The problem with writing a May events column (insofar that writing about parties for a living is a “problem”) is that it’s very tempting to just list 20 Cinco de Mayo parties. They all sound great and I’m jealous of everyone who gets to go to all of them. But, in a feat of remarkable restraint, I only wrote about two of them, and one of them is the legendary BostInno de Mayo. With the first weekend of the month featuring Cinco, the Kentucky Derby, and opening day of the SoWa Open Market, be sure to save some energy for the rest of the month.
May 1 — 6:30 p.m. — 354 Harrison Ave., Boston — The Boston Animal Rescue Collaborative (BARC) was recently founded by a small group of animal lovers with a vision to better our local rescue landscape, and you’re invited to help launch the whole doggone thing. By joining the group at the South End’s coolest speakeasy, you’ll learn about the group’s membership tiers and perks, all while snacking on (human) treats and meeting other animal lovers. Free.
May 2 — 7:30 p.m. — 290 Harvard St., Brookline — First a challenge: watch the trailer for the highly-anticipated Fred Rogers documentary and try not to shed a tear. (So, how’d you do?) If you’re of a certain age, Mr. Rogers probably holds a special place in your heart because you watched him nearly every day after school, and I firmly place myself in this category. Luckily, his legacy lives on in shows like “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” and this new documentary, which was picked to close out the 2018 Independent Film Festival of Boston. $20.
May 2 and May 30 — 1:05 p.m. — 4 Yawkey Way, Boston — Like most professional sports teams, the Red Sox do a lot of theme nights (Star Wars and Cheers, to name a couple), but their two STEM Education Days in May have some real educational value for the little ones in your house. The May 2 event will feature demos and experiments from the Museum of Science and an egg drop from the top of the Green Monster, while the May 30 event will focus on space and feature a panel of former NASA astronauts. For Group Sales, call 617.226.6834.
May 3 — 6 p.m. — 300 Harrison Ave., Boston — South End Kicks is one of the South End Community Health Center’s (SECHC) signature events and features hearty hors d’oeuvres, fine wines, signature cocktails, and great live music. Guests are invited to rock their favorite sneakers) and/or bring a new pair to donate to a patient. Funds raised at the event will help support programs and services that improve women’s health and wellness. $150.
May 3 — 6 p.m. — 149 Alewife Brook Parkway, Cambridge — Summer Shack and the Where Angels Play Foundation are hosting a fundraiser in honor of former Summer Shack employee and Boston Marathon bombing victim Krystle Campbell. Your ticket includes live music from Bear Fight, door prizes, raffles, and Summer Shack food and drink. The event’s proceeds will go towards “Krystle Campbell’s Playground,” which will be built in memoriam by family, friends, and community volunteers at Logan Park in Medford. $35.
May 3 — 6 p.m. — 9 Lansdowne St., Boston — Do you love tequila and tech? If you’re reading this right now, the answer is probably yes! Join hundreds of tech community professionals to say goodbye to the cold and hello to sunnier days. This year’s BostInno de Mayo will be bigger and better than ever before and it sells out fast, so grab tickets for you and your friends and coworkers now. This event is 21+. $25.
May 3 — 6:30 p.m. — 1166 Cambridge St., Cambridge — One of the country’s hottest winemaking regions (Oregon!) will be the focus of Puritan & Co.’s May Winemaker Dinner. This month’s special guest will be winemaker and author Chad Stock. A top winemaker of and authority on Oregon wines, Stock will provide guests with an excellent introduction to the state’s winemaking endeavors alongside pours and complementary dishes prepared by Chef Will Gilson. $95.
May 5 — 10 a.m. — 57 Canal St., Boston — Every now and then the clouds part, the sun breaks through, and the planets align perfectly to create the ultimate Party Day, and Bodega Canal is my pick for the best place to celebrate on May 5. The 295-person capacity restaurant will open at 10 a.m. with their new brunch menu, and keep the party going until 7 p.m. DJ’s will be playing throughout the day and the Derby will be on all their TV’s. And if you wear your best sombrero or derby hat, you just might win a free gift card. Free.
May 5 — 4 p.m. — 138 St. James Ave., Boston — And now for something a bit classier, OAK Long Bar + Kitchen is holding its fourth annual Kentucky Derby Party. Mint Juleps will be flowing all afternoon, along with plenty of Derby-inspired special cocktails. The purchase of a specialty cocktail gets you a raffle ticket with a randomly selected horse’s number, and after the race winning tickets can be redeemed for a Maker’s Mark prize. Post time is 6:34 p.m. and race time is 6:46 p.m. Free.
May 5 and 6 — 10 a.m. — 1 City Hall Square, Boston — How can Boston be considered a “World Class City” if we’ve never hosted a Taco Festival before? Well, all that changes this year as Bostonians who want to celebrate Cinco de Mayo weekend outdoors should head to City Hall Plaza. Attendees will have access to some of the city’s finest Mexican cuisine along with live music, pro wrestling, a taco-eating contest, a best taco competition, and much more. BYOT (Bring Your Own Tums). $15.
May 5 and 6 — 11 a.m. — Rose Kennedy Greenway-Wharf District — The Greenway Open Market is kicking off Summer and its 2018 season with 80 independent designer, makers, and artists and two days of buying local and shopping local. On Saturday, the market will also host Greenway Spring Food Truck Festival. Participating food trucks include The Bacon Truck, Bon Me, ChikChak, Clyde’s Cupcakes, The Dining Car, and Indulge India. Free.
May 6 — 12 p.m. — 82 Boston St., Boston — Boston’s biggest and best celebration of Polish food, music, art, and culture is back for its biggest yet. The street outside the Polish American Citizens Club of South Boston in Dorchester (stay with me) will be shut down for a day Polish fun for the whole family. Highlights include a performance by the Krakowiak Polish Dancers of Boston, a live Polka band from 3-7 p.m. and, of course, plenty to eat and drink. Free.
May 6 — 10 a.m. — 450 Harrison Ave., Boston — Now in its 15th season, the SoWa Open Market is back to celebrate local makers. They’ll be featuring more than 175 of the region’s best artisans, farmers, specialty food vendors, and food trucks. New this year is the SoWa Beer Barn, a beer hall and taproom housed in the SoWa Power Station. Created in partnership with Craft Collective, the Barn will showcase a curated selection of local beers and ciders. On opening day, local bands August First (11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.) and Elisa Smith & Erin Bonnie at SoWa (2 p.m. – 4 p.m.) will be playing in the Barn. Free.
May 11 — 6 p.m. — 15 Lansdowne St., Boston — Banned in Boston, an annual comedy and music revue, is Urban Improv’s signature fundraising event. Local Boston celebrities, media personalities, politicians, and business, arts and community leaders rally together to put on a one-night-only show of hilarity, musical satire and skits. This year’s cast is stacked with notables including Aerosmith’s Tom Hamilton, Mayor Marty Walsh, and more. Come join the fun and help Urban Improv empower local youth to make positive choices in their lives and their communities. $250.
May 17 — 6 p.m. –75 Bay State Rd., Boston — Save for sports and weather, no topic raises our dander in Boston quite like housing, and I have no doubt this event will result in a lively discussion. The goal of this SPARK Boston event is to outline what Boston’s Office of Housing and Neighborhood Development does for millennials, and answer the question of how they can live in Boston their whole lives. Carmel Levy will moderate the panel featuring Sheila Dillon, Chief of Housing and Director of Neighborhood Development, and Leslie Bos from the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation. Free with RSVP.
May 19 — 6:30 a.m. — 138 St. James Ave., Boston — You are cordially invited to attend the Royal Wedding! (Kind of.) The Fairmont Copley Plaza is hosting Boston’s premiere Royal Wedding Viewing Party, and you’ll be able to watch the ceremony on a big screen in the hotel’s ballroom while indulging in a full English (and American) breakfast, plenty of tea and scones, and wedding cake to commemorate the occasion. A champagne bar will also open at 8 a.m. to toast the happy couple. A raffle will also give guests the chance to win a stay at The Savoy in London, Fairmont Copley Plaza’s famous sister property overseas. $75.
May 20 — 12 p.m. — 101 Atlantic Ave., Boston — The 3rd Annual Cornhole Classic returns to The Living Room in the North End on May 20 and this is your chance to justify all those hours spent in the backyard tossing a bean bag with one hand while holding a beer in the other. Tickets ($50 per team through May 13) include at least two games, a Cornhole Classic t-shirt, two drink tickets, live music, raffle prizes, and more. All proceeds from the event will go to the Geraldine Marshall Scholarship and the North End Music and Performing Arts Center (NEMPAC). $50.
May 20 — 9 a.m. — Fiedler Field, Charles River Esplanade, Boston — Join more than a thousand fellow Esplanade-lovers for “Boston’s Most Beautiful 5K,” the 2018 Esplanade 5K.The most popular running route in Greater Boston offers both water and garden views set against the iconic backdrop of the Boston and Cambridge skylines. Immediately after the race, runners and their guests are invited to the official after party at The Yard at the Liberty Hotel for appetizers and a cash bar. $45.
May 22 — 7 p.m. — 460 Harrison Ave., Boston — ArtSE promises to be an exciting evening of live art, music, drinks, and more. Guests will have a chance to bid on artwork from the city’s most influential street and contemporary artists and mingle with the Boston’s creative class. Your ticket includes two drink tickets and bites from some of the South End’s best restaurants. Proceeds will benefit Washington Gateway Main Street’s Public Art Initiative designed to bring art of all kinds to South End streets and parks. Also, I’ll be there! Say hello. $15.