See how a garden grows

1. The Carlisle Garden Club's Carlisle Country Gardens Tour is Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., starting at 27 School St. ($35) Six memorable private gardens are open both days with the theme is "Come to your Senses." Visit

Buy a book, meet the author

2. Local authors will be available to sign purchased copies of their books at Townsend Public Library, 12 Dudley Road, on Friday and Saturday. (Free) Authors scheduled to be on hand include Daisy Kane, Sharon Harrison, Phyliss Cocharan, Kathy Chenchrik on Friday; and Ron Karr, Phil Solesky and Chele Smith on Saturday. Also, Marsha LaCroix and Kate Spoffard will be there both days. Also, a used-book sale will be held Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Welcome back ... Sebastian

3. Whether you know John Sebastian from his pantheon of '60s hits with The Lovin' Spoonful ("Do You Believe In Magic?," "You Didn't Have To Be So Nice," "Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?," "Summer In The City," "Darling Be Home Soon," etc.) or from his one big solo hit "Welcome Back," the theme song from the '70s sitcom "Welcome Back Kotter," you're sure to have a good time when the singer-songwriter returns to The Bull Run, 215 Great Road, Shirley, on Friday at 8 p.m. ($45) Paul Rishell & Annie Raines open.


Cultivate some culture

4. The Lunenburg Cultural Council's second annual Lunenburg Arts Festival is Saturday, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., along Memorial Drive. Visitors can look forward to an expanded artist marketplace, a variety of food and beverage choices, and more interactive art experiences for people of all ages. Festival organizer Laura Brzozoski said there will be dancers and musicians from last year's inaugural festival as well as new acts that will "highlight the diversity of our artist." Visit for a list of performers and vendors as well as information on parking, bathroom access and weather contingencies.

Surely, you can celebrate Shirley

5. ShirleyFest is Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., at Shirley Center Common. (Free) Celebrate the town of Shirley with local live entertainment, enjoy food from some of the town's most popular restaurants, and bring your kids for tons of fun games. Email Meredith Marcinkiewicz at

John Sebastian, top, with openers Paul Rishell & Annie Raines
John Sebastian, top, with openers Paul Rishell & Annie Raines (courtesy


Beat the heat with cool jazz

6. The Middlesex Jazz Fest is Saturday 1-6:30 p.m., at 58 Main St., in downtown Concord. (Free) The festival features 20-piece big bands, Latin jazz, jump blues and smaller ensembles. Special guest is jazz trumpet virtuoso Wayne Bergeron, whose work was mostly recently featured on "The Incredibles II" soundtrack. Come for the music, stay for the food and the fun. And bring your own chairs. Visit

Check out a local artist's work

7. Lunenburg Public Library will host the opening reception of a monthlong exhibit of Amory Phelps on Saturday, 2-3:30 p.m., at 1023 Massachusetts Ave. (Free) Phelps, a Lunenburg resident, got her start painting at a workshop hosted by the library six years ago. She tells the story of how that first workshop gave her the "bug" to paint. She has dabbled in watercolors but returned to acrylics as her preferred medium. Phelps loves the outdoors and animals, and these passions are reflected in her work. Her prolific creations will be on display through June 29. Call 978-582-4140, ext. 15, or email

Walk for Humanity

8. The third annual Habitat for Humanity Walkathon, hosted by Westford Girls for a Better Tomorrow, is Saturday, 2-4 p.m., starting at Stony Brook Middle School in Westford; the rain date is Sunday. (suggested $10/person, $25/family. Call 978-692-0927, visit, or email

Be there for 'Hair'

9. The Free Soil Arts Collective presents "Hair Tales: Stories of Black Hair-i-Tage" in three performances Saturday (7 p.m.) and Sunday (4 and 7 p.m.), at Merrimack Repertory Theatre, East Merrimack Street, Lowell. ($18) The original staged reading, written by Christa Brown and performed by Brown and Kesiah Bascom, details the personal stories of five black women and their complex relationships with their hair. Each story is a journey toward self-understanding. Brown, the founder of Free Soil Art Collective, is the new LTC News anchor at Lowell TeleMedia Center and hosts her own "Choice2bHappy" podcast. Visit

Show your pride at Parker

10. The Parker Middle School PTO is hosting the fifth annual 2-Mile Pride Run/Walk on Sunday, 9 a.m.-noon, at 75 Graniteville Road in Chelmsford. (Free) The event also includes field games for younger kids, and walkers/runners must wear their most creative Chelmsford spirit wear to be eligible for prizes. Visit