This Week’s Distractions: August 16 to 23

By Mary Kate DePamphilis

There are only two more weekends left of the summer months in NoBo!  And of course in typical NoBo fashion, we are going out with a bang….a bang of festivals by our beautiful shores, fantastic cultural events and performances, and even a little glimpse of Hollywood!  Conceivably, you could start off Thursday with our first Distraction and then throughout the weekend, you could take a drive up the North Shore’s coastline and stop by every other event.  We dare you to try it!  Who needs a vacation when it’s all right here?


Extreme Chef Viewing Party

I have mentioned Seaglass Restaurant & Lounge before in previous Distractions.  And if you haven’t stopped by this summer yet, take this opportunity to go to one of the only restaurants in NoBo that is directly on  the beach!  The views of the Atlantic on Salisbury Beach are absolutely stunning through the venue’s huge windows.

Seaglass’ own Executive Chef Scott Brandolini will be competing on the national Food Network’s Extreme Chef Show for a $50,000 prize at stake!  Big screens throughout the restaurant will make for the perfect and most exciting environment to see Scott compete—and hopefully win!  Enjoy some late bite “extreme” small plates for $5 and exotic cocktails for $8.  Live music will entertain you from 7pm-10pm and the show will air at 10pm.  Stay put because there will be complimentary late night sweet bites for guests, too!  Summer will be over soon, so getting out to this fabulous place on the water!

When?  Thursday, August 16, 2012, 7-11pm.

Where?  Seaglass Restaurant & Lounge, 4 Oceanfront North, Salisbury

Cost?  FREE, price of food and drinks not included.


Salem Jazz and Soul Festival

This groove-worthy event will be going on all weekend, featuring dozens of live performances, with Radio Scotvoid spinning between sets.  And that’s not all!  There will be a music education tent sponsored by Salem Five, a beer garden hosted by Ipswich Ale, a guest appearance by WitchPitch! A Capella, a visit from the WBZ Kidcast Mobile Studio, a kid’s play tent, and a sprawling artisan’s fair!

Each year, the Salem Jazz and Soul Festival partners with Berklee College of Music to bring you the SJSF/Berklee Summer Series, a free outdoor concert series taking place this weekend at Salem Willows—a picturesque spot by the water.  Each day, there will be five different bands performing.  In addition, local restaurants and lounges in the Salem/Beverly area will be hosting jazz performances in honor of the event.  The whole Salem area will be “jazzed”!  For a full lineup of performers and other events, click here.

The Salem Jazz and Soul Festival is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization that produces free concerts for the public and raises money to support music education programs.  The group is an all volunteer run organization.  Since the festival started in 2007, they have produced over 40 free concerts for the public, highlighting both local music talent and national acts.  In addition to producing free music events for the public, proceeds from the music festival benefit music education programs on the North Shore.  To date the SJSF has raised nearly $25,000 for music education programs in schools and youth programs on the North Shore.

When?  Saturday, August 18th, 11:15am-7pm. & Sunday, August 19th, 11:15am-7pm.

Where?  Salem Willows, 167 Fort Avenue, Salem

Cost? Free Admission


Newburyport’s ArtWalk at Indigo Artist Studio

ArtWalk is a self-guided walking tour featuring activities at participating galleries and studios throughout downtown Newburyport, including music, demonstrations, artist receptions, and refreshments. Look for the ArtWalk signs displayed at ArtWalk sites.  You can find a complete list of participating galleries by clicking here.  There are over 15 fabulous places to drop in and visit!  Don’t forget to confirm hours with individual galleries. Gallery walking tours include Saturday 3-7pm and Sunday 1-5pm.

Indigo Artist Studio will be celebrating the event with art and entertainment including The Chuck Walker Trio and an exhibit of new work by studio artists.  Join the fun on Saturday from 4-6pm for the live jazz music while you enjoy Vermont landscapes by Lillian Coolidge and “Trees” monotypes by Mary Arthur Pollak.  Wine and cheese will be served for guests on the ArtWalk.  What a fabulous late afternoon out in NoBo!

When?  Saturday, August 18th, Indigo Studio will be open from 12-7pm. as well as Sunday, August 19th, 12-5pm.

Where?  Indigo Artist Studio, 53 Middle Street, Newburyport, as well as other galleries throughout downtown Newburyport

Cost?  FREE


A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Why not spend a late-summer night dreaming that it’s still a Midsummer Night?  One of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies will be finishing off the summer season at Marblehead Little Theatre.  You won’t be able to resist the magic and mayhem of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Director Christopher Martel’s unique vision will surprise and amaze all who join the adventure.  In the end, you will be awakened from the night’s dreaming and wonder how much of it was real.  How much of it really happened?

When?  Thursday, August 16th-Sunday August 19th and Friday, August 24th-Sunday, August 26th, all performances at 7:30, except Sundays which will be 2pm matinees.

Where?  Marblehead Little Theatre, 12 School Street, Marblehead

Cost?  $20 advance purchase, $25 at the door, students and matinees will be $15.  For advance ticket purchase information, click here.


Gloucester Waterfront Festival

This is the perfect NoBo summer event!  A collection of over 175 artists and craftsmen from throughout the U.S. will display their unique creations, live music, and delicious ethnic foods. A pancake breakfast and traditional New England Lobster Bake complement this picture perfect festival at Stage Forge Park on the shore of the Atlantic.

Coinciding with the festival, downtown Gloucester will be hosting a block party for even more partying! Main Street will be a promenade of entertainment, al fresco dining, dancing and children’s games.  It starts at 6 pm and it’s FREE!  Gloucester is definitely the place to be this weekend!  The event will happen rain or shine.

When?  Saturday, August 18th-Sunday, August 19th

Where?  Hough Avenue, Stage Fort Park, Gloucester

Cost?  Free Admission


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