The Whaling History Alliance, the official fundraising organization for New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, will host an afternoon of family-friendly activities in celebration of the 15th Anniversary of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park on Saturday, September 8.
The event will feature a 2 p.m. award presentation, honoring Congressman Barney Frank and the late Senator Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy for their commitment and leadership which led to the successful adoption of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park in 1997. Special guest, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, will be in attendance to accept Senator Kennedy’s award on his behalf.
“In addition to celebrating the 15th Anniversary of New Bedford’s National Park, this very special event will honor and thank two of the key individuals who played a vital role in the adoption of the legislation for the Park,” said Joseph P. Lopes, New Bedford City Councilor and President of the Whaling History Alliance. “We invite the community to join the festivities and gather together as we present Congressman Barney Frank and the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy with a commemorative gift as a symbol of our appreciation for their commitment and dedication to this notable cause.”
The public is invited to attend the 15th Anniversary celebration. The event will kick-off at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 8, with a performance by the National Park’s Youth Ambassador Program in the garden outside of the National Park Visitor Center, 33 William Street in New Bedford. The award presentationwill follow in the Park garden at 2 p.m. As part of the Park’s birthday celebration, guests are invited to enjoy complementary cupcakes provided by Emma Jean’s Cupcake and Ice Cream Shoppe.
At the close of the award presentation, the following activities, tours and exhibits will take place throughout the National Park:
National Park Visitor Center
The National Park Visitor Center will host free children’s activities organized by the National Park Volunteers’ Education Committee and a free origami whale making activity provided by ArtWorks! These activities will be available from the close of the awards ceremony (approximately 2:30 p.m.), until 5 p.m.
At 3 p.m., join the Groupo Folclorico Madeirense for a special performance in the Park garden. The Groupo Folclorico Madeirense is an all volunteer organization performing dances of Madeira Island to spread knowledge about Madeiran folklore, Portuguese heritage, the Clube Madeirense S.S. Sacramento, and the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament.
The following National Park partner organizations will host various types of exhibits at the Corson Building, 33 William Street, from the close of the awards ceremony (approximately 2:30 p.m.), until 5 p.m.
- National Park Service: Teacher Ranger Teacher Program
- Whaling History Alliance
- Schooner Ernestina Commission /Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association, Inc.
- New Bedford Historical Society
- Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum
- Ocean Explorium “Touch Tank”
- Buzzards Bay Coalition
Join the National Park Stewards’ at 4 p.m. in the Park theater for the Red Carpet Premiere of the Park Stewards’ documentary. The documentary is a compilation of the 2012 Park Stewards’ six week program on the various forms of art, visiting artists in residence programs at National Parks in New England, and their own art creations.
The following tours are free of charge and will run from the close of the awards ceremony (approximately 2:30 p.m.), concluding at 5 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
- Tours of the National Park Visitor Center and Corson Building conducted by Park Rangers and Park Volunteers. The Visitor Center and the Corson Building are located at 33 William Street.
- National Park Service Scavenger Hunt throughout the Park’s historic area conducted by Park Rangers and Park Volunteers. Scavenger hunts will leave from the National Park Visitor Center, 33 William Street.
- Shuttle tours highlighting New Bedford’s authentic working waterfront, the downtown’s premier historical and cultural institutions, and the cobblestone streets filled with burgeoning businesses, vibrant art galleries and diverse dining establishments conducted by Anne Louro, City of New Bedford Historic Preservation Planner. Shuttle tours will leave from the National Park Visitor Center, 33 William Street, at 3 p.m., 3:20 p.m. and 3:40 p.m.
- Walking tours of Front Street and the Route 18 re-design construction project. Today the project is on budget and ahead of schedule with an expected completion of Spring 2013. The tours will be conducted by Derek Santos, Director of Business Development at the New Bedford Economic Development Council, and will leave from the National Park Visitor Center, 33 William Street.
- Free tours of the Ocean Explorium with pass provided at National Park Visitor Center. The Ocean Explorium is located at 174 Union Street.
New Bedford Whaling Museum
In honor of the National Park’s 15th Anniversary celebration, the New Bedford Whaling Museum will host an afternoon of free activities between the hours of 2:30 and 5 p.m. The following activities will take place on the Museum plaza.
- Harpoon challenge. Practice to become a harpooner. Guests are invited to try their hand at throwing a kid-safe harpoon through a target.
- Scrimshaw. It may not be legal to carve on sperm whale teeth in 2012, but you can use soap, shoe polish and a carving stick to create your own masterpiece to take home.
- Pequod. Make a floating model of the famous whale ship from ‘Moby-Dick’.
Voyage Around the World. Join Museum docents in the Jacobs Family Gallery for experiential activities to highlight the common thread of history that connects New Bedford with Alaska and Hawai’i.
Enjoy a staged reading of ‘Moby-Dick’ with the Boston Experimental Theatre Company in the Cook Memorial Theater. Join the imaginary voyage aboard the Pequod with Captain Ahab, Ishmael, Queequeg and the rest of the crew as they pursue an infamous white whale across the treacherous waters of the globe. Meet the characters, share their perils and immerse yourself in the beauty and harshness of Melville’s finely drawn portrait of a doomed whaling expedition.
The New Bedford Whaling Museum will host this staged reading of a script adapted from Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby Dick. After the reading, there will be a talk back session with BETC. (This staged reading precedes a full production to be performed in Boston in January by the members of BETC.)
In addition to the free activities listed above, the Whaling Museum will offer buy one, get one free admissions for the day.