Arts Festival Features Over 20 Events in October

Medford resident and lifelong artist Paula Hackett painted by the river during the Mystic River Celebration last year.

October has arrived, and with it comes the annual Medford on the Mystic Arts Festival, an exciting month filled to the brim with over 20 arts and cultural activities throughout the city. Now in its second year, the Medford on the Mystic Arts Festival features visual arts, music, poetry, theater, dance, literature, and culinary arts activities. The festival is presented by the Coalition for Arts, Culture, and a Healthy Economy (CACHE), a coalition of 21 arts and cultural organizations and supporting businesses all devoted to advocating for and promoting the arts in Medford.

“The festival is all about creating many opportunities for people to come together to relax, have fun, and get to know the community,” says CACHE President, May Marquebreuck. “ We are proud of our city so we created the Medford on the Mystic Arts Festival to celebrate Medford, our artists, our history, and our diversity. There really is something for everyone during the month of October.”

One event at the center of the Medford on the Mystic Arts Festival is the Mystic River Celebration, a one-day arts festival at the Condon Shell on Route 16. On Saturday, October 20th from 11-4pm, the Condon Shell and surrounding park will come alive with artisan vendors, local food, live music, dance performances, public art installations, and programs and booths from local businesses and organizations. The lineup of performers includes local musicians Phillip Hamilton, The Porch Party Mamas, Pablo Bencid, Al Peterson, and Michael Allen. The event is free and open to all ages. Parking at the Condon Shell is limited, so participants are encouraged to walk, travel by bike, or take the free shuttle from the commuter lot between Springstep and the Hyatt near City Hall. The rain date is Sunday, October 21st.

The following is a full list of events during the month of October. Visit to see the full descriptions. Thanks to the Medford on the Mystic Arts Festival’s primary sponsor, Brookline Bank, a grant from the Medford Arts Council, and sponsorships from Medford Health Matters, Made in Medford, and Tufts, 17 of the events throughout the month of October are free to the public.

Saturday, October 6, 10am-3pm
Haines Square Fall Festival
Haines Square in Medford (FREE)

Sunday, October 7, 12-3pm
Brooks Family Medford Heritage Walk
Guided Walking Tour from Medford Square to the Brooks Estate (FREE)

Wednesday, October 10, 7pm
Medford’s Stained Glass: Elegant Eye-Candy
A Talk by Dee Morris at Grace Episcopal Church (FREE)

Thursday, October 11, 3-7pm
Apple Fest and Bake-off
Medford Farmers Market, Behind City Hall (FREE)

Saturday, October 13, 9am-12pm
A Kayak Trip: The History, Birds, and Environment of the Mystic River
Starting and Ending at the Condon Shell ($10 Suggested Donation)

Saturday, October 13, 9am-5pm
The First Patriots: Rebels at Mystic Riverbend Park
At Mystic Riverbend Park Behind Andrews & McGlynn Middle School (FREE)

Saturday, October 13, 1-4pm
Harvest Your Energy Festival
Behind McGlynn Middle School at the Base of Wind Turbine (FREE)

Saturday, October 13, 4pm
Author Reading and Book Signing: Sally Gunning
At Royall House & Slave Quarters (FREE)

Saturday, October 13, 4-6pm
Artworks In2Shades Art Exhibit Opening Reception
At Mystic Coffee Roaster (FREE)

Sunday, October 14, 2-4pm
International Family Festival
At Springstep (FREE)

Tuesday, October 16, 7pm
Godfrey Chevalier: Our Shining Knight
At the Medford Public Library (FREE)

Saturday, October 20, 11am-4pm
Mystic River Celebration
Condon Shell Along Route 16 (FREE)

Saturday, October 20, 7-10:30pm
Night of 10,000 Lights
Friends of the Medford Family Network at City Hall (Ticketed event)

Sunday, October 21, 2pm
Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit
At Grace Episcopal Church (Ticketed event)

Tuesday, October 23, 6-9pm
Taste of Italy
Presented by the Medford Kiwanis Club at Accardi & Sons (Ticketed event)

Tuesday, October 23, 7pm
A Lecture by Award-Winning Author Eric Jay Dolin
At the Medford Public Library (FREE)

Friday, October 26, 3-5pm
Business Trick or Treat
Haines Square, West Medford, and Medford Square (FREE)

Saturday, October 27, 8pm
Tufts Wind Ensemble Presents: Sonic Boom!
At Distler Performance Hall at the Granoff Music Center, Tufts (FREE)

Saturday & Sunday, October 27-28, 1-4pm
Plein Air Art Exhibit
At Royall House Slave Quarters (FREE)

Sunday, October 28, 3-4pm
Let Us Entertain You
Quincy Choral Society at Springstep ($5 suggested donation)

Visit for more information about festival events, including the Mystic River Celebration.

About CACHE:

Formed in 2010, CACHÉ is dedicated to promoting and enhancing a vibrant arts and cultural scene in Medford in collaboration with local businesses. It was conceived by the leaders of several Medford non-profit organizations to be a unified voice and advocate for the arts and cultural activities in the community and to encourage a creative economy movement in Medford. In addition to the Medford on the Mystic Arts Festival, CACHÉ is behind Medford’s first ever monthly Circle the Square events which take place on the third Thursday of each month from July-October.

– Submitted Allison Fiske

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