New Bedford is Southcoast’s Newest Destination for Rowing

by Cheyenne Bayse

Cheyenne Bayse is a coach at New Bedford Community Rowing

On Saturday April 28th and Sunday April 29thNew Bedford Community Rowing (NBCR) hosted two regattas which brought over 200 visitors to the race site at Pope’s Island Marina. Saturday’s regatta (or race) was held between two high school teams, Hingham High School from Hingham, Massachusetts and Stonington High School from Stonington, Connecticut. The beautiful day was made even better for Hingham High School as they won three out of four men’s events and another three out of four women’s events.

On Sunday April 29th Endicott College, Brandeis University, Roger William’s University, Assumption College, and Wentworth Institute competed in the New England Collegiate Rowing League Championship. The race was the third in a three race series hosted by New Bedford Community Rowing at Pope’s Island Marina. While the morning races went off without a hitch, the race was called off on account of swift winds and teams were not able to compete in any of the schedule finals events.

Rowing in New Bedford HarborWhile races are certainly exciting, the implication of teams traveling to New Bedford for racing is even more exciting. New Bedford serves as an excellent meeting point for crews from Rhode Island, the Cape, and Boston area and features a straight course in the northern end of the Acushnet River which has ample room which is marshaled in a joint effort between New Bedford Harbor Master, New Bedford Fire, New Bedford Police, and NBCR. Due to its location, amenities, and the collaboration between NBCR and the City, New Bedford is able to offer racing opportunities which are hard to find anywhere else.

For the greater New Bedford area the rise of New Bedford as a rowing destination brings many other opportunities. Restaurants, hotels, and other tourism oriented industries can benefit from the visitors that come to row in the area. Anyone can venture out to the race course for a free day of entertainment and anyone who might be have an interest in rowing can get a first hand view of the sport in action.

The presence of multiple crews on the water also marks a turn in the New Bedford’s relationship to its waterway. With the improved water quality in the harbor the ability to use the water way for recreational sports is a testament to New Bedford’s commitment to take back its waterfront.  As rowing grows, NBCR hopes to facilitate New Bedford citizens in their effort to reclaim what was once stolen by polluters and give community members the opportunity to learn to row on the water that is rightfully theirs. To learn more about rowing in New Bedford please visit!

2012 Taste of Southcoast

By Shonna McGrail

It’s the month of May, and that means something great for the City of New Bedford; the Taste of SouthCoast is rapidly approaching.  On Sunday May 20th it will mark the 6th year that Custom Square will be home to samplings of some of the area’s finest cuisine, and you can hear stomachs rumbling already.  This yearly tradition has become one of New Bedford’s most talked about events, and with good reason.

Taste of SouthCoast highlights something that this region does exceptionally well; food.  With great cultural variety and often fresh ingredients from both ocean and farm, the SouthCoast is a food lover’s heaven.  You simply cannot consider yourself a culinary connoisseur if you do not make your way Downtown for this event.  Currently, there are sixteen local eateries that will be doling out samples come rain or shine.  Taste of SouthCoast is still recruiting, and anticipates over twenty-five restaurant options for eager taste buds to test out.

Taste of Southcoast 2012 New Bedford MAThe restaurants that have already committed to Taste of SouthCoast offer great diversity.  New Bedford favorite No Problemo’s will be present with their mouth watering Mexican food, as will the distinguished Cork Wine and Tapas Bar.  A new downtown addition, Braza Rotisserie should make for a savory newcomer (their menu of rotisserie chicken and ribs looks incredible), and there will be other participants from outside the downtown area as well.  For example, Dartmouth’s Ayur-Shri will be there with Indian cuisine, and Fairhaven’s ever eclectic and delicious Narragansett Star Cafe will have a table as well.  For those with a sweet tooth, Taste of SouthCoast has you covered with Pink Box Desserts and Dorothy Cox’s Chocolates.

Taste of SouthCoast isn’t just about the food however; there’s always the drink for those 21+.  New England crafted beers will be featured, and for the wine lover Travesia will be present with their locally grown and bottled wines.  There will also be soft drinks available from Cafe Arrpegio for the younger or non-drinking crowd.  Keep in mind that beverages are not included in the ticket price.

With great food and great drink comes a vibrant atmosphere, which is why Taste of SouthCoast has become a jam-packed event in years past.  This event is not just about sampling flavorful eats; it also offers friendly competition between these restaurants as participants cast votes for “People’s Choice” and “Best Booth Presentation”.  In addition to the fun of voting, Taste of SouthCoast really adds to the atmosphere by throwing live music into the mix.  This year two very popular local bands will be performing on stage; The Relics and The J. Kelley Band.  Both bands are upbeat and sure to get people partying throughout the day.

Taste of SouthCoast starts at noon and ends at 5pm.  As previously mentioned, this event is held at Custom Square in Downtown New Bedford.  Tickets are $15.00 for adults if purchased in advance and can be bought online at  You can find tickets for children ages 6-12 at the same site, and these are only $5.00 (free for children 5 and under).  Tickets may also be purchased at many of the participating restaurants, and at Douglas Wine and Spirits, Cardoza’s, and Acme Liquors on Dartmouth Street.  If you decide to buy tickets on the day of the event it will cost you $18.00 at the door.  Tents are set up so keep in mind that this event will go on, no matter the weather!

There is a Facebook event created here: Invite your friends and family!

2012 Taste of Southcoast Winners

People’s Choice Food

  1. Lindsey’s Family Restaurant
  2. Little Red Smoke House
  3. Braza Rotissery

People’s Choice Dessert:

  1. Artisan Bake Shop
  2. Narragansett Star Cafe
  3. Pink Box Dessert

People’s Choice Table Presentation

  1. Inner Bay Cafe
  2. Little Red Smoke House
  3. Ying Dynasty

Taste of Southcoast Participating Restaurant List

  • Artisan Bake Shop
  • Ayur Shri
  • Braza Rotisserie
  • Cork Wine & Tapas
  • Dorothy Cox Chocolates
  • Freestone’ City Grill
  • Inner Bay
  • Lindsey’s Family Restaurant
  • Little Red Smokehouse
  • Mike’s Restaurant
  • Morton’s Fork Catering
  • Narragansett Star Cafe
  • No Problemo
  • Pink Box Desserts
  • Tastebuds Bistro
  • Ten Cousins Brick Oven
  • Wicked Kickin’ Savory Cheesecakes
  • Ying Dynasty
  • Dublin’s Sports Bar and Grille

2011 Taste of Southcoast Gallery


5 Spectacular Sushi Spots

By Shonna McGrail

Sushi seems to be one of those foods that you really love or really hate.  The ingredients may vary, but typically it consists of “shari” which is cooked vinegar rice and some type of raw seafood, all wrapped up in seaweed and often accompanied with salty soy sauce or spicy wasabi.  Okay, so those things may sound a bit gross in theory, but this Japanese food has hundreds of years of history and is actually quite savory.  If you haven’t tried sushi yet because you fear the consistency of raw fish, there are quite a few varieties of sushi rolls that are just as tasty and don’t require you to face your phobia.

If you are a sushi lover, or aspiring to become one, the South Coast is an excellent place to live.  This is not because there is an especially large population of Japanese chefs here, but rather because of the off-the-boat seafood we have in this region.  The sushi in Greater New Bedford is of a uniquely high quality, and eating sushi is always a fun experience (how daring will you get with the wasabi? Have you mastered chopsticks? What roll will you try next time?)  If you are looking for place to grab some sushi, here is my list of the five best sushi spots in the South Coast.

1. A Kitchen
Sushi A Kitchen FairhavenAllow me to be corny and and say A Kitchen is A Mazing.  This isn’t the first time A Kitchen has been raved about on New Bedford Guide (see my 5 Dinners for $10 or Less article, or Ivey Winkler’s A Kitchen Review), but when it comes to South Coast sushi, it would be absurd not to include this restaurant.  A Kitchen is housed in a modest facility on route 6 in Fairhaven, and while it may be small, it’s always very tidy and welcoming.  Since it is a BYOB, it’s a great place for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends.  Most importantly however, I’ve never tried a sushi roll there I didn’t like.

When I asked some fellow sushi connoisseurs from the area where their favorite sushi spot was, they all mentioned A Kitchen.  This is largely thanks to the quality of their rolls, their super fresh ingredients, and the fact that they have incredible variety.  A while back my fiance and I decided to split the Sushi/ Sashimi Boat for two.  For those of you who don’t know, sashimi is basically thin strips of raw fish, often served on a bed of shari rice (disclaimer: if you are new to sushi, this is probably not the best meal to start with).  The arrangement of the sushi and sashimi tower was really cool, and we shared a bottle of wine and rated each piece to determine our favorites.  Overall, a very fun evening.

A Kitchen’s Dragon Maki is hands down my favorite roll and it consists of shrimp tempura, eel and avacado with tobiko (fish roe) on top.  The crunchy consistency of the tempura shrimp is delicious, and there is slight sweetness to this roll that when combined with salty soy sauce makes for a taste bud’s dream.

2. Thai Taste Too
If you head west down Route 6, you will find Thai Taste in North Dartmouth.  Aside from having some fantastic Thai food, Thai Taste now has delicious sushi options on the menu.  Some of you may remember there was a time when Thai Taste was a cozy little restaurant across from the Dartmouth Mall.  At its current location, Thai Taste is much larger, with a dining side and a bar side.  I have had the pleasure of dining on both sides, and I will attest that they provide two very different atmospheres depending on what you are looking for.  The dining room is very quiet and relaxing, and the dim lighting and tasteful decor makes it a great place for a date, or for quiet conversation with friends and family.  The bar side on the other hand, offers numerous TVs for sports fans, plush leather armchairs, and even karaoke or live music some nights.  It can become quite the happening place on karaoke nights, and is a lot of fun.

Whether you’re looking to order your sushi roll while watching your favorite sports team or over intimate conversation, Thai Taste has an extensive menu.  Expect it to be freshly prepared with high quality ingredients, making this sushi spot is one of the top picks for locals.

3. Turk’s Seafood Market and Sushi Bar
Turks Seafood SushiI’ll admit that I’ve not been to Turk’s yet, but it absolutely at the very top of my restaurant “to do” list based on the rave reviews that I’ve heard from others.  Needless to say, a place that is both a seafood market and sushi bar is guaranteed to have the top quality seafood in the region.

Turk’s is located in Mattapoisett and their sushi bar is open from 4-10 PM seven days a week.  Their menu will have any sushi lover salivating, simply because it offers just about everything.  Their options range from the usual spicy tuna maki, to a very unique (and incredibly delicious sounding) Rocket Roll which features lobster, mango, cucumber and scallions with tempura crunch finish and extra spicy sauce.  As with all sushi bars, Turk’s prices range depending on the ingredients.  The prices are very typical however, with most rolls around the $5 mark and others ranging as high as $14.

4. Dartmouth Wasabi (NOW CLOSED)
Dartmouth Wasabi was the first place that I’ve ever tried sushi, and it’s still a great option.  Also located on Route 6, Wasabi has a very comprehensive sushi menu and is sure to have more than a few of your favorite rolls.  Another thing that I really like about Wasabi is that it’s a great place to go if you have a big group.  They offer all the typical Chinese food favorites in addition to their sushi, so if you are looking to celebrate a special occasion there is likely to be something to delight even the pickiest eater.

The first roll I ever sampled of sushi (and still one of my favorites) is the well-known Philadelphia Roll.  While this can be found at many sushi restaurants, I get it every time I go to Wasabi.  The Philadelphia Roll is comprised of smoked salmon, cream cheese, cucumbers and salmon.

5. Waterfront Grille
Waterfront Grill New Bedford MAWaterfront Grille is one of New Bedford’s classiest restaurants.  Located right on the harbor, it’s a beautiful location with quite a fine dining menu.  While Waterfront Grille can be a bit more expensive, it’s harbor views, excellent service and quality cuisine make this a prime location for special occasions.  Waterfront Grille’s sushi is no exception to the restaurant’s dedication to great food and a unique dining experience.

Waterfront Grille does not have the largest sushi menu in the area, but it does deliver on high standards of quality, and their specials are fantastic.  I would recommend the Spider Maki, which is fried soft shell crab, cucumber, avocado, and tobiko drizzled with spicy mayo.  Spicy mayo is actually an ingredient seen fairly often on certain types of sushi rolls, and it’s quite a delicious condiment when combined with the salty taste of fish.  The Spider Maki is a great roll if you are looking to try sushi, but not feeling too daring about raw seafood.

Wicked Kickin’ Savory Cheesecakes

by Matt Ferreira

Cheesecake for dinner—A dream that Sean and Katie McKenna not only make a reality, they’ve made it a business. And like their products, this entrepreneurial husband and wife team started Wicked Kickin’ Savory Cheesecakes from scratch.

The concept is easily explained. Imagine elements from some of your favorite dishes put together in an array of delicious combinations and arranged within a cheesecake. Though Sean and Katie are not the first to make cheesecake-ified entrees, they have certainly made the idea their own. “We loved the concept and did some research, finding out that most are herb and cheese recipes. We then started to experiment and play with different ingredient combinations,” Sean says of his and his wife’s entrepreneurial beginnings. “It was fun, often saying, ‘You know what would be great in a cheesecake…’. Most of our cheesecakes are based on dishes we like to eat.”

Another way Sean and Katie have made Wicked Kickin’ Savory Cheesecakes an original is by injecting some local character into their product line. “All of our cheesecakes are named after either someone or something in MA or RI. We really love living in this area and wanted it to show in our recipes and names. Most of the names are also tied directly in some way to their ingredients. The Whitey Bulger is based on a white pizza, The Lansdowne is based on the sausage sandwiches sold outside Fenway Park, The North End is based on a local favorite antipasto.”

Wicked Kickin CheesecakesOn that note, a quick rundown of the Wicked Kickin’ menu:

  • “The Neu Biege” – Linguica, crushed red pepper, onions, peppers, and a touch of cheddar.
  • “The Cape Codder”- Chicken, craisins, spinach, red onions, walnuts, and goat cheese.
  • “The Wicked Kickin’ Chicken”- Spicy chicken, red onion, blue cheese, and buffalo sauce.
  • “The Whitey Bulger”- Tomato, fresh basil, garlic, mozzarella, and parmesan.
  • “The Hub”- Pepperoni, mozzarella, ricotta cheese, marinara, fresh basil, and parmesan.
  • “The Lansdowne”- Sausage, peppers, onions, and provolone cheese.
  • “The Green Monstah”- Broccoli, spinach, garlic, red and green pepper, green inions, mozzarella, feta, mushrooms, and parmesan.
  • “The Chatham”- Lobster, shallots, cayenne pepper, parsley, muenster and parmesan cheese.

Though Sean and Katie have had their fun creating personalities for their cheesecakes, they’ve also had their share of hard work making their venture a success. “The most difficult part is that Katie and I are responsible for every aspect of running the business… marketing, purchasing, baking, cleaning, delivery, packaging, shipping, and on and on. But my wife and I work very well together. We each have our own strengths and weaknesses and each of our own set of skills compliments the other’s well.”

And it shows—In less than three years Wicked Kickin’s popularity has spread from the local Dartmouth community throughout the Southcoast and beyond to the brink of national success. “The business has given us some amazing opportunities. We have been on The Phantom Gourmet and served our cheesecakes to 10,000 people on Lansdowne St. behind the Green Monster. We have participated in fundraisers run by both Matt Light and Vince Wilfork of the New England Patriots. We’ve been called by someone from The Rachael Ray Show, Food Network Magazine and the television show SharkTank, all because of our savory cheesecakes! We recently participated in a couple of great events like the Taste of Southcoast in New Bedford and The Lloyd Center Clambake at Demarest Lloyd State Beach.”

Sean and Katie at the 2012 Child and Family Fashion Show.

In the beginning of December 2011, they opened the doors to the first Wicked Kickin’ storefront on 319 Dartmouth Street, a location that had been previously used by Homelyke Bakery.  The calculated leap into retail, part of a well-thought out business plan, has proven to be a highly beneficial move for the growing business. “We’ve been doing a lot of walk in business at the location” says Sean. “We’re not limited to just filling orders anymore”. Here, customers can find a ready-to-buy selection of Wicked Kickin’s best-sellers such as the “Wicked Kickin’ Buffalo” cheesecake and “The Nue Biege” as well as the themed “cheesecake of the month” such as March’s St. Patrick’s Day “Corned beef Cheesecake”.

As for the near future, this increasingly business savvy couple has no plans of halting the momentum they have built thus far. Wicked Kickin’ is due to make its appearance at the upcoming Phantom Gourmet’s Wine & Food Phest in Boston, which has become an annual event for the couple. They have also been invited to provide their savory cheesecakes for Matt Light’s Celebrity Shootout charity event for the second year in a row, which is a first time a company has been asked to do food for the event twice.

With an impressive list of achievements under their belt and the drive to keep taking things to the next level, the future of Sean and Katie’s Wicked Kickin’ Savory Cheesecakes is considerably optimistic in the face of today’s small business-swallowing economy. “We are always trying to grow and improve. As a small business it is important to have a vision of what you want to become and try to operate every day in a manner which will close the gap between where you are and where you want to be.”

The Phantom Gourmet Wine and Food Phest is going to be held at the Boston Center for the Arts (Cyclorama) on Tremont Street in the South End on Saturday, March 31st from 1-4 pm and again from 5-8 pm. Tickets cost $40 in advance, $50 at the door.

The next Celebrity Shootout will be held in October.

You can check out Wicked Kickin’ Savory Cheesecakes for yourself at

17 Must Attend New Bedford Events

Michael Silvia
by Michael Silvia

The city of New Bedford is known for its fishing industry, whaling past and downtown historic district.  Each year the city of New Bedford and several organizations throw some outstanding cultural events with great food, music and activities for all.  Below are 17 of the best events that you should attend in New Bedford this year, listed in chronological order.

Check out our event calendar for daily events in the southcoast of Massachusetts! Have a suggestion for a must attend event in New Bedford? Email me at

Aha Night New Bedford MAAha! Night (Art – History – Architecture)Website

Date: 2nd Thursday of each month (5:00 – 9:00 PM)

Location: Downtown New Bedford

Cost: Free

Details: Downtown New Bedford provides an Arts and Culture event promoting over 60 downtown museums, galleries, arts organizations, merchants, restaurants and other New Bedford cultural venues. Most businesses stay open much longer than usual during aha! Nights. If you enjoy art, great food and live music you’ll want to head downtown on the second Thursday each month. We have lots of articles on AHA!, so check them out!

New Bedford Half MarathonThe New Bedford Half Marathon Website

Date: 18 March, 2012 (starts at 11am sharp!)

Location: New Bedford, MA

Cost: $50

Details: The New Bedford Half marathon (annual 13.1 mile race) is one of the top half marathons in American and is hosted by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick.  The 2011 field was the largest ever for the event, with 2,730 runners. The previous largest turnout for the event was in 2010, with 2,603 runners. $250.00 goes to the first Man & Woman from New Bedford to finish the race. There is a free Tech Shirt for first 3,500 Registrants. You can register at:

New Bedford Jazz FestivalNew Bedford Jazz Festival Website

Date: 18 May, 2012 (5-11 PM)

Location: Downtown New Bedford, Custom House Square

Tickets: $30 for reserved seating, $20 for general admission standing room only.

Details: This is the first year for the New Bedford Jazz Festival and proceeds will benefit Your Theatre Inc. Headlining the event will be Gerry Gibbs and the Electric Thrasher Orchestra featuring Nicholas Payton and Dave Liebman. There will be a main stage tent for the musicians  and smaller tents housing local food and beverage vendors as well as the work of artists from Southeastern Massachusettsand the surrounding area. Tickets can be purchased online or at Pier 37 (37 Union Street, New Bedford).

6th Annual Aviation Fun Day

Date: 19 May, 2012 (10am – 4:00 PM)

Location: New Bedford Regional Airport

Details: The 6th Annual General Aviation Fun Day at the New Bedford Regional Airport is scheduled for May 19th, 2012 from 10 am to 4 pm. There will be performances by local dance studios, karate demonstrations, Mad Science of Southeastern Mass, formation flying, aircraft displays, skydivers, airplane rides, Buttonwood Park Zoo’s Zoo Choo, and so much more!

Full details here:

Taste of the Southcoast Website

Date: 20 May, 2012 (12:00 – 5:00 PM)
Taste of Southcoast New Bedford
Location: Downtown New Bedford, Custom House Square

Tickets: $15 in advance and $18 at gate for adults. $5 for children 6-12, under 6 years-old are free.

Details:  Sample and taste the best of SouthCoast restaurants, caterers and bakeries! Vote for your favorite restaurant for People’s Awards and Best Table Presentation.  Live music all afternnoon with The Relics and J. Kelley Band.

Summerfest New BedfordSummer FestWebsite

Date: First weekend of July (7 and 8 July, 2012)

Location: Custom House Square in the Historic Park in downtown New Bedford

Cost: TBD

Details: On the first weekend of July, over 100 musicians and vendors take over Williams Street, the Custom House parking lot and several other locations in downtown New Bedford. In 2009, Summerfest featured over 70 performers and 90 arts and crafts vendors. Summerfest has been running for over 15 years and is a major attraction for locals and tourists alike.

whaling city festivalWhaling City Festival – Website

Date: 13, 14, and 15 July, 2012

Location: Buttonwood Park

Cost: Free

Details: The Whaling City Festival has been running for 42 years. Over 150 thousand people visit the festival every year. At the festival you can shop over 200 flea market and craft vendors and eat at one of the 26 food vendors. Enjoy music and entertainment from local bands and local radio stations. The festival wouldn’t be complete without taking a ride on one of many Mark Fanelli’s Carnival rides.

50's Night New Bedford50’s Night

Date: 19 July, 2012

Location: Custom House Square, and Union Street/Purchase Street in Downtown New Bedford.

Cost: Free

Details: Custom House Square and several streets in downtown New Bedford get filled with 1950s cars, music and other entertainment. Check out our gallery of vintage cars form the 2011 50’s night in New Bedford.

Portuguese Feast New BedfordFeast of The Blessed SacramentWebsite
(Portuguese Feast/Madeira Feast)

Check out the Portuguese Feast Survival Guide!

Date: First weekend in August

Location: Directions here.

Cost: Free

Details: Once a year Muslims take a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia to experience a deep religious experience. Since 1915, Portuguese from throughout New England gather annually for a few days  in New Bedford to celebrate what organizers claim to be the largest Portuguese festival in the world. Madeira wine, malasadas, linguiça and giant skewers are just a few of the fabulous aromas that draw tens of thousands of visitors.

WHALE International Wine Festival and FundraiserWHALE’s International Wine Festival – Website

Date: 21 Sep, 2012 – 5:30-9:00 pm

Location: Custom House Square in Downtown New Bedford

Cost: Tickets are $70 for WHALE members and or $85 at the door.

Details: The Waterfront Historic Area LeaguE, or WHALE puts on an annual wine festival that they claim is the, “largest wine tasting event south of Boston.” Details from 2011: “150 fine wines from around the world, champagnes from France, vintage and tawny ports, cognacs, single malt scotches, cocktails, and domestic and imported beers and ales. These libations are poured by professionals who can answer any and all of your questions and give you sound advice and tips on the best wine and food pairings. In addition, 18 local restaurants and caterers will be on hand to serve samples of their tastiest signature dishes.” Call 508-997-1776 to purchase tickets or click HERE to buy your tickets online. More details here.

Oktoberfest New Bedford Fort TaberNew Bedford Oktoberfest Website

Date: 22 Sep, 2012 (3-10 PM)

Location: Custom House Square in Downtown New Bedford

Cost: $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

Details: The New Bedford Oktoberfest will be kicking off its 7th year of drinking brews and dancing to tunes on Saturday, September 22nd.  The fest takes place at Custom House Square in historic Downtown New Bedford and goes from 3-10 p.m.  Oktoberfest is not only a great time to try out some unique beers with your friends, it is also a major fundraiser for a great cause.  This year, proceeds will go to benefiting Star Kids and The Childrens Advocacy Center of Bristol County.  A fundraiser that involves drinking beer and listening to great music can’t be a bad time! Tickets can be purchased for $20 in advance by going to Rose Alley Ale House or Pizan’s Pizzeria.  Tickets are $25 dollars at the door.

More details here.

Working Waterfront Festival New BedfordWorking Waterfront FestivalWebsite

Date: Last weekend of September (29 and 30 Sep, 2012)

Location: Directions here.

Cost: Free

Details: New Bedford is America’s largest commercial fishing port. The Working Waterfront Festival allows visitors to walk the decks of a scalloper, dine on fresh seafood, mend a fishing net and watch a Coast Guard rescue demonstration. Experience the workings of the industry which brings seafood from the ocean to your plate. Full details on the 2012 Working Waterfront Festival here.

New Bedford Chowder Festival

New Bedford Chowder Festival – Website

Date: 7 Oct, 2012, 12-4 PM

Location: Custom House Square in the Historic Park in downtown New Bedford

Cost: $15 in advance, $18 day of, $5 for children six to 12, and free for ages five and younger.

Details: If you love chowder (or soups and seafood), the New Bedford Chowder Festival is a must attend event. Each year around 20 area restaurants provide patrons samples of clam chowder, seafood chowder, kale soup and stuffed quahogs hoping to take home the “best …” prize. This is a must attend event for those wanting a true taste of New England!

downtown New Bedford Holiday StrollDowntown New Bedford Holiday Stroll – Website

Date: 1-2 Dec, 2012

Location: Downtown New Bedford

Cost: Free

Details: The first weekend in December is a special time of the year in New Bedford. The City of New Bedford starts to offer free street and lot parking, and retailers offer great values for shoppers looking to get some great local items for Christmas. This event is a great way to support local businesses and kick off your shopping season. Additionally, the City of New Bedford usually brings out the Trolley to shuttle around shoppers.

New Bedford 5k Santa Fun RunSanta 5k Fun Run Website

Date: 8 Dec, 2012

Location: Start/Finish line at the New Bedford City Hall (133 William Street)

Cost: TBA

Details: Around 1,500 Santas ran the streets of New Bedford last year. For 2012, organizers expect 3,000 – 5,000 people to turn out.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks Show

Date: 31 Dec

Location: The location alternates between the New Bedford Harbor and the Custom House Square.

Cost: Free

Details: The City of New Bedford always puts on a great firework show and local bars always provide great New Year’s Eve parties.

Moby Dick Marathon at the New Bedford Whaling MuseumMoby Dick Marathon

Date: TBA, usually in early January

Location: The New Bedford Whaling Museum

Cost: Free


Each year the Whaling Museum celebrates their Annual Moby-Dick Marathon with a 25-hour, nonstop reading of the book by over 150 readers. The marathon takes place each January, and is complemented by special exhibits, artwork, slideshows, ticketed buffet dinner, cash bar, lectures, a Q&A and other events and activities. Prizes are given away and the event is accompanied by a live video feed via livestream. You can read about the 16th Annual Moby-Dick Marathon’s fun filled activities, photos, and video at 16th Annual Moby-Dick Marathon.

Did I miss an event? Post a comment with YOUR favorite event!

Skateboarding the South Coast

Ron Dauplaise
by Ron Dauplaise

Sometimes the simplest things in life give you the most joy.  For millions of people around the world, skateboarding is that simple thing.  Layered pieces of plywood, metal trucks, bearings, wheels, nuts and bolts, and grip-tape are what make up a skateboard.  Whether its bombing down a big hill or doing a trick onto and off of a ledge, the feeling you get when you land something is amazing.  Obviously skateboarding is an aggressive hobby that’s not for everyone; you’re bound to get cuts and bruises.  If you can tough it out and have the balance to do so, there is limitless fun to be had.

Solstice Skateboard Shop New Bedford MA
Solstice Skateboard Shop New Bedford, MA.

Skateboarding has thrived in the New Bedford area since the 1990s.  Solstice Skate Shop (102 William St. New Bedford, MA) pretty much started the skate culture around the area.  Solstice was co-founded by lifelong skateboarders, Grandison Taber II and Jay Vasconcellos in 1997.  It’s hard to believe that fourteen years have gone by so fast!  Solstice is currently operation by Jay Vasconcellos and he is still dedicated to skateboarding.  Still trying.  Still rolling forever.  Jay has been quoted as saying, “skateboarding has ruined life as we know it, thanks for reading this.”

Local professional skateboarder Nick Dompierre was born and raised in New Bedford, and has been able to travel the world with his skills that were first honed here.  He started skateboarding back in 1998 and has always had a natural balance for skateboarding.  Since being a 12-year old shredder, he’s now moved up to the professional level and competes against the best in the world.  His current sponsors are Real Skateboards, Spitfire Wheels, Thunder Trucks, DC Shoes and  Apparel, Monster Energy, No Problemo, and of course Solstice Skate shop.

Solstice has put together many Skate Jams and demos for local youth throughout the years. There are plans to have one Thursday, July 14th downtown at the Customs House parking lot.  Skateboarding is a great activity to get kids outside, stay in shape, and have a hobby that can be done almost anywhere that has concrete.  Skateboarding can keep kids out of trouble, while also giving them something to focus their energy on and better themselves.

Ron DauplaiseThere are numerous places to skate in and around the city, many street spots as well as outdoor concrete parks. Downtown has a lot of street spots to offer, but it’s best to skate on the weekend to avoid getting kicked out of a location and to avoid obstacles like people and traffic.

There are a few outdoor skate parks in New Bedford and the surrounding towns.  Riverside Skate Park (the corner of Belleville Ave. and Coffin St.) was built in 1999, although some of the concrete has aged, there are still plenty of objects that you can have a great time messing around on (Rails, quarter pipes, boxes, a half pipe, etc). Fairhaven has Livesy Skate Park (Glenhaven Ave), which is about a mile from Riverside Park. Livesy is about as old as Riverside, with some different things to skate.

Ron-DauplaiseThe newest outdoor park is Mattapoisett Skate Park (East on Route 6, right at the police station) which was built in 2004. This park has the smoothest concrete and transitions around, and is used by many skaters in the area.

Sometime within the next few months, the Skate Factory will have their grand opening. This is a brand new indoor wooden park, located in the Wamsutta Mill off of Route 18. Once this park officially opens, it will be a prime destination in the skateboarding community.  It will be a great way for locals to sharpen their skills on big ramps, pyramids, boxes, and rails that aren’t found in the area.

The next closest indoor park is Skater’s Edge in Taunton, which is a little over 20 miles away. It’s definitely a solid park with a wide variety of obstacles including a foam pit.  The park can get a little crowded sometimes, but is definitely worth the drive every once in a while.

Skateboarding, for me, has and will always be a great experience, and has brought me to some levels of defying gravity that I never thought were possible.  Practice and you will get better.  I’ll skate for as many years as I can. Roll Forever.

Ron at the Shred Fest Tournament Finals

4th of July Weekend Guide (July 1-4)

ali piva author photo
by Ali Piva

2012 New bedford Firework details here. Also, check out the 14 Events for the 2012 4th of July week here. 100s of other events on our event calendar here.

It’s going to be a warm, wonderful Fourth of July Holiday Weekend! According to, temperature highs will range from 81°F – 85°F. Weather predictions are for a mix of sun and rain over the weekend, with PM showers on Friday, sunny skies on Saturday, isolated thunderstorms on Sunday, and partly cloudy skies for Independence Day. Such typical New England weather!

This Fourth of July weekend enjoy fun-in-the-sun, barbecues, beaches, and fireworks! From Wikipedia: Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches and ceremonies, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States.

While enjoying the weather and celebrating the Fourth of July Holiday Weekend, definitely check out one or some of the many opportunities in the area to listen to local music, celebrate nightlife, enjoy the arts, benefit a good cause, or watch local fireworks. Most events discussed here are from To have your events promoted for FREE, submit them HERE. If you need directions, simply click on the venue name to get their contact info and directions.


Celebrate the Fourth of July a few days early with FREE admission to Buttonwood Park Zoo (425 Hawthorn St). This free event is part of Highland Street Foundation’s Free Fun Fridays. Buttonwood Park Zoo will be open from 10am-5pm. Bring your friends and family for a great afternoon with amazing animals. This is the perfect opportunity to visit the zoo’s Asian elephants Emily and Ruthy, and show some love to Ruthy for her 25 Year Anniversary at Buttonwood Park Zoo!

Free Admission today (July 1) at the Buttonwood Park Zoo until 5pm!

If you haven’t been yet, spend Friday evening at WaterFire Providence! This is a beautiful and awesome summer event. WaterFire takes place in downtown Providence, RI along Memorial Blvd., Providence River and Woonasquatucket River.

Sunset will be at 8:22pm on Friday, so make sure you are in Providence at that time to enjoy a beautiful, outdoor, evening event. From WaterFire: WaterFire’s over eighty sparkling bonfires, the fragrant scent of aromatic wood smoke, the flickering firelight on the arched bridges, the silhouettes of the firetenders passing by the flames, the torch-lit vessels traveling down the river, and the enchanting music from around the world engage all the senses and emotions of those who stroll the paths of Waterplace Park.

Looking to start Fourth of July Weekend off with a traditional celebration? Head over to UMass Dartmouth (285 Old Westport Rd., Dartmouth) for Bristol County Savings Bank’s Freedom Festival! This is UMass Dartmouth’s annual celebration of Independence Day and display of fireworks.

This is an alcohol-free, family-oriented event with great music. This is such a wonderful local event to celebrate Fourth of July Weekend! From Herald News: The fun begins at 6:15 p.m. with a concert by the Pop/Latin band Santa Mamba, followed by performances by Rock/Jazz/Zydeco oriented-Entrain at 7:45 p.m. and the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet prior to the fireworks scheduled for 9:30 p.m.In the event of rain, the concerts and fireworks will be held on Wednesday, July 6, at the same times.

For Friday nightlife, Iron Mustache will be performing at Black Watch Pub (266 Dartmouth St.) with Mother Night and Thrillhouse at 10pm; this is a benefit show for Jeannine Catz. Or check out McCarthy & Legge at the Bayside Lounge (125 Sconticut Neck Rd.). Also, Reggae Band Ting and I will be at No Problemo (813 Purchase St.) at 10pm and DJ Eddie Freitas will be at the Ice Chest Bar & Grille (136 Huttleson Ave., Fairhaven).


Spend a beautiful, sunny Saturday in true South Coast style – at the beach!! Horseneck Beach (5 John Reed Rd., Wesport) is one of the most popular beaches in the South Coast and is part of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. Day passes are $7/car or season passes are $35 for Massachusetts Residents. Spend the day with your friends, or bring your family and enjoy the ocean, sun and sand. Be sure to wear SPF and stay hydrated!

Every day of the holiday weekend looks like a beach day.

This Saturday kicks off the first day of an incredible, two-day South Coast event – SummerFest! The 16th Annual Greater New Bedford SummerFest is an International Folk Music and Arts Festival, described as an affordable destination for families seeking a fun-filled Independence Day Weekend. SummerFest takes over the streets of Downtown New Bedford with amazing vendors, local artists, and New England treasures.

Festival hours are Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at $20/day (available on-site only); Weekend Pass (Saturday and Sunday only) at $20 advance/ $25 gate. SummerFest: “The two day family-oriented festival offers continuous folk music from 11am to 9pm on seven sound stages throughout the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park ranging from the 1200 seat “Custom House Stage” to the intimacy of the 55 seat ‘Meet the Performer’ area. The Artisans’ Marketplace showcases the handcrafted work of many local artists as well as crafters from Maine to California and the International Bazaar offers high-quality, imported handcrafts from around the globe. Hosted by the City of New Bedford and The Standard-Times, the Greater New Bedford Summerfest offers an exciting atmosphere with great music, beautiful arts and crafts and fun activities for the whole family.”

Don’t miss out on another awesome South Coast event on Saturday – the Just Beer Summah Open House at Just Beer, which is the former Buzzards Bay Brewing Inc. (98 Horseneck Rd., Wesport). The blues, BBQ, and raw bar event is free admission and a perfect way to celebrate Fourth of July weekend. Enjoy cold beer and local Cuttyhunk oysters – YUM! There will be music by Neal McCarthy Problem. Bring your own chair, blanket, and sunscreen and enjoy a fun, celebratory afternoon; event is from 12pm-5pm.

For Saturday nightlife, see Johnny’s Basement at the Ice Chest Bar & Grille (136 Huttleston Ave., Fairhaven) or The Outer Limits at Kirby’s Pub (818 Kempton St.); both at 9pm. Tom Allen Band will be at No Problemo (813 Purchase St.) at 10pm.


Enjoy Sunday afternoon being thankful for our Independence! Celebrate by spending time with your friends and family, swimming in the pool or running through the sprinkler and cooking on the barbecue. Relax and celebrate the long weekend!

If you didn’t make it to SummerFest Saturday, definitely check it out on Sunday! This is really a wonderful event and a good chance to explore Downtown New Bedford. Especially don’t miss the 16th Annual Greater New Bedford SummerFest’s fireworks display! Fireworks will be over the harbor Sunday night, at 9:45pm!

Or, just like every other Sunday, enjoy a late brunch or lunch date at Cork Wine and Tapas (90 Front St.) or Dog Day Sundays with your BFF (best furry friend) at Hibernia Irish Pub (109 William St.). Wind down with Karaoke at the Catwalk Bar and Grille (34 Union St.) at 9:30pm.



Celebrate Independence Day by supporting a wonderful cause! Rose Alley Ale House (94 Front Street) is having the July 4th Barbecue to support the Schooner Ernestina. This is a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday with an outdoor barbecue in Downtown New Bedford. The barbecue is an all-day event from 12pm-10pm – enjoy a special 4th of July menu, and live music from Rebecca Correia! From Rose Alley Ale House: The Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association, Inc. (SEMA) is a 501c(3) not-for-profit corporation with the purpose of raising funds to provide for the maintenance, equipment, manning, programming and operation of the Schooner Ernestina ex Effie M. Morrissey as a sail training vessel, school ship, and educational enterprise.

There will also be a fireworks display launched from a barge in New Bedford Harbor at 9:15pm. The public will have a clear view of the fireworks presentation from almost every point around the Harbor.

As always, have a wonderfully awesome weekend! Be safe and enjoy the holiday to the fullest!

Community Boating Center

by Vicki Bancroft

The southern coastal region of Massachusetts offers some of the finest sailing waters on the East Coast. Whether competing in 50-foot-plus racing yachts from Newport, Rhode Island to Bermuda every other June or maneuvering single-handed Optimist dinghies around inflatable buoys, sailing on the South Coast impresses many.

Once the sport of the more privileged, learning to sail is now within the reach of children and adults thanks to a group of passionate sailors determined to bring their sport to the masses. With pride and dedication, the team at the Community Boating Center in Clarks Cove, New Bedford, understands that sailing offers more than just a fun ride. It is a sport that teaches courage, endurance, team work and mental alertness…skills critical for success in life.

The beginnings of the Community Boating Center, or “CBC” as it is affectionately known, date back to the mid- ’90s when area social worker JoAnn Clarke recognized that many area children had little to do in the summer. With her interest in sailing, the concept of using the sport to help kids was born.

The growth of the CBC and its programs has been remarkable for a primarily volunteer based organization. In 1998, the program incorporated as a 501(c) (3) public charity “dedicated to enriching the lives of area youth by exposing them to a new and challenging environment built upon a foundation of trust and respect.” The coastal setting of New Bedford made it the perfect location for area youth to expand their lives from the streets and tenements to the waters of their neighborhoods. The program’s focus on safety, fun and education transforms the daily lives of many well beyond the summer.

Simply put, the Community Boating Center uses sailing to teach life skills to local kids. Kids who may not learn about trust, respect, good judgment and teamwork in their personal lives for a myriad of reasons can acquire these skills while holding a tiller and a mainsheet.

Sailing requires attention to detail, physical strength, cooperation and respect of the marine environment. There is no room for disrespect and bad choices. In combination, kids come to CBC to learn to sail while having fun and learning some powerful lessons about life.

Sarah Hitchcock of Dartmouth previously worked with the CBC programs. Her experience and skill goes beyond the boats she so handily maneuvers with the kids.  “We are mentors to the kids and positive role models so it isn’t just about sailing” Hitchcock, a former Tabor Academy and University of Hawaii sailor explains.

The sailing programs at CBC have grown immensely over the past years, indicating just how popular and beneficial the organization is. Sailing instruction designed to meet the needs of children from age five through adulthood is offered in numerous types of boats.“We sail all types of boats to match the different programs. Sonars, a 23-foot stable and roomy boat is perfect for adults. Vanguard 420s are quick and responsive and the intermediate and advanced kids love them,” Hitchcock explains.

The fleet also includes eleven Catalina Capris, a 14 foot sloop perfect for honing the skills of introductory sailing and four Laser Picos for more advanced learning.

The ever popular Optimist sailing dinghy designed for sailors weighing between 50-120 pounds.  It has become the world standard for introductory junior trainers. In an Opti, learning the skills of sail handling and boat maneuvering serves as a foundation for sailing all other boats.

An example of a boat used to teach sailing.

In addition to instructional programs, CBC offers Monday night racing in the Club 420s and Sonar classes. Sailors can sign up for a series for $50 or on a per race basis for $20.

Filling a huge need in the area, sailing at CBC has become an intramural sport for UMass-Dartmouth students as well as offering after school sailing for kids in the seventh through twelfth grades.

“High school sailing represents the fastest growing segment of sailing in the United States,” Hitchcock says explaining that students from Nativity Prep have been coming to CBC for quite some time.

The future of the Community Boating Center is bright. An artistic rendition of the Master Plan proudly hangs on the wall of the Clarks Cove facility. Supported through program fees, grants and the spirit of volunteerism, CBC’s annual fundraiser takes place each May to kick off the sailing season. The event, known as the “Opening of the Bay” raises scholarship money for inner city kids wanting to benefit from their many programs. The well attended and exciting event is synonymous with the unofficial start of the boating season and is embraced by many area sailors and CBC supporters.

The Community Boating Center will no doubt take numerous tacks as it continues to grow and flourish into the future but the way in which it empowers kids will always be at its core.  To learn more about the programs and to support the wonderful work being done, visit . This organization proves that together we can improve the world even if it’s one little boat at a time.

A Review of Rose Alley Ale House

amy knox author photo
by Amy Knox

Saturday night finally came after a long week, and so we headed out to one of the restaurants we sampled at Taste of South Coast. We chose Rose Alley Ale House, located at 94 Front St. on the waterfront in the historic district.  Once inside I observed Rose Alley Ale House’s rustic, pub-style décor.  They had plenty of televisions for sports viewing and an area for live music, though the lighting was a little dark and seating is limited.  My eyes were then drawn to the colorful mugs hanging above the bar area. The bar itself had an impressive array of different taps, along with most any liquor you could think of.

A friendly waitress greeted us and got us a table right away.  She then produced a list of all the beers they offered, which included descriptions of each beer along with a list of upcoming events. I noticed that the information was only good for a week.  A constantly changing list means new beers and events are always happening, and so that’s good news. The menu also stated that it had “…38 constantly rotating taps with some of the finest beers from around the world.”

We were overwhelmed by the choices of beers.  They had so many varieties of all different types of beer, including India Pale Ales, Belgian/Belgian Style, Lagers, Hefeweizen/Wheat, Odd Balls/Special Releases, American Pale Ales, English Stouts/ Ales, Bottled Beer and 4 beers referred to as Heavy Seas.  If you can’t find a beer to enjoy on this menu, you might want to think about switching to wine or another beverage.

Stuffed quahog.

I started with a Blue Moon White Ale, which I paired with a stuffed quahog.  Mark chose the Heavy Seas “Loose Cannon”, and ordered a half pound of medium-spicy buffalo chicken wings with homemade potato chips.   Sarah got the Wachusett “Green Monsta” pale ale and Mike chose the Sam Adams East West Kolsch with a chicken bacon ranch Panini and french fries.  Each having its own unique flavor, the beers were refreshing and fun to taste, and went well with the food.

My quahog was stuffed with chunks of clams, linquica and stuffing and served on a shell with a pat of butter on the side: it was warm, light and smooth. The buffalo chicken wings were dripping with sauce (you will get messy, but in a good way) and when you bit into one it was crunchy on the outside and the chicken was soft and warm on the inside.  They were prepared well and may have lived up to their impressive motto: “Earth’s best wings”.

The potato chips were crisp and salty, and the Panini was warm and gooey full of chicken with bacon, ranch dressing and cheese. Between the beers and food this combination couldn’t get any better for a night out.

Medium-spicy buffalo wings.

Considering Rose Ally is a pub, the menu had a large selection of food to choose from. They offer appetizers, soups and salads, wraps, panini’s, even entrées consisting of things like steak tips, stir fry’s, surf n turf and friend seafood, all with great prices. A kid’s menu is available with reasonable choices for $3.99 each. There were only two dessert offerings but with the huge beer selection, who needs dessert? If you’re up for a food challenge like on Man vs. Food, they offer the San Juan Challenge: How many suicidal wings can you eat in 20 minutes? Suicidal is the hottest sauce they have, so don’t accept this  challenge if you can’t take the heat. If you beat the current record, your picture will be put on the Wall of Fame. Any takers?

By 8pm a staff member was on hand checking ID’s, and the Rose Alley Ale House was filling up with thirsty patrons Also the Bruins were playing so everyone was gathering around the televisions cheering them on. We did have to drive around to find a parking space that was close to the restaurant, so beware that parking is limited and walking is going to be required.

This is a fun place to meet and hang with friends, cheer on your favorite sports team, listen to live entertainment and enjoy some premium, micro and hard-to-find brews. This establishment is definitely the place to go in New Bedford for the beer devotee, and for those celebrating birthdays.  When it is your birthday come in with three or more friends and your entrée in on the house!

Sharks and Rays Fly into New Bedford Ocean Explorium

Only two years after it opened full-time to the public, New Bedford’s Ocean Explorium is expanding—and its newest marine animal residents are about to make a resounding splash.

Some 20 stingrays and sharks arrived from Florida on June 21st—not by sea, but by air.  The animals have made their new home in a large, custom-built touch tank (Read NBG’s article, by Mike McCarthy, on the Explorium and its new touch tank). “We expect this will be our most exciting and popular live exhibit yet,” says shark expert and Ocean Explorium director Mark Smith. “Visitors to the Explorium will be able to see these extraordinary animals up close, and they’ll be able to touch them, to reach out and stroke them. This will be a rare and wonderful hands-on experience for children and adults alike.”

Rays and Sharks Travel First-Class

A white spotted bamboo shark, one of the new residents at the Explorium.

The rays and sharks came to New Bedford packed in specially constructed boxes equipped with sufficient salt water and oxygen for their long plane journey from Florida. The animals were supplied by Dynasty Marine, a specialist collector known the world over for their quality, knowledge and sustainable practices.

Before they reached the Explorium, Mr. Smith had this to say: “These animals are extremely delicate and transporting them requires carefully controlled water quality. Temperature, oxygen and pH levels must be maintained throughout their journey to the Ocean Explorium. Our role as caretakers of these beautiful animals is to ensure they are as healthy as possible, so they will be traveling first class all the way!”

Several different species of rays and sharks will be the stars of the new touch tank at the Explorium, including Cownose Rays, Atlantic Stingrays and White Spotted Bamboo Sharks. Explorium curator Warren Gibbons says they are gentle species, which will not pose a risk to visitors.

Gentle by Nature

“Despite their reputation, most rays and sharks are actually quite small and docile, and we have chosen species which are gentle by nature and comfortable with being touched,” says Mr. Gibbons.

Another addition to the Explorium: The cownose ray.

“Cownose rays, for example, are very social and engaging animals in a touch tank like this.  They’re related to eagle and manta rays and have the same familiar winged shape as the large rays. It’s mesmerizing to watch them glide through the water. All the rays have had their barbs painlessly clipped so they can be touched safely by our visitors.”

Sharks and rays’ life support system on display

Mr. Gibbons has been working for months with a team of Ocean Explorium staff and other volunteers to install the ray and shark tank, which is 18 feet long and holds 3,000 gallons of water. He’s also been building the tank’s complex water filtration system—a life support system for the rays and sharks—which will be an integral part of the new exhibit.

“Our mission at the Ocean Explorium is education, and we believe it’s important for people to understand that these animals live in a delicately balanced ecosystem, which we need to respect and preserve,” he says. ” It’s an enormous challenge for us to try to replicate that environment here in the Explorium so the animals remain healthy. We’re very excited about showing people how we can do that.”

The new touch tank and life support systems are already up and running and the animals moved into the new tank immediately after arriving at the Ocean Explorium. An official opening for the tank is scheduled for July 1.

The Ocean Explorium is located at 174 Union Street in downtown New Bedford (corner of Union and Purchase Streets) and offers disabled access through the rear entrance. Call 508.994.5400 or visit the website for more information.