I guess the first news to report is that since last month’s column, when I wrote asking for donations to help support the Monday Morning Fun programs, I got a whole bunch of generous contributions. This means there will be a bounce house on each of the eight Mondays and a giant water slide on a couple of them. The donations will also help pay for some of the special presentations. Here’s a list of who has donated: Evie & Rich Griffiths, Our Lady’s Haven, Seconds Count, Pink Bonnet Bakery, What A Find! Consignment Furniture, Fairhaven Improvement Association, Fairhaven Business Association, BRW Property Services, DeTerra’s Jump, Friends of Fairhaven COA, and Barb and Dave Mitchell. Thank you so much for the support!
Some of the special programs for Monday Morning Fun are already lined up, too. On the first week, which will be Monday July 3, the ArtMobile from the New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks will be here with two art instructors and lots of art supplies to get creative with. On other weeks we will have the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center with a program called “All About Scallops,” K-J Tunes with musical fun, the Buttonwood Park Zoomobile with some live animals, and a return visit from “Professor Sprout” from Hogwarts. There are a few programs still in the works, but nothing else I can announce for certain yet.
Donations to the Tourism Gift Account for Monday Morning Fun will be acknowledged in the publicity and on my website. If any more come in, they will help pay for additional guest programs and supplies.
Moving on. Last month our little town got a big honor when the online travel company Expedia.com published an article naming Fairhaven in a list of 21 most scenic places to visit on the East Coast. Yup. We’re right up there with Roanoke, VA, Annapolis, MD, Killington, VT, and East Haddam, CT. The article notes, “The downtown scene is steeped in history, where you’ll find colonial and Victorian architecture, along with sea captain homes and castle-like structures.”
I added that claim to fame into some of our promotional copy on the website and in upcoming advertising. The phrase “Recently named one of the most scenic places on the East Coast. . .” has a nice ring to it.
One ad using that copy is going to be in Yankee Magazine later this spring. Usually Yankee is quite out of my reach budget-wise for advertising. But I was lucky to be able to take advantage of a cooperative advertising opportunity with the Southeastern Massachusetts Visitors Bureau. That group is purchasing a full page ad in an upcoming issue of Yankee that focuses on vacation travel. There were six spots on the page available to “partners” who wished to advertise. I got one of those. It will only include one photo and 40 words (including “Recently named one of the most scenic places. . .) but it will put Fairhaven in an issue of Yankee where an estimated 1.6 million readers will see it. The price includes online promotion by Yankee as well.
I also purchased an ad last month that will appear in a magazine-style guest directory to be distributed in the rooms of the Residence Inn in Dartmouth. I should be hearing soon from advertising representatives about our seasonal monthly advertising in Along Route 28, which circulates on the Cape from May through the fall, and the South Coast Insider, where I run ads every month from May until December. Later in the spring I’ll be renewing the small ad that appears each week here in the Neighborhood News.
In February I gave a talk about Henry H. Rogers for the Fairhaven Historical Society at the Town Hall. It was very well received, prompting people to ask if I would be giving more talks in the future. This led to a new plan which kills a couple of birds with one stone. (Kids at home, please do not really thrown stones at birds.)
You might recall I mentioned last month that I have been searching for new ways to boost attendance at the Old Stone Schoolhouse on North Street, which I open to the public on Saturday afternoons in June, July, and August. The public interest in more talks about local history gave me the idea of presenting “Lectures on the Lawn” at the Old Stone Schoolhouse on some of those summer Saturdays. I have not put together the whole series yet, but at least every other Saturday when the schoolhouse is open there will be a free outdoor lecture at 2:00 p.m. The subjects of the talks will have some connection with the schoolhouse. One will be about the history of the Poverty Point neighborhood. One will be about Manjiro Nakahama. One will include information about the Church of the Good Shepherd, which met at the schoolhouse for about 15 years before its own church building was built. The histories of other schools—Oxford, Rogers, Anthony, etc. will be presented. People can bring their own lawn chairs or blankets and we’ll set up in the shade of the big tree on the lawn next to the schoolhouse. Stay tuned for a schedule of this new “Lectures on the Lawn” series.
Before I close this month’s column, I’d like to acknowledge that following the Henry H. Rogers lecture, I received a donation from the Historical Society to the Tourism Gift Account. I thank them for that and for inspiring the new lectures at the Old Stone Schoolhouse.
Your comments, questions, suggestions are always welcome. You can email the Office of Tourism at FairhavenTours@fairhaven-ma.gov, call 508-979-4085, or stop by the Visitors Center at 141 Main Street, next to Fairhaven High School. There are a few dedicated parking spaces in the high school lot. Office hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with a half-hour break around noon.