No matter where you turn in Central Massachusetts, culture is all around you. Look through our calendar of events, and discover the numerous events exploring culture throughout Central Massachusetts. The Worcester Cultural Coalition is also a great place resource for cultural and ethnic connections. They are the unified voice for Worcester's cultural community; in addition, they also coordinate the Woo card which offers deals and discounts to local businesses.
Some Annual Cultural Events & Festivals in the Central MA
First Night Worcester Always inventive, and definitely the most fun you could have on New Year's Eve, First Night Worcester invites audiences of every age and interest to Come Play With Us. From early in the day to the strike of midnight, get ready to experience the best of it all. The mission of First Night Worcester is to cultivate the creation, understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of the arts through educational programs, community partnerships, and an innovative, diverse, and high quality New Year's Eve arts celebration. First Night Worcester creates the spirit of community through a shared cultural experience, accessible and affordable to all.
Worcester County St. Patrick’s Day Parade- This annual parade takes place every March in celebration of St. Patrick’s feast day as an Irish American Tradition. The parade travels through streets of Worcester as it usually starts on Mill Street and ends on Highland Street. The purpose of this event is to gather Irish Americans as well as other nationalities together in honor of St. Patrick and to embrace in the Irish culture. The entertaining mood of this parade is sure to bring a smile to your face and possibly bring out your inner-child as parade goers dress in traditional Irish colors of orange and green. The parade is great for people of all ages.
Latino Film Festival- The Latino Film Festival takes place in the spring every year at the Cinema 320 at Clark University. The purpose of this film festival is for people to come together to enjoy the intriguing films created in Latin American countries. This film festival also gives people the opportunity to embrace in the Latin American heritage expressed through film and to acknowledge different trends that are currently taking place in the music, fashion, and social industries of the Latino countries. There are typically between three and five films that are shown to give viewers a full feel of film making from different Latin American countries.
Irish Music Festival The Worcester Irish Music Festival takes place in June at the Worcester Hibernian Cultural Centre. The purpose of the festival is to use music, food and beverage as the mediums to bring people of different cultures together. On the three days of the festival, people will have the chance to experience many amazing performances from local, national, as well as international singers and bands. While attending the fest, festival goers will feel the presence of the Irish spirit as if they are actually living in Ireland. The traditional dances, musical instruments, foods, beverages, bread contest and more have contributed to make the festival one of the greatest events in the Worcester region.
African American and Juneteenth Festival The annual African American and Juneteenth festival is a highlight of summer in Worcester: celebrating African American culture and honoring the anniversary of Juneteenth with music, dance, craft, and food from the African Diaspora. This annual celebration shows the multicultural aspects of the African countries. Traditional music, singing and dancing, and instrumental playing are performed to share the African culture to the locals and visitors. Traditional food and items and many activities are introduced during the festival days to promote better understanding of African Culture. The purpose of the festival is to bring local Africans in the community and other ethnic and cultural groups together. The cultures of Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe are represented in the festival, and have made the festival one of the most memorable event in Worcester.
Latin American Festival This festival takes place during the summer when people gather together to enjoy live Latin music - singing and dancing, drumming and other instruments. They come to taste Latin American food and drink. Children come to learn crafting and other cultural activities. Many exhibitions and selling of Latin cultural products at the festival are to introduce the Latin Culture to the local residents and visitors of the region. Many exhibitors and vendors display their Latin American wares for both visitors and locals alike.
Asian Festival The Asian Festival is a large annual festival that takes place in June each year at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Recreation Center. The purpose of the event is to bring Asian people in the Worcester community together and promote Asian Culture, such as performance of traditional music, dancing, singing, and playing traditional instruments, traditional costume show, and serving authentic foods of different Asian Countries. Cultural tables present products or items related to their cultures. This event also helps young Asians to value and preserve their culture.
Albanian Festival- The Albanian Festival takes place every summer at St. Mary’s Assumption Albanian Orthodox Church of Worcester. The festival is celebrated to preserve the Albanian culture and traditions as well as the language and community. The Albanian heritage comes alive with traditional dancing and music as well as enticing authentic foods. The weekend-long event is pact with family fun and entertainment for all ages including carnival games and amusement rides. This large event hosts about 20,000 people along with thousands of Albanians living in the greater Worcester area and is a great way to express the Albanian culture.
Greek Festival- The St. Spyridon Grecian Festival is a large Greek event that is celebrated every summer at the St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Worcester. The purpose of this festival is to bring the parish together and to also reach out to the community. Another direction intended by the festival is to educate people about Greek culture and the Orthodox Faith. Traditional Grecian dancing, music, and food are found at this great festival that hosts about 25,000 people a year.
Gay Pride Festival- The Gay Pride Parade and Festival is held every September in Worcester. The Parade typically travels down Salisbury Street, Grove Street, and Maine Street ending at Worcester Common. The participation of all, no matter what age, gender, gender identification, race, religion, HIV status, national origin, disability, creed, or sexual orientation are welcome to attend. This parade is a celebration for all people to embrace life and unify the community.