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25 Things to do in Boston this summer

 

Newport Folk Festival
In 1965, Dylan famously played that newfangled electric rock here and was stoned by crowds of angry folk purists. (He was also probably stoned otherwise, but as he says, everybody must get stoned). Nowadays, there isn’t a genre the festival won’t embrace. This year you can see Iron and Wine, My Morning Jacket and Tune-Yards desecrating the hallowed seaside stage, alongside traditionalist icons like Patty Griffin and Jackson Browne. Show up early on Friday (and buy an additional ticket) to see cult favorites Wilco kick things off. Fort Adams State Park, Harrison Ave, Newport, RI (newportfolkfest.net). July 27–29; $69–$77


Phantom Gourmet BBQ Beach Party
One of the very best things about summertime is the abundance of barbecues—so much the better if you’re not the one who has to do the cooking. Come get your fill of some of the best barbecue from all over the world at the Phantom Gourmet BBQ Beach Party, held at City Hall Plaza. $10 gets you in the door; from there, you can enjoy music, beer gardens and meaty goodness from meat-grilling geniuses with stellar names such as Joey “Boom Boom” Sutphen from Texas and Joe “The Big Show” from Kansas City. Yeehaw! City Hall Plaza, 1 City Hall Square, Downtown, Boston (bbq.phantomgourmet.com). June 22, 23 noon–9:45, Sun June 24 noon–6:45; $10


Good old-fashioned fair fun
Brockton may have a reputation as a place where no one wants to go, but its annual fair gives you plenty of reasons: Stock Car Football, demolition derbies, comedian-hypnotists and lumberjack contests, for starters. Throw in fireworks, a circus and amusement rides, and you’ve got a serious destination for fun (June 28–July 8; brocktonfair.com). Want more? The Marshfield Fair throws in professional wrestling, truck pulls, a beekeeping demonstration, stilt walkers, puppetry and farm animal exhibitions. You may never go home again (Aug 17-26; marshfieldfair.org).


Food by Foot
If sightseeing makes you peckish and feasting makes you feel lazy, Food by Foot’s educational (and delicious) culinary tours offer a happy medium. Find out how students dealt with the munchies in olden times on the Cambridge Food Tour, a gastro-historical jaunt around Harvard Square (tours start June 1); try out some of Boston’s best ethnic vittles on the Russian Cuisine Tour (Saturdays at 2pm) or the Jewish Cuisine Tour (Sundays at 2pm); and check back in August for details on FbF’s new Indian Cuisine Tour. (617-347-9423, foodbyfoot.com). $44 per tour; reservations required 


Emerging America Festival
Proving that theater doesn’t have to be well-established, safe or expensive to find its place in the sun, the Emerging America Festival descends this June to shake us out of our stupor. Now in its third year, the fest is a collaboration between three Boston artistic institutions: the American Repertory Theater, the Huntington Theatre Company and the Institute of Contemporary Art. Shows on offer this year include a revival of local boy John Kuntz’s excellent and bizarre The Hotel Nepenthe (June 21–24 at the BCA Calderwood Pavilion); a whacked-out version of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance by experimental Chicago troupe the Hypocrites (June 21–24 at Oberon); and The Friends of Eddie Coyle, a new stage adaptation of George V. Higgins’s legendary Boston crime novel (June 23, 24 at Oberon). Various venues (emergingamericafestival.com). June 21–24; Flex Pass $50, Full Pass $85