Your Guide: Peabody's 30th International Festival

Heading to Peabody’s annual festival of ethnic heritage, food, art and entertainment this weekend? Here's what you need to know before you go.

The 30th Annual International Festival hits Peabody Square Sept. 8.
The 30th Annual International Festival hits Peabody Square Sept. 8.

[Editor's Note: This article has been updated to reflect a correction in the entertainment schedule.]

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Peabody's International Festival. The main attraction will be held Sunday in Peabody Square, but there are two other big events you don't want to miss Friday night and Saturday.

A new addition to the festival celebration is a free patriotic concert by the We Are American performers Friday night (7 p.m.) at City Hall. "United We Stand" will be a live multi-media musical tribute to both Peabody and the USA. The show is in Wiggin Auditorium. Call the mayor's office at 978-538-5700 for more information.

And then on Saturday morning, the 12th Annual International Race for Research put on the Progeria Research Foundation takes to the city streets. Pre-registration closes on Friday at 10 a.m., but you can still register the day of, starting at 8 a.m. The 5K and fun run get underway at 9 a.m. in front of City Hall.

Festival highlights

The 30th Annual International Festival is Sunday. Sept. 8 (rain date of Sept. 22) from 11 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. in Peabody Square. Admission is free.

There will be more than 70 food and exhibit booths around the square, featuring food and art of Peabody’s many ethnic groups and entertainment all day long at two entertainment sites from 11 a.m. - 5:30 p.m, including Britannica, Rancho Folclorico de Peabody, North Shore Acappella and the Brian Maes Band.

The Artists’ Galleria, located on Chestnut Street, will feature works of more than 50 local artists.

Kid’s Day activities are at the Leather City Common and will feature moon bounces, face-painting clowns, and arts and crafts. D.J. Michael Phillips will act as master of ceremonies with a demonstration from Bruce McCorry’s Martial Arts, the Bremer Academy of Irish Dance, magician Steve Devitt and the Phunk Phenomenon BR Boys.


Peabody Square:
  • 10:45 a.m. Banda Recreativa Portuguesa
  • 11:40 a.m. Brazillian Community Christ Church
  • 12:05 p.m. St. Vasilios Greek School Dancers
  • 12:40 p.m. The Italian Serenaders
  • 1:20 p.m. SABABA
  • 2:00 p.m. North Shore Acappella
  • 2:30 p.m. Ceremony
  • 3:00 p.m. Sayat Nova Dance Company
  • 3:45 p.m. Britannica
  • 4:45 p.m. Angel Wagner & Grupo Fantasia
Upper Lowell Street
  • 10:45 a.m. Brian Maes Band
  • 11:45 a.m. Warszawiaki Orchestra
  • 12:45 p.m. Belclare
  • 1:45 p.m. Karen's Ballroom Dancing and Fitness
  • 2:30 p.m. Lee Hawkins Band
  • 3:30 p.m. Rancho Folclorico de Peabody
  • 4:30 p.m. Rumbafrica
Leather City Common
  • 11:00 a.m. Puppets & Magic with Steve Devitt
  • 11:30 a.m. Bruce McCorry's Martial Arts
  • 12:15 p.m. Bremer Academy of Irish Dance
  • 1:00 p.m. Mass Motion North
  • 1:45 p.m. Kung Pao Trickin Magic Show
  • 2:30 p.m. MJ O'Malley Taw Kwon Do Center
  • 3:15 p.m. Children's Character Show
  • 4:00 p.m. DJ Michael Phillips
  • 4:30 p.m. Phunk Phenomenon BR Boys
  • 5:00 p.m. DJ Michael Phillips


    Starting at 6 a.m. on Sunday, Lowell Street will be closed to traffic from the square to Sawyer Street and Chestnut Street will be closed from Lowell to Franklin streets.

    If you're setting up a booth, you can get into the square from 8:30-9:30 a.m. to drop off materials and supplies only. Otherwise, traffic will be routed around these areas during the festival.

    Peabody police officers and festival volunteers will be stationed throughout the square during the day to provide assistance, directions and answer questions.


    Festival goers will be able to park on Main Street, on side streets around the square and at the municipal parking lots on Railroad Avenue (next to the courthouse) and Mill Street. The lots on Foster and Central streets won't be available.

    As a courtesy to festival goers, shuttle buses will provide free transportation to and from the festival throughout the day, starting at 11 a.m. Pickup sites are at Higgins Middle School and the parking lot by Eastern Savings Bank at the Northshore Mall. Buses will run back and forth every 15 minutes, look for the Peabody Council on Aging vans with International Festival signs.


    Maps and general information will be available from volunteers stationed at festival entrances as well as at the courtesy booth, which will be located on Lowell Street across from Chestnut Street. The booth will be staffed throughout the day.

    Go to the booth to report problems or for lost and found items.

    In case of rain, the festival will be postponed until Sept. 22. Announcements will be made on the city’s website, the festival website and local cable channels 8, 9 and 99.


    The sale or use of “Silly String” and “Poppers” within the festival perimeter is prohibited, as well as raffles, balloons and T-shirts sales. No alcohol or drugs allowed. No bicycles, skateboards or dogs will be allowed within the festival area.

    Medical Assistance

    Support for medical emergencies will be provided from the city of Peabody's nurse's station at Booth 45 as well as EMTs from Atlantic Ambulance who will be located on Church Street (beside City Hall).


    Peabody Access TV will be broadcasting live from the festival throughout the day, and can be viewed live in Peabody on Channel 8, 9 and 99, starting at 10:45 a.m. The show will be rebroadcast after the festival as well and you can also check www.peabodytv.com for a live stream of the broadcast. The website is now mobile-friendly, which will allow viewers to enjoy the festival wherever they are.

    Coverage will focus on the entertainment stages, but a team of producers will be going booth-to-booth for separate interviews.  


    A formal ceremony will be held at the entertainment site in Peabody Square at 2:30 p.m. Mayor Ted Bettencourt and International Festival co-chairs Barry Osborne and Michael Zellen will welcome festival goers and introduce festival committee members and invited guests.

    The Peter Torigian Memorial International Festival Spirit Award will be presented by the Torigian family, in honor of the late Mayor Peter Torigian, who started the festival in 1983.

    Peabody High graduate Stephanie McCarthy will open the ceremony with the "Star Spangled Banner" and there will be a special rendition of "Let Freedom Ring" by the We Are America performers.

    Restaurant Week

    If you didn't get your fill at the festival proper, Peabody's annual restaurant week kicks off Sunday as well, although now it's a fortnight of food. From Sept. 8-12 and Sept. 15-19, more than 30 participating restaurants will offer a variety of specials. You can find more details here.

    Bill Jeffrey September 05, 2013 at 05:29 PM
    "including Britannica" not on the Schedule.??
    John Castelluccio (Editor) September 05, 2013 at 05:42 PM
    Thanks, Bill. There were a couple different performance schedules posted online and they must have gotten mixed up. It's been fixed.
    Bill Jeffrey September 05, 2013 at 06:08 PM
    Thanks John


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