by Chris Richard, Director of Tourism
It is the time of year when the Office of Tourism makes most of its advertising purchases, which accounts for the biggest budget item after payroll.
This year there will be Fairhaven ads in many of the same publications as last year. The South Coast Almanac is a glossy magazine in its third year that comes out annually in May. I advertised in the first two editions and will have a half-page ad in this year’s issue. A monthly magazine that has had Fairhaven ads in it for about 20 years is the SouthCoast Insider, where I run ads every month from May through December. Two other monthly publications where I regularly run ads in the spring through fall are Along Route 28, which is a monthly newspaper distributed all over the Cape, and Traveler, also a monthly newspaper, which can be picked up in our area and westward into Rhode Island to Connecticut.
For the first time in many years, I’m placing an ad in the Cape Cod edition of Best Read Guide, a handy little booklet that had disappeared from view for a while. It gets displayed from Wareham to Provincetown. For now, I’m running in the May issue with a quarter-page ad.
I was offered a free ad for the new Huttleston Marketplace in the spring Community Values publication that goes to about 50,000 households in southeastern Massachusetts. If my budget holds out I might be able to buy an ad in the June issue.
Except for the South Coast Almanac, which is sold on newsstands throughout our area, the publications I advertise in are things that travelers can pick up for free at restaurants, shops, information centers, etc. All of them are of interest to visiting tourists who are deciding where to spend some of their vacation time as well as residents from Rhode Island to the Cape who might be interested in stopping by for a day or two.
In almost all of the ads, space permitting, I tell people that Fairhaven has history, beaches, interesting architecture, unique restaurants and shops, and provide them with contact information, particularly on finding the Office of Tourism website and the Visitors Center. When there is a larger ad size to work with, I include details about some special events and tours along with some photos to show off the town to good advantage.
While I do put a lot of effort into the website and social media which can reach an audience around the world at very little cost except for my time, old fashioned printed media is still a very important aspect of advertising to people who are traveling in our region. The internet is good for finding specific things you’re looking for, but free guide books and regional magazines are good for suggesting things people might not have heard about.
Besides advertising, I’m currently working on what people are going to do once they get here this summer.
All but one of the Monday Morning Fun programs for July and August are put together. Among the new programs that haven’t been here before are Farm Visits from Dighton with baby animals to pet and cuddle, and cartoonist Zack Giallongo who has written and drawn comics including “Ewoks: Shadows of Endor,” “Duck Tales Doodles,” and his own graphic novel “Broxo.”
The wonderful Lucy Bly and Judy Roderiques will be back this summer as Ruth and Abby the “1850s Ladies,” who you can sometimes find frequenting the New Bedford Whaling Historical National Park. And there will be a visit from the Lloyd Center for the Environment with critters and activities related to life by the seashore. This summer Dorothy Cox’s will be at Monday Morning Fun with ice cream, bottled water and Del’s Frozen Lemonade. Heart Body Arts will be doing face painting and henna and jaguar “tattoos.” Stay tuned for the flier that will be out as soon as I plug in one open week.
The Huttleston Marketplace is gaining steam, with a number of great vendors signing on. This will be held every Saturday at the Visitors Center from June 16 to September 1. Vendors can come for one week, several weeks, or sign up for the whole 12-week season. Please help spread the word about this. Vendors can sell handmade arts and crafts, farm produce, antiques and vintage collectibles, books they have written, and locally made foods. We have vendors in every category, but we have room for many more. My vision for the Huttleston Marketplace is that it will be like a scaled down version of the Homecoming Day Fair, but held every single Saturday. If you know anyone at all who might have products they could sell here, have them contact the Office of Tourism. The phone number and email address are at the end of this column.
Now a word about needing some help as we move forward. I am looking for a couple of folks who might be interested in volunteering to guide walking tours, particularly the Riverside Cemetery Tour. Bob Foster and I guide the Henry H. Rogers tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays all summer and I have a little band of Pirates/Privateers for the Friday morning programs at the fort. But right now, I’m the only one who can guide the Riverside Cemetery tour and I could use some backup. It wouldn’t be bad to have substitutes for other tours as well or folks who might be interested in walking around with groups who visit town at times when we don’t have regularly scheduled tours. If you like history, are comfortable talking to groups of people, and have some spare time, please get in touch.
As always, please feel free to pass along your comments or suggestions. You can contact me via email at FairhavenTours@fairhaven-ma.gov, by calling 508-979-4085, or by stopping by the Visitors Center, 141 Main Street. The hours of the Office of Tourism are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with a half-hour break around noon. There are some reserved parking spaces in the high school lot closest to the Academy Building.
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