by Chris Richard, Director of Tourism
It’s feast time in North Fairhaven! The Feast of Our Lady of Angels takes place September 2, 3, and 4, at 7 Jesse Street. Hours are 5:00 to midnight on Saturday, noon to midnight on Sunday and noon to 10:00 p.m. on Monday. Monday afternoon at 1:00 the procession will be held on Main Street, from St. Mary’s Church to Benoit Square and back.
Although public school has already started in Fairhaven, the feast traditionally marks the end of summer vacation. It’s a fun time with lots of food (1,500 lbs. of caçoila alone), drink, and socializing. It’s also the only place in town where you see a watermelon or a loaf of sweet bread auction off for $50 or $75, followed by the cry, “Cut it up for the kids!”
The entertainment lineup for the feast looks like this. On Saturday at 6:00 p.m. there will be an opening ceremony followed by a concert by Filarmónica do Senhor da Pedra from New Bedford. Then 8:00 p.m. to midnight will be David Demelo & Sua Banda. On Sunday from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. it’s the Red Handed Band, followed by the Santa Cecelia band of Fall River. After a break (probably filled by an auction), Eratoxica will be onstage from 8:00 p.m. to Midnight. On Monday evening there will be a performance by 7 Day Weekend, beginning at 6:00 p.m.
Also this weekend, on Sunday, September 3, the West Island Improvement Association holds its last breakfast of the summer at the island’s Community Center, 41 Causeway Road. It runs from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Before continuing with the “special” events, let me remind you that the regular tours and presentations offered by the Office of Tourism continue through the end of September. Henry H. Rogers Tours are Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 10:00, starting outside the Town Hall. Pirates & Privateers Presentations are Friday mornings at 10:00 at Fort Phoenix. They’re all free.
The 17th Annual Fort Phoenix 5k Road Race will be held on Sunday, September 10, at 10:00 a.m. Registration is $15 in advance or $20 on the day of the race. There are cash prizes for the winners, T-shirts for those who register in advance, and food and drink for all runners. Proceeds benefit local charities. Online registration is at http://www. jbrace.com. For more information you can contact Race Director Kathy Lopes at 508-991-2194.
This year’s last Riverside Cemetery Tour is Sunday, September 17, at 2:00 p.m. I’m not sure yet whether Vanessa Gralton or I will be guiding it, but it’s just as interesting either way. The tour lasts about 90 minutes and is free of charge.
At the end of the month, the Fairhaven Village Militia and the Office of Tourism co-sponsor the Fall Historical Encampment at Fort Phoenix. It’s Saturday and Sunday, September 23 and 24. You can visit an authentically recreated Revolutionary War camp to see all sorts of activities from cooking and military drilling to tin smithing and leather working. At 6:30 p.m. on the Saturday evening the fort’s five big cannons will be fired. (Smaller cannons and flintlock muskets will be demonstrated throughout the weekend.) The camp is open to the public free of charge from 9:00 a.m. to sunset on Saturday and 9:00 a.m. to about 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Now some other Office of Tourism news. You might recall that two years ago I got permission from the School Department to build a stage platform on the lawn of the Academy Building to be used for outdoor performances by community groups, students, etc. At that time, the plan was to honor Natalie S. Hemingway for her many years of dedication to Fairhaven, both as a music teacher and as a member of the Tourism Committee.
Volunteers came forward to build the stage if funds were raised to pay for the supplies. Several hundred dollars were collected in the Tourism Gift Account specifically to build the stage. Donations dwindled before the goal was reached and the project was put on the back burner.
As you most likely know, Natalie died in June at the age of 87. Since then, interest in building the stage has been revived and the Hemingway family recently donated some funds. We still need more to put us over the top and to maintain the stage once it has been built. If you would like to contribute to the cause, please send a check, payable to Town of Fairhaven, to the Fairhaven Office of Tourism, 141 Main St., Fairhaven, MA 02719. Note that the donation is intended for the stage.
In other news, the Whitfield-Manjiro Friendship Society is looking for vendors who want to participate in this year’s Manjiro Festival on Saturday, October 7. There are also ad spaces available in the program book. Visit the society’s website for more information: http://www. whitfield-manjiro.org/.
For Harvest Fun Day, October 14, sponsored by my office, the vendor list has reached 43 booths and there’s a waiting list. I’m probably going to hold the line there. It will be just about the size of last year’s fair, which nicely fills the lawn of the high school and Academy Building. There will be a variety of items for sale, food, and activities for the children. Ken Souza will be the DJ throughout the day. It will be fun for all.
If you like to think really far ahead, I’m looking for ideas and suggestions for Monday Morning Fun Programs for the summer of 2018. And I’m also looking for ideas of another weekly event to be held at the Visitors Center on Saturdays next summer. In both cases, the idea is to give people fun things to do in Fairhaven during the traditional tourist season.
That’s it for now. 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.
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