Cover Story » Vol. 58

Central Mass is full of summer fun

Audra Brackett

Central Mass is the place to be during the summer with festivals that celebrate just about everything you can imagine, including music, food, culture, art and cars! If you’re looking for some summer fun, it’s right in your own back yard.

 

June:

Concert Series at Indian Ranch

This summer, check out the Yuengling Summer Concert Series at Indian Ranch. Located on the pristine Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaaubunagungamaugg (Webster Lake), concert-goers can enjoy a picnic while listening to a wide range of musical acts. This year, the concert series features names like Bare Naked Ladies, Big and Rich, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo and Hunter Hayes. June 18-Sept. 24; Indian Ranch, 200 Gore Road, Webster; prices vary; indianranch.com.

Taste of Shrewsbury Street

Experience the diverse dishes the restaurants and pubs of Shrewsbury Street have to offer, as they once again open their doors for the 17th annual Taste of Shrewsbury Street. Enjoy mouthwatering creations while taking in some live entertainment! Proceeds benefit the beautification of Shrewsbury Street along Worcester’s Restaurant Row and local children’s charities. 5-9 p.m. June 20; Shrewsbury Street, Worcester; $25 per button; tasteshrewsburystreet.com.

Black Heritage Juneteenth Festival

Celebrate family, community, freedom and African American culture and history. This event commemorates two seminal events on the timeline of America becoming a better nation: Quock Walker’s Massachusetts Supreme Court decision in 1783 and General Gordon Granger reading the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston, Texas, in 1865. June 17; Institute Park at the corner of Salisbury Street and Park Avenue, Worcester; voluntary donation; visit the Juneteenth page on Facebook.

Big Dipper Ice Cream Festival

A big favorite for the whole family with at least 10 local vendors providing an assortment of ice cream treats. While you are enjoying your ice cream, you will also be helping Children’s Friend, the oldest family agency in Central Massachusetts, which will benefit from the festival’s proceeds. 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m., June 24; Elm Park, Worcester; free for children 3 and younger; $2 for children 4-9, $5 for 10 and older; visit the Facebook page for details.

Nashua River Brewers Festival

A great way to educate yourself on a variety of regional beers is to attend the Nashua Rivers Brewers’ Festival held in Fitchburg. High-quality craft beers are brewed for your enjoyment, and there are plenty of fun-filled events for your entertainment. This event is 21-plus. 1-6 p.m., June 24; Riverfront Park, 100 Commercial St., Fitchburg; $15 in advance, $20 at the door, $1 per tasting ticket; beersforgood.com.

 

July:

Art in the Park

Art in the Park was founded to present public art to a broad community, promote the works of artists, enhance outdoor spaces, enrich lives and create visibility for the greater Worcester area. Art in the Park is an annual celebration of large-scale sculptures in historic Elm Park. Through Sept. 9; Elm Park, Park Avenue, Worcester; Free; artintheparkworcesterma.org.

Cars of Summer

A popular event in the city, get ready for this year’s showcase of classic and custom cars. Along with the car show, a car auction, monster truck rides and night city cruises will also be available. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. July 1-2, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. July 3; Green Hill Park, Worcester; prices vary; carsofsummer.com.

Walk & Rock

Come enjoy a variety of live music and great food, courtesy of local bands and your favorite Shrewsbury Street restaurants. July 13, 20 and 23; Shrewsbury Street, Worcester; free; shrewsburystreet.org/walkrock.

Back 40 Music & Beer Farm Festival

Lilac Hedge Farm will hold its first music and beer festival on the 350-acre farm. There will be farm activities, kids’ events, music, craft beer, a farmers market, food trucks and much more. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. July 22 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 23; 2415 N. Main St., Holden; $15 for adults in advance, $20 at the gate, $5 for children in advance, $10 at the gate, free for children younger than 3; lilachedgefarm.com.

Worcester Restaurant Week

Fill your stomach without emptying your wallet! Worcester Restaurant Week allows people to sample food from a wide variety of Worcester’s best restaurants without breaking the bank. July 31-Aug. 12; various restaurants in Worcester; $25.17 for a three-course meal; worcesterrestaurantweek.com.

Hot Night in the City

Worcester’s Center for Crafts will once again sponsor a sizzling side of craft demonstrations in glass, clay, metals and much more, as well as food and live music, to celebrate summer in the city at a free block party. 6-9p.m. July 21; Worcester Center for Crafts, 25 Sagamore Road, Worcester; free; worcester.edu/Hot-Night-in-the-City.

 

August:

Latin Festival

Downtown Worcester shimmies to a Latin beat, as participants crowd around City Hall to celebrate Puerto Rican, Dominican and other Latin American cultures with ethnic foods, a bustling beer garden, free concerts and much more.  9a.m.-9p.m., Aug. 19; Worcester Common Oval, 455 Main St., Worcester; free; email culture@worcestermass.org.

Clustertruck Food Festival

Organizer Amy Wexler is excited to be able to feature 32 food trucks with almost any food genre you can think of, including Korean, Thai, oysters, vegan and, of course, barbecue. All the food is locally sourced. There will also be a variety of artisans displaying their work for purchase, as well as laser tag, sand art and much more for the children. Wine and beer garden also available. Noon-7p.m., Aug. 26; Kalon Farms, 339 Seven Bridge Road, Lancaster; free admission with purchase of a $10 parking pass in advance, access to Beer and Wine Garden must be purchased in advance; theclustertruck.com

Caribbean American Carnival

Come and enjoy a taste of the Caribbean at the fifth annual Worcester Caribbean American Carnival. Enjoy the music, dance and traditional cuisine of the Caribbean, as well as a parade and celebration of Caribbean American culture. Noon-7 p.m. Aug. 27; Foley Stadium to Institute Park, Worcester; free; worcestercarib.com.

Central Mass Skate Festival

This festival has grown into one of the world’s largest skate events and has something for everyone, from long board to street skateboard for all ages and skill levels. It lasts three days and is full of fun and festivities for skaters and spectators alike, according to festival founder Mike Girard, of Emgee Events. There will be music and food and plenty of exciting action to watch. 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. Aug. 4-6; 1 Still River Road, Harvard; free to spectators (see website for skater registration); skatecentralma.com.

Wachusett Mountain Farm Fresh Fest

The Massachusetts agricultural and specialty food community will once again celebrate with the Farm Fresh Fest. Locally grown produce, local food items, crafts and wine-tasting will be just some of the events happening at the farmer’s market that is open to the public. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Aug. 27-28; Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, 499 Mountain Road, Princeton;$5 in advance, $7 at the door, free for children younger than 12, admission plus unlimited SkyRide is $13 in advance, $15 at the door; wachusett.com.

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