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Fourth of July-palooza!!

Onset Children's Parade (Photo by Ella Necheles)

Welcome to the Insider’s Guide to Fourth of July on the South Coast! This isn’t our first rodeo when it comes to the jam-packed excitement that Fourth of July brings. With so many events going on, it can be daunting to decide where to go and what to do. We at South Coast Almanac have created a day by day guide for the long long weekend. Each day is organized by categories: Fireworks, Parades, and Other Fun Stuff.

If you plan it right, you can go to different fireworks four nights in a row. Remember: it’s a marathon, not a sprint! Stay hydrated, folks. 🙂

July 1

Onset/Wareham – Starting at dusk over Onset Beach and Bay (Rain date 7/8/17)

Marion – 9:20 PM Set off from the Kittansett Club, Point Road

Onset – Children’s parade beginning promptly after the blessing of the fleet at 10 AM. Prizes are awarded for the best decorated bicycles, pets, and doll carriages.

Other Fun Stuff
Onset – The Onset Bay Association will host the 4th Annual Blessing of the Fleet, a patriotic boat parade complete with the blessing of your vessel by a local clergy member. 10 a.m. at the Main Pier. In the afternoon, there will be a free concert with local favorites Pocketful of Soul, digging deep into the library of all your favorite funk, soul and R & B tunes you will be sure to want to get up and dance to. Bandshell (across from town pier), from 1-4 p.m.
Seekonk – Independence Day Thrill Show: 5:00-9:30 PM at Seekonk Speedway spectator drags, car & truck enduros, crazy figure 8 races, powder puff races, and fireworks!(rain date July 2nd)

July 2

Marion – 9:00 PM Silvershell Beach (Rain Date 7/3/2017)

July 3

Freetown – The annual fireworks festival starts at 6:00 pm. Fireworks display begins at 9:30ish, South Main & Water Streets

July 4

New Bedford – The fireworks begin at 9:00 pm from Jetties Beach Barge – 7 Fish Island (Rain date 7/5/2017)
Fall River – Watch the Fireworks from Battleship Cove. Gates open at 7:30. Fireworks begin at approximately 9:30 PM. Tickets are $8.00 per person. See more here.

Buzzards Bay – Bourne on the Fourth Parade, 10:00 am on Main Street
Marion – Annual parade starts at 9:00 am. Route: East on Main Street to Spring Street; North on Spring Street to Route 6; East on Route 6 to Front Street; South on Front Street to Main Street
Fairhaven – Fourth of July Car Cruise & Float Parade. Gather for flag raising 8:30 am at Fairhaven High School, 12 Huttleston Avenue, Fairhaven. Parade departs from there at 9 a.m.
Westport – Parade starts at noon from Main and Hix Bridge Roads, Ends at the Westport High School
Freetown – Starts at 10:00 am at South & Main St.

Other Fun Stuff
Mattapoisett– 48th Annual 4th of July 5 mile Road Race: 9:00 AM at Shipyard Park, 13 Water Street.

Have any other ideas for July Fourth fun? Share them with us by commenting below.

And, if you want to stay in the know about other cool tips, as well as stories about the people, places, food and other things that make the South Coast special, sign up for our free emails right here.

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6 Spooky Things Only on the South Coast

Spooky Lagoda

We  want you to have a delightfully spooky season but we don’t want to scare your socks off. Here are six quirky things to celebrate Halloween on the South Coast. We’ve ordered them in increasingly creepy order, ranging from “Bring the Kids” to “The Scariest Thing I’ve Seen on My Instagram Feed in a Long Time.”

Photo by Marlissa Briggett

Witch Rock. Look for it in plain sight.

Witch Rock

This is a little side adventure on your way to some of the other adventures. We challenge you to find a tremendous rock in the front yard of a Rochester home, emblazoned with a witch riding a broomstick. We’re not going to tell you where it is — that’s part of the fun of finding it. But here are two clues: you may find it on your way to the Shoolman Preserve and the street name rhymes with Hairy Bill Toad. (We welcome your guesses in the comment section…)


New Bedford Whaling Museum

Now, that’s a skeleton! Photo provided by the New Bedford Whaling Museum

Haunted Whaleship

It’s no surprise that the Whaling Museum, which does everything so well, also does Halloween well. On October 29, 2016, they transform the museum into a slightly spooky place where you can meet ghosts from New Bedford’s seafaring past. Visitors from 5:30 to 8:00 are encouraged to dress as their favorite historic character and join the costume parade. $5 per person, children 12 and younger are free. New Bedford Whaling Museum, 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford. See more here.




What’s in the Woods? Photo provided by Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust

Spooky Walk

This Friday, the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust and the Westport Land Conservation Trust partner together to bring you an eerie adventure for families (suggested ages 8 and up) at the WLCT’s Headwaters Conservation Area in Westport. Walk through the dark woods with a guide to a site where local storyteller David Mello will tell ghost stories around a fire. This is free but you do have to register. See here for more information and here to register.

Fairhaven Office of Tourism

Because no one does Halloween haunts like Fairhaven. Photo provided by Fairhaven Office of Tourism.

A Nationally Acclaimed Haunted House Builder

Manny Souza’s elaborate Halloween haunts in Fairhaven have made him something of a local celebrity which morphed into national celebrity in 2012 when his was among three Fairhaven homes in the documentary The American Scream, a movie which featured people passionate about creating extraordinary haunted houses for their neighborhoods. Check out the fun trailer here (Manny is the second gentleman they interview). After the film came out, Fairhaven started getting visitors driving from as far away as New Jersey to visit the elaborately staged haunts. This year, Souza joins up with the Fairhaven Office of Tourism for three nights to celebrate Halloween. The Fairhaven Visitors Center, 141 Main Street (next to Fairhaven High School), October 28, 29 and 30 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.  Free admission. Not recommended for pre-school children and parents are asked to use their judgment. See here for more information.

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

Silent movie + suspenseful live music. Photo provided by the Zeiterion Theater.

Cue the Spooky Music

If you’ve always wanted to see a silent movie with a live soundtrack, get to the Zeiterion Theater on October 29th for their showing of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, starring John Barrymore.  The Z’s famed Wurlitzer and organist Bernie Anderson, Jr. will play the suspenseful score as the silent movie unfolds on screen, telling the story of the benevolent Dr. Jekyll as he explores the other side of his personality with an enlightening concoction. Will he be able to control his evil alter ego? Can any of us? See here for more information.

The Scariest Thing in My Instagram Feed

Photo by Stonebridge

A candy corn martini. Is there anything scarier? We love when our favorite neighborhood spot gets inventive with their cocktails. Here, the Stonebridge staff soaked candy corn in vodka. Try it only if you dare. Stonebridge Bar & Grill, 5 East Boulevard, Onset.



Enjoy the season!


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