Drawing a heart on the beach

8 Great Things: February on the South Coast

Ahh, February. We love you because you're bringing us closer to spring and crocuses. Also, there's usually chocolate hanging around, like an old friend that we foolishly tried to shake off in January. It's such a short month -- blink and it's over -- so be sure to make plans to do something offbeat and fun from our 8 Great Things list this month.

Portuguese sweet bread

1. The Annual Snackdown!

We love when New Bedford Food Tours encourages us to eat delicious things in their annual throwdowns. This year -- it's sweet bread. The contest is simple: 1) eat as many sweet breads from different local bakeries as you can in the month of February and then, 2) vote online. Enjoy Portuguese massa sovada and Guatemalan pan dulce as you help crown the region's BEST Sweet Bread. For a list of bakeries and more information, go here.

A reader at the Frederick Douglass read-a-thon in New Bedford2. A Reading Marathon!

Frederick Douglass cast his first vote as a free man in New Bedford. Come celebrate the life and legacy of one of New Bedford's great men by joining the annual read-a-thon of his Autobiography at the First Unitarian Church, the very place where Douglass earned his first paid wages. What better place to read his autobiography?!  Free. Sunday, February 4 from 2 to 6 pm. 71 8th Street, New Bedford. For additional information or if you'd like to be a reader , please contact the New Bedford Historical Society at (508) 979-8828.

Groundhog looking at the camera

3. Celebrate Groundhog Day!

The Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust gives us a way to actually celebrate this quirky little holiday with "A Mid-Winter Night’s Dream” by Stand-up Chameleon Jackson Gillman. During this wintry fantasy, one of those characters will be an adventurous groundhog named Dreyfus who will lead us into a mixture of wintry tales. While the program is geared to adults, families are welcome. Free. February 2. UPDATE: THE EVENT IS NOW FULL. Keep up with DNRT to see future fun events like this. 

Movie poster for The Maltese Falcon4. Noir Nights!

The Maltese Falcon kicks off the New Bedford Art Museum's Noir Nights, a monthly film series of "dim lit alleys, ambivalent motivations, hapless hard drinking men and women who would just as soon kill you as love you." This month features a post-prohibition cocktail party featuring light hors d’oeuvres to die for and a cash bar with signature neo-noir cocktails. How fun! Cocktails at 6, Screening at 7. Friday, February 9.  608 Pleasant Street, New Bedford. More about the series here. 

The Tiverton Farmers Market5. Chocolate Party!

The Tiverton Farmer's Market is transforming itself into a chocolate-centric event. Vendors will experiment with integrating chocolate into their wares, creating an an innovative range of chocolate-inspired products that extend beyond the traditional boundaries. This creative culinary adventure presents an opportunity for chocolate lovers to see how various products can be enhanced with the beloved cocoa treat. Just in time for Valentine's Day. Free. February 11, 10 to 2. Tiverton Middle School, 10 Quintal Drive. More here. 

Symphony on Tap at Kilburn Mill

6. Symphony on Tap!

It's the Symphony's annual jam session at the Kilburn Mill where you can mill about, sipping drinks and noshing on great food while enjoying the Symphony informally, at their level. No stage, no rule, just fun -- join them! $25. February 24, 7-10 pm (Doors open at 7, music from 8 to 9 and kitchen/bar stays open until 9:30). 127 W. Rodney French Boulevard, New Bedford. More here. 

A pan of paella

7. Get Cookin'

What's better than cooking for friends? Learning a new meal to knock their socks off! Jean Lanahan, former chef-owner of East Wind Lobster, offers fun cooking classes in Buzzards Bay. It's way better than the Food Network because you get to eat the dishes after learning how to cook them! This month, she's teaching three different classes: paella and Mexican cookies; a trio of fish dishes; and a trio of soups. $65. February 6 at 5:30, February 18 and 25 at 1:00. More information and sign up here. 

Sailing on Onset Bay8. Come Sail Away!

Who says it's too cold to sail? Not the Onset Bay Center. They're offering several half hour sails around Onset Bay on their 12-person Drascombe gig this month, with stops at Wickets Island where you'll climb to the top and enjoy 360 degree views! Bundle up and get out there! Free. February 20 and 22. Spots are limited so register here. 

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