Nine Ways to Spend Your Indigenous Peoples Day Weekend
Celebrate the long weekend with tours, art galleries, museums, and more
This Monday marks Indigenous Peoples Day, a time to commemorate the Indigenous peoples of America. As you enjoy the last bits of warm weather, take some time to learn about Native American history and honor the tribes who have lived in Massachusetts for centuries. Elsewhere across the city, there are spooky Halloween happenings, local art shows, and lively festivals. Take advantage of the first three-day weekend of the semester and start exploring.
Couture comes to Commonwealth Avenue this weekend at the Boston Fashion Week GlamSlam. Held at WBUR CitySpace, GlamSlam features local fashion professionals sharing stories of their careers and is emceed by comedian Bethany Van Delft. The show is part of the 29th annual Boston Fashion Week—which started September 30 and goes to October 7—with various events at locations around Boston, like the Boston Public Library and Copley Place Mall. Student tickets are $5.
Friday, October 6. Doors open at 5:30 pm and the event starts at 6:30 pm, WBUR CitySpace, 890 Commonwealth Ave. Purchase tickets here.
Celebrate the annual HONK! Festival’s kickoff in Davis Square, Somerville. A 17-year local tradition, HONK! brings together brass bands from across the country for three days of music and activism. The festival aims to unite the community through street band performances, workshops, political protests, and more. Drawing from diverse inspirations like Klezmer, Balkan, Romani, Afrobeat, and hip-hop, the festival’s music is lively and engaging. On Friday night, attend a lantern-making workshop and lantern parade. Then, watch various bands perform around Union Square for the rest of the evening. Festivities continue Saturday and Sunday, and include parades, performances, and workshops.
Friday, October 6, to Sunday, October 8. Find the full schedule of events and locations here.
Are you looking to experience Boston’s upscale art galleries for free? Stop by SoWa this Friday for its monthly open studio day. This South End area comprises only two blocks, but you’ll find over 20 galleries and some unique small businesses concentrated in this vibrant district. You can even see artists in action and ask them about their work. At the end of the evening, stop by one of the food trucks at 500 Harrison Ave. (weather permitting).
Friday, October 6, from 5 to 9 pm, 450 Harrison St. and 460 Harrison St.
With Halloween only weeks away, take this Saturday to dive into Boston’s spooky history. The Ghosts & Gravestones Tour loads visitors onto an Old Town Trolley and takes them to haunted sites like the Omni Parker House and King’s Chapel Burying Ground. Hear stories of the Boston Strangler, explore a decrepit charnel house (a vault where skeletons are stored), and learn about Victorian-era black market body trading that happened right under the city’s nose. Discover the haunted stories hidden in this nearly 400-year-old city from tour guides dressed as the undead.
Tours start at various times between 6 pm and 8:30 pm daily. Tickets start at $44; check the full schedule and reserve tickets here.
Explore selected works from renowned artists free this weekend, right on BU’s campus. BU Art Galleries is partnering with Guild Hall, a cultural center in Long Island, to bring selections from their permanent collection to Stone Gallery. An Adventure in the Arts includes 73 works by 63 artists, including Max Ernst, Jackson Pollock, and Andy Warhol.
Tuesday to Saturday through December 9, 11 am to 5 pm, Stone Gallery, 855 Commonwealth Ave.
Harvard Square’s annual Oktoberfest returns this Sunday ready to light up the quaint, intellectual area with live music, performances, food, and beer. Oktoberfest is a German tradition that began as a Bavarian crown prince’s wedding celebration in 1810. Now over 200 years later, Germans and Americans alike celebrate Oktoberfest each autumn with much fanfare. Harvard Square’s Oktoberfest features performances on multiple stages, crafts, various international food vendors, vintage goods, and of course, beer gardens.
Sunday, October 7, 11 am to 6 pm, Harvard Square, at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue, Brattle Street, and Cambridge Street.
Learn about Lakota history through the tribe’s artwork. In 1876, after the famous Battle of the Little Bighorn—in which Sioux and Cheyenne tribes defeated US forces—a Lakota Sioux ledger was recovered from the battlefield. The drawings, created by Plains Indian warriors, depicted horses, warriors, and weapons with stunning colors. Now, Harvard’s Peabody Museum is displaying these historic pieces for the public. To add context, the exhibition also features the Peabody’s collection of Lakota objects and works by contemporary Lakota artist Butch Thunder Hawk.
Daily, 9 am to 5 pm, 11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge. Admission is $10 for students and $15 for adults.
Celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day at the MFA, which houses a rich collection of Native American artwork to explore. To commemorate the day, the MFA offers free admission to Massachusetts residents, including entry to its special exhibition Fashioned by Sargent. The museum will also offer gallery tours, family art-making activities, music, and more events throughout the day.
Monday, October 8, 10 am to 5 pm, 465 Huntington Ave. Tickets are first-come, first-served. BU students with a valid University ID always have free admission to the museum.
Looking for a way to honor and uplift local Indigenous communities? Stop by Newton’s free Indigenous Peoples Day Ceremonial Celebration. Returning for its third year, this celebration features speakers, dancers, art demonstrations, and cultural presentations. Browse the vendor fair featuring over 40 Indigenous-owned businesses and try delicious food from different cuisines, including a Native American fusion restaurant.
Monday, October 8, 11 am to 5 pm, Albemarle Field, 250 Albemarle Rd., Newton.