The best of Boston; An Insider's Guide to Beantown
Feasts and Festivals
"Boston Local Food Festival, one of Boston Globe Magazine's annual "Best of the New" top 40 food picks of the year in 2010, is produced by Sustainable Business Network of Greater Boston (SBN). This festival is built upon the principals of local, green and fair and is Boston's premier food event for restaurants and food producers promoting local food and eaters seeking to support them."Boston Local Food Festival http://bostonlocalfoodfestival.com/, October 1 2011
Nearly a million people gather to partake in Boston's annual feasts and festivals. In August, crowds gather to watch Bostonians celebrate the Feast of St. Anthony. Townspeople, dressed in white clothing, huddle together to carry a large statue of St. Anthony through the streets of Boston's North End. The statue is adorned with ribbons, and as it's passed through the crowded street, locals pin money to the ribbons. The people consider this an offering to St. Anthony; the money is later dispersed to charities.
Of course, the Feast of St. Anthony is just one of many unique gatherings that take place in Boston. Visitors who are fortunate enough to arrive in Boston during the warmer months can enjoy the following events, too:
- The Boston Arts Festival (http://bostonahtsfestival.com/ahts) is an annual 2-day event held the second week of each September. The Festival showcases the works of visual and performance artists, and it takes place at Christopher Columbus Park on Boston's waterfront.
- Boston's Italian-American population throws an extravagant series of The First Night festival (http://www.firstnight.org/) (somewhat counterintuitively taking place every year on New Year's Eve) is a mass celebration of Boston's rich cultural heritage and up to a million have people been known to fill the streets. It's a family-friendly and eclectic festival, and while other First Nights have sprung up across America, the tradition began in Boston in 1976.
- Boston's Italian-American population throws an extravagant series of North End Italian Feasts (http://www.lafamigliagiorgio.com/northendfeasts.htm) every year. These feasts celebrate the art and culture of Italy, and show dedication to Catholic Saints. But you don't have to be Italian or Catholic to partake in these feasts; all cultures and religions come together to enjoy the parades, games, food and music. The North End Feasts take place from June - September in the city's oldest residential district.
- Buy a hot dog and support a good cause. In May, the city holds the Phantom Gourmet Hot Dog Safari (http://hotdogsafari.phantomgourmet.com/home.aspx) in East Boston. This hot dog eating contest draws approximately 30,000 people each year, and all proceeds fund Cystic Fibrosis research.
- The Somerville Arts Council (http://www.somervilleartscouncil.org/programs/artsunion/index.html) runs a whole series of festivals, everything from a Brazilian Squeezebox festival to contemporary dance to a Rock n Roll Yard Sale selling vintage vinyl.
For more on Boston's diverse culinary outlets, check out:
- A Boston Food Diary (http://abostonfooddiary.blogspot.com/) - Not only are their brilliant reviews in the blog but the photography is mouth-watering.
- Beers in Boston (http://www.beersinboston.com/)- Something to wash it all down with.
- Boston Burger Blog (http://www.bostonburgerblog.com/) - Richard is on a mission to find the best burger in Beantown (if not the planet). So far here's made great progress, but his site should come with a warning since the photography herein can inflict some serious munchies.
- A Boston Food Diary Blog (http://abostonfooddiary.blogspot.com/) - Don't let the name fool you. ABFD features restaurant reviews, features, giveaways and a whole lot more.
- Boston Organics (http://www.bostonorganics.com/) - If you're fanatical about organic produce, these guys have you covered.
- Read the BostonSmarts' Best Places to Visit While in Boston
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