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Celebrating Patriots Day Weekend

Running of the 120th Boston Marathon and much more


Each year on the third Monday of April, Massachusetts celebrates the statewide holiday known as Patriots Day, commemorating the April 19, 1775, battles of Lexington and Concord, the first of the Revolutionary War. The annual Boston Marathon, which marks its 120th anniversary this year, is run the same day.

It’s the last long weekend of the academic year, so we’ve put together a list of events on and off campus—from a fashion show to a film festival to dance, theater, and art events—as well as Monday’s race details. Know of other events this weekend? Post them in the Comment section below.

Friday, April 15

10th Annual Cambridge Science Festival

If you’re feeling intellectually curious, hop across the river for the 10-day (April 15 to 24) Cambridge Science Festival, which kicks off Friday. This annual “celebration of science, technology, engineering, art, and math” aims to make science accessible through a variety of performances, discussions, workshops, and activities. Find out what science might look like in 2026 from  professors, science journalists, and Governor Charlie Baker at the Big Ideas for Busy People discussion tonight, April 15. On Saturday, the expo-style Science Carnival and Robot Zoo gives kids and adults more than 100 opportunities to learn and build things.

The 10th annual Cambridge Science Festival runs Friday, April 15,  through Sunday, April 24, at venues in Cambridge and a few outside the city. Find a map of the venues here. Most events are free; some cost $10 to $20. Find a full schedule and tickets here.

Big Ideas for Busy People is Friday, April 15, at the First Parish Church, 1446 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Purchase tickets at $10 here. The Carnival and Robot Zoo, free and open to the public, is Saturday, April 16, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Cambridge Rindge & Latin Field House at the Cambridge Public Library, Broadway and Ellery Streets, Cambridge. 

Pals on the BU Beach

BU’s Pre-Vet & Animal Lovers Society is holding its first fundraiser in support of the Brown Dog Coalition. Photo courtesy of Pals on the BU Beach

Pals on the BU Beach

Here’s a chance to help support a great cause. BU’s Pre-Vet & Animal Lovers Society is holding its first fundraiser, to support the Brown Dog Coalition, a local nonprofit that finds Boston area homes for dogs from the island of Jamaica. There will be lawn games, a raffle, and prizes like two tickets to the New England Aquarium and a $25 gift card to Veggie Galaxy. WTBU DJs will provide the music (expect several plays of “Who Let the Dogs Out”). Best of all, there will be dogs on hand to play with.

Pals on the BU Beach, free and open to the public, is at the BU Beach, behind Marsh Chapel, 735 Commonwealth Ave., Friday, April 15, from noon to 4 p.m. 

Pavement Comedy Night: Spring Has Sprung

This campus coffee shop presents its monthly comedy show tonight. It’s titled Spring Has Sprung, Sean Sullivan of Comedy Central’s Live in Gotham headlines, and there are sets from Steve Macone of Last Comic Standing along with six other comedians. So order one of Pavement’s Spanish lattes or a fun seasonal special and enjoy the best jokes in these comedians’ arsenal.

Pavement Comedy Night is at Pavement Coffeehouse, 736 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, on Friday, April 15, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 and are available online until they sell out or two hours before the show begins. A limited number of tickets is available at the door. It’s best to get there early if you want a seat. 

Support the Center for Gender, Sexuality, and Activism and local and student artists at a benefit, Women Rock!, Friday at the Photonics Center. Photo courtesy of the CGSA

Support the Center for Gender, Sexuality, & Activism and local and student artists at the benefit concert Women Rock! 2016 Friday at the Photonics Center. Photo courtesy of the CGSA

Women Rock! 2016 Fundraiser for BU’s Center for Gender, Sexuality & Activism

The student-run Center for Gender, Sexuality & Activism hosts its annual benefit concert, Women Rock! 2016, tonight, featuring performances by four local, woman-identified artists. From the provocative spoken word pieces exploring issues of race and religion of Chelsea Roberts (COM’14) to the playful DJ mixes of Dee;Diggs, BU student Danica Daniels (COM’16), the night should be both fun and reflective.

Women Rock! 2016 is Friday, April 15, in the Photonics Center Colloquium Room, ninth floor, 8 St Mary’s St., from 7 to 9 p.m. Find a full lineup here. Tickets are $5 to $10 (sliding scale) at the door.

Spring 2016 Fashion Show: Hollywood Glam

Couldn’t make it to New York for fashion week last month? Don’t worry. BU’s Fashion and Retail Association, or FAB (Fashion at BU), is throwing its biannual fashion show at the GSU, with the theme of Hollywood glam. Watch BU models show off collections by 11 BU students, as well as clothing from local menswear store Ministry of Supply and women’s boutique Mint Julep. A cappella group Chordially Yours will serenade during intermission, and there will be raffles, giveaways, and great glam style.

The BU Fashion and Retail Association’s Spring 2016 Fashion how is Friday, April 15, in the George Sherman Union Metcalf Hall, 775 Commonwealth Ave., from 8 to 10 p.m. (doors open at 7). Purchase $10 tickets here.

Ai Wei Wei’s serpentine sculpture, part of the Museum of Fine Art’s special exhibit, Megacities Asia

Ai Wei Wei’s serpentine sculpture, part of the MFA special exhibition Megacities Asia, is made from backpacks and honors the 5,000 schoolchildren killed when their poorly constructed schools collapsed during a 2008 earthquake in China’s Sichuan province. Photo courtesy of the MFA

Megacities Asia at the Museum of Fine Arts

Megacities—defined as those with a population of more than 10 million—are sprouting up in Asia faster than anywhere else in the world. A mesmerizing new exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts titled Megacities Asia addresses the continent’s rapid expansion and the social, environmental, and political changes that have resulted. Featuring work by 11 artists from Beijing, Shanghai, Delhi, Mumbai, and Seoul, many using everyday objects in unexpected ways, the provocative show reflects the sprawl of megacities. The objects in the exhibition are scattered throughout the museum, outside the building’s main Huntington Avenue entrance, and as far away as Faneuil Hall.

Megacities Asia is on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, through July 17. The museum is open Friday, April 15, from 10 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.; admission is free from 4 to 10 p.m. in honor of the city’s second annual One Boston Day. Any donations made Friday after 4 p.m. benefit the MFA’s Artful Healing program, which offers free art activities to children in Boston-area hospitals. The museum is open Saturday, April 16, and Sunday, April 17, from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; closed Monday, April 18. Admission is free for members or students with a BU ID; $25 for adults; $23 for seniors and students 18 and over; free for children ages 6 and under; free for youth 7 to 17 on weekdays after 3 p.m., on weekends, and Boston public school holidays (otherwise $10); and free to the public on Wednesday evenings. 

Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream, BU Theatre

Based on the Shakespeare comedy, this Benjamin Britten opera relates the  adventures of four young lovers, a roaming comedy troupe, a royal couple, and an enchanted fairy kingdom, guaranteeing a mesmerizing and romantic experience. This College of Fine Arts production features performances by Opera Institute students.

Benjamin Britten’s opera A Midsummer’s Night Dream is at the BU Theatre, 264 Huntington Ave., Boston, Friday, April 15, and Saturday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 17, at 2 p.m. Purchase tickets online, at 617-266-0800, or at the box office. Tickets are $20 for the general public, $15 for BU alumni, WGBH members, and Huntington Theatre Company subscribers, $5 for students (under 25) with ID. BU community members (ID required) can get two free tickets at the door on the day of performance. 

Saturday, April 16

John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo

Runners will want to check out the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo at the Hynes Convention Center. More than 200 exhibitors will showcase new fitness products, services, and events. The expo, free and open to the public, is where the 30,000 Boston Marathon runners will pick up their bibs.

The John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo is on Friday, April 15, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday, April 16, and Sunday, April 17, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St., Boston. A full schedule of runner times and weekend-long events is available here. Take a MBTA Green Line trolley to Hynes Convention Center.

MassArt's Crafter's Carnival

Gustavo Barceloni’s illustrated vase is one of the many unique pieces of art on sale at MassArt’s Crafter’s Carnival this weekend. Photo courtesy of the Crafter’s Carnival

Crafter’s Carnival

Looking for a unique gift or something special to spice up your dorm or apartment? Students from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) and 30 local artists will be selling their works during this one-day art sale and exhibition. There will also be a panel with three professional artists speaking on how to connect with an audience and sell your work. For sale will be handmade jewelry, functional paper sculptures, illustrated vases, and more.

The Crafter’s Carnival is Saturday, April 16, at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, 621 Huntington Ave., in the Pozen Center North building, facing Evan’s Way, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; free and open to the public. The panel discussion starts at 2 p.m. Take an MBTA Green Line B train to Arlington and transfer to a Green Line E trolley to Longwood.

14th Annual Boston International Film Festival

Not in the mood for one of the current Hollywood blockbusters? Check out the 14th Annual Boston International Film Festival. The five-day festival will present 80 feature and short films from 35 countries over the course of 10 days.

The Boston International Film Festival runs through Monday, April 18, at AMC Loews, the Paramount, and BPE Studio, all in Boston. Find addresses and directions here. Purchase tickets, $13.29 per session, online. Tickets for Monday’s Closing Night Screening and Gala are $45. Screening passes are available for $75 hereFind a full schedule of films here. For more information, call 617-482-3310 or email info@bifilmfestival.com.

The Lobster Kid Boston International Film Festival

The Boston International Film Festival will screen The Lobster Kid, directed by Jsf Hsu, about a 13-year-old Singaporean street vendor whose life is changed by a traveling monk under a vow of silence.

South Campus Open Mic Night

If you’ve been hankering to show off your musical talent, here’s your chance. The South Campus Residence Hall Association’s open mic night, in the 40 Buswell Street basement, offers a showcase for students of all musical stripes. Despite the title, this is an acoustic event: no amps or microphones. There is a piano, however, and those who have acoustic instruments are encouraged to bring them. Free food will be provided.

South Campus Open Mic Night is Saturday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the 40 Buswell Street basement, free and open to BU students. If you are interested in performing, email southrha@bu.edu

Boston Beer Summit

National Beer Day has come and gone, but if you missed it, you can still check out the annual Boston Beer Summit, the annual craft beer tasting now celebrating its 17th year. Visitors can sample from more than 200 beers from over 50 regional, national, and international breweries, among them Bent Water Brewing Company of Lynn, Mass., and Brouwerij Van Steenberge from Belgium. There will also be food and live music to enjoy while you sample your way through all those brews.

The Boston Beer Summit is at the Park Plaza Castle, 130 Columbus Ave., Boston. There are three sessions: Friday, April 15, 6 to 9:30 p.m., and Saturday, April 16, 12:30 to 4 p.m. and 5:30 to 9 p.m. Purchase tickets, $56 for each session, here. Tickets include entrance, entertainment, tasting mug, and beer samples. A full list of breweries is here. This event is 21+. Take any MBTA Green Line trolley to Arlington.

Walker Art Center Companhia Urbana

The Brazilian dance company Companhia Urbana de Dança makes its Boston debut at the ICA this weekend. Photo by Alice Gebura courtesy of the ICA

Companhia Urbana de Dança at the Institute of Contemporary Art

Lovers of contemporary dance will want to head over to the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston this weekend. Renowned Brazilian-based hip-hop dance troupe Companhia Urbana de Dança, known for combining urban street styles and contemporary dance, makes its Boston debut. The San Francisco Chronicle calls the company “a marvel of gritty physical energy.” Performances are Friday and Saturday. After Friday’s show there is a free postperformance Q&A with the company.

Companhia Urbana de Dança performs at the Barbara Lee Theatre at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, 100 Northern Ave., Boston. Performances are Friday, April 15, and Saturday, April 16, at 8 p.m. Purchase tickets, $36 for ICA & World Music/CRASHarts members and $40 for nonmembers, here up to two hours before most programs or at 617-478-3103. Walk-up sales begin two hours before a program. There are Free preperformance talks with Boston Dance Alliance executive director Debra Cash are held in the ICA lobby both days 30 minutes before curtain. 

Sunday, April 17

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago has delighted audiences for 38 years, and this weekend the acclaimed contemporary dance company brings its original choreography to Boston’s Citi Performing Arts Center’s Shubert Theatre as part of its Celebrities Series. These talented dancers will enthrall with their diverse repertoire.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago is at the Citi Performing Arts Center, Shubert Theatre, 265 Tremont St., Boston, Friday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 16, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 17, at 3 p.m. Purchase tickets, $35 to $75, here. Take any MBTA Green Line trolley to Boylston Street.

Can You Forgive Her?

Meredith Forlenza and Allyn Burrows in a scene from the Huntington Theatre Company’s production of Gina Gionfriddo’s Can You Forgive Her? Photo by T. Charles Ericsson

Huntington Theatre Company’s Can You Forgive Her? at Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts

In this dark comedy by two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Gina Gionfriddo, a young woman is offered shelter and a drink by a charismatic stranger on Halloween night. What happens next? You’ll have to see to find out. Presented by the Huntington Theatre Company and directed by Huntington artistic director Peter Dubois, this biting, darkly comedic play wrestles with big issues like love and money.

Can You Forgive Her? runs at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St., Boston, through April 24. Purchase tickets online, at 617-266-0800, or at the BU Theatre box office, 264 Huntington Ave., or at the Calderwood Pavilion BCA box office. Patrons 35 and younger may purchase $25 tickets (ID required) for any production, and there is a $5 discount for seniors. Military personnel can purchase tickets for $15, and student rush tickets are also available for $15. Members of the BU community get $10 off (ID required) and are also eligible for a special subscribers discount rate. 

Feathers of Fire: A Persian Epic

If you’re looking for something different to do this weekend, cross the Charles to Cambridge for what’s billed as “the largest puppet shadow play ever performed.” Titled Feathers of Fire, this breathtaking piece is the story of star-crossed lovers Zaul and Rudabeh and is based on the 10th-century Persian epic Shahnameh (The Book of Kings). Conceived, designed, and directed by Hamid Rahmanian, it has more than 140 colorful shadow puppets, performers decked out in elaborate costumes and masks, and 138 digitally animated backgrounds, all projected onto a 30-foot screen for an immersive “live animation” experience. Feathers of Fire sold out in Brooklyn and San Francisco earlier this year, so get tickets while you can.

Feathers of Fire, sponsored by the Harvard University Center for Middle Eastern Studies, is at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School Fitzgerald Theatre, 459 Broadway, Cambridge. Performances of the 70-minute show are at 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, April 16, and Sunday, April 17. Purchase tickets, $40 general admission, $30 students and seniors, $25 with a Harvard ID, and $15 children 12 and under, here. Rahmanian gives a behind-the-scenes look at the production’s technical aspects after each performance. Take a MBTA Red Line train to Harvard Square and walk. 

True Lies and False Facts: A Questionable Tour of Boston

April Fool’s Day has come and gone, but you can still get your fill of tricks with Boston By Foot’s special tour honoring the annual day of pranks. While walking through Jamaica Plain, one of Boston’s most vibrant neighborhoods, tour guides will regale you with plenty of crazy stories about Boston’s past, some true others not. After your questionable tour, you’ll enjoy some grub at Doyle’s Café, the fabled local watering hole beloved by local politicians. There the group will set about separating truth from fiction. Those who guess correctly will have a chance to win some great prizes.

A Questionable Tour of Boston is on Sunday, April 17, from 2 to 4 p.m. It starts at the MBTA Orange Line’s Stony Brook Station. Purchase tickets, $20 for the general public, $10 for Boston By Foot members, from your tour guide in cash or in advance online. Light snacks, included in ticket price, will be provided at Doyle’s. A cash bar and full menu will be available. 

Monday, April 18 (Marathon Monday)

The 120th Boston Marathon

Launched in 1897, the Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon and the most watched sporting event in New England, drawing annual crowds of approximately one million people. This year, an estimated 30,000 runners are expected to run the race, which begins in Hopkinton, Mass., and ends 26.2 miles later in Copley Square. With a forecast calling for sunny skies and temperatures around 70 degrees, it should be an enjoyable spring day to watch the Marathon as you end your holiday weekend.

Note: Security will be extremely tight because of the 2013 Marathon bombings. Spectators are asked to carry personal items in clear plastic bags. They should be prepared to pass through security checkpoints and have their bags and other items inspected. Find a list of discouraged items and more security information here.

The Boston Marathon is Monday, April 18; it begins at about 8:50 a.m. on Main Street in Hopkinton and passes through Kenmore Square on Commonwealth Avenue to the finish line on Boylston Street in Copley Square. A course map is available here. A list of optimal viewing times and locations is available here.

Kylie Obermeier can be reached at kylieko@bu.edu; follow her on Twitter at @kyliekobermeier.

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