This Week’s Distractions: July 13 to 18

By Mary Kate DePamphilis

I don’t even know where to start with this week’s NoBo Distractions…I am so excited by all of them!  There are a lot of opportunities this week to have a blast.  So get out and do it.  Go listen to some Buffett tunes by the beach, taste one of Boston’s best chef’s creations in the rough and on a farm, pack a picnic and listen to some old Beatles songs, eat some of the best Greek gyros ever, or bike a scenic 28-miles to help save lives.  The options are unlimited in NoBo this week!


3rd Annual Buffett Beach Blast!

Calling all Parrotheads!  Are you looking for your Cheeseburger in Paradise this weekend?  You can find it at the Blue Ocean Music Hall this Friday evening.  Changes in Latitudes, the premiere Jimmy Buffett tribute show will be taking you to the tropics and jamming out to your favorite Buffett tunes.  The nine-piece band with take you to Margaritaville complete with flying beach balls, conga lines, Hawaiian shirts, and grass skirts.   This event has captured the look and feel of a real Jimmy Buffett concert.  If you have ever been to one—you know what I am taking about.  Somehow the Comcast Center always becomes Key West for 48-hours.

This event even has its own similar tailgate party prior to the show, in the parking lot adjacent to the music hall.  Bring your portable blender and your best tropical outfit, designate a sober driver, and get the party started earlier outside by the beach!  Prizes awarded to the best themed car, too.  The weather is supposed to be outstanding, so this couldn’t be a more perfect event to attend on a sunny afternoon in July by the ocean.

When?  Friday, July 13th, Tailgate Starts at 4pm, Show starts at 8pm.

Where?  Blue Ocean Music Hall, 4 Oceanfront North, Salisbury

Cost?  $15 Per Car for Tailgating, Show Tickets are $25.  To purchase tickets, log on now.


The HMS Bounty Visits Newburyport

If you missed the Tall Ships in Boston this time around, you still have a chance to catch one of the majestic ships in Newburyport this weekend!  The Tall Ship HMS Bounty is arriving tonight and will be offering tours tomorrow through Sunday.  The 180-foot-replica of the famous 18th century ship was built in the early 1960’s as a floating movie set for the 1962 Marlon Brando motion picture “Mutiny on the Bounty”. It has also been in many other films including “Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest”.  In 2010, Bounty sailed through all five Great Lakes as part of the ASTA Tall Ships Challenge.

In addition to tours, there will be entertainment on the waterfront as well.  Get into the tropical summer spirit as the Plum Island Pans—NoBo’s own multiple steel drum band –whisks you away with their amazing sound.   Later that evening, local sponsor Chase & Lunt Insurance will be presenting the feature film “Treasure Island” on a 40-foot screen in which the actual Bounty stars in.  On Sunday, there will be live performances at 1pm. and 3pm. of “Much Ado About Something” by the Firehouse Center for the Arts.  Performances will be held on the lawn behind the Firehouse in full view of the Tall Ship.

When?  Tours are Friday July 13t, 10AM to 3:30PM & Saturday July 14th-Sunday July 15th 10AM to 5PM

Where?  Waterfront Park, 36 Merrimac Street, Newburyport, MA

Cost?  FREE!


Ipswich Greek Festival!

OPA!  Are you ready to get down with this amazing party tradition of over 75 years?  This Greek Festival and Clambake is one of the longest running events in the NoBo area.  Come and enjoy Greek dancing, children’s activities, authentic Greek cuisine and specialties, stroll throughout the Agora “Marketplace” and experience a real Greek Taverna! Bring your family and friends and be prepared to stuff your stomach with some of the best seafood in the region.  And is seafood isn’t your thing—that’s OK.  They will have plenty of food for all tastes including lamb dinners, gyros, Souvlaki dinners, pastitso, spanakopita, Greek desserts such as baklava, and so much more!
There will be raffles and prizes going on throughout the weekend and NoBo’s own North Shore 104.9 Radio will be broadcasting live.  To get a listing of all the dance and musical performances, click here.  Get immersed in the exciting and delicious Greek culture!

When?  Saturday, July 14th, 1 to 11PM and Sunday July 15th, 1PM to dusk

Where?  117 Country Road, Ipswich

Cost?  $5, 18 and under FREE


8th Annual Reid’s Ride

If you are an avid cyclist—or even just a beginner, why not get some exercise this weekend and ride your way to helping cure cancer?  It’s been 7 years since Lynnfield native Reid Sacco lost his battle with cancer.  Reid was a special person, athlete, and musician, and loved by all who met him.  After being diagnosed with a tumor in his right thigh, he refused to let his prognosis derail his life plans and goals.  One of his goals was to ride in a bike-a-thon for cancer research, but unfortunately he never got to see that goal through.

Now cyclists from all over the North Shore and Massachusetts ride in honor of Reid, and all those struggling with cancer.  The 28-mile ride pedals through 6 towns, starting at Lynnfield High School, ending at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester.  The scenery is fantastic along the way, as you will ride by small town centers, expansive estates, and ocean views.  The route is fun and safe for all ages and abilities.  There will be a rest stop with refreshments at Endicott College.  A fun-filled barbeque reception will welcome you at the finish line!  To register for this special event, log on to  Proceeds will benefit the Reid Saco Memorial Cancer Research Fund which supports research in the fight against young adult cancers.  Help support a great cause and make a difference in memory of one of NoBo’s own.

“Life is like sailing.  Change can come upon you suddenly.  But just because you have to alter your course, it doesn’t mean you have to stop sailing.”-Reid Sacco, July 2003

When?  Sunday, June 15th, 6:30am

Where?  Lynnfield High School, 275 Essex Street, Lynnfield

Cost?  $50 Registration Fee & Fundraising minimum of $125


New England Authors Expo

Feeling like you might take the summer to finally write that novel you always dreamed about?  Or maybe you are just interested in speaking with some of New England’s best authors, illustrators, publishers, writer’s groups, and schools.  You can do all that at this event hosted by Pear Tree Publishing. The expo is a great place to meet over 150 authors and artists, buy books, and discuss book writing, illustrating and printing with dozens of publishing professionals.  Could be a very interesting—or perhaps motivating evening!  This is definitely a great networking opportunity.

There will be a cash bar as well as some light refreshments.  There are some exciting local celebrities expected to be in attendance, too!

When?  Wednesday, July 18th, 4-9pm.

Where?  Danversport Yacht Club, 161 Elliot Street, Danvers

Cost? FREE, but registration is required.  Space is limited, so register soon!  A raffle to benefit breast cancer research will be held and encouraged for participants.


Whim at Smolak Farms

Every Wednesday from now until August 29th, Smolak farms will be hosting a unique dining experience.  Each dinner will feature one of New England’s best chefs as they cook you a 3-course dinner in the rough, in the Smolak Farms Pine Grove.  There is only one menu option presented by the chef of the day.  But not to worry, you will love it all!  The line-up of chefs is amazing and they are from some of the best restaurants in the area.

This coming Wednesday, Smolak Farms will welcome Andy Husbands of Tremont 647 and Sister Sorel—two of the hottest restaurants in Boston right now.  Aside from winning numerous “Best of Boston” awards, Husbands has made several TV appearances, including his run as a contestant in Season 6 of FOX-TV’s “Hell’s Kitchen.” He was also a semi-finalist in the James Beard Award’s Best Chef category in 2008 and 2009.  His menus seem to take our favorite comfort foods and upgrade them with a twist.  How could anyone resist the fontina stuffed tater tots at Tremont 647?  You can’t.  And that is why you will love next Wednesday’s Whim dinner at Smolak Farms.  Not to mention that the farm is one of NoBo’s best area attractions.  The scenery is gorgeous and so New-England.  The cute country store and countless orchards offer a true country experience.

This event will happen rain or shine.  For tickets and a full listing of chefs, log on to the Whim website.  Bon Appétit!

When?  Wednesday, 6:30pm.

Where?  Smolak Farms, 315 South Bradford Street, North Andover

Cost?  $65 pp, beverages & gratuity not included.  Wine, beer, and soda will be available for purchase.


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