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Boston's Top 10 : Festivals & Events - Top 10 Sporting Traditions

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Contact the Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau for information on festivals and events (1 888 733 2678; www.bostonusa.com)


  1. Fourth of July

    Given Boston’s indispensable role in securing independence for the original 13 colonies, Independence Day adopts a certain poignancy here. With beer-fueled barbecues and a fireworks display on the Charles River banks, Boston throws the nation a rousing birthday party.

    Fourth of July
  2. Chinese New Year

    Chinatown buzzes with the pageantry of the Chinese New Year during January or February. Streets are transformed into patchworks of color, while sidewalk vendors peddle steamed buns, soups, and other Chinese delights. Don’t miss the annual parade, held the Saturday following the Lunar New Year.

  3. New England Flower Show

    For one week in March, more than 150,000 visitors descend on this indoor exhibition to forget their winter blues and enjoy the bright blooms and fragrant aromas.

    Bayside Exposition Center

    • 200 Mount Vernon St, Dorchester

  4. First Night

    Despite being plagued in recent years by staggeringly cold weather, the New Year’s Eve festivities remain among the most highly anticipated events of Boston’s year. A $15 pass grants access to countless concerts, performances, and museum exhibits throughout the city, not to mention a dazzling midnight fireworks display over Boston harbor.

  5. Cambridge River Festival

    For one day in mid-June the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge host a celebration of the city’s lively and diverse population. Musicians and dancers perform and artists sell their wares. Food vendors offer a taste of home.

  6. Feast of St. Anthony

    The Feast of St. Anthony caps an entire summer of feast holidays in the North End. On the last weekend in August, from morning well into the night, Hanover Street bulges with revelers, parades, and food vendors giving a vibrant display of the area’s old world Italian spirit.

  7. St. Patrick’s Day

    Boston’s immense Irish-American population explains why few, if any, American cities can match Boston’s Irish pride. Come St. Paddy’s, pubs host live Irish bands and increasingly raucous crowds. The South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade, with its famous drum corps, is a tradition that starts off from Broadway “T” station.

  8. August Moon Festival

    In late August, Chinatown commemorates the summer’s fullest moon – signifying the beginning of the harvest season – with a jubilant, unique festival. A dragon dance snakes through the area and vendors line the streets hawking everything from hand-painted fans and herbal remedies to the festival’s official food, the semisweet mooncake.

  9. Boston Restaurant Week

    For one to two weeks in March and August more than 100 restaurants in Boston, Cambridge, and neighboring suburbs offer bargain, fixed-price lunch and dinner menus. Locals look forward to the opportunity to sample new restaurants, so it is wise to make reservations.

  10. Lilac Sunday

    While the Arnold Arboretum counts 4,463 species of flora, one plant deserves particular celebration. When its 500 lilac plants are at their fragrant, color-washed peak, garden enthusiasts arrive in droves for a May Sunday of picnics, folk dancing, and tours of the lilac collections.

Top 10 Sporting Traditions

  1. Boston Marathon

    The country’s oldest marathon beckons sports lovers.

    • 3rd Mon/Apr

    • 617 236 1652

    Plaque celebrating Boston Marathon
  2. Head of the Charles Regatta

    Rowing crews race down the Charles while the banks teem with boisterous onlookers.

    • 3rd Sat & Sun/Oct

    • 617 868 6200

  3. Red Sox vs Yankees

    The most heated rivalry in US sports flares up every time the Yanks visit Fenway Park.

    • 617 267 1700

  4. Boston Celtics

    The Celts keep basketball playoff dreams alive at the TD Bank North Garden.

    • 617 624 1000

  5. Boston Bruins

    Crowds cheer this ice hockey team at the TD Bank North Garden.

    • 617 624 1000

  6. Patriots

    Gillette Stadium is the home of the Patriots, the National Football League’s 2005 champs.

    • 1 800 543 1776

  7. Harvard vs Yale

    “The Game” sees these Ivy League football toughs butt helmets at Harvard Stadium in the fall.

    • 617 495 4848

  8. Beanpot Hockey Tournament

    Every February Boston’s top collegiate hockey teams play each other at the TD Bank North Garden.

    • 617 624 1000

  9. The Revolution

    The state’s entry in Major League Soccer is an annual playoff threat at the Gillette Stadium.

    • 1 800 543 1776

  10. New Year’s Plunge

    Every Jan 1, since 1904, the L Street Brownies take a plunge in Boston Harbor.

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