- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Boston Guide (PDF)
Boston has a lively calendar that celebrates its many cultures and keeps both locals and expats entertained. With such a wide and diverse range of events, there really is something for everyone.
Here's a selection of popular yearly festivals and celebrations taking place in Boston.
Annual events in Boston
St Patrick's Day (March)
Ostensibly to commemorate the arrival of both Christianity and St Patrick in Ireland, 'St Paddy's Day' is also a means for Boston to celebrate its Irish heritage. This celebration is characterised by the jovial spirit of its annual parade in South Boston, and local restaurants also join in on the festivities by offering traditional Irish dishes. And, needless to say, the beer well and truly flows on St Paddy's.
Dragon Boat Festival (June)
The annual Dragon Boat Festival is a traditional Chinese festival that takes place each year along the banks of the Charles River. It sees thousands of visitors flocking to sample Asian fare, watch martial arts demonstrations, buy traditional Chinese arts and crafts and, of course, watch the dragon boat races.
Boston Pride Week (June)
Boston Pride Week is a period to raise awareness of Boston’s LGBTQ+ community and hold events in its honour, culminating in the Pride Parade. Diversity is embraced, and people from all walks of life are welcome to attend the parade.
Boston Harborfest (July)
With dozens of events such as concerts, re-enactments, walking tours and parties, the Boston Harborfest is a week-long event celebrating the United States’ independence and heritage. The festival concludes on the 4th of July with a breathtaking fireworks display.
Arlington International Film Festival (October)
The Arlington International Film Festival attracts movie buffs from all over and showcases both local and international independent films. Attendees are spoilt for choice, with around 50 films being screened at the event each year.
►Read about the city's attractions in our See and Do in Boston guide
►Learn about what the Lifestyle in Boston is like
"I was surprised by how quickly we were able to build a solid network of amazing friends. Since there are so many people from all around the world staying here, they are as interested in making new friends as you are. I highly recommend getting involved in your community, be it as a volunteer or in your workplace. This is how I was able to meet a lot of new people."
Read more about Swiss expat Sandra's experiences in Boston.
Are you an expat living in Boston?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Boston. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
If you’re thinking about taking out private health insurance, our trusted partner Cigna Global is very aware of all the difficulties that expats can face when it comes to healthcare in a new location, so they have created a range of international health insurance plans specifically designed for expats, which you can tailor exactly to the needs and ensure access to quality care for you and your family.
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