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Top 20 Massachusetts Events for 2009

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See Yankee‘s travel bargains in Massachusetts

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APR. 29-MAY 6: WILLIAMSTOWN, NORTH ADAMS, Jazz Festival. A showing of the film Ben-Hur, accompanied by live big-band music, kicks off this event, in venues throughout both towns. Other offerings include the Intercollegiate Jazz Festival, featuring 12 regional college ensembles; a gospel concert; a salsa dance party; the Miguel Zenon Quartet; and the Vijay Ayer Trio. 800-214-3799; 413-597-5299; williamstownjazz.com

MAY 13-17, JULY 15-19, SEPT. 9-13: BRIMFIELD, Annual Heart-o-the-Mart. This popular and well-choreographed fair offers 20 fields, with more than 4,000 dealers offering a variety of quality antiques and collectibles. Whether you’re an experienced shopper or a newbie, Brimfield is an experience not to be missed. 413-245-9556; brimfield-hotm.com

MAY 16: NEW BEDFORD, Aviation Fun Day. Static aircraft displays, K9 unit demonstrations, sightseeing flights for kids, antique car displays, dragsters, and much more, all at New Bedford Regional Airport. 508-997-0620; atlanticaviators.com/funday.html

MAY 21-DEC. 30: STOCKBRIDGE, Berkshire Theatre Festival. The second-oldest summer theater in the nation presents new plays and area premieres through the summer and fall. The 2009 season features Broadway by the Year, The Einstein Project, Ghosts, and more. 413-298-5536, 413-298-5576; berkshiretheatre.org

JUNE 13: STURBRIDGE, Evening at the Kiln. Old Sturbridge Village opens its authentic kiln to the public. Try your hand at the potter’s wheel and experience how redware was made and fired in 1830s New England. 800-733-1830, 508-347-3362; osv.org

JUNE 14-AUG. 30: BECKET, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. The Merce Cunningham company, Doug Varone, and scores more artists grace this annual event. One highlight is the return of the Pacific Northwest Ballet to Ted Shawn Theatre, August 19-23, with a program of works by the late contemporary choreographer Ulysses Dove, including Vespers, Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven, and the dynamic Red Angels. 413-243-0745, 413-243-9919; jacobspillow.org

JUNE 20: PLYMOUTH, Patuxet Strawberry Thanksgiving. Watch as summer’s first harvest is honored as it was in the 1600s by Native Americans. Daylong celebration at Plimoth Plantation’s Wampanoag Homesite, with ceremonies, singing, dancing, feasting, mishoon (canoe) races, and games such as 17th-century football. 508-746-1622; plimoth.org

JUNE 20-21: DEERFIELD, Old Deerfield Summer Craft Fair. One of the top 25 events of its kind in America, with live music, strawberry treats, and an American Girl tea event, all at Memorial Hall Museum. 413-774-7476; deerfield-craft.org

JUNE 26: LENOX, Tanglewood 2009 Season Opening. The summer music series, set in the picturesque Berkshires, kicks off with the Emerson String Quartet and Paul Neubauer on the viola, performing selections by Ives, Dvorak, and Barber at Seiji Ozawa Hall. Tanglewood’s 2009 season runs through September 6. 888-266-1200, 617-266-1492, bso.org

JUNE 27: GREENFIELD, Western Massachusetts Highland Games & Celtic Festival. Franklin County Fairgrounds opens to athletic, dancing, and bagpipe competitions to celebrate Scottish heritage. Featuring food, demonstrations, a clan village, and the New England Scottish hammer throw championship. 413-584-9182; wmhg.org

JULY 1-12: BROCKTON, Annual Brockton Fair. A traditional country event, with magic shows, petting farm, pig races, demolition derby, fireworks, amateur boxing, live wrestling, flat-track motorcycle races, mud bogging, live entertainment, and much more. 508-586-8000; brocktonfair.com

JULY 3-5, SEPT. 4-6, OCT. 10-12: BREWSTER, By the Bay Fine Art and Crafts Show. Featuring the best watercolors, fine-art photography, oils, jewelry, stained glass, pottery, furniture, and clothing. Located on scenic Cape Cod Bay. 508-896-2670; bythebayshows.com

JULY 18: ONSET, Illumination of Onset Bay. More than 2,500 red flares on the beach light up the water and its islands in this unique traditional event. 508-295-7072; onsetvillage.com

JULY 23-AUG. 30: BOSTON, “Jersey Boys.” The hit story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons comes to Citi Performing Arts Center’s Shubert Theatre. See and experience how a group of blue-collar guys from the wrong side of the tracks became one of the biggest American pop-music sensations of all time. 866-348-9738; citicenter.org

JULY 25-AUG. 1: WOODS HOLE, Film Festival. Nonprofit eight-day showcase of independent film, offering daily screenings, workshops, panel discussions, staged readings, parties, an awards ceremony, and more. 508-495-3456; woodsholefilmfestival.org

AUG. 9: WESTMINSTER, Wachusett Valley Folk Festival. Presenting John Gorka, Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams, The Kennedys and Trina Hamlin, MacTalla Mor, and many other performers at Wachusett Village Inn. 978-365-2043; wachusettmusic.com

AUG. 15: FALMOUTH, Sand Sculpture Contest. Spend Saturday morning at Surf Drive Beach and watch 10 teams fashion works of art. Awards ceremony by category, plus People’s Choice. Enjoy family activities from the National Marine Life Center and take home a fun goodie bag. 800-526-8532, 508-540-3304; falmouthart.org

AUG. 15: LOWELL, Southeast Asian Water Festival. Featuring traditional dances, boat races, and live music. Enjoy a fashion show, games and activities, international foods, and arts and crafts from Southeast Asia, all at Sampas Pavilion. lowellwaterfestival.org

AUG. 15-16: WORCESTER, Latin American Festival. Immerse yourself in vibrant Hispanic culture at Worcester City Hall Plaza, with two days of music, food, dancing, vendors, and more. 800-836-5552 x229, 508-798-1900 x229; worcesterlatinfestival.com

AUG. 22-23: SALEM, Antique & Classic Boat Festival. View more than 40 vintage yachts, including elegant 1920s-40s-era mahogany runabouts, cabin cruisers, and sailboats on display at Hawthorne Cove Marina. Tour the vessels, meet the crews, and vote for your favorite vessel. Other highlights include an arts-and-crafts market, classic cars, old-time band music, parade of boats, and the Blessing of the Fleet (Sunday 3 p.m.). 617-666-8530; boatfestival.org

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