The most fun you’ll have with a calendar of events all week. And you just might learn something, too.
Sunday, Sept. 3 — Spencer Fair, 8 a.m. [gates open], Spencer Fairground, 48 Smithville Road, Spencer Oh, the spectacle of the annual country fair! Step right up and win a stuffed animal for your favorite girl or guy. Watch your favorite girl or guy become a stuffed animal — bursting at the seams with corn dogs and cotton candy and all the fried dough. Never, ever leave the fairgrounds without losing a loved one for at least an hour or two. And, oh the manure smell. It’s magical!
Really, it is, and there’s nary a New Englander whose memory banks aren’t flush with childhood recollections drenched in powdered sugar and carnival ride background music.
The 129th edition of the Spencer Fair promises to rekindle those days. While the weather may not cooperate Sunday, don’t hesitate to return for the final day of the fair Monday, Sept. 4 (gates again open at 8) and the headlining performance by country music chart-topper Jo Dee Messina at 3 p.m. on the main stage.
Friday, Sept. 8 — “Material Needs” opening reception, 7-9 p.m., ArtsWorcester, Aurora Gallery, 660 Main St. Artists, generally, are overflowing with creativity, inspiration and desire. What they often lack are the resources — money! — to turn all that passion into something they can exhibit and sell, and eventually pull themselves out of the ranks of the starving artist. For nine local artists, ArtsWorcester has provided that chance.
Through the generosity of an anonymous donor, ArtsWorcester issued grants, ranging from $500 to $1,500, to each of the artists to provide them the “materials” they would “need” to produce new works of art.
Free and open to the public, the exhibit runs through Sept. 29. Gallery hours are noon-4 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. Parking is available in the lot at Beacon Street and Ionic Avenue.
Friday, Sept. 8 — Assumption football vs. Pace, 7 p.m., Multi-Sport Stadium, Assumption College, 500 Salisbury St. It’s football season, folks — about the only the good thing that comes of summer winding down. Well, that and omnipresent Halloween candy. Anybody got Christmas lights up, yet?! So, this is the first of two football listings today, but we promise they’re both worth your time. The Greyhounds, after all, have become a bona fide regional powerhouse under coach Bob Chesney.
After scoring 37.2 points per game en route to a 9-3 record and their second straight NCAA Div. II tournament appearance last season, the Hounds return their offensive core with stars QB Marc Monks, RB Dylan Oxsen (two of the best names in sports right there!), and WRs Ashton Grant and Deonte Harris.
It’s also Youth Night, so bring your favorite child in their football jersey and they get in free. General admission tickets are $10.
Saturday, Sept. 9 — Pride Parade and Festival, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Worcester Common Oval, 455 Main St. While most pride parades get their march on in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots — a seminal moment in the gay rights movement — Worcester has traditionally staged its multi-day festival and celebration in September to take advantage of and include the city’s vast college student population. Besides, who wants to do all that walking in the heart of summer?
The parade, which starts at Institute Park and ends at City Hall, is but the headliner of a bevy of activities, which include the painting of downtown crosswalks in rainbow colors and a kickoff dinner at Mezcal on Sept. 6; a flag raising at City Hall and reception at Lock 50 on Sept. 7; the always popular Pride Pageant at Fiddler’s Green on Sept. 8; post-festival parties Sept. 9; and a “recovery brunch” at Bull Mansion Sept. 10.
Saturday, Sept. 9 — St. Peter-Marian football vs. Auburn, 1 p.m., Guardian Field, St. Peter-Marian Junior-Senior High School, 781 Grove St. Sure, you could take the easy way out, lean back on that new recliner from Rotman’s and find about 78 college football games on your television or tablet on a Saturday afternoon. But then Podunk State vs. Cupcake U. highlights might not move the needle around the water cooler Monday morning.
Besides, with the Guardians trying to improve on a fine 7-4 mark in 2016 and the Rockets coming off a 9-2 season — and both squads returning a number of standout players — it’s tough to find a more competitive early season scholastic or collegiate matchup. Oh, and there’s unfinished business, as SPM was responsible for one of those two Auburn losses (state champion Grafton got the other one) last year.