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An Action-Packed Patriots Day Weekend

Our picks for must-see events, including the 122nd Boston Marathon


Patriots Day, the annual Massachusetts holiday that commemorates the Colonial patriots who fought in the 1775 battles of Concord and Lexington, which began the Revolutionary War, will be celebrated Monday, April 16. And in keeping with tradition, the Boston Marathon, marking its 122nd year, is the same day.

With tens of thousands of runners and tourists in town for the marathon, the city puts out a welcome mat. Throughout the weekend, you’ll find plenty of fun cultural and athletic events, on campus and off. We’ve put together a list of some of the best.

Any events we’ve missed? Let us know in the Comment section.

Friday, April 13

Cambridge Science Festival

This popular 10-day annual festival returns this weekend, attracting science lovers of all ages. Featuring a variety of performances, demonstrations, hands-on interactive events, and workshops, it’s a must for anyone interested in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). The goal is to make science not just accessible, but fun and interactive. The festival has demonstrations, debates, contests, talks, and more. Among the many topics are astronomy, the human microbiome, the science behind endurance running, and a wildlife walk. On April 14 stop by the Science Carnival and Robot Zoo, which offers both kids and adults a chance to explore, learn, and build things.

The 12th annual Cambridge Science Festival runs Friday, April 13, through Sunday, April 22, at venues in and around Cambridge. Most events are free; some cost from $10 to $20. Find a full schedule and ticket information here.

The Science Carnival and Robot Zoo is free and open to the public on Saturday, April 14, from noon to 4 pm, at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School Field House and Cambridge Public Library, Broadway and Ellery Street, Cambridge. Find more information here.

Boston’s Unscripted Musical Project

This fully improvised one-act musical, unlike anything you’ve seen before, is staged by Catalyst Comedy. In Boston’s Unscripted Musical Project (B.U.M.P.), top artists from Improv Asylum and ImprovBoston perform a musical with all dialogue, music, and dance created on the spot by the audience. Anything can happen during a B.U.M.P. performance so  join in the fun.

Boston Unscripted Musical Project is at 9 pm on Friday, April 13, at the Rockwell, 255 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville; tickets run from $10 to $20. Find ticket information here.

Boston Unscripted Musical Project

Hosted by Catalyst Comedy, the Boston Unscripted Musical Project will be performed Friday in Davis Square. Photo courtesy of Boston Unscripted Musical Project

16th Annual Boston International Film Festival

This five-day festival attracts film lovers from all over New England. It aims to bring together local, national, and international filmmakers by promoting the world’s best independent and experimental films. With dozens of feature films and documentaries, and more than 100 screenings, it’s a cinephile’s dream. This year there is work from Cuba, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and more. It’s rare chance to view work by some of the world’s most exciting independent filmmakers.

The Boston International Film Festival runs through Monday, April 16. Tickets range from $12 for individual sessions to $75 for all screenings. Find more information on ticket prices and availability here. Screenings are at Kendall Square Cinema, AMC Loews Theatre, the Paramount, Showplace Icon Theatre, and BPE Studio. Find directions and locations here. Find a schedule for all screenings here.

2018 College of Fine Arts MFA Thesis Exhibitions

Come see some of the amazing art created by graduate students in the CFA School of Visual Arts. The opening receptions for this year’s exhibitions are at the 808 Gallery (painting and sculpture), and Stone Gallery (graphic design). The work is the culmination of two years of intensive work by this year’s graduate candidates. You can meet many of the artists in person and learn more about their work.

The opening receptions for the 2018 MFA Thesis Exhibitions are on Friday, April 13, at the 808 Gallery, 808 Commonwealth Ave., and the Faye G., Jo, and James Stone Gallery, 855 Commonwealth Ave. from 6 to 8 pm. 

Questrom Student Government’s annual Casino Night poster

The theme of Questrom Student Government’s annual Casino Night on April 13 is Journey to the East, inspired by the Macau region of China.

Questrom Student Government Casino Night 2018: Journey to the East

All aboard for the Questrom Student Government’s popular annual Casino Night. The theme this year is Journey to the East, inspired by the Macau region of China. Guests will board a boat at Rowes Wharf for a tour of Boston Harbor, with appetizers, a live DJ, and a cash bar (21+ for alcoholic drinks). Raffles will be held and prizes given out to those with the most poker chips. Boarding begins at 8:30 pm. The boat returns to dock at 11 pm.

The Questrom Student Government’s Casino Night 2018 is Friday, April 13, from 9 to 11 pm. Boarding begins at 8:30 pm at 60 Rowes Wharf, Boston. Admission is $12. The event is open to all BU students. Take a Blue Line train to Aquarium. 

Saturday, April 14

Hub on the Run Free Tour

If you’re not among the 30,000 runners who qualified for Monday’s Boston Marathon, but still want to get in a spring run this weekend, here’s your chance. The Hub on the Run Tour is a relaxed 45- to 60-minute run around the city guided by local volunteers from Achilles International Boston, a nonprofit that partners able-bodied runners with athletes with disabilities. You’ll see some of the city’s historic sights while burning off calories. 

The Hub on the Run free tour is Saturday, April 14, and Sunday, April 15, at 9:30 am and 10:30 am. Runners will gather at the Boston Marathon Adidas RunBase, 855 Boylston St., Boston. Register here. 

 Hub on the Run

Saturday’s Hub on the Run free tour is a relaxed 45- to 60-minute run around the city guided by local volunteers. Photo courtesy of Hub on the Run

Out of the Darkness Walk

The BU Student Government’s Mental Health Committee hosts a campus-wide Out of the Darkness Walk to raise money to support research by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Walk to support a friend, a loved one, or yourself. Join thousands of students on campuses across the nation to help fund AFSP’s educational programs and public policy efforts.

The Out of the Darkness Walk starts at the BU Beach, behind Marsh Chapel, 735 Commonwealth Ave., at 11 am. Registration begins at 10 am. You can preregister here. 

Timmy Global Health at BU 3rd Annual Benefit Gala

Support a great cause tonight when the BU chapter of Timmy Global Health holds its third annual benefit gala. Timmy Global Health is a nonprofit working to expand access to health care and empowering students and volunteers to take on some of the world’s most pressing health challenges. The BU chapter seeks to expand BU students impact on underserved populations in Boston and the world. So head over to the GSU for a night of live music, food, raffles, and a silent auction. There’s even a surprise keynote speaker whose identity will not be revealed until the last minute. All proceeds will support Timmy Global Health’s partner organization Banelino, based in Mao, Dominican Republic. Dress code is cocktail attire.

The Timmy Global Health at BU 3rd Annual Benefit Gala is Saturday, April 14, from 6 to 8:30 pm in the GSU Metcalf Ballroom, 775 Commonwealth Ave. Purchase tickets here and ($12.50 for BU students if bought ahead), $15 at the door.

Boston University Allegrettos 2018 Spring Showcase

Billed as the most “’Gretto night of the semester,” tonight’s Spring Showcase is the last show of the academic year for one of BU’s most popular a cappella groups. The Allegrettos will feature new songs, so if you’re looking for an event that will have you tapping your feet and dancing in your seat, head over to CAS.

The Allegrettos Spring Showcase is Saturday, April 14, from 7:30 to 9 pm, at the College of Arts and Sciences, Room B12, 725 Commonwealth Ave. Purchase tickets ($5.50) here.

Sunday, April 15

Black Market Flea by Boston Hassle & Ignore Rock ’n’ Roll Heroes

Boston Hassle and Ignore Rock’n’Roll Heroes team up to host this bimonthly, one-day Central Square flea market featuring handmade artwork, records, clothing, jewelry, books, and more. You can even get a tarot reading, a haircut, and a live drawing. Coffee and tea will be available for purchase, courtesy of 1369 Coffee House. There will also be a raffle for items donated by vendors, with each raffle ticket just $1. Among the vendors are Affordable Vinyl, Decadent West, Old Hepster Vintage, and more.

The Black Market Flea is from noon to 6 pm, at Massasoit Elks Lodge, 55 Bishop Allen Drive, Cambridge, with a $1 entry fee. Take an MBTA Red Line train to Central Square.

Ira Glass

Ira Glass of public radio’s award-winning This American Life will talk about his life and career at Symphony Hall on Sunday. Photo courtesy of Flickr contributor Peabody Awards

Seven Things I’ve Learned: An Evening with Ira Glass

Ira Glass, the award-winning creator, host, and producer of public radio’s popular weekly public radio show This American Life, stops by Boston’s Symphony Hall, where he’ll share lessons from his career in storytelling. Glass will discuss what inspires him, what drives his passion, and how past failures and successes inform his decisions. The evening should be entertaining and informative.

Seven Things I’ve Learned: An Evening with Ira Glass is Sunday, April 15, at Symphony Hall Boston, 301 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, at 7 pm. Purchase tickets, $45 to $65, here.

Monday, April 16

The 122nd Boston Marathon

Begun in 1897 (with 18 participants), the Boston Marathon is not only the world’s oldest annual marathon and one of the world’s most storied races, but it’s also the most widely watched sporting event in New England. This year, an estimated 30,000 runners are expected to compete. It begins in Hopkinton, Mass., and ends 26.2 miles later in Copley Square. The event routinely draws a crowd of approximately one million. If you’re planning to join the crowd, be sure to bring an umbrella and rain gear: according to the forecast, there’s a possibility of drenching rain and strong winds.

The 122nd Boston Marathon is Monday, April 16; it begins at about 8:40 am in Hopkinton and passes through Kenmore Square before finishing on Boylston Street in Copley Square. Find a course map here. Security will be tight. Find a full list of spectator policies and restrictions here.

Alex Pena can be reached at alexgp97@bu.edu.

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