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8 Great Things for December!

We know, we know! Your December calendars are busy and filled with wonderful activities (and long To Do lists). But, trust us, you can fit in a couple of these things which require nothing of you except showing up. Take time out from a busy month with these top 8 things to do on the South Coast this month. (Pro tip: we’re releasing the list early this month so that when you’re gathered around the Thanksgiving table, you can pick a couple of things to do with friends and family!)

1. Drag and Dine

Drag brunch has become “a coast-to-coast mainstay, scrambling eggs with a dash of sass and verve.” Come check it out and support the work of the Southcoast LGBTQ Network! Sunday, December 1 from 11 to 2 pm, 222 Union Street, New Bedford. For tickets and more information, see here. 

 

2. Walking Book Club (+ beer!)

Join us for an afternoon of literary fun, fresh air and community spiritedness while we walk along Fall River’s waterfront and listen to Paull Goodchild read from and discuss his new novel. No need to have read the book already, just come along. The first 40 people who sign up here  will get a FREE beer tasting at Troy City Brewery. The event is free thanks to our sponsors at Partners Village Store and Troy City Brewery. December 1 at 2 pm. Heritage State Park, Fall River. POSTPONED UNTIL JANUARY 12 BECAUSE OF THE WEATHER!  See more here. 

8 great things3. Tea and Scones!

We get to see the beautiful Rotch-Jones-Duff House in its festive holiday attire AND we get tea and scones?! Sign us up! Sundays at 4, Mondays at 2 (Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15  (Note December 15 is a Children’s Tea). Buy your tickets here ($25 for members/$30 for non-members). 396 County Street, New Bedford.

4. Community Sing!

We just love the term “community sing” so we looked up its official definition: it’s the “unrehearsed mass singing of familiar songs by any assemblage or audience.” Yep, love the definition too. Join Midori Creativity for a night filled with candlelight, music, and creative expression.  Sing-along to a few seasonal favorites, make new friends, and help support girls’ education in Nepal.  Friday, December 6 from 6 to 8 pm. Wild Honey Cafe, Dartmouth. $25 tickets available here.

5. Tree Lighting

We’re fans of quick bursts of holiday spirit so the 2d annual outdoor tree lighting event at Westport Woods Conservation Park is exactly our cup of tea. The Greater Tiverton Community Chorus will sing carols and hot apple cider will be served and it’s over at 6:00 sharp, leaving you plenty of time for dinner! Free. Thursday, December 12 at 5 pm. 573 Adamsville Road, Westport. See more here.

 

6. The King of Meteor Showers on Friday the 13th

Make the most of the confluence of Friday the 13th and the Geminid Meteor Shower by joining the Buzzards Bay Coalition far away from city lights at the 500-acre Mattapoisett River Reserve. Dress warmly and bring a chair. Warm beverages and snacks will be provided. Free (but check the event page here as the event is dependent on weather and cloud cover!) Friday, December 13 at 8 pm. 138 Acushnet Road, Mattapoisett.

7. Get Crackin’ at Dawn!

(We admit it. This was on the list last year but we overslept so we’re putting it back on.) What better way to celebrate the lengthening of the days than with a sunrise stroll on the winter solstice with the Buzzards Bay Coalition (again, the Coalition! They’ve got great things happening all the time!) This is the year we wake up in time! Free. Saturday, December 21. 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. 163 Fir Street, Fairhaven. 

8. Support a Local Phenom

Quinn Sullivan is a young singer and guitarist who grew up in New Bedford and is now making a name for himself nationally. He’s just 20 years old and the list of things he’s accomplished is already impressive: he’s played with BB King; his 2017 release Midnight Highway made it to number 3 on the Billboard Top Blues Album Chart; and, he’s been on the Ellen Degeneres show. See him this month at the Narrows where he performs 2 shows. Friday, December 27 and Saturday, December 28 at 8 pm. The Narrows, 16 Anawan Street, Fall River. From $32. Purchase tickets here. 

Feel free to let us know if we missed anything by commenting below. (Our best ideas come from our readers!)  Wanna keep up with the coolest happenings each month on the South Coast?! Sign up for our free monthly newsletter right here!

Our Holiday 2019 is filled with even more great calendar events. Get a copy delivered to your door with things you won’t see online, subscribe right here! Or just help us spread the word about South Coast Almanac by sharing this post with your friends on facebook, twitter or by email
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The Great South Coast Holiday Dessert Bake-Off

We gathered four of the region’s most acclaimed confectioners and bakers for a little friendly competition: Whose signature dish makes for the best holiday dessert? Here are the entries for our Great South Coast Holiday Dessert Bake-Off…

Great South Coast Bake-OffCHOCOLATE CAKE WITH MOCHA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

by StacyCakes, Westport

LIKE A LOT OF PEOPLE who stumbled into their life passion later in adulthood, STACY SILVA-BOUTWELL didn’t dream of being a baker when she was younger. She was a social worker for years until one day a friend asked her to make a Mario Brothers cake for her son.

Soon, she was taking all of her friends and family up on their requests for cakes, and eventually she left her career in social work because she became “so tired of everyone being sad and upset all the time. But cakes bring people joy.”

Her chocolate cake is rich and full of flavor. The frosting is light, but made with real espresso. The homemade white chocolate snowflakes, raspberries, sliced figs, and rosemary sprigs give a lively all-natural décor in the stripe of ganache over the top.

8 Great ThingsA GIFT-WRAPPED TIRAMASU

by Molly B’s Cakes of Distinction & Design, Berkley

EVEN THOUGH MARLENE SOUZA was quite successful making cakes, at 50, she decided to go back to school because “I wanted the qualifications behind me. I knew the cooking techniques, I just couldn’t name them.”

Two years later, she opened Molly B’s (it’s her childhood nickname). She takes great pride in her work: If a cake needs edible violets, she’ll grow and nurture them herself; if she has to pull an all-nighter to finish an elaborately designed wedding cake, she will.

A layer of ladyfingers is soaked with a coffee syrup, followed by a layer of tiramisu mousse topped with a layer of hand-shaved chocolate and coffee beans. The whole thing is repeated, topped again with the mousse and tied in a great big bow. Pirouline rolled cookies frame the dessert and Marlene adds edible decorations on top.

Great South Coast Bake-OffCRANBERRY FOOL

byArtisan Bake Shop, Rochester

IN 2005, MEREDITH CIABURRI-ROUSSEAU opened Artisan Bake Shop to produce delicious pastries AND whimsical cakes.

She trained at the Culinary Institute in the Hudson Valley and came back to New England for her food management bachelor at Johnson and Wales. She interned in restaurants on Lake George and in Vermont. Her most interesting custom cake assignment? She had to do a full-scale model of a Model T engine for the 80th birthday of a Model T club member.

“What I love about this cranberry fool is that it requires no baking,” she says. “Even though it is a cool dessert, it can be enjoyed in any season.”

CHOCOLATE YULE LOG

by Confections, Fall River

JIM KENNEDY’S SUGAR CREATIONS are pieces of art. His flowers look like the real thing. Hostesses from as far away as New York City and Newport call him when they need a unique and spectacularly designed cake for a celebration.

He has been working in restaurants since he was 16. When he graduated from dishwasher to prepping the desserts, he knew he had found his calling. One Christmas, in between restaurant jobs, he peddled gingerbread houses door-to-door in Newport before spending years at Seekonk’s Café in the Barn, owned by the television chef Bernard Devodet.

Jim’s gluten-free yule log is pillowy soft and deliciously pairs chocolate with coffee. The edible holly leaves and white chocolate snowflakes with a dusting of edible gold are festive and fun. Customers come back year after year for their yule logs.

Great South Coast Holiday Bake-OffPLEASE JOIN US NOVEMBER 16

THE GREAT SOUTH COAST HOLIDAY DESSERT BAKE-OFF will take place at Bristol Community College’s spectacular Sbrega Building. The four bakers will each present and talk about their dish to a panel of judges including Bristol Professor of Baking and Pastry Arts Gloria Cabral, the co-owner of Little Moss Restaurant (and winner of our readers’ vote for Best Dessert) Lisa Lofberg, and our editor Scott Lajoie. This will be followed by a tasting for audience members. All profits from the event will go to Bristol’s Culinary Arts Scholarship Fund. For more details and to buy your $25 ticket, go here.

 

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8 Great Things for November!

Have you put your heat on? There’s a whole swathe of New Englanders who insist on waiting until November before turning the heat on (see here). We’re not here to pass judgment on you if you’ve already put your heat on  (mostly because our heat has been on and off for a few weeks). We are here to offer you an 8 Great Things List that is heavy on the hunkering-down-inside type of things to do. We round it out with a couple of outdoor activities, but that’s just to help you realize that, “Hey! It’s okay to turn the heat on now! No one’s going to judge you! It’s November on the South Coast!”

8 Great Things1. Telluride or New Bedford?

You could go to the annual Mountainfilm festival in Telluride or you can see the best of its short films in New Bedford this month. The films festival showcases nonfiction stories about environmental, cultural, climbing, political and social justice issues that matter. November 2, 3:30 to 9 pm. (2 sessions, $10 per session). See here to purchase tickets. 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford (Hosted by the SouthCoast Film Forum, the Buzzards Bay Coalition and the Whaling Museum)  See more about the festival here.

2. A Symphony Matinee!

Maybe you prefer classical music in the afternoons rather than evenings? The Symphony has started to feature Sunday matinees as companions to its evening performances. This weekend’s performances include a Sunday afternoon performance featuring the Magic Circle Mime Co. performing Peter and the Wolf in and around the musicians as they play the score! Saturday evening will feature violinist Yevgeny Kutik who returns to the NBSO to perform both Prokofiev’s violin concertos – two virtuosic pieces that create opposite sound worlds, opening with a new rendition of Peter and the Wolf and topping it off with a suite from the stirring ballet Romeo and Juliet. Pick your day (or pick both)! The Z, 684 Purchase Street, New Bedford. Buy tickets here.

Elevate Summit 3. Elevate Yourself!

A full day of mindfulness designed for people who embrace it as well as for those who aren’t sure what that all means. The keynote speaker is Tom Curran, the NBC Sports TV personality who is as comfortable riffing about the Patriot’s line-up as the efficacy of meditation in his own life.  Morning and afternoon workshops in the soaring space of the Kilburn Mill, overlooking Clark’s Cove, will inspire up to 500 participants to live a happier life. November 6. For more info and to register, go here. 

4. Kayak Klatsch

What a way to start the day! Combine a sociable coffee hour with a morning paddle when the Buzzards Bay Coalition hosts a free Morning Kayak and Coffee along Slocums River. It’s free but space is limited and they ask that you register here (also, BYOK — bring your own kayak). November 9 from 9 to 10:30. More here.

5. Just Roll With It

The Carousel Family Fun Center in Fairhaven is closing its indoor skating rink this month. Sad but true. Come out to enjoy it before it closes! November 9, 10 pm to 1 am , you’re encouraged to attend with your best retro costume ($20 at door or $15 in advance here, includes skate rentals). Or come on the very last day: November 11, 2 to 5. $10 admission ($3 skate rental). 4 David Drown Boulevard, Fairhaven.

8 Great Things6. The Great South Coast Holiday Dessert Bake-Off

In our Holiday issue (hitting newsstands in 2 weeks!), we asked 4 local baking phenoms to give us their best holiday dessert. They WOWED us in the pages of the magazine. Now you can taste their creations yourself and vote for your favorite!  November 16 at 2 pm. Sbrega Building, Bristol Community College, 777 Elsbree Street, Fall River. Tickets are $25 and all profits go to the Bristol Culinary Arts Scholarship Fund. Buy your tickets here. Learn more about the event here.

8 great things7. Travel to India & Back In a Night

The Z brightens up mid-November with a colorful and lively musical Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical Revue, a fusion of film, music and dance. With over 1,000 costumes, this is a capital P Production for fans of “big, bright Broadway shows.” Check out the trailer here to get a sense of its scope. November 17, 7  pm. 684 Purchase Street, New Bedford. Tickets range from $35 to $49, with student tickets just $10. Tickets here.

8. Art, Wind & Water

The Whaling Museum marries art and science in its new exhibit, Under a Stiff Breeze: The Art of Wind and Water, which brings “some of the more tempestuous works of marine painting” in its collection alongside Matthew Fontaine Maury’s Wind and Current Charts which were mapped in the 1850s and .changed the way humankind came to know the oceans of the world. While you’re there, you can check out De Wind Is Opp which highlights the museum’s impressive Golden Age Dutch and Flemish collection. 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford. More here about Under a Stiff Breeze.  More about De Wind is Opp here.

There you go! Our top picks for November. Feel free to let us know if we missed anything by commenting below. (Our best ideas come from our readers!) And let us know if you have a passionate adherence to waiting until a certain date to turn on the heat…

Wanna keep up with the coolest happenings each month on the South Coast?! Sign up for our free monthly newsletter right here!

Our Holiday 2019 is hitting mailboxes very soon and you’ll find it on newsstands soon.  Can’t wait? Get a copy delivered to your door with things you won’t see online, subscribe right here! Or just help us spread the word about South Coast Almanac by sharing this post with your friends on facebook, twitter or by email
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8 Great Things for October on the South Coast!

8 Great Things in October

Turn the page and look what October has in store for us! Here is our monthly reminder of why we’re so lucky to live here –there’s such a lot going on! Here are our 8 Great Things for October.

8 Great Things for October1. Keep On Truckin’

The Onset Bay Association and the Wareham Village Association are joining forces to give us a Food Truck Festival with live music, local beer and wine and, of course, food trucks. Check out the Facebook page here for more information. Saturday, October 5, 11 to 4 (rain date is October 6) at the Wareham Village Train Depot with additional parking and shuttles from the Town Hall at 54 Marion Street, Wareham.

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Pull! Pull! Pull! South Coast Whaleboating

New Bedford is home to three of only 63 authentic Azorean whaleboats in the world (and the only ones in the United States). Handcrafted by a master wooden boat builder, they are so beautiful that you might expect them to be museum pieces. One of them — the Bela Vista — is in fact co-owned by the New Bedford Whaling Museum. But it’s a living, breathing exhibit: simply look out at the harbor to see them in use by passionate teams of rowers or sailors. Then, take a moment to imagine them as the vehicles created to capture 60-foot sperm whales, operated entirely by manpower.

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8 Great Things for September on the South Coast

 

September is for festivals and parties! The South Coast has festivals galore to celebrate this magical month. Get out and enjoy them with our top picks —  8 Great Things for September!

1. Beer and Oyster Fest

We can’t think of a better way to celebrate the Sippican Lands Trust’s great work over the last 45 years (!!) than with local oysters and craft beers, can you? With oysters from Cuttyhunk Oysters, Edgewater Oysters, and Island Creek Oysters as well as food from OxCart and music, games, and all sorts of fun activities, the SLT Beer and Oyster Fest seems like the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon. September 7th, 2  to 6 pm. Silvershell Beach, Marion. Tickets are $50 for adults, $25 for children. Purchase tickets online here. 

2. Our Walking Book Club Returns!

8 Great Things for SeptemberOur Walking Book Club is back with Ruthless River, by Holly FitzGerald, a hard-to-put-down adventure story recounting FitzGerald’s honeymoon when she and her husband were lost for weeks in the Amazon jungle.  Our Walking Book Club takes place along the banks of Wareham’s Weweantic River (a worthy substitute, we think, for Peru’s Madre de Dios). The walk is meant to be enjoyable even for people who haven’t yet finished (or started!) the book, so don’t worry about any spoilers! Free. September 8th, 2 to 4 pm. Horseshoe Mill, Station Street, Wareham (parking area at very end of road). See more here. With great thanks to our sponsors: Partners Village Store, Friends of the Wareham Library and the Wareham Library Foundation.

8 Great Things for September3. New Bedford Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival

It’s time to feast your heart out! 25+ food trucks, with everything from mac and cheese to waffles to fried clams. Seriously, could anything be better?? September 14, 12 to 5 pm. Fort Taber, South Rodney French Blvd, New Bedford. See more here. 

 8 Great Things for 4. Winner, Winner, Barbecue Dinner!

If you’ve had a chance to pick up our latest issue, you know that it’s filled with our readers’ favorite spots on the South Coast! From best lobster roll to best marina, our late summer issue celebrates all of the great things the South Coast has to offer. But we figured an issue wasn’t enough (that, and we love a good party!). To continue the celebration of the best of the South Coast, this September we’re throwing a big ol’ party featuring yummy barbecue from Keane’s, amazing desserts from  Artisan Bake Shop, live music, and lots of fun! Come celebrate with us (and this year’s winners)! September 19th, 6 to 9 pm at The Barn on Benson’s Pond, South Middleboro. Tickets $50 ($45 for subscribers), email [email protected] to reserve your ticket now.

5. Garlic and Art Festival

8 Great Things for SeptemberGarlic AND art! What a combination! What a celebration! Round the Bend Farm is hosting a very special Open Farm Day to celebrate the artists’ harvest. Join them for a day filled with beautiful farm inspired pieces from select local artists and a “diverse selection of local garlic” (who knew garlic could be diverse?!). On top of the art show, the day will feature burgers (of both vegan and meat variety) with garlic condiments, wood-fired pizza, and local drinks. September 21st, 10 to 5 (followed by Artist’s Reception, 5 to 7). Round the Bend Farm, 92 Allen’s Neck Rd, South Dartmouth. More here. 

6. Wet Paint Padanaram

8 Great ThingsOk, so from what we can tell, this seems to be a bit of a paint party a la Iron Chef America and we are LOVING it. Iron Artist Padanaram, maybe? Local artists will gather in Padanaram and then disperse to various public access points to paint views of Padanaram Village and Harbor throughout the day. While they paint, attendees will get an inside look at their process. In the evening, all artists will bring their work to South Wharf Yacht Yard and Marina, where they’ll be judged and prizes will be awarded. Afterwards, all the paintings will be offered for sale with proceeds going to the artists. While the silent auction is underway, guests and artists alike will mingle and enjoy light refreshments, music, and the breathtaking views of the harbor at sunset. September 21st, painting begins at 10, party begins at 4. South Wharf Yacht Yard & Marina, Padanaram. Tickets from $35. See more here. 

7. Fabric Arts Festival

This new celebration of art, music, film, and community promises to engage Fall River, the city, its people, and their stories to create a unique festival. With dozens of local AND international artists, musicians, and filmmakers already signed on, the weekend is an exciting new way to experience and celebrate local creators and Fall River itself. And Kelsey Lu (who has worked with Lady Gaga, Florence + the Machine, Solange, etc) will be headlining! September 25 to 28. Various venues in downtown Fall River, see facebook page here for details.

8. Harvest Fun!

Fairhaven Tourism Office brings us all the fall fun, featuring tractor rides, face painting, good food, and local vendors. September 21, 10 to 4. Fairhaven Visitors Center, 141 Main St, Fairhaven. See more here. 

Wanna keep up with the coolest happenings each month on the South Coast?! Sign up for our free monthly newsletter right here!

Cover photo by James Mahaney, Fairhaven

Our August Best of the South Coast is out and you’ll find it on newsstands now.  It’s popping with great content (100s of our readers’ local favorites, some rockin’ local athletes, woodworkers and lots more). If you want a copy delivered to your door with things you won’t see online, subscribe right here! Or just help us spread the word about South Coast Almanac by sharing this post with your friends on facebook, twitter or by email.

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Got Milk? Dairy Farming on the South Coast

Dairy Farming on the South Coast

A few dairy farms that dot the landscape of the South Coast have persevered despite massive changes to the industry. Their secret to survival: going beyond pasteurized milk and venturing into products that both bring a better return on investment and broaden the flavors that characterize our local food stock.

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8 Great Things for August on the South Coast

Goodbye July, Hello August! We’re ready for you with a smorgasbord of activities for a balanced, well-lived month: eating, drinking, cycling, movies, music & butterflies. Our 8 Great Things for the South Coast this month…

1. Feast ‘Til You Drop

The largest Portuguese Feast in the US fills four days with live entertainment, parades, music, dancing, and delicious food. To give you a sense of the size of the party: the event features a 40 foot barbecue pit where attendees can watch their skewers of beef cooking. Head over to Madeira Avenue in New Bedford any day this weekend to take part in the festivities. August 1-4 (Thursday starting at 6pm, Friday-Sunday starting at 12pm). 50 Madeira Ave, New Bedford. More here. 

2. Shake(speare) It Up!

Summer Shakespeare is back! There are 7 chances in August to catch the Glass Horse Project’s production of Much Ado About Nothing for FREE! Load your beach chair, some snacks (and maybe some bug spray) and head to the park to enjoy the show! After opening in Onset last weekend, the show will be touring 4 more parks on the South Coast in August. You can catch it at the Fairhaven Town Hall, Shipyard Park in Mattapoisett, Tabor Academy in Marion, and Wings Court in New Bedford. Weather delay info can be found on their Facebook page. August 3, 1 pm, and 5 pm in Fairhaven; August 4, 1pm in Mattapoisett; August 9, 5 pm in Marion; August 10, 1pm and 5pm and August 11, 1 pm in New Bedford

3. Take an Arty Road Trip

The Art Drive, in its 12th year, is the bar crawl of local art studios. This year, over 20 artists with studios spanning 15 miles on the south coast will be opening their doors. Meet some local artists, see their studios, and explore new parts of the South Coast. Check out the map of participating artists right here and start planning your trip! August 9-11

4. Cycling and Wine Tasting

The Appalachian Mountain Club is leading a 30-mile bike ride through Westport and Dartmouth. Get outside and enjoy the stunning views along the way of farmland, rivers, and beaches along the South Coast. No better way to celebrate the accomplishment than with a glass of Chardonnay, and conveniently the finish line boasts just that! The ride will culminate in a private wine tasting at Westport Rivers Winery. $15 per participate. Register here. August 17, 10-3.

5. Two Shows for the Price of None!

The New Bedford Symphony Orchestra is teaming up with Fall River’s Movie in the Park to bring you a free concert (part of NBSO’s Free Summer Pop Up Series, see a full list of their dates here) followed by a screening of Captain Marvel. What a double header! August 21, 6:30pm Music followed by 8pm movie. Heritage State Park, Fall River.

6. Illumination Night

UPDATE: Illumination Night has been cancelled this year due to concern over the EEE virus. There’s no better way to cap off a wonderful summer than with Onset’s Annual Illumination Night. Roam the flare lit beaches for gorgeous views of Onset Harbor, glowing along the shore line in every direction. Bonus tip: be at the beach by 9 pm to hear the horn signaling volunteers to light the thousands of flares and watch as the volunteers sprint the beach, one flare to the next, lighting up the harbor as they go! August 24, activities beginning at 7:30pm, flares lit at 9 pm. Onset Beaches. Paid Parking available at the Onset Pier. Free parking at Hynes Field. More here. 

7. Barn Bash

We love the Dartmouth Natural Resource Trust! And their biggest party of the year is just around the corner! Celebrate the great work of the DNRT at this super fun event, complete with live music, dancing, an auction and food and drink vendors. Tickets starting at $90 to support the DNRT’s work.  August 24, 5:30 pm. 23 Horseneck Rd, Dartmouth. More here. 

8. The Butterfly Effect

The Mass Audubon is calling on butterfly watchers and enthusiasts of every level to make sure no butterfly is left behind! The experts of Massachusetts Butterfly Club will lead teams of volunteers to identify the different species living in the Sanctuary. Spend the day enjoying Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, learning about native butterflies, and cataloguing butterfly encounters. The event is free, but pre-registration is required! August 31, 10 am-12:30 pm. Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, 1280 Horseneck Rd, Westport. See more here. 

Wanna keep up with the coolest happenings each month on the South Coast?! Sign up for our free monthly newsletter right here!

Cover photo by James Mahaney, Fairhaven

Our August Best of the South Coast is out and you’ll find it on newsstands now.  It’s popping with great content (100s of our readers’ local favorites, some rockin’ local athletes, woodworkers and lots more). If you want a copy delivered to your door with things you won’t see online, subscribe right here! Or just help us spread the word about South Coast Almanac by sharing this post with your friends on facebook, twitter or by email.

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8 Great Things in July on the South Coast

Welcome to July! It’s that month with so much pizzazz: fireworks, heat & sunshine! After you enjoy your Independence Day festivities, here are some special things to make the most of the month ahead. [Drum roll for this month’s 8 Great Things]

Samantha Fish

1. We Love Paloozas

Fall River is the place to be on July 11. Block-A-Palooza is back this summer featuring blues rocker Samantha Fish who has been called “a blues tornado.” The free festival hosts Fish and opening band The National Reserve in front of the courthouse in downtown Fall River. July 11, starts at 6 pm. 186 S. Main Street, Fall River. More here.

8 Great Things2. Ahoy There!

The Buzzards Bay Coalition gives adults a FREE introduction to sailing, accompanied by a sail in the very lovely Onset Bay (we’re partial to Onset Bay!) on their 14-foot RS Quest sailboats. July 11, 5:30 to 7 pm. Onset Pier, 184 Onset Avenue. Free but pre-registration is required. More information and registration info is here: https://www.savebuzzardsbay.org/events/adult-intro-to-sailing-jul-11-2019/

Photo by Andrew Ayer3. Free Fun Fridays

The Highland Foundation is offering free admission to over 100 Massachusetts museums this summer. Locally, Battleship Cove is free on July 19. Take advantage of the Highland Foundation’s generosity by visiting these South Coast treasures free of charge. And check out the list to see if there are some other places you may like to visit further afield.  (See the list here.). Battleship Cove, 5 Water Street, Fall River.

4. NOLA on the South Coast

We love the South Coast Brass Band! Join them for some New Orleans jazz and funky stuff at Gilda’s Stone Rooster. 8 to 11 pm, July 18, 27 Wareham Road, Marion. More here. 

Photo credit: Sue Paling5. Oysters, Up Close & Personal

If you enjoyed David Paling’s account of becoming an oyster farmer at 63 years old in our Early Summer issue (check it out here), then join David and some of his Crooked River Farm crew as we motor over from Onset pier to his Wareham shellfish grant. A 2 hour trip will be filled with entertaining commentary from the farmers, shucking fresh oysters and tasting their oysters, which David calls the “oceanic version of the perfect Manhattan.” July 20, leaving on the Miss Chris from Onset Pier, Onset Avenue. 4 to 6 pm. $49 per person includes boat ride & oyster tasting ($44 for subscribers of our print magazine). Email [email protected] for more information and to reserve your space.

6. Mamma Mia!

We are already humming Dancing Queen. In its 30th season, the New Bedford Festival Theater presents the show that’ll have you smiling the whole way home. July 19 – 28. Tickets range from $39 to $65. The Zeiterion Theater, 684 Purchase Street, New Bedford. Buy tickets here.

7. Classic Movies

Mayor Jon Mitchell kicks off his summer movie series at the Zeiterion Theater with the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder. Just like the old days: enjoy a movie on the big screen in plush velvet seats. The prices are like the old days, too. Just $3 per person. Thanks, Mayor Mitchell. July 31 at 7 pm. The Z, 684 Purchase Street, New Bedford. More here.  

Photo from Zen Revolution8. Outdoor Zen

During those deep winter months, we dream of tree pose with a salt water vista. It’s the time of year to store up those views for the year. There are several classes that take advantage of the South Coast’s lovely historic areas & vistas. For instance, check out Zen Revolution at Fort Phoenix. $5 drop in fee Mondays, Wednesday and Thursdays at 6 or Saturdays at 8:30. Fort Phoenix, Fairhaven. See more here.

There you have it, our top picks for July on the South Coast! Wanna keep up with the coolest happenings each month on the South Coast?! Sign up for our free monthly newsletter right here!

Photo: Josh Souza

Our early Summer issue is on newsstands now.  It’s popping with great content (a Tiverton farmhouse that flirts with industrial style, the sport of Azorean whaleboating and the people behind it, behind-the-scenes with local dairy and oyster farmers, a fashion shoot in Padanaram Harbor, and lots more). If you want a copy delivered to your door with things you won’t see online, subscribe right here!

Or just help us spread the word about South Coast Almanac by sharing this post with your friends on facebook, twitter or by email.

 

 

 

 

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Hello Oysters! Reflections from a Wareham Oyster Farmer

At 63 years old, Wareham’s David Paling decided to embark on a second career as an oyster farmer. He shared his story with us in the current print issue of South Coast Almanac and we’re reprinting it here. Settle in and read his story (and join us for a boat ride to his shellfish grant on July 20th — details below)…

On good days being an oyster farmer can feel like you’ve got the best job in the world. When cool weather and low tides sync, and your boat is running well, and the tasks that day are not back-breaking, and all around you have hundreds of thousands of happy oysters suspended in their floating bags silently gobbling up planktonic food and growing like crazy, it is easy to reach the level of happiness that is elation. The miracle of farm raising Crassostrea virginica — Eastern oysters — can do this. Bliss comes in many forms: an hour or two wading in quiescent water and finding nothing wrong with gear, nor any evidence of human or natural predation; the freedom of being the master of your own liquid domain, driven by tide and weather rather than artificial schedules imposed by more traditional occupations; the thrill of seeing your crop — fingernail sized when you bought them from a hatchery — achieve the three-inch length, deep-cupped status required by today’s market forces; the wonder of nature all around you with cobalt skies and shimmering sun overhead and teal water below giving life to the likes of so many species. The list is simply too long to capture. In times like these, the work doesn’t seem like work, and you feel lucky to be amidst these marvels, a part of the ecosystemic, global spin.

oyster farmer

David & Steve with the All In

But there are bad days as well, and it becomes quite clear that oyster farming is not easy money and physically not something that anyone can get up from their chair and do. To wit: Steve Patterson and myself, general partners and owners of Crooked River Shellfish Farm, have accidentally dumped our oysters on the substrate by miscalculating the mesh size of our containing bags. We’ve had closure flaps fail, spilling yet more of our young spat along the shallow bottom. We’ve bounced our boat — the ‘All In’ — off the docks. We’ve gone home bleeding from contact with razor-sharp barnacles and oyster shell edges. There have been other low points. The first day we found dead oysters, natural victims of the expected mortality rate dealing with them, I got a whiff for the first time of this necrotic slop and it smelled as bad as, no worse than, a dead oyster. The constant repetitions of hoisting some 183,000 oysters in and out of the boat for culling purposes has escalated degeneration and my arthritis has me hurting from topgallant mast to stern. And once, when replacing the drain plug after emptying the boat of sea water at full throttle, I threw myself, my wife and oldest daughter Carly all out of the ‘All In’ when it took a violent right turn the moment I let go of the wheel.

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