FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

1. Chinese New Year

prac_info Jan/ Feb

Chinatown buzzes with the pageantry of the Chinese New Year. 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.

TopTen

Dancers celebrating the Chinese New Year

2. Boston Flower and Garden Show

prac_info A week in mid-Mar • www.bostonflowershow.com

Over 150,000 visitors descend on this indoor exhibition, hosted at the Seaport World Trade Center, to forget their winter blues and enjoy the spectacular display of bright blooms and fragrant aromas.

3. St. Patrick’s Day

prac_info Mid-Mar

Boston’s immense Irish-American population explains why few, if any, American cities can match Boston’s Irish pride. Come Paddy’s Day, pubs host live Irish bands and increasingly raucous crowds as the Guinness and the Shamrock-green ale flow freely. The weekend South Boston Parade, with its famous drum corps, starts off from Broadway “T” station.

4. Dine Out Boston

prac_info Mar & Aug • www.bostonusa.com/dine-out-boston

For 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, and make the most of, the opportunity to sample new restaurants, so it is wise to make reservations.

5. Lilac Sunday

prac_info 2nd Sun in May • www.arboretum.harvard.edu

While the Arnold Arboretum includes 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 picnics, music, and walking tours of the lilac collections.

6. Boston Calling

prac_info Late May • www.bostoncalling.com

National headliners and new, up-and-coming acts perform live, with non-stop music for three days in late May at the Harvard Athletic Complex, to sell-out crowds. It’s a family-friendly festival, with three stages and a good variety of high-energy performers and musical styles. In recent years, Boston Calling has featured the likes of Beck, the Pixies, Kendrick Lamar, Lorde, and the Alabama Shakes.

7. Cambridge Arts River Festival

prac_info Early Jun • www.cambridgema.gov/arts/Programs/riverfestival

On a Saturday in early 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.

8. Fourth of July

prac_info Jul 4

Given Boston’s crucial role in securing independence for the original 13 colonies, Independence Day adopts a certain importance here. With parties, barbecues and a fireworks display on the Charles River banks, Boston throws the nation a spectacular birthday party.

TopTen

Boston Pops’ Fourth of July concert

9. Feast of St. Anthony

prac_info Last weekend in Aug

The Feast of St. Anthony caps an entire summer of feast holidays in the North End. From morning through 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.

10. First Night

prac_info Dec 31

Despite the possibility of staggeringly cold weather, the New Year’s Eve festivities remain among the most highly anticipated events of Boston’s year. Free and open to all, the events are usually held around Copley Square and Back Bay. They include a parade, beautifully lit ice sculptures, light displays, and family-friendly fireworks at 7pm on the Common.

TOP 10 SPORTING TRADITIONS

1. Boston Celtics

prac_info 617 624 1000

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

TopTen

Boston Celtics in action

2. Head of the Charles Regatta

prac_info 3rd Sat & Sun Oct • 617 868 6200

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

3. Red Sox vs Yankees

prac_info 617 267 1700

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

4. Boston Marathon

prac_info 3rd Mon Apr • 617 236 1652

The country’s oldest marathon.

5. Boston Bruins

prac_info 617 624 1000

Crowds cheer this ice hockey team at the TD Garden.

6. New England Patriots

prac_info 800 543 1776

Gillette Stadium is the home of the Patriots, five-time Super Bowl champs.

7. Harvard vs Yale

prac_info 617 495 3454

These Ivy League football teams butt helmets in Cambridge every other fall.

8. Beanpot Hockey Tournament

prac_info 617 624 1000

Every February Boston’s top collegiate hockey teams play each other.

9. New England Revolution

prac_info 800 543 1776

The local entry in Major League Soccer is an annual playoff threat at Gillette Stadium.

10. New Year’s Day Swim

The “L Street Brownies” swimming club takes a dip in Boston Harbor every January 1.

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