You don't need a catch the National Folk Festival, which opens in Lowell this Friday. Hear the traditional tunes of Wayne Troups and Zydecajun and other folk groups, sponsored by the National Council for the Traditional Arts. Also at the festival--arts and crafts workshops featuring folk craftsmen. Admission is free. Telephone 508-459-1000 for information.

Summer Jazz '88 continues in Marblehead with the music of Clarinetist Dick Johnson and the Swing Shift on Friday at the Unitarian-Universalist Church, 80 Washington St. Tickets for the weekly program start at $10.50 in advance and $11.50 at the door. The concert begins at 8 p.m. Call 631-1528.

Join The Mamas and the Papas, Aztec Two-Step and Cormac McCarthy at the Waterville Valley Festival of the Arts this Friday night at Mt. Tecumseh Ski Area in Waterville Valley, NH. Tickets are $17, $14, lawn seats are $10 and a family lawn ticket is $25. Telephone 603-236-8311.

The three day Festival of St. Joseph begins Friday night in Boston's North End on Hanover St. Italian food, games, music and arts highlight the saint's day celebration each day from 6-11 p.m. Admission is free.

Boil, boil, toil and Jamaica Pond's One-Act extravaganza--"Sinister Acts: An Evening of Creepy Plays". Presented by the Open Door Theater, the spine tingling evening includes Larry Blamire's "The Ha'nt", Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery", and Martin Epstein's "Mysteries of the Bridal Night". Performances Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. through August 27. Tickets are $8. Call 524-2980 for more details.


If modern dancing is more your style, see the David Gorddon/Pick Up Company's post-modern performance Saturday at the Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St. in Cambridge. The program includes a new piece commissioned by the Harvard Summer Dance Theater, and will include dancer Valda Setterfield. Performances tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 and $12. Telephone 495-5535. 30

No fireworks in your weekend plans? Not to worry--catch the baroque orchestra, Banchetto Musicale's Royal Fireworks Concert at Marina Bay in North Quincy at 8 p.m. The outdoor program's concert includes Handel's "Water Music" and "Royal Fireworks Music", featuring a new fire-works display choreographed to music. Tickets are $20 or $25 for table seats. Rain date: July 31. Telephone 876-7777.

Get out of the city and hear the Berkshire Mountain Boys, Beat Acker and the Billings Gap, Southern Rail and other groups sing the songs of the Appalachians along the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border at the second annual Birch Hill Bluegrass Festival. A weekend pass includes two days of fiddle tunes, knee slapping music and camping space and can be purchased for $20. Admision Saturday only is $11 and after 6 p.m. is $5. Children get in free when accompanied by an adult. Sunday the admission price is $9. Hours Saturday are from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Telephone 508-667-6973.

Haven't had enough of arts festivals yet? Try the Acton-Boxborough Jamboree of the visual and performing arts 10th anniversary celebration. Taking place at the Acton-Boxborough High School's campus, the festival will feature hot air balloon flights and perfomances by mime Michael Trautman, the New Orleans jazz band, street singer Stephen Baird and the New England Brass Quintet. Permormances Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Telephone 508-264-4700. 31

It's a bloody mary evening with Willie Nelson's annual visit to Boston's Concert on the Common at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15.50 and $17.50. Telephone 426-6666 and 787-8000 for details.

If you're into history, catch the "Minot's Light Revisited" cruise to the South Shore beacon this Sunday. Boats leave hourly from Government Island at Cohasset Harbor and head for the seaman's beacon, where a narrator will discuss the history of the light and the dangers it prevents. Tickets are $20. Call 383-6930.

The International Festival held in Brockton this weekend features Spanish Paella, Portuguese delicacies and capucha from Cape Verde. The Middle Eastern belly dancer Talila will perform also, with the Krakowiak Polish dancers and the Portuguese Folkloric group. Admission is free. Call 508-580-7597 for details.

If you haven't ever been to a concert at the Charles River Esplanade, check out Elainme Connolly and Joan Smith's tour of the Hatch Shell and the Community River Boathouse. Tickets are $6. Telephone 367-2345. I

Alejandro Rivera and New Directions in Latin American Music perform a mix of jazz and improvisational Latin American traditional music this Monday night at the Charles River Esplanade in Boston. Admission is free. Telephone 727-5215. Film

Beacon Hill: