time to bring the old station into the 21st century. The renovations are meant to update many of the stations facilities and make the station a more enjoyable area.
The station’s renovation is the brainchild of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). With South Station being a major transportation hub, servicing MBTA trains and buses and Amtrak, there are high expectations for the project. MassDOT cited an inefficient capacity for current train operations, inadequate facilities for passenger queuing, and little vehicle storage as the major problems with the station.
Plans for the improvements, along with potential changes, were released through MassDOT’s blog. Ideas include updating technology for improved rider information services, better facilities, and increasing the amount of light and space in the station. MassDOT has also released a survey for feedback about potential changes and to help devise more potential updates for the station based on visitors’ needs. Plans also include adding a new Starbucks, Tavern in the Square bar and restaurant, Barbara’s Books, and a two-floor CVS Pharmacy.
Northeastern University recently opened a one day exhibit to commemorate those lost in the Boston Marathon bombings. The exhibit, titled “Our Marathon”, was a crowd-sourced digital archive of the attack. Items used in the display were originally placed at the memorial and had been collected by the City of Boston Archives. The exhibit, located at Northeastern University’s Snell Library, opened on the 15th and lasted until 8 PM that evening. The exhibit was planned as an extension to the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks’s digital project. Workers collected data, anecdotes, and other physical memories of the bombing to use as the basis for the display. Hopes are that “Our Marathon” will become a long-term memorial. The exhibit, is one of the largest collections of its kind, with researchers collecting data since May. Anyone can contribute their stories the exhibit online.
This year, the Boston Book Festival will take place in Copley Square from October 17th through the 19th. The book festival is a celebration of, of course, books. While the focus is on literature, the festival has many different events that would appeal to any taste. The scheduled activities include presentations by keynote speakers, live music, interactive seminars, and kid-friendly activities. Presenters include Salman Rushdie, Wes Craven, and Claire Messud, among others.
The festival is free to attend but some presentations will have an entrance fee. Early arrival and reservations are suggested in order to ensure a spot at seminars. Like any festival, the Boston Book Festival will have vendors and food trucks. If you’re interested in getting involved, you can sign up to volunteer here.
Are you looking for things to do this weekend? Check out some of these events!
Honk! Festival of Activist Street Bands
This street festival is a celebration of music and social activism. Different groups showcasing different musical styles, from New Orleans brass bands to Brazilian Afro bloc, the groups that perform are lively and fun. In addition to playing great music, they are taking a stand. Many of the performing groups were formed in support of a cause or to protest an injustice. The performances are held in the street and sometimes they even recruit audience members to join in.
Lucy Light Forest
This public art show is set up by the athletic company Lucy. The display, which includes 10,000 solar-powered LED lights that respond to movement, takes place on the Charles River Esplanade. Lucy is using the art display as a backdrop for free fitness classes, including Pilates and Vinyasa yoga. The art show ends on Sunday.
Boston Derby Games
If you’ve never heard of roller derby, you should visit the games! The Boston Derby Games, taking place in Wilmington, involves skating women and a fight or two. This seasons’ competition will be at the Shriner Auditorium and the seats are track side, putting the audience up close and personal with the action.
It’s time again for Collegefest. Collegefest is a giant “festival” for college kids, bands, and companies to interact. Taking place at Hynes Convention Center, Collegefest features performances from many artists and lots of free things. It’s $10 for Sunday entry only and $15 for a two-day pass.