Head to one of these must-see events in Massachusetts and spend long summer days with your family at the charming Barnstable Country Fair, or soak up Asian culture at the Dragon Boast Festival.
Boston is known for being one of America's most Irish cities, and as such, they certainly celebrate St. Patrick's Day with gusto. The annual parade through the center of the city offers a fantastic array of colorful floats, marching bands, and bagpipers. The city's Charles River is actually dyed green for the festivities and is a wonderful sight to behold.
Over 50 teams from all across the United States flock to Boston to compete in this annual, weekend-long June event. You can also enjoy other Asian-inspired activities such as dance, martial arts, and drumming. Arts and craft stalls are out in force and offer kids the chance to learn Chinese origami and decorate the famed Oriental opera mask.
This traditional July Cape Cod festival has been held for over 165 years and remains popular to this day. Live music, arts and crafts, rides, and food stalls adorn the picturesque landscape of the Cape's fairgrounds. Animal shows and petting zoos are popular with younger festival-goers, while the flora-lovers in your life will enjoy ample horticultural displays.
All year round, Massachusetts hosts an array of outdoor events that can be enjoyed by solo travelers, couples, and families alike. Attend tree lightings in December, cheer on the runners at the world's oldest annual marathon, or delight in fireworks displays in observance of Independence Day.
Each year Nova Scotia gifts a tree to the city of Boston, and the annual switch-on is a highlight of the festive calendar. The Mayor of Boston, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Santa himself grace the proceedings, along with stalls selling mulled wine and snacks, with musical performers providing the entertainment.
Each July 4th, a spectacular fireworks display is held at Hatch Shell on the Esplanade, with 500,000 locals and visitors flocking to see the magnificent celebrations. Musical performances are provided by the Boston Pops Orchestra, with different special guests performing each year. Visitors can either watch the event from the Oval Lawn or from the banks of the Charles River Esplanade.
Begun in 1897, the Boston Marathon is the oldest annual marathon in the world. On the third Monday of April, more than 25,000 runners and up to half a million spectators descend on the city and surrounding area to race and to enjoy the carnival atmosphere, respectively.
Known as the Big E, this huge agricultural event hosts a fantastic array of vendors, horse shows, and livestock farms, as well as open-air concerts. Don't forget to sample the event's signature Craz-E Burger, which is served on a doughnut rather than a bun.
From folk to classical, numerous musical festivals are some of the best must-see events in Massachusetts. Some of the best are held in summer, so you can easily enjoy live performances of your favorite genre of music in the lovely outdoors.
America's largest free folk festival takes place every year in July, with numerous musical performances, artisan craft stalls, and a fantastic array of ethnic food stalls.
This family-friendly music festival celebrates the local jazz scene with plenty of local performers. The two-day August event also offers a children's play tent, musical education classes, food stalls, and an arts and crafts fair.
This famous summer music festival held in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts offers an eclectic mix of musical theater, classical and choral performances, as well as jazz and contemporary music concerts. Tanglewood is also the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.