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8 Great Things: December on the South Coast

We’re back with another of our  8 Great Lists. Here, we bring you 8 special South Coast happenings in December. There’s SO much going on this month that it was very hard to keep it to eight (but we did, because we’re creatures of habit and because 55 doesn’t rhyme with “great”).

1. We Love a Parade

South Coast happeningsFall River knows how to throw a great holiday parade: giant parade balloons; Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving by helicopter; Clydesdale Horses; 30 parade floats; 29 marching groups; 17 bands; children participating from every school in the city; and more!

The 33rd annual event is on Saturday, December 2. Santa arrives at 12:45. Parade begins at 1:00 from Kennedy Park down South Main Street, ending at the corner of Central and Bedford Streets. See here for more information.

2. Be Starry-Eyed

South Coast happenings“Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.” Stephen Hawking

UMass Dartmouth, in collaboration with the Astronomical Society of Southern New England (ASSNE), makes it easier for us to follow Stephen Hawking’s advice this weekend. On Saturday, the UMass Dartmouth Observatory throws its doors open to the general public for a FREE night-sky viewing session. The event depends on a clear sky. Check here for more information, including how to find out if there is a weather cancellation. Saturday, December 2 at 7 p.m. The Observatory is located in the field to the right of the main campus entrance off Old Westport Road, North Dartmouth.

3. It’s a Wonderful Movie

South Coast happeningsAfter the City of New Bedford tree lighting ceremony, Mayor Mitchell is inviting folks back to the Zeiterion Theater for a FREE showing of the holiday classic. If you haven’t seen it, you must. If you’ve seen it 99 times already, you should see it again. Zeiterion Theater, 684 Purchase Street, New Bedford. No tickets or reservations needed. More info here.

 

 

4. Make Room for Cookies

Photo courtesy of Medi ThomasThere’s a lot of things to do in December. But you know what’s most important? Completing a 5K in a Santa suit! Because you’ll be surrounded by a lot of fun people who don’t take running entirely seriously. And because you’ll burn some calories for a season of eggnog, hot chocolate and cookies.  “But I don’t have a Santa suit,” some of you are saying right now. No worries (and no excuses) — the suit is included with registration!  Participants are encouraged to bring a wrapped toy for those in need. Saturday, December 9, 2017.With a 1:00 p.m. start time (12:30 for those under 14 years old).Corner of MacArthur Drive and Union Street in New Bedford. Click here for more information and to register.

5. Snooping in Other People’s Houses

South Coast happeningsThe only thing better than snooping around other people’s houses is doing it when the houses are decorated to the nines. You can do this in Fairhaven, Marion, and New Bedford on the weekend of December 9-10. Enjoy the architecture, the interiors, the festive airs and the community spirit (the New Bedford and Fairhaven tours support historic preservation; the Marion tours support community scholarships).

The New Bedford House Preservation Society hosts the New Bedford tours. Candlelight tours (from 4 to 8 pm) are on December 9 and an afternoon tour (from 1 to 5 pm) is on December 10. More info here. 

The Sippican Woman’s Club hosts the Marion tour on Saturday, December 9 from 10 am to 4 pm. Start from Handy’s Tavern, 152 Front Street, Marion and end with Tea at St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church from 2 to 4 pm. More info here.

The Fairhaven Historical Society hosts the Fairhaven tour on Sunday, December 10 from 1 to 4 pm. Start from Fairhaven Academy, 141 Main Street, Fairhaven. More info here.

6. It’s for the Birds

South Coast happenings

Photo courtesy of Nasketucket Bird Club

The National Audubon Society organizes the nation’s longest-running citizen science bird project. You can be part of its annual Christmas bird count this year with the Nasketucket Bird Club. The club hosts the count, followed by a potluck. Contact Justin at [email protected] or 774-207-8515 for more information. December 16. Meet at Park & Ride, 87 North Street, Mattapoisett at around 8 am (call or email Justin for an exact time). See more about Nasketucket Bird Club here.

7. Make Hay While the Sun Shines

South Coast happenings

Photo courtesy of Buzzards Bay Coalition

We have less than 9 hours and 10 minutes of daylight here on the South Coast on the winter solstice. Make the most of that daylight by joining the Buzzards Bay Coalition to enjoy a spectacular sunrise walk on West Island. 613 Fir Street, Fairhaven. Thursday, December 21, 2017 from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m.  For more information and to register, click here.

8. All Month Long

South Coast happenings

Photo courtesy of Fall River Historical Society

The annual open house at the Fall River Historical Society features spectacular holiday trees in each of the historic Victorian mansion’s rooms. The trees are decorated with different themes and in unexpected ways and have been featured in Victorian Homes magazine, the Boston Globe and WCVB’s Chronicle.  Follow the visit with high tea at the Historical Society’s Easton Tea Room. The open house runs from November 18 to December 30 and admission is free. (holiday hours: weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; weekends 1 to 4:30 p.m.). For information about the tea room, read more here.

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What’s Up? 8 Can’t Miss Events on the South Coast

What's Up? 8 Can't Miss Events on the South Coast

I’ve got a friend from high school who enters an ugly sweater competition every year. I watch the gusto he puts into making his sweater so ugly and I am jealous. I soooo want to be invited to an ugly sweater party. Last year, I even bought an ugly sweater after Christmas at the Vanity Fair outlet. So I’m ready. Sadly, no evites have arrived. Luckily, the New Bedford Local Cultural Center has answered the silent prayer I put out to the universe and has organized the Downtown New Bedford Pub Crawl and Ugly Sweater Competition on December 10, 2016 from 4 to 8 p.m. (proceeds benefit The Neediest Families Fund.) Yay!

This weekend

What's Up? 8 Can't Miss Events on the South Coast

New Bedford Santa Run
(photo courtesy of Medi Thomas)

Also on December 10 is the annual 5K Santa Run in New Bedford. Picture yourself running in a sea of Santa suits. What could be more fun? I can hear some of you demurring, “ah, but I don’t have a santa suit.” No worries (and no excuses) — the santa suit is included with registration! With a 1:00 p.m. start time (12:30 for those under 14 years old), you know what this segues nicely into? Exactly! You can have a bite to eat afterwards, change out of your santa suit and into your ugly sweater! (Participants are encouraged to bring a wrapped toy for those in need.)

The 25th Annual Holiday House Tour in New Bedford takes place on December 10 and 11. I love house tours and I’ve heard rave reviews about this one. Organized by the New Bedford House Preservation Society, you see the historic homes of New Bedford in all their holiday finery. With lovely architecture, interiors and costumed interpretive guides, this is a fantasy for history buffs, interior designers and nosy neighbors. Discounted tickets are available before December 9. See here for more details.

Bravo! The Seaglass Theater debuts this month at Grace Church. You’ll hear New England’s finest professional voices as they celebrate the holiday season with thrilling renditions of O Holy Night, Gesu Bambino, Ave Maria, and many more, as well as traditional carols sung in their original language. Support this new local arts organization by attending its inaugural concert at the historic Grace Church. December 10 at 7:00 p.m. and December 11 at 3:00 p.m.  See here for more details.

Later This Month

What's Up? 8 Can't Miss Events on the South Coast

A special visitor at the Holiday Pops (photo courtesy of New Bedford Symphony Orchestra)

Take an hour break from the hustle and bustle to take in a Holiday Pops concert and hear all your holiday favorites performed by the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra. The 3:30 matinee performance is perfect for younger children and has special surprises in store for them. December 17 at 3:30 and 7:00 p.m. The Zeiterion Theater, 684 Purchase Street, New Bedford. See here for more information and to buy tickets.

On December 21 at 7:00 pm, the Unitarian Universalist Association of Fairhaven celebrates the Winter Solstice with a Solstice Spiral. Each participant takes a candle, walks the spiral (made of winter greens) to let go of the attachments of the year. In the center, they light the candle from a chalice and retrace their steps, to ponder the possibilities of a new year and to find a spot to lay the candle. The lit candles represent the magic of light and possibility. See the UU Association calendar here.

Month Long Events

The Four Corners Arts Center in Tiverton is hosting their second annual “re Tree” – A Showcase of Trees Created with Recycled Materials. Created by families, individuals, community groups, businesses, artists and arts groups, the trees must be composed of 90% recycled, reclaimed or repurposed materials, must light up and must be outdoor friendly and secure when standing. The lighting kick off takes place on December 10 with seasonal, warm refreshments by the outdoor fire. The trees will be on display through January 4, 2017. 3850 Main Road, Tiverton. See here for more info.

The annual open house at the Fall River Historical Society features spectacular holiday trees in each of the historic Victorian mansion’s rooms. The trees are decorated with different themes and in unexpected ways and they’ve been featured in Victorian Homes magazine, the Boston Globe and WCVB’s Chronicle.  Follow the visit with high tea at the Historical Society’s Easton Tea Room. The open house runs from November 19 – December 30 and admission is free. (holiday hours: weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; weekends 1 – 5 p.m.). For information about the tea room, read more here.

Let us know your favorite local December events in the comment section below.

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