Worcester Weekly: Columbus Day Parade + 5 more mid-October things to do

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Sunday, Oct. 9 — 22nd Worcester Columbus Day Parade, noon, Aitchison and Shrewsbury streets to Washington Square  First things first: The most Italian name in the history of Italian names — besides maybe Cristoforo Colombo — Msgr. Rocco Piccolomini, stands out on the roster of prominent city Sunday gravy aficionados who’ve been chosen as honorary grand marshals through the years. Piccolomini, a revered clergyman and educator who died last fall, is joined by luminaries such as John Conte, Ralph Raymond, Karyn Polito and Ray Mariano.

It's his day (Christopher Columbus) ... and Worcester has big plans.

Wikimedia Commons

It’s his day (Christopher Columbus) … and Worcester has big plans.

And this year, it’s school safety chief Rob Pezzella’s turn to lead the procession from one end of Shrewsbury Street to the other, making him the third Pezzella (after A. Thomas and Stephen, doctors both) to be so honored. Be prepared: There will be a quiz somewhere between East Park and VIA.

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Wednesday, Oct. 12 — The Monuments Men of WWII: The Worcester Connection, 4 p.m., Rare Book Room, Goddard Library, Clark University, 950 Main St.  Not everything begins and ends with George Clooney, as it turns out. Maybe the mega-star’s 2014 film, “The Monuments Men,” brought back into mainstream consciousness the heroics of this unlikely military unit, but you wouldn’t be wrong to trace a major hunk of its origin story back to the City of Seven Hills. When priceless artifacts and other items of cultural significance began being pilfered, a pair of Worcester-based art experts found themselves enlisted among the bunch that would retrieve tens of thousands of treasures from across Europe.

And James Welu, director emeritus of Worcester Art Museum, is the man for the monumental job of rekindling this fascinating tale and connecting the dots between Lt. Cmdr. George Stout, Francis Henry Taylor, the Nazis and Worcester. Free and open to the public, but RSVPs to 508-793-7206 or fwilliams@clarku.edu are requested.

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Thursday, Oct. 13 — “An Inside Story of African-American Imprisonment Before Emancipation: Austin Reed’s ‘The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict’,” lecture, 7 p.m., Antiquarian Hall, American Antiquarian Society, 185 Salisbury St. Written in the 1850s, “Haunted Convict” is considered the “earliest known prison memoir” from a black writer, according to an NPR article earlier this year. Reed, the author, profiles a burgeoning prison system modeled after pre-emancipation plantation life. The 2009 yard sale discovery was edited by Caleb Smith, a Yale english professor, who’s been so kind as to agree to wax historic about this remarkable piece of literature in a free and open discussion at one of the nation’s preeminent venues for this sort of thing. Lucky folks, us Worcester-area nerds! First-come, first-served for seats.

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Friday, Oct. 14 — Abby Kelley Foster football vs. Bay Path, 7 p.m., Kendrick Field, West Boylston and Brooks streets  Admit it, you had no idea these guys even had a football team! Well, they do, and the Bears of Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public School aren’t half bad. Matter of fact, senior quarterback Noah Christo rushed for 168 yards and accounted for five touchdowns in a 50-32 shootout win Sept. 30 over Nashoba Tech. The Bears were 2-2 (they blanked Oxford, 36-0, to start the season) headed into this weekend’s tilt after spending all but the final two games of last season on the junior-varsity level.

An example of Munford's work

Courtesy Worcester Academy

An example of Munford’s work

Saturday, Oct. 15 — Robert Munford: Selected Works, 1957-1966, opening reception, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Cole Porter Lobby, Worcester Academy Performance Center, 14 Marion Ave.  In the here and now, Mumford & Sons is a banjo-infused alt-rock band from London likely past the peak of its popularity. Back about a century ago in the Woo, though, Munford and Sons was a well-to-do May Street family on its way to bigger and better things. Walter, the patriarch, was an American Steel and Wire executive before becoming president of U.S. Steel in 1959, when his son Robert was busy creating important works of pop art in Spain.

Robert Munford

Courtesy Worcester Academy

Robert Munford

Robert, who died in 1991, was also a Worcester Academy alum prompted by WWII to enlist in the U.S. Army Air Corps a year before his expected 1944 graduation. Now he’ll be remembered in a monthlong exhibit, the first large-scale showing of his work in 20 years. The opening reception is free; space is limited and registration is required.

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Save the Date!


Wednesday, Oct. 19 — 11th annual Beggar’s Bowl fundraiser and arts event, 5:30 p.m., The First Baptist Church of Worcester, 111 Park Ave.  When a powerful conglomeration of mostly well-heeled churches and faith groups gets together for a $50-a-pop fundraiser in a college town full of skeptical, cynical hipsters (ahem, and journalists) and calls it the “Beggar’s Bowl,” the real miracle is the lack of protesters! Of course, Worcester Interfaith has been doing this for a decade, and its many members have worked throughout the city to combat youth crime and aid refugees among several other causes. So, na-na-na-boo-boo to you, silly cynics!

interfaith-jpeg-for later

That $50 not only gets deduction season off on the right foot, it also gets you “artisan bread and a bowl of homemade soup, served in [a] hand-thrown stoneware bowl which you get to take home!” The Boy Scouts and their popcorn are doing this fundraising thing all wrong!

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