Friday, September 16, 2011

Worcester does festivals

Not to sabotage myself, but I'm totally on a roll with my weekly postings! I'm hoping this new found motivation finds its way into other aspects of my life, such as showing up to work on time, cleaning my apartment, getting to the gym... you get the picture.  For now, I'll take my success with the blogging and ride that wave for a while.

It's been said ad nauseam that bad things come in threes.  Well, I don't believe that.  I think when bad things happen, people are just hyper-aware of the other sucky things in their life.  I'm sure millions of people disagree with me, but to those individuals I ask  - what is your explanation when four craptastic things happen to me in a short period of time? Have I begun a second series of three that will only bring about more despair?  I hope not.

To combat this dreary outlook, I present, for your consideration, the opposite that good things come in threes and it appears that downtown Worcester agrees with me.  Last weekend I attend not one, not two, but THREE festivals downtown that were worth blogging about.  When it rains, it pours... (another overused phrase).

1. Open Road Festival.
Location: Institute Park
Theme: Eco-friendly, sustainable, tree-hugging, local artist community
Highlight: Really well designed t-shirts and stellar food vendors.  Evo and Sweet T Southern Kitchen were vying for dominance of the deliciousness market.
Low point: I might still smell of patchouli oil and I really hate patchouli oil.  I know it is often the preferred Eau-de-earth (which I guess is true because I think it smells like dirt), but I can't stand the scent.

This festival, started by a young Worcester native, highlights the local music scene, budding artists, and eco-friendly options for consumers.  It's kid friendly, but not pet friendly (so if you decide to go next year, you have to leave the pooch at home).  We went early in the day, so it was still getting started.  There was a small crowd, but lots of free goodies -granola bars, coconut water, candy - just make sure to recycle your wrappers! Tickets were $10 in advance, $15 at the door, but if you have a Woo Card (yay me!) it was $5 at the door. It was a relaxed atmosphere, where artistically inclined, herb-loving individuals could enjoy one of the last beautiful days of New England summer.

2. Shrewsbury Street College Shuffle
Theme: Giving College kids more food!
Location: Shrewsbury Street participating restuarants
Highlight: Free Sam Adams pint glass from La Scala and peanut butter pancake from Cafe Manzi's
Low point: 25% of the restaurants served pizza, so by stop three we were more than done with pizza for the day.

This event is unfortunately limited to members of the Worcester college community and their families, but honestly, I'm sure you know someone who goes to or works at one of the 10 Worcester colleges. I think it started out as a means for Shrewsbury Street to make even more money and to foster some good intercollegiate relations.  Apparently the colleges of Worcester don't play well with others.  The set up was like your typical "Taste of" event.  We walked from restaurant to restaurant sampling an assortment of Italian foods.  The $10 admission was a steal! The portions were more than any of us could handle and the food was impressive over all.  I was able to try a few places that I had been meaning to check out and no one really disappointed - although beware the Margarita cupcake from Sweet actually has SALT sprinkled in the frosting, it's a strong after-taste to say the least.  I was glad to have a chance to stop by Juniors, my favorite Shrewsbury Street spot, where the WPI Jazz band was playing some great tunes. It was a good time, but I was stuffed by the end.

3. CanalFest!
Theme: Reviving Worcester's 19th Century glory!!
Location: Harding Street (Behind Union Station)
Highlight: The Silverbacks stellar performance, costumed interpreters with working weapons, and NPS rangers!
Low point: A temperature spike of 10 degrees to make it about 80+ degrees Fahrenheit with limited shade available.
Admittedly, at this point we were dragging, but the atmosphere at Canalfest was hopping!  The music was great, seriously, if you haven't seen the Silverbacks, you have to check them out.  The food smelled wonderful, but we were still full from the "Shuffle."  It was great, FREE, family fun.  There was no entrance fee, unlike the other festivals and there was a lot of free entertainment for everyone.  Vendors lined the streets and two large craft tents held a wide variety of gifts, books, toys, and jewelry.  The point of the festival is to raise awareness and funds for the re-opening of the Blackstone Canal.  The National Park Service is trying to revitalize the route of the canal to protect the land and create a more beautiful landscape for hiking and biking, much like Rhode Island has done on the Providence end of the canal.  They had a river simulation where kids could kayak in a "canal-like" pool, to show some of the more adventurous options a re-opened canal would provide.  CanalFest is an annual event that draws a huge crowd and provides a real service to the Worcester community.

Over all it was a great weekend! Maybe next year they can spread it out over a few weeks so I can blog about them separately!!!!

Until next time....
<3 K

No comments:

Post a Comment