Some may be regretful to admit it, but the holiday season is just around the corner. Luckily, New Bedford hosts the perfect event for quelling that inner Grinch and helping you get into the holiday spirit: The Santa Sightings 5K.
If you live in or around the city, it’s hard to imagine that you’ve never seen this event take place on the streets of New Bedford (or one the many images shared by New Bedford Guide). It’s hard to miss thousands of runners dressed as Santa Claus running about the city. However if you’re new to the concept of the Santa Run, here’s the scoop.
What is the Santa Sightings 5K?
The Santa Sightings was started four years ago by Geoff Smith, a two-time Olympic competitor and a two-time Boston Marathon champion. Despite Mr. Smith’s impressive history as a runner, the 5K is not meant to be a grueling challenge. Instead, the event was started as a fun way to get people up off the couch and into the holiday spirit. People can run, jog, walk or even push a stroller!
What makes this 5K so special is that everyone who joins is fully clad in a Santa costume. All registered participants received a Santa suit and they complete the route in this festive attire. It is quite a sight to behold!
In addition to being a truly cheerful event, it is a great fundraiser for important community causes. For every participant over 1,500, $6.00 will be distributed evenly between the New Bedford Cultural District, Gifts to Give of New Bedford, and the South Coast YMCA.
This year the event will also be adding youth runs. There will be a 100 yard dash for children ages 6 an under, and a ½ mile run for children ages 7-12. Children who register will receive a Santa hat and a bronze medal.
This year the organizers hope to make this the biggest Santa Sighting of all times- 14,000 Santas in one location!
When and Where?
The Santa Sighting 5K will take place on December 14th at 11 AM. Registration for the event will take place at the South Coast YMCA from 5-8 PM on December 13th, as well as 7-10 AM on the 14th.
The race starts and finishes at New Bedford City Hall.
Summer’s warmth is still lingering, but it won’t be long until the leaves will change and instead of visiting the beach we’ll be visiting apple orchards and pumpkin patches. Already the shandy’s are disappearing from the package stores and being replaced with autumn ales.
While we may mourn the passing of summer, there is much to look forward to about the fall, especially if you are a beer enthusiast. One particular event that you will want to check out is the 2014 Oktoberfest at State Pier in New Bedford on Saturday, October 4th. New Bedford Guide has all the details for this year’s beer extravaganza.
1. What is the SCBA Oktoberfest?
The South Coast Business Alliance, AKA the SCBA, is a group of ambitious, business-minded people who are dedicated to making the South Coast a better place to live and work. The SCBA provides networking opportunities and business connections to help groom future business and community leaders for the South Coast region. The SCBA also donates to nonprofit organizations and scholarship funds to help provide better opportunities and resources to the community.
For those of you who are down for little history lesson, Oktoberfest began in Munich Germany on October 12, 1810 to celebrate Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese of Saxony. The horse races at the event were a big success, and so the tradition was continued in subsequent years. Over time more and more beer stands popped up at the festival to quench the thirst of attendees. By 1896 full beer tents and beer halls were a major feature of the fairgrounds, making it a renowned destination for beer lovers far and wide.
Today, Oktoberfest in Germany attracts 6 million visitors each year, and different locations around the world have begun to host their own Oktoberfests. The SCBA began their Oktoberfest in New Bedford 9 years ago, and each year it has been a growing success, bringing 21+ visitors into the city to try out local beers, eat and listen to live music.
2. The Beer
Oktoberfest is not Oktoberfest without good beer. This year, the NB Oktoberfest will feature the largest selection of any of the years past, with over 25 beers on tap. The breweries that will be present are largely local microbreweries and they will be bringing that unique autumn ale flavor that can only be done right in the North East!
In terms of super local talent, Buzzard’s Bay Brewing Company will be present, as will Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project, both of which are brewed fresh in Westport, MA. Another local favorite, Mayflower Brewing from Plymouth will be present, as will Cisco Brewers from Nantucket.
Naturally some of the other big names in Massachusetts’ finest will be there, such as Sam Adams and Wachusett. There will also be a brewery from New Hampshire, Woodstock Brewery, who is definitely worth checking out. The very popular Southern Tier will be representing New York, and another semi-local favorite, Foolproof, will be bringing their beer in from Providence.
Those are only to name some of the breweries that will be present, so there’s sure to be something to suit any palate! Beers can be purchased by the cup, so you will want to bring cash. This year there will also be an “Oktoberfest Sampler” card option, which allows you to sample up to six beers for $10.
3. The Food
Good food and good beer are meant to be together. Luckily for Oktoberfest attendees, the SCBA has put together a food lineup worthy of its beer counterpart. As in years past, No Problemo’s will be present and will be serving up their now famous Oktoberfest special, Wurst Ques, a bratwurst queso. Oxford Creamery’s Oxcart will be providing steamed hot dogs and more (the more may include lobster rolls), and O’Crepe will be serving both sweet and savory crepes. O’Crepe’s options range from the traditional nutella crepe to some unique and mouthwatering inventions, like the C.B.L.T. (sriracha mayo, bacon, lettuce, tomato). Finally, Ma Raffa’s will be in attendance. To anyone who has lived in Greater NB for more than a year, Ma Raffa’s should need no introduction; if you’re looking to do the beer and pizza combo you could hardly hope for a better pairing.
4. The Entertainment
Last year’s entertainment certainly got some people dancing, and this year looks to promise much the same. Local favorite Craig DeMelo, who always warms the crowd up with his full band each year at Oktoberfest will be taking the stage with a range of catchy covers and originals. Another stellar addition to the line up is Four Legged Faithful, a four-man band that uses traditional bluegrass/ folk instruments to create a beautiful and unique musical experience.
The Felix Brown Band is headlining as they did last year, and if 2013 was any indication this band’s energy and talent is sure to get people on their feet. The Felix Brown Band has played throughout the Northeast and beyond; bringing a fusion style of music that blends elements of rock, blues, R&B, jazz and funk. They bring their unique sound to many popular songs, ranging from Eric Clapton to 50 Cent.
This year’s event will also feature a corn hole tournament, so make sure your throwing arm is in good shape if you plan on participating!
5. Time, Date and Location
As previously mentioned, this year’s Oktoberfest will take place on October 4th from 3:00 PM until midnight. As with last year, it will be located at State Pier in New Bedford, which is a truly excellent spot in my opinion.
With lots of indoor cover but plenty of space to roam the pier outdoors, State Pier is an ideal location for sipping a beer and looking out on the working waterfront. Additionally, the high ceilings make for a good acoustic experience as the live performances keep everyone rocking throughout the night.
Portions of proceeds from this event will go to the UMass Dartmouth South Coast Business Alliance Scholarship Endowment. Other charities and nonprofits will also benefit from these funds throughout the year. So just think… not only will your ticket price buy you a great time, it will benefit the community in numerous ways!
Oktoberfest is also paid for in part by sponsors, whose generosity allow for this fantastic fundraiser to go forward. This year’s Gold Sponsors were Advanced Eye Centers, Baycoast Bank, Blue Hills Bank, and Claremont Companies.
Famous jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis best described the importance of jazz; “Jazz music is America’s past and its potential, summed up and sanctified and accessible to anybody who learns to listen to, feel, and understand it.” I have always liked this quote because it is an eloquent way of contextualizing the rich history of jazz, a music that was born from the American melting pot. Jazz music is the result of many cultures blending together to create a unique and beautiful style of music, and it is this cultural context that makes it very pertinent in a city like New Bedford, which is a cultural melting pot in its own right.
The third annual New Bedford JazzFest is right around the corner, and I had the opportunity to speak with organizer Eric Paradis about the event and why it promises to be a great experience for all who attend. This article will give you the scoop on all you need to know about the New Bedford Jazzfest.
1. Time and Location
The JazzFest will take place from 2:00 to 7:00 PM on Saturday June 14th. Music will take place at Pier 3 of the New Bedford Waterfront. A large tent will keep out any inclimate weather and seating is first come, first serve. Over 700 people attended last year.
Free parking is available next to Pier 3 at 49 State Pier, which is the ferry parking lot. It can be found using a GPS and attendants will also be on hand to usher attendees into the parking lot. Attendees will be given a wristband for re-entry, allowing them to come and go from the event if they would like to peruse Downtown New Bedford’s many shops and eateries.
2. The Fundraiser
The New Bedford JazzFest is a fundraiser for Your Theatre, Inc. a 68-year-old, volunteer-based community theatre in New Bedford. Your Theatre produces 5-7 shows each season and also offers an annual scholarship to students pursuing the arts. All proceeds from the festival go towards continuing this long lasting theatre, which is hopeful to one day raise enough funds to secure a permanent home for their workshops and performances.
Organizer Eric Paradis told me that when Your Theatre, Inc. began to put the JazzFest together they expected that it would take them over a year to secure the funding required to facilitate the event. However, Bridgewater Credit Union indicated their interest in JazzFest, allowing them to make the idea a reality. As the key sponsor of the event, Bridgewater Credit Union provides not only funding, but also organizational assistance and volunteer hours. Thanks to this unique partnership the JazzFest is looking forward to a third successful year.
3. The Music
When I spoke with event organizer Eric Paradis, he noted that they chose to start the JazzFest as a fundraiser for Your Theatre because despite there being an abundance of jazz talent in the region, not many venues cater to this form of art. He was pleased to announce that this is changing in the region, and is glad that the New Bedford JazzFest has been a part of that change.
This year’s JazzFest is featuring three main acts. Etymology will take the stage at 2:15. Etymology is comprised of UMass Dartmouth students who play a mixture of early, modern and Latin jazz. At 3:00 The SouthCoast Jazz Orchestra will be performing. They are a 17-piece jazz group with a classic big band sound and they have performed at every JazzFest to date.
The feature act of the evening will be Shawn Monteiro, an internationally known jazz vocalist. A professor at Hartt University, Monteiro has a family history in the jazz industry as her father performed with the legendary Duke Ellington Orchestra. Moneteiro herself spent two years performing with Latin jazz master Mongo Santamaria, whose many accomplishments included composing the jazz standard, “Afro Blue”, which was made famous by John Coltrane. While performing with Santamaria, Monteiro took the stage with musical legends such as Stan Kenton, Celia Cruz and Weather Report. Monteiro has performed worldwide for over 40 years.
Monteiro’s vocals will be supported by the John Harrison Trio. John Harrison III is is a pianist, arranger, composer and producer who currently teaches at UMass Dartmouth. He will be accompanied by Ron Madhi, a bassist and assistant professor at Berklee College of Music. Madhi has had the distinction of having performed across the globe and has performed with many musical greats such as Kevin Eubanks, Roy Hargrove, James Williams and Chet Baker. On the drums will be Chris Poudrier who is a drum set professor at UMass Dartmouth and frequent guest faculty member for Berklee College of Music’s annual Percussion Festival.
The night will wrap up with a high-energy performance from the MonteiroBots. The MonteriroBots are a local quartet lead by Marcus Monteiro, an energetic young saxophonist who studied with the late Rick Britto and attended UMass Dartmouth. Along with Marcus the MonteiroBots are composed of guitarist Chris Bryant, bassist Mike Lavoie, and drummer Mike Antunes. The MonteiroBots host a jam session at The Pour Farm every Sunday night and they also play at both local and regional festivals.
4. Art and Vendors
To add to the festival feel of this event, ArtWorks! coordinates an Artists’ Colony, which allows local artists and artisans to come display their wares for attendees to view and even to purchase. In addition to the Artists’ Colony, other local organizations will be present such as the Standard Times, Destination New Bedford Inc. and the South Coast Energy Challenge. Eric Paradis explained to me that the purpose isn’t to make people feel the need to buy anything but rather to connect them with organizations that are local, informative and valuable.
5. The Food & Drinks
The image of sitting by the water and listening to jazz music is only complete if food and beverage are added into the picture. The New Bedford JazzFest features local and regional food trucks that will provide an array of delicious edible options. Mattapoisett’s famous Oxford Creamy will be present with their mobile kitchen and will be serving your favorite summer standards. For those with a taste for fine cuisine, the award winning, upscale food truck, Plouf Plouf will be in attendance. Plouf Plouf specializes in French cuisine with delectable options such as organic duck confit. Those who love sweets will be able to get ice cream and other delicious desserts from a food vendor called Like No Udder.
For those of you who are 21 or older, the idea of a cold beverage might peak your interest. The event will feature two local breweries; Buzzards Bay from Westport and Goodfellow’s Brewing from Lakeville. Additionally a full bar will be available as well as wine and other beer options.
As mentioned before, this event is a fundraiser for Your Theatre, Inc. and ticket prices are very reasonable. Tickets can be purchased for $15 in advance by going to http://newbedfordjazzfest.com/purchase-tickets/. You can also buy tickets at Bridgewater Credit Union, Symphony Music Shop or Your Theatre Box Office (508-993-0772). Tickets are $20 on the day of the event. Children under 15 are free when they attend with a paying adult.
It should be noted that coolers and outside food and beverages are not permitted. Attendees are advised to bring a light jacket as it gets cooler near the water during evening hours.
3rd Annual Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Market in Westport
June 21, 2014 will mark the 3rd Annual Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Market in the beautiful coastal town of Westport, Massachusetts. As in years past, the event will feature tastings from all ten of the Coastal Wine Trail’s Vineyards and sample wares from over twenty local food vendors. In addition to sampling food and wine, attendees will be able to purchase those goods that they most enjoyed.
The Coastal Wine Trails members that will be present at the event include; Coastal Vineyards, Greenvale Vineyards, Langworthy Farm, Newport Vineyards, Running Brook Vineyards, Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard, Travessia Winery, Truro Vineyards + South Hollow Spirits, Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery, and Stonington Vineyards.
The food vendors present will be serving more than just chocolate and cheese by bringing an array of fresh, local food items to the event. For example, The Gilded Tomato Company will be serving up their brick-oven gourmet pizzas, Dell’Orto Extra Virgin Olive Oil will be offering samples of their award winning goods, Aquidneck Honey will be featuring their own tasty treats. More vendors are being announced each week- stay tuned by liking Coastal Wine Trail on Facebook.
The event features three sessions; 11am-1:30pm, 2:30pm-5pm, and 6pm-8:30pm. The event takes place at the Westport Fairgrounds, 200 Pine Hill Road, Westport, MA. Tickets can be bought through the Coastal Wine Trail Website. Tickets are $25 in advance and $40 at the door.
100th New Bedford Portuguese Feast Survival Guide
For the community of New Bedford, there are a few reasons why 2014 is a special year. For one, it will mark the homecoming of the whaling ship the Charles S. Morgan. It will also mark the 100th New Bedford Feast of the Blessed Sacrament.
The New Bedford Feast of the Blessed Sacrament, a.k.a. the Portuguese Feast, a.k.a. Madeira Feast is the largest event the city has every year. More than that, it is the largest Portuguese feast in the world and the largest ethnic festival in New England. The feast was founded in 1915 by four Madeiran immigrants who wanted to recreate the festivities of their home island.
Between my own experience with the feast, some careful research and some very helpful guidance from Ed Camara, the Director of Media and Public Relations for Clube Madeirense S.S. Sacramento, I have come up with an overview of the feast which has become a major attraction for visitors from all over who come to celebrate the Portuguese culture through food, drink and entertainment.
Every year thousands of people attend the Feast, but the big 100th is anticipated to draw the largest turnout in the Feast’s long and storied history. If you are considering being one of this year’s attendees, here are some things you should know about the feast:
1. Time and Location
If you have never been to the feast it naturally makes sense to let you know where to go and when to be there. The feast is a four-day event, officially kicking off at 6:00 PM on Thursday, July 31st. The grounds close at midnight each night.
This year the gates will open early on Friday for the big 100. The grounds will open at noon and close at 11:45 PM, serving food and supplying entertainment the whole night! By opening earlier on Friday this will provide an opportunity to attend to those who are hoping to avoid the large crowds.
Saturday festivities begin at 10 AM for the 5k road race followed by Kid’s Day afternoon. The last day of the feast is Sunday, which starts off at noon and will feature a parade at 3:00 PM. For more information on when and where events will be taking place, go to the Portuguese Feast Entertainment Schedule.
Most of the events take place at Madeira Field, which is permanent location in New Bedford’s north end, which comes to life one weekend a year for the festivities.
The address of Madeira Field is 50 Madeira Avenue, New Bedford, MA (88 Tinkham Street on your GPS). Parking can be a bit tricky, you may have to plan to search a bit to find a spot and walk a few blocks, or pay to park in a nearby private lot.
There is no charge for addmission and the entertainment is free thanks to the hard work of the committee members who comprise the 2014 Feast of the Blessed Sacrament Committee. Feast members come from all over the country to plan the feast each year, some as far away as California and Florida. Due to the fact that this will be the 100th feast, the committee is much larger than it has been in years past, consisting of over 280 members from all over the world. Some of the members will be traveling from across the U.S., Canada, Europe, and South Africa to attend the feast, but in the meantime they have had family members representing them at the committee meetings.
While admission is free to walk around and watch the entertainment, there are also many vendors at the grounds selling everything from handmade Madeiran souvenirs to cigars. Of course, food, carnival rides and beverages are also an additional cost.
Tickets may also be purchased to buy authentic Portuguese cuisine or, if you’re over 21, an impressive selection of alcoholic beverages. Tickets cost a dollar each and can be purchased at ten machines located throughout the grounds by placing a five, ten or twenty dollar bill inside. Tickets are non-refundable. There are also stands with employees who sell the tickets.
Prices of food are kept reasonable, and there is a great deal of variety to choose from. To give you a general idea of the prices of items at the feast, a full meal is 12 tickets (which equates to 12 dollars), most sandwiches are around four tickets, and a soda or a water goes for one ticket.
One of the greatest features of the feast is the delicious Portuguese fare. There are many food stands located throughout Madeira Field that serve your favorites from the simple delights of linguica and cacoila sandwiches to full on Portuguese cuisine plates of chicken, beef, goat or tuna with potatoes, rice and vegetables.
Another major culinary draw is the Carne de Espeto, a massive, 40-foot barbecue pit where beef sirloin cubes can be cooked over an open flame on massive skewers. This is hard to miss since the aroma is absolutely mouth watering. Visitors are able to buy the meat for eight tickets a pound and a delicious aromatic salt is provided to cook with.
Visitors are then able to roast their own dinner over the gas-fired lava rock grill. Mr. Camara, (who has been a part of the organization since 1982) advised me that if someone tells you to pour Madeira wine on the meat it is not advisable (it does not help the flavor and causes the meat to burn faster!)
New items that will be featured at the feast include Milho Frito, fried cornmeal, garlic and finely shredded kale make this the perfect treat to go with Carne de Espeto. There will also be ice-cold fresh fruit cups, the perfect way to cool down for health conscious attendees.
In case you are not accustomed to the flavorful cooking style of Portuguese cuisine, go to the Food & Drink page of the Portuguese Feast website for definitionsof some of the food you might expect to see.
One of the draws of the feast is the consumption of Madeira wine, which is a central part of the festivities as it is part of a long tradition. Madeira wine is a sweet, fortified red wine. Genuine Madeira wine is made on the island of Madeira, and exportation of actual barrels are restricted due to regulations. However, thanks to a special agreement made between feast officials and the President of Madeira, casks are able to be delivered to New Bedford and served for the weekend, making this a very rare treat for those who attend.
For those who don’t find that the taste of Madeira wine suits their pallet, there are a great variety of additional options including a full liquor bar for mix drinks and frozen drinks. Alcohol stands also serve sangria and white wine and Budweiser beer is on tap.
If you wish to partake in the consumption of alcoholic beverages, you will need to have your ID scanned when you enter the feast grounds in order to receive a wristband that proves you are legally old enough to be served. There will be additional ID stations at this year’s feast due to the anticipated increase in numbers of attendees.
There is a great deal of quality free entertainment at the feast each year from Portuguese and American cultures. There are three stages throughout Madeira field, and each host a variety of performance types throughout the weekend. In addition, the Museum of Madeiran Heritage will be featuring musical performances each night of the feast. These performances will be featuring fado music, a Portuguese genre of music that can be traced back to the 1820s but is believed to be even older than that.
One of the cultural acts that you may see take the stage at Madeira field is Groupo Folclorico Clube Madeirense S.S. Sacramento. This group of dancers presents traditional dancing performances to authentic Madeiran music and in traditional clothing. These performances are always very spirited and interesting to see.
There will be many bands on the smaller stages during the feast, but the largest stage is reserved for a special performance at 10:00 each night. Thursday night the band Gin Blossoms will take the stage. Gin Blossoms was a popular rock band in the ‘90s with hits like “Hey Jealousy”, “Found Out About You”, “Follow You Down” and “Till I Hear It From You”.
Friday night will feature Blood, Sweat and Tears with lead singer Bo Bice. Formed in the late 1960s, Blood, Sweat and Tears has continued to perform their contemporary jazz/rock music with numerous iterations of band personnel and musical styles. The band’s owner selected Bo Bice, a runner up in American Idol Season 4, as the new front man after he heard Bice perform Blood, Sweat and Tears’ famous “Spinning Wheel” on the show.
Saturday will feature the Starlight Band, a Portuguese Musical group.
Sunday night will feature country music artist Phil Vassar. Vassar emerged on the country scene in the late 90s, co-writing singles for famous country stars like Tim McGraw. Shortly after he released his own debut album, “Phil Vassar”, which featured five songs that placed on Billboard’s Country Singles Chart. His most popular tunes include, “Just Another Day in Paradise”, “Love is a Beautiful Thing” and “I’ll Take that as a Yes.”
Since Madeira feast involves alcohol consumption, some readers may be wondering if it is a family appropriate event. You will be glad to know that family values are integral to the foundation of the feast. While it is probably not advisable to bring young children later in the night due to large crowds and loud music, it should be mentioned that there are many features of the feast that children will love. Also, the feast takes great measures to prohibit underage drinking. All who wish to consume alcoholic beverages are required to undergo a license verification process in order to receive a specially printed wristband.
Additional security precautions are being taken for this year’s Feast due to its size and significance. Mr. Camera mentioned to me that few people realize this, but the Feast grounds are wired with such advanced cameras that all feast goers are on at least two cameras at any given time.
A cool part of the feast is that it features carnival rides and games all weekend. Saturday is probably the best day for families with young children thanks to Kids Day Afternoon, which follows the 13th annual 5k road race. Kids day kicks off at noon and ends at four, featuring special live entertainment for children. Kids under twelve can also receive a free hot dog or hamburger, fried and a soda at Kids Day Afternoon.
For senior citizens in the community, there is “Senior Citizen Afternoon” which also takes place on Saturday from noon to 4 pm. During this time a shuttle is being offered (courtesy of the City of New Bedford) from the parking lot of Lincoln Elementary on Saturday so that seniors can attend the event without having to worry about parking. On this day they are also offered a special deal of half price meals for only 6 dollars instead of 12 (eat in only). Special entertainment is featured as well.
The Feast of the Blessed Sacrament gains its roots from the island of Madeira which is located 390 miles off the coast of Morocco. Traditionally, each Roman Catholic parish in Madeira would observe a festival to celebrate their patron saint. A committee of four men called festeiros would be responsible for preparing the village for the celebration by decorating the streets, contracting entertainment (often in the form of a brass band and fireworks) and holding a ceremonial meal after mass on Sunday.
There are many versions of the tale of why the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament was first begun in New Bedford 97 years ago. What is certain however, is that the feast was initiated as a means of preserving basic values of the Madeiran culture. Of course, since it was first begun the feast has changed in many ways to accommodate thousands of eager participants and modern elements of celebration.
While there have been many changes in the feast, many aspects still remain central to the celebration. The tradition of Madeira wine is a very old one, dating back to the 15th Century when the Malvasia vine was planted on the island of Madeira to see it would yield an alternative supply of wine for England. When growth was successful Madeira wine quickly took to the market, but did not become a major export until many years later. It wasn’t until the 16th Century that the flavor we know of today was created when they discovered that the flavor of the wine was actually improved by being repeatedly heated up. Follow the link for more information on the history of Madeira wine.
The religious aspect of the feast also remains a part of proceedings. As it did in 1915, the feast still takes place near Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, which is located on the corner of Earle and Madeira Street in New Bedford. The Portuguese feast pays homage to its religious traditions by beginning the weekend festivities with a procession to the church where Father Daniel O. Reis gives a Benediction to the Blessed Sacrament. The last day of the feast starts with Sunday Mass at Our Lady of Immaculate Conception and “the Festeiros, Club Madeirense S. S. Sacramento, Inc. members, and all of the many volunteers receive the blessings of the church for their many hours of work devoted to achieving a successful Feast and for being respectful of its religious origins”. Throughout the weekend the church also hosts a wonderful musical series of organ music and vocalists. The details of this schedule are still being finalized.
8. Madeira Field
The grounds on which the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament takes place are quite expansive and easy to lose people in. Be sure you have a plan for finding lost party members whether it be by cell phone or a designated area to meet up at.
When entering the feast you will need to get in line for a wristband if you wish to purchase alcoholic beverages. One of the most prominent features you will notice upon entering the festival grounds is the Santana House. The house is designed after the colorful architectural styles of the homes in the village Santana, Madeira and is where the Madeira wine is served from.
Across from the Santana House is Stage One, which is massive and where the main attractions will be hosted throughout the weekend. There are also two other smaller stages, one that is inside the gates and the other which is outside and amongst the souvenir vendors. You will also see many food and drink stands throughout the grounds, and towards the back you will find the barbecue pits for Carne de Espeto (or just follow your nose).
Taste of Southcoast 2014
The weather is slowly and reluctantly warming up as summer approaches, which means that New Bedford’s festival season is nearly upon us. For food lovers, no N.B. festival is more exciting than the annual Taste of South Coast. Over twenty of the South Coast’s best restaurants and eateries will be gathering on Pier 3 of New Bedford’s historic waterfront to compete for the People’s Choice awards. Sunday, May 18th will mark the eighth annual Taste of South Coast and yet again it promises to be one of the best deals of the year thanks to the incredible quantity and quality of food, as well as the fun that is bound to be had.
Every year this event gathers a great crowd of eager foodies so be sure to get your tickets in advance. The tasting starts at noon on May 18th and ends at 3:15, but music and fun continue right through 5:00 pm with the Craig DeMelo Band. Every year I find that Taste of South Coast has great music to accompany its incredible food; music that sets a fun block party type of atmosphere.
As always, the list of culinary delights that will sampled are varied. Currently, this year’s participating restaurants include; All Friends Catering & BBQ, Artisan Bake Shop, Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, Cork Wine & Tapas, Dorothy Cox Chocolates, Flour Girls Baking Company, Freestone’s City Grill, Inner Bay Restaurant, Morton’s Fork Catering, No Problemo, Olive Garden, Paddy’s Hotdog Shop, Pink Box Desserts, Seafire Grillhouse & Bar, Ten Cousin’s Brick Oven, Texas Roadhouse, Tia Maria European Café, Trio Café and Lounge and Ying Dynasty. For those of you with a sweet tooth there are also many desserts to be had. My favorites from last year were Artisan Bake Shop, Dorothy Cox’s Chocolates and Pink Box Desserts.
Of course, for many of us who are 21+, no food event is complete without a good beer or wine to wash it down with. New England craft beers will be available for purchase, as well as locally grown and bottled wines. For those of you who don’t drink, there will also be water and soft drinks for sale.
This is the second year that Taste of SouthCoast will not be taking place at Custom House Square, so be aware of the change in location. The GPS location of Pier 3 is 228 MacArthur Drive. Parking is free in the downtown at meters, at the Whale’s Tooth Parking lot, Elm Street Parking Garage, and the YMCA, with free shuttle service to the Pier.
Taste of SouthCoast always delivers great a great time for the ticket price. Ticket prices have not been changed from last year; $16 in advance online and $18 day of the event for adults, $6 for children 6-12, free for 5 and younger. NewBedfordGuide.com readers save $2 per adult ticket below:
Photos by Sally Spooner.
2014 New Bedford Folk Festival Survival Guide: Your ticket to food, live music, crafts and fun!
If you’re reading this article chances are you are familiar with Downtown New Bedford and its many charms; the nearby working waterfront, the delicious restaurants and the quaint cobblestone streets. In fact, if you are a frequent visitor of New Bedford, these sites might have become almost commonplace to you. Yet there is one weekend in the year that even for those of us who work and live downtown, the streets becomes nearly unrecognizable to our eyes.
That weekend is the New Bedford Folk Festival and it is a time when those quaint cobblestone streets become filled with colorful arts and crafts vendors as food carts fill the air with savory aromas and vibrant music can be heard all around. On average, 3,000 people buy tickets to the musical events and an estimated 10-20,000 people roam the streets buying goods and food. If you’ve never been it is a sight to behold as it draws in talent and spectators from all over the world.
The 2014 New Bedford Folk Festival will take place the weekend of July 5th and 6th and while the talent is still being announced there are already some headliners of note that make the very affordable ticket price a worthy investment. This year the New Bedford Guide is a proud media sponsor, and thus this article will hit upon some of the major things you’ll want to know about this year’s fest.
1. The Music
As with every year, the New Bedford Folk Festival brings a variety of different types of folk music to the stage. This year there will be close to 50 bands performing throughout the weekend. Taking a look at the bands that have already been listed to the website it is clear that there’s great diversity in the style of sound. Participating acts range from traditional jug bands to singer/songwriters to Celtic folk. Festival organizer Alan Korolenko expressed that the festival tries to integrate folk sounds from around the world, including French Canadian music, “something which isn’t really heard around here despite the prevalence of French Canadian history in this region”.
While there are already many bands of note, a couple exciting new “roots” additions are drawing attention. One is Poor Old Shine, a band that was described by the New York Times as “a roots band with a grassroots ethos” and features an eclectic mixture of instruments such as mandolins, the stand up bass and pump organs. Another interesting act is Spuyten Duyvil, a 7-piece band with great energy and a traditional sound that dates back to over 100 years.
Of course, the two names that immediately draw attention for folk music fans are Jonathan Edwards and Chris Smither. Edwards is best known for his Gold Record winner “Sunshine” but has 4 decades of musical experience, has recorded 15 albums and has collaborated with musical greats such as Jimmy Buffet. Smither has had an equally long and storied career, including a close friendship with the legendary Bonnie Raitt who covered two of his songs, “Love Me Like a Man” and “I Feel the Same”.
In addition to the acts that you will see on stage all weekend, the fest integrates something they refer to as “workshops” and these are what make the New Bedford Folk Festival one-of-a-kind. These workshops are essentially jam sessions in which musicians from different bands come together and improvise based on a prompt or style given to them. For music lovers, this is a rare treat as you can experience the raw talent and creativity of these artists. This year, a couple established themes for the workshops include a tribute to Pete Seeger and a tribute to the Everly Brothers.
Aside from the vibrant musical atmosphere found at the Folk Festival, the event features nearly 100 artisans who display their wares throughout the streets from 11 am to 7 pm. Items being sold will include; art, jewelry, furniture, decor and much more. It’s a great chance to purchase unique items that you cannot find anywhere else. Vendors are still being encouraged to submit applications to sell their goods, so if you or anyone you know is interested click here (http://www.newbedfordfolkfestival.com/food-crafts-2/) for more information!
3. The Food
Of course, no festival is complete without food and beverage offerings. In years past street vendors and food trucks have sold a variety of delicious items that range from snacks to full out BBQ and even seafood and vegetarian options. The event also features beer and wine sales for those who like to enjoy an adult beverage whilst taking in the sights and sounds.
The list of food vendors is still being finalized, but you can always be assured that Downtown New Bedford does not lack great restaurants, cafes and bars for you to stop into to grab a drink or a bite to eat. Location wise, the festival could not be better positioned for foodies.
4. Tickets, Time, Location and Parking
Tickets will be priced the same as last year and will go on sale in April. The “We Love New Bedford” tickets can only be purchased at the Whaling Museum or the Zeiterion Theatre and are discounted at $15 for the weekend pass. These special tickets allow more of the local community to attend and be involved. Tickets purchased online are $21 for the weekend pass if purchased in advance. They rise to $25 if purchased closer to the date.
This year’s festival will also feature a VIP ticket option. Festival organizer Alan Korolenko explained that many attendees wish to contribute to the event in a greater way, and this is how they can do so. VIP tickets are $100 each and will give patrons reserved seating, discounts at participating restaurants and other goodies like a festival tee-shirt. Korolenko noted that the reserved seating is especially beneficial for assuring seating at the Whaling Museum workshops, which tend to fill up quickly.
The festival starts at 11 am on Saturday July 5th and the Zeiterion Theatre and outdoor stages will feature music all day until around 6:30 PM when the music will move into the Zeiterion Theatre, wrapping the night up at around 9:30 PM. The same schedule will occur on Sunday July 6th.
The New Bedford Folk Festival will once more take place right in the heart of Downtown in the region known as New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park. Several stages are located throughout the downtown region, all within walking distance of each other. Click here to see the festival map (newbedfordfolkfestival.com/festival-map/).
Parking is free at both the Elm Street Parking Garage and the Zeiterion Theatre.
Whether you have little ones and are looking for a family friendly fall time celebration, or you are an adult looking for an excuse to dress up and party, Greater New Bedford has a lot going on. Below is a list we’ve compiled of those events that have shared information with us about their upcoming festivities. If we’ve missed something please share in the comments section below!
Family Friendly Events:
1. The Haunted Whale Ship at the New Bedford Whaling Museum
This not-too-scary event takes place on Saturday October 26th from 4:30- 7:30 PM and is geared towards children 12 and under and their parents. Participants will get to meet ghosts from seafaring history and join in on fun activities such as a costume contest, a haunted scavenger hunt, arts and crafts, refreshments and more! Tickets are $3 for children twelve and under, and $5 for all others.
2. Halloween Hayride and Party at the Mattapoisett YMCA
This event takes place Friday October 25th at 6 PM and features a halloween hayride and family fun activities for kids of all ages! Refreshments will be available and there will also be a costume contest. Tickets are $5 per child.
3. Audubon Halloween Family Spooktacular at Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary
This event takes place on Sunday October 20th from 2-4:00 PM and includes a kid-friendly spooky trail hike and special Halloween crafts and activities in the Stone Barn. Costumes are encouraged! Tickets are $10 for both children and adult Audubon Member, and $12 for others.
This family friendly event is geared towards both having fun and helping the needy! On October 31st from 5-8:00 PM Journey Church in Fall River will feature games, candy giveaways, music, a bouncy house and a photobooth while gathering donations to help the homeless and needy in the area. For more information about the activities and the types of donations being requested go to: http://journeychurch.ma/fallfest/
5. All Treats, No Tricks Downtown New Bedford
Trick-or-treating in Downtown New Bedford? That’s right! Parents can take their children to participating businesses in the Downtown area on October 26th between the hours of 11 AM and 2 PM for some trick-or-treating fun!
On October 26th from 9 PM from 1:30 AM the upstairs level of Cork will be jamming with a Halloween themed Silent Disco dance party. Silent Discos are an exciting new way of experiencing music; each participant is given a wireless headphone set that allows them to adjust the volume and choose between two DJed stations. It should be said that Silent Discos ALWAYS result in dancing and good times. Costumes are highly encouraged. Tickets are $20. If you enter the promo code “treatsNbeats” you will get $5 off your ticket! (limited availability).
4. The Great Pumpkin Beer Fest at Pour Farm Tavern
Pour Farm’s annual Great Pumpkin Beer fest is a wonderful time of year for both beer connoisseurs and Halloween lovers alike. The festival will be held in Pour Farm and Wings Court on Sunday October 27th from 11 AM- 6:00 PM. Festivities will include; live music by Viennagram starting at 5, Halloween costume contests, a pumpkin carving contest (come with your pumpkin already carved), a beard and mustache contest (proceeds go to charity) and of course pumpkin and fall beers will be featured! In addition to all this, Plaga Zombie in America (the zombie film being filmed in New Bedford) will be present with raffles, prizes, chances to win role in the film, Zombie makeup painting and chance to meet the actors!
The Dancing Dogs and Kowalski will be performing live music at this halloween party/ fundraiser on October 26th from 9-11:00 PM. There will be prizes for best costumes and light refreshments/ appetizers. The suggested donation amount is $10.
South Coast Equality will be presenting its annual Halloween party on Saturday October 26th from 9 PM to 2 AM at Leplace in New Bedford. There will be a mini-show at 10 PM and a costume contest with a $100 prize! The cover charge is $5.
Miller’s Homeport will be hosting it’s annual Halloween party on October 26th and they expect this to be the biggest one yet! There will be costume contests, insane Halloween decorations, special Halloween cocktails, giveaways, a raffle and DJ JDubbs will be keeping the music going all night.
On October 31st at 10 PM you can view the Rocky Horror Picture Show film with a live “shadow cast” performance. Dressing up is encouraged and props are allowed excluding open flames and food products. Tickets are $15 and can be bought here: https://ticketing.zeiterion.org/public/daily_events_list.asp.
3. 20th Annual Rocky Horror Picture Show at UMass Dartmouth
This annual tradition is still going strong at UMass Dartmouth will be showing the audience participation film, Rocky Horror Picture show in the main auditorium. The showings will be on October 31st at 8 PM, November 1st at 8 PM and November 2nd at 11:59 PM. Dry props only! Tickets are $10 for general admission, $7 for UMD faculty, staff and alumni, and $5 for current students.
New Bedford’s 8th Annual Oktoberfest; Bier, musik, und mouth-watering grub!
While we always lament the passing of summer (well, most of us do anyways), the fall season certainly has it perks. Fall brings us football, Halloween, and beautiful foliage t name a few. For beer lovers, this is peak season for the best brews of the year, and to celebrate that we have the New Bedford Oktoberfest.
The New Bedford Oktoberfest will be kicking off its 8th year of drinking brews and dancing to tunes on Saturday, October 5th at 3:00 p.m. and continues until midnight. This year the fest will be taking place at the New Bedford Ferry Terminal Building, aka 49 State Pier.
Oktoberfest is not only a great time to try out some unique beers with your friends, it is also a fundraiser organized by the South Coast Business Alliance (SCBA). This year, a portion of proceeds will go to the SCBA UMass Dartmouth Alumni Fund. In years past, Oktoberfest has raised proceeds for numerous local organizations including the New Bedford Boys and Girls Club, Gifts to Give, Smiles, the Children’s Advocacy Center for Bristol County, and many others. Since the SCBA was founded 9 years ago, they have raised over $250,000.
What makes Oktoberfest a dream for beer lovers is the selection of seasonal brews. Everyone who can consider themselves a beer connoisseur knows that this is the best time of year when it comes to pumpkin ales, hard ciders and fall time favorites. This year, the NB Oktoberfest will be featuring Buzzards Bay, Mayflower, Cisco, Pretty Things, Sam Adam’s, Wachusett, Foolproof, Left Hand, Berkley Beer, Cambridge Brewing, Southern Tier, Woodstock Brewery and Smuttynose.
In addition to beer, there will be food sold by food trucks Rocket Street Food, and Cool Licks Concessions, No Problemo, and Dee Dee’s Delights. Rocket Street Food is more than your typical food truck- it provides “fine street food” with items like the PV Farm Stand Boar Sausage Slider or any of their mouth watering angus beef burgers. Cool Licks concessions will be selling festival favorites to attendees, such as hot dogs and cacoila. Of course, we all know No Problemo, but have you ever tried their Oktoberfest bratwurst queso called ‘Wust Ques’? And if you have a sweet tooth, Dee Dee’s Delights will have her ¼ pound cookies for sale.
Of course, no Oktoberfest would be complete without music, and I don’t mean of the accordion variety. DJ Tom Cooney will be DJing all night and local music favorite Craig Demelo “The Whiskey Poet” and his band will be opening up the night’s performances at 6 PM.
Providence-based band “The Tower and the Fool” will take the stage after Craig Demelo’s set ends. Often heard on WBRU, this indie-rock band released a CD called “How Long” this year and they have performed nationally and at music events such as WBRU’s Summer Series and Warped Tour.
The headlining performance of the night will be the Felix Brown Band. The Felix Brown Band has played throughout the Northeast and beyond, bringing a fusion style of music that blends elements of rock, blues, r&b, jazz and funk. They bring their unique sound to many popular songs, ranging from Eric Clapton to 50 Cent.
In addition to the musical entertainment, this year’s Oktoberfest will feature a mechanical bull and a beer pong tournament!
In summation, all in attendance at the NB Oktoberfest can expect a night of good food, great drinks and ample entertainment. Tickets can be purchased for $15 online by going to: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/8005283017/efbbt. You can also buy your tickets in advance at Rose Alley, Mirasol’s and No Problemo. Tickets are $20 dollars at the door.
8th Annual New Bedford Seaport Chowder Festival; 25 Local Eateries, Lobster Races, Craig DeMelo
It’s sad to say, but we can feel summer slipping away as schools reopen and the air cools off. Yet, even as we watch the final weekends of summer dwindle away, there is still much to look forward to for the fall. One fall festivity that has become incredibly successful and is a must-attend community event of the year is the annual New Bedford Seaport Chowder Festival. Taking place on Sunday October 13th, the Chowder Festival always draws a big crowd eager to try samples from 25 local eateries. This year it will take place at Pier 3 of New Bedford’s Historic Working Waterfront.
If the idea of taste testing dozens of seafood chowder, kale soup, stuffed quahog and clam chowder samples sounds like something you’d enjoy, here’s the 101 on the New Bedford Seaport Chowder Festival:
1. When, Where and Costs
For the first time the Chowder Festival will take place at Pier 3 on the waterfront. As always, it will be hosted under a massive tent which will allow for the event to resume come rain or shine. This year the Festival will be on Sunday October 13th, which is the day before Columbus Day. The combination of a three day weekend and cool early fall time weather should allow people to enjoy themselves all day long.
The festival starts at noon and ends at 5 PM. Tickets for this event tend to sell fast, and the tent is often very crowded so buying tickets in advance or getting there early is recommended. TICKETS are $15 in advance, $18 day of, $5 for children 6-12, free for 5 and younger.
2. Chowder Showdown
For those of you who have never been, the Chowder Festival is a competition between the twenty-five participating restaurants. Over the past six years, local eateries have faced off to win 1st, 2nd or 3rd place in either the People’s Choice Award or the Judge’s Choice Award in five categories. The categories are; best clam chowder, seafood chowder, kale soup, stuffed quahog and table presentation. This year a new category has also been added; signature soup.
As with any similar food festival, participants are given a voting card to fill out once they have sampled to their heart’s delight. The votes are submitted (usually at the center of the tent) and tallied later to determine the winner. The Judge’s Choice award is determined by a blind taste test, which eliminates the issue of favoritism. New judge this year is “2012 Chopped Champion” Chef Joe Rego. Returning Judges are Michael Rock, Henry Bousquet and Devon Byrnes.
Since 2006 the New Bedford Seaport Chowder Festival has amassed an impressive Hall of Fame of past winners. Last year’s coveted Best Clam Chowder People’s Choice Award went to The Pasta House. Freestone’s earned Best Seafood Chowder according to the people, Southcoast Hospitals Group was elected Best Stuffed Quahog, and Best Kale Soup went to The Madeira Cafe.
3. Food & Drink
As previously mentioned, there are 25 booths that will be participating in this year’s New Bedford Seaport Chowder Festival. The booths are set up in a circle around the perimeter of the tent so that traffic can flow from one station to the next. So far, participants are still being announced.
Autumn Glen at Dartmouth
Cedars Assisted Living
Cotali Mar Restaurante
Cork Wine & Tapas
Emeritus Senior Living
Freestone’s City Grill
Olive Garden Restaurant
Pa Raffa’s Italian Restaurant
Rose Alley Ale House
Russell Morin Fine Catering
Seaport Inn Grill
Ten Cousins Brick Oven
Tia Maria European Cafe
For those with a sweet tooth, Cafe Arpeggio will be selling coffee, homemade ice cream and desserts as well as an assortment of sandwiches. There will also be drink vending available outside of the tent, which features local beers and wines as well as soda and mixed drinks. All food and drink items besides the samples are not included in the ticket price. Most up-to-date info: http://www.downtownnb.org/chowderfest.html.
The Chowder Festival can get quite crowded, but it is also dedicated to family fun for those with young children. The YMCA Lobster Races are always a big draw for children, and there will also be craft activities organized by the New Bedford Ocean Explorium and Global Charter School.
This year’s musical entertainment will be provided by the Craig DeMelo Band, which is a local favorite. Craig DeMelo is an artist with a varied and eclectic sound that can range from ballads to rock. He has been playing nationally since 2008 and has opened for such bands as Howie Day, Hootie and the Blowfish, Matchbox 20, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Less Than Jake.