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Patriots Day Weekend in and around Town

121st Boston Marathon and much more


Patriots Day—the annual state holiday that takes place on the third Monday of April to commemorate the Colonial patriots who fought in the first battles of the Revolutionary War, in Concord and Lexington—will be celebrated on Monday. In keeping with tradition, the Boston Marathon, marking its 121st year, is run on Patriots Day.

While navigating the area can be challenging with tens of thousands of runners and tourists in town for the Marathon, the city will be bustling with events designed to get you out to enjoy the spring weather: from improv comedy to a world-class film festival to a walking art tour. And there’s lots going on this weekend on campus, too.

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

Cambridge Science Festival

Adults and children alike can learn about science during presentations by local scientists at the annual Cambridge Science Festival. Photo by Wikimedia Commons contributor Cmglee

Friday, April 14

Cambridge Science Festival

This 10-day annual festival draws science lovers of all ages from throughout the Boston area. Featuring performances, demonstrations, hands-on interactive events, and workshops, it’s a must for anyone interested in science, technology, math, art, and engineering. The festival kicks off on Friday, April 14, and runs through Sunday, April 23. This year, the festival will explore questions currently in the headlines, such as what’s behind “fake news” and the ways journalists are grappling with climate change. You’ll also learn about the search for intelligent life in the universe, and what zebrafish can teach us about cancer. On Saturday, April 15, be sure to stop by the Science Carnival and Robot Zoo expo, which gives kids and adults a chance to explore, learn, and build things.

The 11th annual Cambridge Science Festival runs Friday, April 14, through Sunday, April 23, 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 Carnival and Robot Zoo is free and open to the public on Saturday, April 15, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School Field House and Cambridge Public Library, Broadway and Ellery Streets, Cambridge. Find more information here.

Boston’s Unscripted Musical Project

You’ve never seen comedy improv like this before. Hosted by Catalyst Comedy, Boston’s Unscripted Musical Project (B.U.M.P.) is a completely improvised one-act performance with characters, plots, and even musical numbers dictated by audience suggestions. With an all-star cast of talented New England singer-comedians and musicians,  you will laugh all evening.

The Boston Unscripted Musical Project is at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, April 14, at the Rockwell, 255 Elm St., Somerville; there will be two other performances, May 12 and 26. Tickets run from $10 to $20. Find ticket information here.

In the film Badsville (USA), a violent greaser gang is ripped apart when their leader finds love and becomes determined to leave a town where love doesn’t exist.

In Badsville (USA), a violent greaser gang is ripped apart when their leader finds love and is determined to leave a town where love doesn’t exist. See this and other films at the annual Boston International Film Festival, running through April 17. Photo courtesy of the Boston Film Festival

15th Annual Boston International Film Festival

With dozens of feature films and documentaries, and more than 100 screenings, this five-day film festival is rare chance to view the work of some of the world’s most accomplished independent filmmakers. The many countries represented: Brazil, Canada, Cuba, England, Ireland, Israel, Italy, and Mauritius.

The Boston International Film Festival runs through Monday, April 17. Tickets range from $12 for individual sessions to $75 for all screenings. Find more information on ticket prices and availability hereScreenings are at different times; find a schedule here. Sessions are at AMC Loews Theatres, the Paramount, and BPE Studios. Find directions and locations here.

Ladyfest Boston 2017

This annual three-day “community-based and volunteer-run festival” showcases work by underrepresented women in art and music from around the world. There are performances by more than two dozen musicians, interactive workshops Saturday, and a flea market Sunday. All proceeds support Girls Rock Campaign Boston, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering girls through music, and Rosie’s Place, the first women’s shelter in the United States, whose programs offers support to 12,000 women a year t. With artists and fun interactive workshops, the festival is not one to miss.

Ladyfest Boston 2017 runs from Friday, April 14, to Sunday, April 16, at the Cambridge YMCA, 820 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. Tickets are $15 per day or $35 for a three-day pass. Find a schedule of events here.

The Nile Project: Musical Cultures of the Nile Basin

Experience the rich musical culture of the Nile Basin in a special concert by the Nile Project, a unique collaboration of 11 musicians from nations bordering the Nile River who produce melodies and rhythms from each of their unique backgrounds. The goal is to “educate, inspire, and empower the citizens of the Nile Basin to foster the sustainability of the Nile River ecosystem” through music. It promises to be an unforgettable evening.

The Nile Project concert is Friday, April 14, at 7 p.m. at BU Central, George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Ave.; free and open to  the BU community. For more information, contact Marié Abe at marieabe@bu.edu.

Ladyfest Boston, a weekend-long music festival featuring underrepresented artists, takes place at the YMCA Cambridge Theatre from Friday, April 14, through Sunday, April 16.

Ladyfest Boston is a weekend-long music festival featuring underrepresented artists featuring speakers, workshops, and performances by local bands, including Aye Nako. Photo by Flickr contributor ancient history

Saturday, April 15

Hub on the Run Free Tour

If you’re not one of the estimated 30,000 running in Monday’s Boston Marathon, but would still like to get in a spring run, 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 get to see some of the city’s most historic sights while burning off calories.

The Hub on the Run Free Tour is Saturday, April 15, and Sunday, April 16, at 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Runners will gather at the Boston Marathon adidas RunBase, 855 Boylston St., Boston.

Boston Blend 2017

This second annual dance event commemorates the April 5, 1968, concert that James Brown performed at the Boston Garden the night after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. (GRS’55, Hon.’59) . The long-planned concert was nearly canceled after a night of social unrest in several US cities. But Brown went on and the concert was broadcast live on the local PBS station—a move credited with avoiding more unrest. Boston Blend brings together dancers and musicians with backgrounds in blues, swing, and more for an afternoon and evening of dance classes, performances, dancing, and a soul food buffet. Classes will be offered in blues and urban ballroom dancing and Chicago Style Stepping, or Steppin’.

Boston Blend 2017 is Saturday, April 15, 12:30 to 11:30 p.m. Dance classes will be held at the Dance Union, 16 Bow St., Somerville, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.; $40. The gala is at the Cambridge Masonic Temple, 1950 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 6:30 to 11:30 p.m., $35. Tickets for the soul food buffet only are $15. You can Purchase tickets to all three events for $80. Register here.

Boston Blend

Boston Blend, a day-long series of dance classes and performances, returns to commemorate James Brown’s Boston concert the day after MLK died. Photo courtesy of the Boston Blend

Engineers Got Talent

Ever wonder what engineers do in their down time? Here’s your chance to find out. This talent showcase will include performances by a host of BU engineering students, including student bands, solo performers, stand-up comedians, magicians, and more. The goal is to highlight the relationship between creativity and engineering, and there will be displays of art and engineering designs by ENG students.

Engineers Got Talent is Saturday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m. at BU Central, George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Ave.; free and open to the public.

Slow Children at Play Sketch Comedy

Looking for a few laughs this weekend? Catch a free performance of Slow Children at Play, BU’s premier sketch comedy group. Featuring a rotating cast of some of BU’s funniest undergraduates, the evening guarantees plenty of laughs.

Slow Children at Play Sketch Comedy is Saturday, April 15, from 8 to 10 p.m. at the Tsai Performance Center, 685 Comm Ave.; free and open to students with a valid BU ID.

Sunday, April 16

Easter Brunch, BU Dining Halls

Enjoy a traditional Easter brunch in BU’s three dining halls from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You’ll find all your favorite weekly brunch items, plus painted eggs, carved roast beef, and plenty of chocolate, naturally. For the latest details about the brunch, follow Dining Services on Twitter, @BUDiningService.

BU Dining Services Easter Brunch is at Marciano Commons, Warren Towers, and West Campus from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Those who live on campus can use meals, guest meals, dining, and convenience points ($9.20) or pay with cash or credit card ($11.55).

Enjoy the city’s vibrant arts scene during the Boston Street Art and Graffiti Walking Tour.

Enjoy the city’s vibrant arts scene during the Boston Street Art and Graffiti Walking Tour. Photo by Flickr contributor Rob Larsen

Boston Street Art and Graffiti Walking Tour (Marathon Weekend Edition)

Feel like seeing some art, but don’t want to spend the day inside a museum? Join the Boston Street Art and Graffiti Walking Tour. Guided by an expert, you’ll see some of the city’s best street art, including installations by Shepard Fairey, El Mac, and Jef Aerosol at Northeastern, several large-scale murals by Boston’s big wall crews, and a mural used to announce the track list for Justin Bieber’s latest album. Wear comfortable walking shoes as the tour covers three miles over two-and-a-half hours, ending in Jamaica Plain. A #39 bus or an MBTA Orange Line train will take you back to Boston after the tour ends.

The Boston Street Art and Graffiti Walking Tour starts at 1 p.m. at Starbucks, 273 Huntington Ave., Boston, and ends at Canary Square, 435 South Huntington Ave., Jamaica Plain, at 3:30 p.m.; cost, $27.49. Find more information here.

Alafiya Cultural Show

Hosted by the BU African Students Organization, this show celebrates African culture through performance art, music, and fashion. The show’s name and theme, Alafiya, means “wellness” in Yoruba, a Nigerian language. It includes traditional Nigerian food like jollof rice and beef suya, a fashion show of work by designers from BU and the greater Boston area, performances by local area African dance groups, spoken word performances, and a keynote speaker discussing African empowerment. The evening concludes with an after-party, with a DJ playing modern and traditional African music.

The Alafiya Cultural Show is Sunday, April 16, in the Metcalf Ballroom, George Sherman Union second floor, 775 Commonwealth Ave., from 6:30 p.m. to midnight; free and open to all BU students.

Monday, April 17 (Marathon Monday)

The 121st Boston Marathon

Launched in 1897 (with 18 participants), the Boston Marathon is not only one of the world’s most storied road racing events and the world’s oldest annual marathon, but 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. With a sunny, warm day forecast for Monday, the spectator count is expected to top out at about a million.

The Boston Marathon is Monday, April 17; it begins at about 8:50 a.m. 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.

Lauren Frias can be reached at lnfrias@bu.edu.


2 Comments on Patriots Day Weekend in and around Town

  • Tricia on 04.14.2017 at 11:00 am

    This list is a bit disappointing. You couldn’t find any events that actually have something to do with Patriot’s Day? No reenactments? No Minutemen anywhere? Perhaps you could have mentioned the 240th lantern lighting? Or all the activities at the Charlestown Navy Yard? Or the Freedom Trail? Or a mention of the activities in Lexington & Concord? Or…

    • Jim in New Orleans on 04.15.2017 at 2:53 pm

      Well, you know, Tricia, history isn’t kewl. Dancing, eating, running, and movie-going is kewl, but history? Ummmmm……….not so much. Maybe they should re-name it as Boston Spring Festival Day.

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