10 events to visit in Massachusetts this August


The state of Massachusetts plays host to a huge number of great events and exhibitions throughout the year – with August being a particularly busy month.

(Photo: New Bedford Whaling Museum)

From its coastal destinations off the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Maine to its many inland towns and cities, Massachusetts has a packed annual cultural and entertainment calendar that both visitors and natives can enjoy. If you’re coming to the New England state next month and would like to attend some top class events during your stay, we’ve picked out 10 of the best set to take place here.

Lighting the Way to Justice tours

First launched in 2018, this educational project explores the historical impact of women from the region in their fight for justice and equality down the years. Free tours will leave from the museum every Thursday at 2.30pm, guiding you around New Bedford while tour leaders regale you with fascinating stories and facts about the inspiring, civically engaged women who have played their part in their enduring struggle. You’ll visit places that provide an insight into the city’s rich history and the many ways that women have worked to make the world a better place, meeting many of those who have advocated for workers, the elderly, civil rights, women’s health, and more.

New Bedford Whaling Museum, 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford / Every Thursday through 25 August 2022

Boston Seafood Festival

(Photo: Boston Seafood Festival)

Returning for its ninth edition, the Boston Seafood Festival will once again play host to a full day of music, education, and delicious seafood for Boston visitors and residents in what has grown to become a beloved summer tradition. Presented by the Boston Fisheries Foundation, a non-profit organisation created to preserve, sustain, and share the region’s long-standing seafood and maritime heritage, the festival features a whole host of fun events and activities including chef demonstrations, oyster shucking contests, traditional lobster bake, Harpoon beer garden, live entertainment, children’s activities, and more.

Fish Pier, 212 Northern Avenue, South Boston Waterfront / 4 August 2022

Onset Blues Festival

(Photo: Onset Blues Festival)

One of the longest running Blues Festivals in New England., the Onset Blues Festival returns for 2022 promising a full day of great live music by both local and international performers. Taking place in the beautiful waterfront village of Onset at the western end of the Cape Cod Canal, the event has been a staple on the summer calendar for around three decades, and attracts both music afficionados and those simply looking for a fun day out. As well as the live stage performances, there’s also  a cash bar, food and vendors. Kids and leashed dogs are also welcome.

Onset VFW Pavilion and Grounds, 4 Gibbs Ball Park Road, East Wareham / 7 August 2022

Renaissance Music Days

(Photo: Carin Macnamara)

The Penniless Jacks, Harper & Minstrel and the Ladies of Integrity, Aristocracy, Repute and Society (L.I.A.R.S) gather this August for two full days of medieval, Renaissance and Celtic music. During the special program, the three groups will rotate around the Hammond Castle Museum and offer multiple 30 minute performances at the Draw Bridge, Great Hall, seaside lawn and Dining Room. Guest can also enjoy self-guided tours throughout the day. Free parking will be hosted at the Gloucester High School and there will be a free shuttle running between the high school and the Museum from 9am-4.30 pm on both days. Tickets are $25 for Adults, $10 kids aged 5-12, and kids 4 and under go free.

Hammond Castle Museum, 80 Hesperus Avenue, Gloucester / 13-14 August 2022

Boston Salsa Festival 

(Photo: Boston Salsa Festival)

A celebration of the hugely popular Latin dance style of Salsa, this festival will host its 9th edition in August, 15 miles from downtown Boston at The Westin Waltham hotel. Featuring workshops as well as performances and shows by world class practitioners of the energetic and acrobatic dance genre, guests will be invited to dance the night away to live music and Boston’s best DJs. Meanwhile an outdoor terrace provides the perfect spot for some respite and fresh air after your dance floor exertions.

The Westin Waltham, 70 3rd Avenue, Waltham / 19-21 August 2022

Lady Gaga Live

(Photo: Victoria Potter via Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

American music icon Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga, brings her inimitable talents to Boston’s Fenway Park baseball stadium for one night only this August as part of her rescheduled summer stadium tour. Titled The Chromatica Ball, the tour is being billed as the most complex show she’s ever performed. Among the set-list will be songs such as Shallow, taken from the A Star is Born soundtrack, and Hold My Hand taken from the Top Gun: Maverick soundtrack.

Fenway Park, Boston / 19 August 2022

‘Images of Atheism: The Soviet Assault on Religion’ exhibition

(Photo: The letter У from The Anti-Religious Alphabet, Mikhail Mikhailovich Cheremnykh, Sack the Saints—Sew the Seeds, Detail, 1932, color lithograph, Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, Marion Stratton Gould Fund.)

This exhibition explores the role of visual propaganda in the Communist Party’s seven-decade war against religion, from 1920 to 1990. With their eye-catching design, strident slogans, and stereotyped characters, the posters and publications of Soviet atheism demonised the world’s religions and jeered at those who practiced them. Above all, they appealed to young people by promising a new world of abundance and moral values replacing the superstitions and injustices of the past. Intended mainly for domestic consumption, this campaign to eradicate faith is among the least known aspects of Soviet visual culture.

Museum of Russian Icons, 203 Union Street, Clinton / Through 2 October 2022

Dine Out Boston

Boston has a rich and varied culinary scene and this event is the perfect opportunity to discover it in an affordable way. Over almost two weeks, foodies can sample the creations of the city’s best chefs at special discount prices. Restaurants across the city offer special fixed price lunch and dinner menus designed to tempt you away from the beach and showcase their summer fare. Whether you choose outdoor dining on a terrace or patio, or the comfort of air conditioning at an inside table, it’s a wonderful way to savour this last month of summer.

Venues across Boston / 8-21 August 2022

‘Drawing the Curtain: Maurice Sendak’s Designs for Opera and Ballet’ exhibition

(Photo: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum)

An author and illustrator of beloved children’s books, Maurice Sendak was also an avid fan of music who had his own successful “second act” as a set and costume designer for opera and ballet. Sendak’s muted colour palette and whimsical but sophisticated theatre designs reflect his love of Old Master artworks and literature and reference popular animation, folklore, and comic and picture book art. This exhibition features more than 100 enchanting illustrations, detailed dioramas, and clever costumes — all in Sendak’s signature style — created for stage productions of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Prokofiev’s Love for Three Oranges, Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, and his own Where the Wild Things Are.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 25 Evans Way, Boston / Through 11 September 2022

Diversity Matters Festival 

The city of Lynn will host the inaugural edition of the Diversity Matters Festival this August, a family-friendly event featuring activities, vendors, music, food, and more. The festival will highlight the importance and benefits of diversity in the local and wider community, and will offer performances of multi-cultural dance, music and poetry, as well as yoga demonstrations. Guests will also have the chance to sample traditional food sold by select local restaurants.

Red Rock Park, Lynn / 29 August 2022

By Paul Joseph