These 6 nights of celebration promise live music, lectures, walking tours, kids’ activities, films, galleries & museums open late, plus plenty of opportunities to dine & shop locally!
|Summer in the Park:
Live music at the
NB Whaling National Historical Park Visitor
Center & NB Whaling Museum
> New exhibits
> Artist demos & talks
> Hands-on art activities
|Kid Central at the Y:
> Solstice Skate Jam
> Carabiner’s Climbing Wall
> Y Batting Cages
> NB Art Museum ArtMobile
|• Fifties Night
• Farmer’s Market in Wing’s Court
• Open Mic @ Cafe Arpeggio
|Plus plenty of shopping & dining!!
Urban Adventurers, get ready: Summertime is here, and Downtown New Bedford is ready to rock.
Every Thursday this summer, the cobblestone streets of downtown New Bedford will be hopping with FREE festivities— City Celebrates! kicks off July 15 and continues on each of the six non-AHA! Thursdays this summer.
These six nights of celebration— July 15, July 22, July 29, Aug. 5, Aug. 19, Aug. 26— promise live music, walking tours, films, kids’ activities, galleries and museums open late, plus plenty of opportunities to shop and dine locally.
City Celebrates! takes place rain or shine from 5 to 9pm and is presented by the City of New Bedford and the AHA! partners.
“New Bedford is becoming a major summer destination for tourists, and an attractive little afternoon for those on their way to or from Cape Cod,” said Lee Heald, program director for AHA!
“When we surveyed AHA! Visitors, we found that 1/3 of the attendees are new each time, so City Celebrates! is a great way to introduce summer visitors to downtown New Bedford,” Heald said.
From shopping to rock climbing, there’s something for everyone at City Celebrates!
The YMCA will host a jam-packed Kid Zone, complete with a rock climbing wall, weekly skate jams, and art activities from the New Bedford Art Museum ArtMobile. Artworks! will also offer free hands-on activities for kids each week.
Each Thursday, the New Bedford Whaling Museum—the largest whaling museum in the U.S. by the way— will stay open until 9pm, so you can peruse and explore to your heart’s content.
Get some fresh summer peaches, ears of corn, honey, jams and more at the Farmer’s Market in Wings Court from 2pm to dusk.
And don’t forget about all the shopping and dining you can do in downtown New Bedford:
Enjoy sandwiches and homemade ice cream at Café Arpeggio, cheesy Mexican burritos and cold ales from No Problemo, wine and tapas on the waterfront at Cork, a bread-bowl of soup at Destination Soups or some fresh made sushi overlooking the fishing fleet at the Waterfront Grille.
Sit down for a family meal at Freestones or grab a cold fruit smoothie at The Green Bean or The Juice Box. On a Roll offers great paninis and sandwiches, Spicy Lime has the city’s best Thai, and Rose Alley Ale House offers a wide selection of beers and the best buffalo wings in the SouthCoast.
After you eat, shop at any number of boutiques in the area—Calico on Union Street is an amazing little vintage indie boutique; The Artificial Marketplace on William Street is a treasure trove of vintage antiques and collectables; BeJeweled on Centre Street has designer jewelry and you can’t leave New Bedford without a Black Whale T-shirt from Elaine’s on Purchase Street.
Here are a few more highlights. Mark your calendar:
Transport back to the 1950s on July 15 with “Fifties Night”. You’ll be zapped back in time with 50s-era music, dancing, cars and more. Presented by Joe Jesus to benefit the Veterans Transition House.
The New Bedford National Historical Park features Music in the Park each Thursday from 6:30-7:15pm. July 15 brings maritime music from Crabgrass.
On July 22, the National Historical Park’s concert will feature Sparky and Rhonda Rucker with African-American songs and story.
This night will also feature more music at the New Bedford Whaling Museum with an old-fashioned town band concert.
The concert on July 29 will feature Joao Cerilu and Pilon Batuku with Cape Verdean music and dance.
On Aug. 5, you can hear Debra Cowan with maritime ballads at the Historical Park and John Mock at the New Bedford Whaling Museum at 7:30pm. Mock will sing maritime-themed folk/classics music, performed on guitar, concertina and whistle.
Aug. 19 brings us another “Fifties Night” featuring music, dancing, antique cars and more. Presented by Joe Jesus to benefit the Veterans Transition House.
The Historical Park features the Iron River Singers with Native American song and dance.
New Bedford Whaling Museum hosts the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra String Quartet: “Elegant Evenings.”
On Aug. 26, the Thursday Concert will feature Portuguese music from GeraSons.
From I-195 E or W. take Exit 15 (Rte. 18). Follow Rte 18 to 2nd traffic signal; take a right onto Union St. At the first traffic signal take a right onto Second Street and take your first left for parking in Custom House Square or continue two blocks to the Elm Street garage. On-street parking is also available for free after 6pm.
A Little About AHA!
AHA! (Art-History-Architecture) was formed in July 1999 as a collaborative non-profit partnership to establish Downtown New Bedford as the regional hub for arts and culture.
Drawing on the city’s diverse cultural resources, AHA! provides free monthly Second Thursday Night downtown celebrations, and pilots cultural economic development initiatives through private and public partnerships. The project operates with a volunteer Steering Committee and a wealth of in-kind programming provided by its over 60 partner venues.
AHA! is a nonprofit project of the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts, a public charity serving thousands of people who share a common concern – improving the quality of life in Southeastern Massachusetts. AHA! and the Community Foundation offices are at 63 Union Street, New Bedford.