September 28-October 8
BIG, BIGGER, BIGGEST
The Giant Pumpkin Contest, launched in 1984, is just one fun feature of the 194-year-old Topsfield Fair, opening Friday. Can any of the 2012 entries topple the record set in 2007 by Joe Jutras of North Scituate, Rhode Island, and his colossal gourd? Come on down to the fair’s vegetable barn and see this year’s heaviest. Fair tickets start at $11. 978-887-5000; topsfieldfair.org
A PARTY FOR YOUR EARS
Follow the sounds of jazz, blues, Latin, and soul music to Columbus Avenue between Mass. Ave. and Burke Street from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday. The 12th annual Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival presents live music on three stages, with no admission fee. beantownjazz.org
Photographs: Fashion Week by Tracy Aiguier and Daniel Gagnon; Museum of Fine Arts by David L. Ryan/Globe staff/file; pumpkin by iStockphoto
September 27-October 6
Boston Fashion Week’s dizzying array of events ranges from a fashion truck showcase and clothing swaps to a model competition and, of course, runway shows galore. For tickets, go to bostonfashionweek.com.
PLAYING IT SAFER
Debilitating concussions forced soccer star Taylor Twellman and pro wrestler Christopher Nowinski to retire. At a Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University on Thursday, the two athletes, now safety advocates, will sit down with sportscaster Bob Lobel to discuss traumatic brain injury and the future of competitive sports. From 6:30 to 8 p.m.; admission is free. 617-557-2007; fordhallforum.org
FREE FOR ALL
Want to check out a museum for free on Saturday? It’s this simple: Go to smithsonian.com/museumday and click on the tickets tab for admission for two to any of the more than 60 participating museums in Massachusetts. It’s all part of the Smithsonian’s annual Museum Day Live.
PLUMPEST PUMPKINS PAST
1,689 pounds (a new world record)