Top 18 Festivals In Massachusetts, USA

festivals in massachusetts
| 8 min read

Massachusetts; the state that boasts its capital, Boston - the biggest city in New England. Historic, influential, abundant - that’s what Massachusetts is. It’s no wonder the state takes pride in showcasing its culture and people by way of hosting festivals and events - lots of them. Most of Massachusetts’ festivals revolve around local farmers and colonial traditions (Boston, Plymouth, and Topsfield). The people love music, arts, and parties, that’s why plenty of their festivals focus on promoting music and art as well. No matter the season, you’ll never run out reasons to party with the locals. Fireworks, re-enactments, animal encounters, carnival, competitions, food, ethnic events, music - there’s no shortage of fun, really. It’s now time to start your adventure by adding up festivities on your bucket list. Check out this article and discover the most sought-after festivals in Massachusetts, USA.

1. Castleberry Holiday Arts & Crafts Festival

Posted by Castleberry Fairs & Festivals on Monday, 1 April 2013

If you are looking for something quirky that will remind you of Massachusetts, then the Castleberry Holiday Craft Festival should be included on your bucket list. Jewelry, wooden puzzles, folk art, wind chimes, Victorian wreaths, pet gifts, to name a few - this festival never runs out of stuff. Craftsmen and women from over 150 regions will showcase their artworks in this festival. Artisans are known for their creativity and sustainability practices, which means that if we support their crafts, we are actually helping Mother Nature. What’s more? Live music jazz and “food sampling” extravaganza are also included in the festival’s itinerary.

Castleberry Holiday Arts & Crafts Festival

Address: Shriners Auditorium, Wilmington, Massachusetts, USA

Website: Castleberry Holiday Arts & Crafts Festival

Takes place: November

Price: 8 USD

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2. Lowell Folk Festival

Polka Music
Source: Photo by user Richard Howe used under CC BY 2.0

Folk crafts, arts, ethnic food, traditional music, passion, and love - that’s the draw of the Lowell Folk Festival. This awesome festival is one of the biggest folk festivals in the United States. Lowell Folk Festival is consistently known as an event that brings traditional folk music, ethnic dishes, and artisan crafts in one place. The great part? This large event is free! Enjoy the exceptional lineup of traditional music while indulging in some delicious ethnic food in the heart of Lowell National Historical Park - this is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the city’s culture.

Lowell Folk Festival

Address: Downtown Lowell, Massachusetts, USA

Website: Lowell Folk Festival

Takes place: July

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3. Bread and Roses Heritage Festival

Bread and Roses Heritage Festival is consistently known for celebrating labor history and ethnic diversity. It is the only multicultural festival in the Immigrant City (Lawrence). It is an annual festival that honors the social justice legacy and history of Lawrence. To give you a little background, it was in 1912 that the immigrant workers in the Lawrence textile held a strike, under the leadership of the Industrial Workers of the World. The significant event is also known as the Bread and Roses strike. Bread and Roses Heritage Festival also hosts communities or organizations battling for social justice. If you want to be part of one of the most important events in labor history, join this event now.

Bread and Roses Heritage Festival

Address: Lawrence, Massachusetts, USA

Website: Bread and Roses Heritage Festival

Takes place: September

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4. Boston Book Festival

Book lovers, here is a real treat for you in Massachusetts. Presenting the Boston Book Festival which is the venue for celebrating the power of words and encourages the culture of reading. This large event is also a gathering of well-known speakers and authors to give inspiration to all book readers through presentations and talks. Every year, this magnificent event for book lovers like you, expects about 30,000 visitors from around the globe. The good news? You’ll get to feel the inspiration at this fair, and at no charge at all.

Boston Book Festival

Address: Copley Square and Roxbury, Massachusetts, USA

Website: Boston Book Festival

Takes place: October

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Boston Tour Guide

Naim Benmayor

Naim Benmayor

As a Boston tour guide, I have the added experience of being a world traveler. For many years, I frequently visited Europe, Asia, and Latin America on business. During this time, I also organized tours of the USA, Europe and Asia for my business clients. I now bring this passion, excitement and expertise to the Boston area.By exploring the globe, I was exposed to various cultures, and this unique perspective has taught me what appeals to people when visiting a new part of the country or a new part of the world. My fluency in English and Turkish, and my advanced skills in Spanish and intermediate skills in French, also help me to service a wider range of tourists and business people.I moved to Boston, Massachusetts several years ago, and I now reside in Brookline. I have three children, so I develop my tours to accommodate families with kids, couples, and individuals who want to visit and learn about the rich history and culture of Boston. As a parent, I know that Boston is a great place for higher education, and I have knowledge of the colleges and universities in the area.I customize tours to suit the needs and preferences of my customers. Whether you want a walking tour, a riding tour, or a little of both, I can create an itinerary that showcases the best of what Boston has to offer.My one day tours are educational and entertaining, and include the history, culture, personalities, architecture and, even the shopping areas of this renowned city. At the end of the tour you will be happy and satisfied when you realize you've seen so much in just a short time.I am here to share my knowledge of Boston, Cambridge and all of New England with you, and help you to enjoy your visit so you can explore the must-see parts of this great city. I look forward to meeting you and guiding you around the city, so please send me a message if you have any questions.Thank you for reading.

5. Newburyport Riverfront Music Festival

Mike Doughty @ Newburyport Riverfront Music Festival 2011
Source: Photo by user acme401 used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Another treat for the whole family is the Newburyport Riverfront Music Festival. It is an annual event that features live music and performances. This is a good opportunity for some family quality time where they can set up blankets and chairs, listen to a great curated lineup of music, and enjoy the scenic view of the waterfront park - all these are for free! Keep in mind to clean and put all the trash in place once the event is finished.

Newburyport Riverfront Music Festival

Address: Newburyport and Waterfront Park, Massachusetts, USA

Takes place: August

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6. Sheepshearing Festival

2009_07_wk2_DSC03866 Sheep Shearing Show  1h
Source: Photo by user Gwydion M. Williams used under CC BY 2.0

Sheepshearing Festival is one of the biggest and most unique festivals in Waltham, Massachusetts. The star of this event is none other than the sheep, where you can see their winter woolies get lose. But the event is not only limited to sheep shearing and wool processing demonstration, plenty of activities that everyone loves are available. Puppeteers, live music, dancers, historical re-enactors, festive food, to name a few - all of these are included in the festival’s itinerary. The event caters to about 100 craft vendors and 10,000 visitors annually.

Sheepshearing Festival

Address: Gore Place, Waltham, Massachusetts, USA

Website: Sheepshearing Festival

Takes place: April

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7. Boston Harborfest

Faneuil Hall during Boston Harborfest – Kyle Klein Photography
Source: Photo by user Massachusetts Off... used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Boston Harborfest is one of the country’s largest Fourth of July celebrations, featuring hundreds of activities that will make everyone excited and upbeat over Independence Day weekend. This festival is the decades-old tradition that celebrates the revolution history and maritime. Plenty of family-friendly activities are waiting, from Freedom Trail walks to historical re-enactments; from live entertainment to music and even boat tours. If you are competitive enough, you can join the Taste of Harborfest (Boston-wide clam chowder competition). Take on the challenge now.

Boston Harborfest

Address: Boston’s City Hall Plaza, Massachusetts, USA

Website: Boston Harborfest

Takes place: July

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8. Harvard Apple Blossom Festival

Posted by Apple Blossom Festival on Saturday, 16 November 2019

Harvard Apple Blossom Festival is another event in Massachusetts that will make everyone happy. Great Ducky Wacky Race, food, parade, party, authentic handmade floats, colorful displays, music - this is just a fraction of the fun-filled action that you will get when you attend the event. Harvard Apple Blossom Festival also features tons of vendors, who sell their crafts - items that are best as souvenirs.

Harvard Apple Blossom Festival

Address: The Common, at the center of Harvard, Mass, Massachusetts, USA

Takes place: May

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9. Boston Christmas Festival

The most wonderful time of the year is coming! Worrying about gifts and Christmas stuff? Problem solved! All you have to do is join the Boston Christmas Festival. It offers everything you are looking for - under one spectacular roof. With about 350 stunning boutiques by American Artisans, endless selection of items is available. Gorgeous handcrafted gifts, holiday decor, fashionista jewelries, home accessories - name it - Boston Christmas Festival has it. What’s more? Stop by the Farmers Market where you can extend your shopping journey. Another exciting event in this festival is the competition of “creating gingerbread masterpieces” by top chefs. Want to hear something more exciting? The judges for this competition are a panel of celebrities and the proceeds for selling the gingerbread will go to Housing Families, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending family homelessness.

Boston Christmas Festival

Address: Seaport World Trade Center Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Website: Boston Christmas Festival

Takes place: November

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10. Worcester Music Festival [Last event in 2019]

Worcester Music Festival is a big event that you should never miss. It is a classical music festival that was started as a “four-day music convention” in 1858 and yes, this is the oldest one in the United States. It was Edward Hamilton who founded the Worcester County Music Association. The association’s goal is to develop “the taste of singers and listeners of sacred music” and elevate the “knowledge of works by the great masters.” Music Worcester, Inc. (formerly Worcester County Music Association) is the company behind the festival. Popular orchestras, ballet, world music, dance, guest soloist - all contribute to making the festival a blast. What else? There are tons of educational programs and activities for the youth and families, from festival singers to Young Artist Competitions and more.

Worcester Music Festival

Address: Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

Takes place: September

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11. Cambridge Science Festival

DIYbio Boston at the Cambridge Science Festival
Source: Photo by user Mackenzie Cowell used under CC BY 2.0

Presenting the awesome Cambridge Science Festival, a 10-day celebration. This awesome festival features anything and everything about science, from engineering to math, technology and interactive science. This festival is a multicultural and multifaceted event that makes science more fascinating, fun, and interactive. Volunteers, scientists, sponsors, talented students - all are working hand in hand to make this festival a blast. The highlights of this event are workshops, talks, competitions, tours, demonstrations, debates, and more. Cambridge Science Festival gives a perfect opportunity for all to learn in a fun and exciting way. If you have a taste for learning, Cambridge Science Festival is for you.

Cambridge Science Festival

Address: Cambridge and greater Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Website: Cambridge Science Festival

Takes place: April

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12. Cambridge Dumpling Festival [Last event in 2019]

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Dumpling lovers, prepare yourselves. About 10,000 dumplings are coming at the Cambridge Dumpling Festival. With 15 delicious local restaurants and food trucks joining this awesome festival, it guarantees a gastronomic dumpling experience for everyone. This festival gives a great opportunity for all to taste stupendous variations of dumplings. New England Open Markets is the team behind this event. This festival is also to honor the “godmother of Chinese American cooking”, Joyce Chen. What’s more? There are 50 local vendors, all of who offer their products, from arts to antiques and more. Wait, there’s more! 90+ Cellars Rose Truck (wine garden on wheels) is also coming!

Cambridge Dumpling Festival

Address: 95 Prospect St, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Takes place: September

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13. Cambridge Arts River Festival

Experience the town’s finest art in the heart of Cambridge by attending the Cambridge Arts River Festival. This cool event features jam-packed activities and entertainment for visitors, from dance to music, from theater to art exhibits and even hands-on art-making. Plus, there will be tons of vendors selling awesome crafts. Feeling hungry? No worries! International dishes (Thai, Jamaican, Mediterranean, Indian, among others) and craft brews are also available in the festival. The celebration also includes beautiful marching bands and entertaining giant puppets. The great news? Admission is free.

Cambridge Arts River Festival

Address: Central Square Cultural District,

Takes place: June

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14. Boston Women's Film Festival

Boston Women’s Film Festival showcases the contributions of women in the industry of film. This inspiring festival takes pride in being Boston’s leading festival for international films. The festival will show the latest in media made by talented women from all over the world. Boston Women’s Film Festival is a big gathering by influential figures in the media industry, creators, and spectators who celebrate and love diversity and honor the power and talent of women to produce a creative and quality film.

Boston Women's Film Festival

Address: Harvard Square, Cambridge and the Museum of Fine Arts, Massachusetts, USA

Website: Boston Women’s Film Festival

Takes place: October

Price: 125 USD

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15. Mayfair Festival [Last event in 2019]

What a great festival last weekend at Harvard Square, this picture was taken during my performance at Mayfair festival...

Posted by Veronica Robles on Thursday, 10 May 2018

The popular celebration of Mayfair once again will rock the stages of Cambridge. This free event offers live music, which is set up on three stages. It is also a venue for showcasing the talents of clowns, street performers, and other entertainers. The street carnival makes everyone, especially the kids, upbeat and happy. What’s more? The festival also gives possibilities to try the city’s culinary scene. Plus, the arts and crafts fair has about 200 stalls, featuring their creative pieces of work from all over the world.

Mayfair Festival

Address: Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Takes place: May

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16. Geek Pride Festival [Event has passed]

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Geek Pride Day is a “celebration of "nerdom” worldwide. The festival was born in Spain in 2006 and spread around the globe through the help of the Internet, of course. This cool festival’s goal is to showcase geek culture, especially computer geek interests and activities. Meet-ups and parties are the activities. Everything and anything that has something to do with geeking-out is in the Geek Pride Festival. If you are one of the cool geeks, this is your go-to event.

Geek Pride Festival

Address: Park Plaza Castle in Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Takes place: March to April

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17. Plymouth Rock Comedy Festival [Event has passed]

Inside the music tent at the Machynlleth Comedy Festival
Source: Photo by user Gareth James used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Plymouth Rock Comedy Festival is the gift of laughter. This festival was founded by Loretta LaRoche Productions, which aims to empower, enlighten, and entertain the whole community through laughter. Plenty of comedic lineups, from Ruffled Feathers Roast to Ruffled Feathers Face-off, from He Said/She Said Battle of the Sexes to Raw Comedy, are included on the festival’s itinerary. The great news? All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Plimoth Plantation. If you are looking for something memorable in Massachusetts, this comedy event must be included in your travel itinerary.

Plymouth Rock Comedy Festival

Address: Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Website: Plymouth Rock Comedy Festival

Takes place: September

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18. Life Is Good Festival [Event has passed]

festivals in massachusetts | life is good festival [event has passed]
Source: instagram

Life is good with music all around. Celebrate life and music by joining the Life Is Good Festival, which features an awesome music lineup, from Jack Johnson to Trampled by Turtles, from Amos to The Roots, to name a few. This festival is a family-friendly event that offers fun and non-competitive activities for the kiddos as well. The festival gives a laidback feeling as you can also go backstage and enjoy free drinks with the musicians. Oh, did we mention that this event is at no cost at all? Now you know.

Life Is Good Festival

Address: Canton, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Takes place: September

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Immerse yourself in Massachusetts' culture

There’s no shortage of fun in Massachusetts, thanks to the awesome festivals and events they hold annually. The culinary scene, cultural events, art, concerts, grand parade - all these contribute to making the city one of the top choices for festival-goers. It’s now time to immerse yourself in Massachusetts’ rich culture and traditions. Discover popular festivals now.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Nina aspires to live life to its fullest and yearns to journey abroad with her loved ones. She believes in her inherent artistic nature and embraces the motto that "God is good all the time" as her...Read more

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