It’s time to amp up your Southie pride. The once working-class neighborhood of South Boston is one of the oldest in the United States: George Washington stationed cannons there, forcing the British to evacuate. In more contemporary times, it’s become known for the qualities—some admirable, a few not so much—seen in such movies as Good Will Hunting, Mystic River, The Departed, Gone, Baby, Gone, and last year’s Black Mass.
Starting today, Summer on the Waterfront gives South Boston its due as it kicks off South Boston Week 2016, a selection of events that showcase the neighborhood’s historic, artistic, and cultural landmarks. It runs through Wednesday, August 10.
Some highlights of the week: an LGBT beach party, or “kiki,” at M Street Beach, a concert of folk, bluegrass, and pop music on Castle Island, free tours of Castle Island’s 19th-century Fort Independence, the oldest continuously fortified site in North America (the island’s eighth fort), sand castle building on Carson Beach, giant bubbles and beach games at M Street Beach, sidewalk chalk art, and the Fifth Annual Boston Seafood Festival at the historic Boston Fish Pier.
South Boston was once a predominantly insular Irish Catholic enclave, but now young professionals and families are moving into the neighborhood, drawn by its waterfront, open spaces, quick access to public transportation and to Boston’s downtown, and strong sense of community.
This is the fifth year that Summer on the Waterfront, a coalition of nonprofit organizations that promotes events along Boston’s waterfront during the summer months, is sponsoring Waterfront Neighborhood Weeks. In addition to South Boston Week, the organization will be hosting Charlestown Week, August 18 through 24, and North End Week, August 25 to September 3. (Seaport and Fort Point Week, Boston Harborfest, East Boston Week, and Downtown/Boston Harbor Islands Week were held earlier this summer.) Each neighborhood week features dozens of free or low-cost events designed to show the unique history, art, music, food, and culture of that particular part of Boston.
South Boston Week kicks off today, Thursday, August 4, and runs through Wednesday, August 10. Find a full schedule of events here. Purchase tickets to the Boston Seafood Festival here. Prices range from $15 for general admission to $80 for the VIP package.
Jennifer Bates can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.