If you are anywhere near the Southcoast of Massachusetts, or more specifically New Bedford, you will not want to miss the 2009 Working Waterfront Festival. This year’s theme is Surf & Turf: Fishermen and Farmers Finding Common Ground. From the website:
Farming, like fishing, is a way of life. Fishermen and farmers share a deep knowledge of, reverence for and dependence upon the natural world. Both groups pass traditional skills and knowledge from one generation to the next, often incorporating new technologies alongside traditional practices. And both communities face many of the same economic, environmental and political challenges.
There are all kinds of wonderful activities for the entire family that will entertain and educate you about what takes place everyday on one America’s most active waterfronts. Here are the schedules for Saturday and Sunday as well as a downloadable festival map(PDF). It’s all FREE!
Here are a few videos from past festivals of the types of activities that you’ll experience:
YouTube – Scallop Shucking
YouTube – Coast Guard Rescue Demonstration
In addition to all of the activities on the waterfront, New Bedford is like a theme park for maritime heritage/culture fans. Located on Johnny Cake Hill is the Whaling Museum (website / blog / twitter), homeport of the largest ship model in the world and which has two “not to miss” exhibits: From Pursuit to Preservation and Working Waterfront, Photographic Portraits which I’m proud to say is a great show of my cousin Phil’s photography. Across the street from the Whaling Museum is the historic Seamen’s Bethel made famous by Herman Melville in his classic Moby-Dick. A little further up the hill you’ll find the new Ocean Explorium which is the home to one of NOAA’s very impressive Science on a Sphere installations. All of this and more is located in the New Bedford Whaling Historical National Park.
Looking for some great food and refreshments? Check out the Rose Alley Ale House for great chicken wings, burgers and a wide selection of beers and No Problemo for the best Mexican around. Want something a little fancier, Cork or Waterfront Grill would be god choices. All are steps from the festival grounds.
If you are on Twitter and interested in learning more or if you attend and want to share your experiences use the hash tag #workingwaterfront.