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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. 

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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: November on the South Coast

bike on the beach

We’re back with another of our monthly 8 Great Lists. Here, we bring you 8 special South Coast happenings in November. Put that Halloween candy down and check out our top picks for the month right now.

1. Full Moon Owl Prowl

Did you know a full moon is 250,000 times brighter than the brightest star in the sky (we just learned that from the Farmer’s Almanac)? This Saturday, you’ll get a chance to ponder that while enjoying November’s full moon. While you’re at it, Mass Audubon is hosting an owl prowl at its Stone Barn Farm property as the full moon rises, to explore and identify noctural wildlife as it awakens! Enjoy a guided walk and listen to calls of multiple species of owls.

Where & When: November 4, 6 – 8 pm. Stone Barn Farm, 786 Horseneck Road, Dartmouth. $10 members/$12 non-members. Advance registration is required. Register online or call 508-636-2437.

2. Run, Walk, Eat Pizza, Drink Beer

DNRT Trail RaceThere’s something for everyone at the third annual Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust trail run. Come out and support the DNRT’s 35+ mile trail network and 5,000+ acrecs of protected open space! The 3.3. mile running course and 2.4 mile walking course wind through fields and forests at Destruction Brook Woods. What’s the carrot? Your entry fee supports the important work of the DNRT. Also, post-race music, pizza and beer.

When & Where: Saturday, November 4, starting at 11 am. Slade’s Corner Road, Dartmouth. More details here.

3. Cycling & Wine Tasting

We order the Backroads catalogue just to stare longingly at the itineraries of France and Italy biking trips. If you do the same, here’s a wonderful alternative. Spend the day biking through Westport and Tiverton (a 25-30 mile trip, averaging between 12-15 mph) and end up with a private wine tasting at Westport Rivers Winery. It’s just $10 (which covers the wine tasting) and is sponsored by the Appalachian Trail Club.

When & Where: You have to reserve a space with the trip leader — click here to get the information.  Saturday, November 11, 10 am to 5 pm.

4. Go Whole Hog

Marc Swierkowski of Ella’s Wood Burning Oven Restaurant in Wareham is collaborating with Brandon and Laura Higgins-Baltzley, the chefs from the pop-up restaurant Buffalo Jump, along with other well known chefs Dan Amighi and Claudette Zepeda Wilkins (who will be featured on America’s Top Chef next month). The group will cook a variety of pork-focused canapes, side dishes like clam jagacida, and a very large, whole roasted pig (or two). All proceeds go to the Sonoma County Resilience Fund because Laura Higgins-Baltzley went to culinary school there.

When & Where: It’s a little off the South Coast but we’d follow Chef Marc Swierkowski anywhere, especially when it’s for a good cause. Tickets must be purchased in advance by calling (508)361-2361. $45.00 per person (BYOB). November 11 at 2 p.m. until the sun sets at Coonamessett Farm, 277 Hatchville Road, East Falmouth.

5. Document History

Waterfront Strike of 1985-86. Courtesy of Spinner Publications.

Every month, the Fishing Heritage Center sponsors a monthly Dock-U-Mentary focusing on the commercial fishing industry (Dock-U-Mentary! we love that!). This month, they’re serving it up with a twist. As part of its effort to document the history of organized labor in the Fairhaven and New Bedford waterfront, the Center presents “Remembering the Strike of 1985-86.” They will create a sensory experience through images and sounds with clips of television coverage of the strike, slides of archival images and even audio clips from a riot outside the auction house. Following the presentation, they’ll invite community members to add their own memories and create a community conversation about the strike from the not-too-distant past. How many times do we get to see history documented before our very eyes?

When & Where: November 17, 7 pm. Corson Maritime Learning Center, 33 William Street, New Bedford, 508-993-8894. Presented with the New Bedford Whaling National Park. More information here.

6. Ignore Etiquette

Frozen SingalongWe all know it’s considered bad form to go to the theater and sing along with the show (see 13 Rules For Going to the Theater). But sometimes, don’t you just want to belt it out? The Zeiterion is giving us this chance by presenting the sing along version of Disney’s Frozen where the audience is actually encouraged, with subtitles, to get in on the action. So, let it go, let it go, can’t hold it back anymore!

When & Where: Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, 684 Purchase Street, November 19 at 2 pm. Tickets are going fast, order them here or call the box office at 508-994-2900.

7. Meet Some Texas Gentlemen

Texas GentlemenThe Texas Gentlemen don’t take themselves too seriously (watch the armadillo races in one song’s video here) but they do take their music seriously. They released their first album, TX Jelly, in September and they’re bringing it to us at the Narrows Center. Moving between “contemplative and raucous,…the music touches on blues, soul, folk, country, rock and gospel.” We want to have as much fun as they seem to be having.

When & Where: November 20, Narrows Center for the Arts, 16 Anawan Street, Fall River, 508-324-1926. Doors, 7 pm, Show, 8 pm. Tickets are $22 in advance, $25 at the door. Order here.

8. Rock Meets Classical

Lauri PorraWe love the New Bedford Symphony even when – no, especially when — they go outside the box to reach ALL music fans, not just classical music fans. This month, they’re bringing in Lauri Porra, the great grandson of famed Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. He’ll dazzle in the U.S. premiere of his own Concerto for Electric Bass and Orchestra, combining rock and classical music. The New Bedford Symphony will follow with the First Symphony of Porra’s great-grandfather, written when he was just 33 years old.

Yes, that’s right — they’ll be marrying rock and classical right before us. We can’t wait!!

Even better news — we’re giving away a pair of tickets to this season’s symphony and you can use them for this concert (or any other one). Enter here to win.

When & Where: November 26 at 3 pm. The Zeiterion, 684 Purchase Street, New Bedford. Call the Z’s box office at 508-994-2900 or buy them online here.


We’re lucky to live in such a vibrant place! Get out there and love where you live. 

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Maybe you have other suggestions for the month…feel free to add them in the comment section.

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