Save the date!
Sunday, July 24 — George Street Bike Challenge for Major Taylor, 10 a.m., Main and George streets “See how fast you can pedal up George Street, a two-block quad-buster that was a training ground for 1899 world champion Major Taylor. It’s one rider at a time against the clock in this steep uphill time trial in downtown Worcester.” Steep? George Street is steep for a car, never mind a human on two skinny wheels. The distance is 500 feet, they say, and the average grade is 18 percent. Open to riders 12 and up, entry fee is $20. Proceeds benefit the Major Taylor Association.
For the uninitiated, Marshall Walter “Major” Taylor was only the second black world champion in any sport (after Canadian boxer George Dixon). He moved to Worcester from the Midwest as a teen seeking a more tolerant environment, and also at the encouragement of bicycle shop owner Birdie Munger, who believed Taylor could be a star.
Sunday, July 10 — Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra Salute to Disney, 7 p.m., Institute Park, Salisbury Street and Park Avenue What Disney definitely needs is another salute. [Removes tongue from cheek.] But then if you’re going to mine a place for creativity and pure family entertainment, there really isn’t a better rabbit hole to jump down. Matter-o-fact, Buzzfeed, as it’s wont to do, ranked 102 Disney songs in 2014, so the Worcester-based symphony, in its 66th summer of presenting free concerts around the city, will indeed have a plethora of options.
And, who knows, you may even get to wish upon a star. Scattered showers are in the forecast, though, FYI.
Monday, July 11-Saturday, July 16 — Jeremiah’s Inn 22nd annual Food/Fund Drive, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Shaw’s supermarket, 68 Stafford St. [Webster Square] Jeremiah’s Inn is a longstanding social service agency focused mainly on its residential recovery and nutrition programs in Main South. The Inn’s 29-bed social-model recovery program is for men who are able to be sober 30 days prior to admission, and who are willing and able to help others meet their goals. Its nutrition center features an evening meal program, a food pantry, healthy eating education and dental services.
The organization says it serves more than 12,500 people annually from the pantry. More than 1 out of every 3 of those is a child. So, if you’re near Webster Square this week and you can find an excuse not to swing by Shaw’s, then we can’t be friends anymore.
Monday, July 11 — Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” 7:30 p.m., Sprinkler Factory, 38 Harlow St. Have to admit, not much of a Shakespeare guy here. Had a little run-in with Julius Caesar in eighth-grade English class that I never quite recovered from — et tu, Mrs. Slipp?! But I hear the guy had some skills, as far as 16th century writers go, anyway. The Alumni Company, a four-person touring troupe (of alumni) from Shakespeare Academy in Stratford, Connecticut, will be bringing one of the Bard’s most popular stage comedies — Puck and Oberon and dancing fairies and confused lovebirds — to the ever-eclectic Sprinkler Factory.
Also Tuesday, July 12. Suggested donation: $10.
Wednesday, July 13 — FCBL All-Star Game and Festivities, 4 p.m. (game at 7:30), Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field, 1 College St. So, the Bravehearts and the Futures League have big expectations for this thing, telling anyone who would listen in a press conference last month that this will be “the premier event of the summer in Worcester.” Which means, we had no choice but to list it. Live, local music. Boston icon Rene Rancourt singing the national anthem. Home run derby. Fifty of the best ballplayers in New England. Tim Collins bobblehead! Postgame fireworks. You’re up, Worcester — good luck topping that.
Friday, July 15-Sunday, July 17 — WooTown WakeFest, all day, Quinsigamond State Park, 10 North Lake Ave. I’m gonna guess there will be some Red Bull available. What will also be available to stoke the gnarly-ness is three days of wet and wild water sports for participants, enthusiasts and curious spectators alike. Friday is wakeboarding and gear demos. Saturday is live music, vendors, food trucks, and wake, surf and skate competitions. Organizers are calling Sunday a “wake-surf extravaganza,” so that sounds righteous, too, bro!
It’s also one of five U.S. regional qualifying events for junior men’s pro riders. There are amateur divisions and chances to learn how to ride. Registration for participants is $25.