Celebrating Diversity: Culture, Dining, Shops


Posted: June 17, 2022

“Variety is the spice of life.” And what makes life more interesting than embracing the diverse cultures, voices and traditions that surround us? The following experiences around Central Mass. will guide you in discovering more flavors, art, music and history of the world. 

Sundae Drip at Electric Haze 

Electric Haze welcomes its monthly Sundae Drip hip-hop showcase, this month on June 19, with music from Joe Grizzly and Ghost of the Machine, hosted by Jeff Ferris with DJ Icculus, Andy-O, Marcel Stephon, Laura Michelle, Ace Pope and more. But the music doesn’t stop there. For ways to support local talent all year long, we have more spotlights here—from Crocodile River Music to Worcester Hip Hop Congress.  


Juneteenth at Old Sturbridge Village 

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally honored celebration regarding the end of slavery in the United States‚ and on June 20, Old Sturbridge Village hosts a commemoration of its own. Exploring the history, resilience and culture of Black people in America, the team at OSV encourages visitors to consider the historical and present-day significance of Juneteenth through interactions with guest speakers and performers, as well as their costumed educators. 


Wynton Marsalis at The Hanover Theatre 

On July 8, Music Worcester presents Wynton Marsalis, a jazz musician and trumpeter known as one of the most outstanding of his generation, to play at The Hanover Theatre. A big band leader, a composer, an educator and an advocate for the arts, “his life is a portrait of discipline, dedication, sacrifice and creative accomplishment.” 


Santana Tribute Band at Douglas Orchard 

The music and spirit of Santana comes alive at Douglas Orchard & Farm on July 16, with live music by a tribute band in the Farm’s Pavilion. ABRAXAS, the ultimate Santana tribute band, will perform inspired renditions from over five decades of hits. Bring your chairs, blankets and picnic baskets as you enjoy food by EB Flats (BBQ), hamburgers, hot dogs and more. Kids attend free, while there’s a $10 cash cover for those aged 16+. 


Silkroad with Rhiannon Gildens at Indian Ranch 

Indian Ranch welcomes Silkroad with Rhiannon Gildens on July 27. “As a social-impact organization and home to a Grammy Award-winning musical ensemble, Silkroad works to inspire collaboration in innovative ways that add more equity and justice into the world through the power of the arts.

...Today, under the leadership of Artistic Director Rhiannon Giddens, Silkroad reaches new heights through a commitment to new music, a re-sparked mission towards cultural collaboration, and a reinvigorated focus to high-quality arts education that both reflects its mission and the times in which we live.” The live performance at Indian Ranch's outdoor amphitheater in Webster will be an unforgettable addition to their preexisting powerful display of work. 


Worcester Caribbean American Carnival  

On August 28, the Worcester Caribbean American Carnival enlivens the streets with jubilee to honor the Caribbean community. Vendors, bands and parade participants create a spectacle you won’t soon forget, hosted by the Worcester Caribbean American Carnival Association, “dedicated to the empowerment of people, preservation of Caribbean tradition and respect for cultural diversity. Using the Worcester Caribbean American Carnival as a vehicle, we seek to promote a broader understanding and deeper appreciation of the Caribbean and Black American experience.” 


Queen Nefertari Offering Two Pots, Jewels of the Nile

Jewels of the Nile at Worcester Art Museum 

A display called Jewels of the Nile graces Worcester Art Museum through January 2023, revealing ancient Egyptian treasures donated back in 1926 by Massachusetts couple Laura Norcross Marrs and her husband Kingsmill Marrs. Until now, the collection has remained unseen by the public.

Opening 100 years after Howard Carter’s momentous discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb, the exhibition follows the story of the couple's collaborative friendship with Carter and puts the collection on view for the first time—featuring over 300 objects, from delicate beads and finely detailed rings to scarabs of different sizes and in different settings, along with many of Carter's watercolors of these works and his excavation sites. 


Photo Professor Tom Doughton sourced from news.holycross.edu

Worcester Black History Trail 

The Heart of the Commonwealth has officially unveiled the makings of a Worcester Black History Trail, a commemoration featuring five markers to highlight locations of significance in the city’s Black history. The Trail aims to honor the legacy of Black people in Worcester and preserve that for centuries to come. From the colonial era to the civil right movement, various markers include:  

  • The 19th Century Community around John Street 
  • The A.M.E. Zion Church on Belmont Street 
  • The Liberty and Palmer Street Area 
  • The Rejoice Newton Farmstead of Newton Square 
  • The 18th Century Residence of the Afro-Indian Hemenway Family at Mary and Westfield Streets  

These markers have been made public through a collaboration of the City of Worcester, the College of the Holy Cross, the Worcester Branch of the NAACP, and the Laurel Clayton Project. The five formally marked locations will grow to nearly 30 as the Black History Trail committee continues to establish the trail. 


Nuestra at Bull Mansion

Opening of Nuestra at Bull Mansion 

Nuestra, a Central Mass. staple for authentic Puerto Rican cuisine, proudly opened a new spot on Pearl Street in Worcester. With a range of empanadillas, gluten free/vegan options and off-site catering, there’s no excuse not to try their genuine Puerto Rican nourishment. For more in Latinx cuisine, check out our full list of traditional must-tries.  


Shea Luxuria Natural Products

Opening of Shea Luxuria at WPM

A newly opened Black-owned shop at the Worcester Public Market, Shea Luxuria, is bringing natural beauty along with it. Shea Luxuria specializes in products, from hair perfume to body butters, made with all natural ingredients, representing “the ultimate form of self-care and nurturing for all hair textures and skin types.” Interested in discovering more Black-owned brands? Read our cohesive list here of Black-Owned Fashion Brands in Worcester. 


Tour of Queer-Centered Venues 

The Worcester area has a growing queer-focused event scene, offering multiple options where LGBTQIA+ friends and allies can get together to find a sense of community—a refreshing and well-received result following a public outcry declaring a high demand for more queer-focused venues in Central Mass. Linked here, you'll find a rundown of queer-positive places, prior event highlights and reoccurring gatherings, plus the exciting upcoming events on the queer community calendar.