By Chris Richard, Director of Tourism
July starts off with a bang, but there are a couple of events scheduled before the Fourth of July, so I’ll start with those.
On Saturday, July 1, at 2:00 p.m., I will hold the third “Lecture on the Lawn” at the Old Stone Schoolhouse, 40 North Street. The subject of the lecture will be the Oxford Chapel, which once stood on North Street and the Church of the Good Shepherd, which met for about 15 years in the schoolhouse. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. The schoolhouse itself is open Saturday afternoons from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. On July 15, the lecture will be about the historical Taber family.
The Monday Morning Fun programs begin on July 3. (See the full-page ad on page six for the program schedule.) Stop by for games, face painting, the bounce house, Acushnet Creamery ice cream, and a special program each week. This is geared to children age five to twelve and their families. The games, programs and bounce house are free. There is a charge for ice cream and face painting. A lot of donations were received to help fund this. I thank everyone for their support.
Tuesday, July 4, starts off with a Car Cruise sponsored by NFIA that leaves Fairhaven High School after the “big flag” is raised at 9:00 a.m. When the cruise reaches Green Street, heading south toward the fort, it will be followed by the Fourth of July Parade, sponsored by the Fairhaven Lions Club. The parade will include some floats, including the trailer with the Paul Revere Bell.
Once the participants of the cruise and parade arrive at the fort, the Fort Phoenix Independence Day Ceremony will take place, beginning at about 10:00 a.m. (or when everyone is settled in). This will have a very brief talk about fort’s history, a reading of the Declaration of Independence by Selectboard Chair Bob Espindola, and a few words from me about the late Natalie S. Hemingway, whose participation in events like this will be sorely missed.
Next, FHS Class of 2017 graduate Brooke Douglass will sing the National Anthem while we raise the flag. To cap off the event, the Fairhaven Village Militia will fire the fort’s five big cannons. During the ceremony the town’s Paul Revere bell will be on display.
Jumping forward toward later July, the Fairhaven Outdoor Family Movie Night will be held in Livesey Park on the evening of Saturday, July 22. The movie, “The Secret Life of Pets,” and popcorn will be free. For a couple of hours before the show there will be activities for the children, refreshments, and entertainment. Bring a blanket and enjoy the fun. The events get going at 6:00 p.m. and the movie will show at 8:15.
The next day, Sunday, July 23, The Legendary Street Rods Car Club teams up with the North Fairhaven Improvement Association to present a summertime Car, Truck, and Bike Show and Family Fun Fair at Livesey Park. There will be raffles, awards, music, children’s activities, food and more. The fee to enter a vehicle in the show is $15. Admission to the event is free. Proceeds from the Car Show benefit the New Bedford Veterans Transition House & Cancer Fund. Proceeds from food sales benefit the NFIA and Fairhaven Lions Club. The rain date for the event is July 30. For more information, call John Medeiros at 508-990-0000 or email Jeff Lucas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Besides the things listed above, there will be regularly scheduled activities all month — walking tours, Pirates & Privateers presentations at the fort, tours of the Unitarian Memorial Church, chances to visit the Whitfield-Manjiro Friendship House and the Old Stone Schoolhouse, and lots more. Check out the “Upcoming Events” section at FairhavenTours.com.
Looking ahead even further, about mid-July is when I start sending out notices to vendors about the annual Harvest Fun Day, scheduled for Saturday, October 14, this year. Some vendors couldn’t wait and got in touch with me early, so I already have five booth spaces reserved. Booth spaces are available for non-profit groups, artists, crafters and Fairhaven businesses that wish to offer items for sale, children’s games or fall-themed activities, food, etc. This could be used as a fundraising opportunity for groups and it can provide a venue for those looking for a fun community event in which to participate. You can find out more on the website: http://fairhaventours. com/annual-harvest-fun-day/.
One of the most stressful parts of planning any sort of event that takes place outdoors is watching the weather forecast. Does it look like bad weather is coming? How bad? If it does arrive, when? And no matter what happens and what you decide to do, somebody is going to be unhappy.
Barbara Acksen and the Homecoming Day Fair committee of the Fairhaven Improvement Association faced that on June 24. There was a tough call to make because there was almost 100% certainty a storm front would be passing through and it would be arriving just as the fair was to begin. But it also looked as though the heavy rain would be over by late morning with sun to follow all afternoon. It was a brave call to forge ahead and hold the fair. I think it paid off. The afternoon had great Homecoming Day weather.
Some people wonder why such a large event doesn’t have a rain date. Well, its size and scope are the reason. It’s too big for everyone involved to simply show up again tomorrow. In addition to that, there are other separate events that are scheduled for Sunday. This year, the Alumni Association breakfast, the Angels of ’76 car show, and the FHS Hall of Fame were among the things taking place on June 25.
People seem to forget, too, that during much of the Homecoming Day’s history, there were three active churches in that three block space occupied by the fair. If the fair cannot take place on Saturday, it can’t happen at all.
I’m glad that it happened this year.
As usual, I welcome your comments, questions, or suggestions. You can email the Office of Tourism at FairhavenTours@fairhaven-ma.gov, call 508-979-4085, or stop by the Visitors Center, 141 Main Street.
Click here to download the entire 6/29/17 issue: 06-29-17 Homecoming