The free annual Cambridge Dance Party that started with only 500 attendees in 1996 will likely have more than 30,000 this year, when it takes its place in front of City Hall for four hours on the final Friday in June.
The East Cambridge Business Association introduces a festival Sunday – an annual event to complement its Smoke This Rib Fest held each October since 2010 – to show off local shops and restaurants.
Harvard’s annual Arts First festival runs Thursday through April 30, including a fair with 100-plus free performances in 11 locations, Make Art stations and a Friday celebrity-studded Celebration of Harvard Artists – also free to attend.
A changing of the guard in the local music biz will be held March 5 at Pagu, with legendary jazz booking agent Fred Taylor on hand, as well as a sentimental farewell to the Western Front reggae club.
The 21st annual free Danehy Park Family Day, sponsored by the city, attracts more than 4,000 people to its children’s amusement rides, arts and crafts, music and roving performers.
Just in time for returning college students pining for weekdays they can treat like weekends, The Sinclair in Harvard Square is using August to introduce Hump – a dance party taking place the last Wednesday of every month.
The release of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” the play script that catches up with J.K. Rowling’s boy wizard 19 years later, will turn Harvard Square into Hogwarts Square on July 30, including special deals and events leading up to a midnight book release.
If Facebook is to be believed, 27,000 people jammed the streets in front of City Hall for the Cambridge Dance Party last year, likely one reason why the four-hour party has become a five-hour party this year, starting at 7 p.m. Friday and ending at midnight.
There’s plenty going on in events and even Halloween-style dining throughout Cambridge and Somerville from now through Oct. 31, ranging from free art and films to an $85 four-course holiday-themed tasting menu.
As though to distract from all the food, the annual Party Under the Harvest Moon has celebrities as well: Ray Magliozzi of “Car Talk”; Robin Young, host of WBUR’s “Here and Now”; and Rick Jenkins, comic and host of The Comedy Studio in Harvard Square.