In a city well known for crowd-drawing events like the Boston Marathon and the Head of the Charles Regatta, it can be hard to discern which events are the most exclusive—for when you feel like rubbing shoulders with the city’s elite—and which events are just plain fun. With a vibrant social calendar, the city of Boston offers an almost endless string of festivals, galas, parades, shows and expositions; and we’ve narrowed it down to the very best. These are the five most prestigious annual events in Beantown:
Photo Credit: Massachusetts General Hospital
Massachusetts General Hospital’s Storybook Ball
The Massachusetts General Hospital’s Storybook Ball has raised more than $14 million over the past 11 years and each ball just gets better and better. Held every October, the fairytale themed event is an annual fundraiser that helps the hospital to grow their pediatric research departments and fellowships. This year, the focus is on brain disorders and surgery, and all funds raised are used to speed the development of research, recruit the best doctors and provide exceptional care to patients and their families. Guests will have the opportunity to play games and win prizes like seats at Paris Fashion Week or a round of golf with Red Sox slugger David Ortiz. Tickets are available and priced from $5,000-$100,000.
An Evening With Champions
Every September, Harvard students put on An Evening With Champions, a non-profit fundraising event that raises money for The Jimmy Fund to support the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Held at the Bright Hockey Center in Allston, the evening includes a performance from Olympic figure skaters like Yuna Kim, Michelle Kwan, Evan Lysacek and Johnny Weir, all of whom have previously performed there. The event also includes a silent action and an opportunity for some of the more generous guests to skate on the ice with the Olympians. Tickets are limited and start at only $25, but VIP and sponsorship level tickets are available upon request.
St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast
Depending on how much you enjoy comedy (and hobnobbing with politicians) you may want to attend Boston’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast. Local politicians like Governor Charlie Baker, Mayor Martin Walsh and State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry gather together with the city’s elite to enjoy green eggs and ham and crack a few politically-charged jokes at each other’s expense. This year Vice President Joe Biden even video-conferenced in to tell a few punchlines of his own. To attend you’ll have to get friendly with some of the city’s more well-connected residents, as there are only around 500 attendees allowed and no tickets to speak of.
Photo Credit: Ellie Fund
Ellie Fund’s Annual Oscar Experience Boston
To truly feel like an A-lister, attend Ellie Fund’s Annual Oscar Experience Boston this February, the only Massachusetts-based Academy Awards party officially recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Both an Oscar viewing party and a fundraiser, the event gives 100 percent of the proceeds to “help provide transportation, childcare, housekeeping, groceries and meals free of charge to hundreds of local breast cancer patients and family members.” Guests will enjoy mingling with local celebrities, philanthropists and local civic leaders while enjoying silent auctions and walking the red carpet. Attendees will also receive deluxe gift bags just like their favorite Oscar stars! Tickets are priced from $250-$2,400.
Presidents at Pops
Designed for the business community of Boston, Presidents at Pops was created to offer companies, and their valued clients, a night out with some of the city’s best performers. A fundraising event for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the springtime concert has raised over $1 million to date and continues to be a major draw for some of the most prestigious businessmen in Boston. The evening also brings celebrity guest artists to the stage, and affords attendees an opportunity to sponsor music students at Days in the Arts at Tanglewood, the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer arts camp in the Berkshires. Business packages are available from $5,500-$10,000 and sponsorship packages are also available upon request. Single tickets are not available until May 2016.