It’s time: time to take advantage of all that New England has to offer when the weather is kind and the event schedule is full. Ahead, discover six New England towns worth visiting in the month of June.
Enjoy free live jazz music every day for 10 days straight during the Discover Jazz Festival from June 1-10. Jazz musicians will perform at more than 20 venues and on four outdoor stages around Burlington. There will also be free jazz film screenings and “Meet the Artist” events. The festival kickoff party will take place June 1 at the top of the Church Street Marketplace, where Levitate Live will perform on the Top Block Stage and thirsty guests can venture to a beer garden.
How many different clam chowders have you tried? You may find a new favorite during the 34th annual WOKQ Chowder Festival on June 2 in Portsmouth’s Prescott Park. Attendees get to sample chowders from more than a dozen area restaurants, all competing for the title of “Best Chowder.” And the chowder flavors will run the gamut — past recipes have included smoked scallop chowder, Manhattan chowder, vegetarian chowder, corn chowder, and spicy seafood chowder. The fun will take place “from 11:30 am until the chowder runs out,” according to organizers. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $7 for children.
For the past half a century, Topsfield has paid homage to the strawberry at the Topsfield Strawberry Festival. You can take part in the 50th iteration of the annual event by heading to the picturesque Topsfield Town Common on June 9. Shop the wares of more than 60 artisans selling everything from art to jewelry to clothing. Tour the Elizabethan architecture of the Parson Capen House, a 17th-century building overlooking the Common that was the home of Reverend Parson Capen, who served the church in Topsfield for 44 years. And, of course, eat plenty of strawberries — in the form of strawberry shortcake. Volunteers will dole out “bowls and bowls of fresh strawberries, whipped cream and piles of shortcakes” throughout the day, according to organizers. Admission and parking are free.
A river full of fire awaits you in Providence. Seriously: The popular art installation of bonfires on the water has “a European street festival vibe,” writes the The Boston Globe. As the fires burn, visitors can peruse vendors and listen to music along Memorial Boulevard and the Providence and Woonasquatucket Rivers. Leashed dogs are welcome at the events, which are admission-free, though donations are appreciated. Choose between two nights this month: a basin lighting on June 10 and a full lighting on June 30. Those who want to view the fires from the water can book a gondola ride.
Take your appetite to the Cape for the Provincetown Portuguese Festival, which will celebrate the Portuguese heritage of Provincetown from June 21-24. Attend a Portuguese soup tasting, browse items in a Portuguese food court, and head to a lobster bake near Portuguese Square on June 22. If a family-oriented cookout is more your style, visit Motta Field on June 23 before nabbing a spot on Commercial Street later in the day for the annual parade full of dancers, musicians, and floats. After a mass at St. Peter the Apostle Church on Sunday, June 24, a procession will walk to MacMillan Pier for the 70th Annual Blessing of the Fleet. There will be live music and dancing in Portuguese Square and events for children that include face painting, a fishing derby, a “Great Lobster Crate Race,” and a performance by the Toe Jam Puppet Band throughout the festival. View the full schedule of events here, many of which are free.
You’ve probably never run a race while carrying a dead fish (nor wanted to). But if you’re intrigued, you can find out more during the Cod Fish Races at this year’s 56th annual Windjammer Days in Boothbay Harbor from June 24-30. Other ways to enjoy the festival that might be more your speed: a pancake breakfast, a lobster-eating contest, an antique boat parade, a farmer’s market, fireworks over the harbor, kids activities like model boat building, and plenty of live music. The “Gathering of the Fleet” will happen on June 27, when the windjammers will glide into Boothbay Harbor beginning at 1 p.m. New this year is drone-provided footage of the boats on a large screen in Whale Park. The majority of the Windjammer Days events are free to the public.