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Summerfest: from whale watching to the BSO

Meet students and staff while exploring New England

Summer listeners relax on the lawn at Tanglewood. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

From the cool seats and romantic spectacle of the Royal Ballet to the cool water and wild scenery of the Farmington River, BU’s Summerfest offers many pleasant and adventurous ways to beat the heat and enjoy the summer. Begun more than 10 years ago, the Summerfest program is open to students, staff, and faculty. This season kicked off on May 25 with a trip to see the Twyla Tharp and Billy Joel musical Movin’ Out.

“Summerfest offers a way for students to meet other students, as well as a way to get off campus and explore New England,” says Mindy Stroh, senior coordinator of programs at the Student Activities Office. While participants in the program are mostly students, faculty and staff also show up, especially for the Tanglewood and Martha’s Vineyard trips.

Coming up on June 17 is the Royal Ballet at the Wang Theater, featuring Manon, one of Kenneth MacMillan’s best-known and much-loved works. Created in 1974 to the music of Jules Massenet and set against Nicholas Georgiadis’ sumptuous Regency designs, Manon offers an exhilarating escape from reality as it soars to romantic heights and plunges to equally romantic lows.

On June 24, a high-speed catamaran trip promises the New England treat of a guaranteed whale sighting. Next on the calendar is a July 15 ferry ride to Martha’s Vineyard, which offers beaches as well as sightseeing in quaint seaside villages. This excursion is so popular it usually fills two buses. A special outing awaits on July 23 — a trip to Tanglewood, where listeners can lounge in the grass while enjoying the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s rendition of Mozart.

Weather permitting, the adventurous can take a tubing trip on July 29 that offers a relaxing way to see a stretch of Western Massachusetts’ beautiful scenery. August 5 brings the opportunity to stroll by the famous seaside mansions of Newport, R.I., and on August 11 members of Red Sox Nation can tour Fenway Park, the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball. The tour includes the press box and broadcast booths, the new Red Sox Hall of Fame Club, the .406 Club, the dugout seats, and Pesky’s Pole.

Successful trips are repeated each year, and new trips are chosen from suggestions made by students. For more details or to make suggestions about future Summerfest activities, click here.