November 2017


Greetings.

Yes, I know, there was no October column last month. There was a vacation break after the “summer” season ended, then a bunch of business that had to be attended to—the Manjiro Festival, Harvest Fun Day, and preparations for the Haunted Academy. Plus there was also some Old-Time Holiday planning going on.

Let’s start with that. By now, non-profit and school groups that want table space in the Town Hall for the December 9 Town Hall Shops should have already made reservations, but there are a few regulars I have not heard from yet. I will follow up on that, but if your group needs a space get in touch soon.

Most of the details of the Old-Time Holiday weekend are in place. On Saturday, December 9, there will be activities at the Millicent Library, First Congregational Church, Unitarian Memorial Church, Our Lady’s Haven, and the Town Hall. On Sunday the Historical Society will hold a Holiday House Tour and the Unitarian Church will have its Service of Lessons and Carols. You can find more details on all of these events at the Office of Tourism website http://fairhaventours.com/fairhaven-old-time-holiday/.

Let’s get back to this month now.

On Saturday, November 11, the town holds its annual Veterans Day Parade. Veterans and other marching groups will meet alongside Oxford School in North Fairhaven. Veterans who cannot walk the distance of the parade can get a ride on a senior van if they get to the Senior Center by 8:00 a.m. The senior vans will leave the lot at 8:15 and got to Oxford School where the parade steps off at 9:00 a.m. The parade will head south on Main Street from Benoit Square to Fairhaven High School. There, a ceremony will be held with speeches, the raising of the “Big Flag,” and a gun salute and cannon firing by the Fairhaven Village Militia.

Before the parade, there will be a flag raising ceremony at Fort Phoenix at 8:00 a.m. sponsored by Boy Scout troops 52 and 55. The ceremony will be in memory of nineteen Fairhaven men listed as missing in action in WWI, WWII, and the Korean War.

Want to work up an appetite for Thanksgiving dinner? Take part in the annual Fairhaven Turkey Trot to raise money for local food pantries. This 5K race starts at 8:00 a.m. on the Green Street side of Cushman Park. Early registration online is $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under, until November 18. Registration goes up the $25 for adults through the morning of the event. After the race, you can thaw out and unwind with coffee, hot chocolate, and snacks at Rasputin’s Tavern. The first 500 registrants get a T-shirt. For more information visit the website at https://www.fairhaventurkeytrot.com.

As I write this, we’ve just finished the second annual Haunted Academy, which was very successful, even with losing one night to rain. Many people came out to be frightened on Friday and Saturday nights. We handed out hundreds of free treats, paid for from the Tourism Gift Account. Ethan Kakley and Chad Bourgeois helped me build the haunt and about a dozen and a half volunteers of all ages served as actors in the spooky scenes. Special thanks goes to Manny Souza not only for his help, but for being my inspiration in holding this event.

As we approach winter, planning is already underway for next year. There are a couple of goals for 2018 that I am already working on.

One is I would like to find a couple more volunteer actors to help enhance the Friday morning Pirates and Privateers presentations that are held at Fort Phoenix in the summer. This past summer there were three members of the “cast” for the popular program: Greybeard the gunner of the privateer ship Broome, Abby Black the ship’s doctor, and Andrew the powder monkey. With such a small group, there is no back up if someone can’t be there on a particular week and there is not as much variety as there could be if different people were telling different stories. It would be nice to be joined by at least one or two more adults. I have ideas about the parts these people could play. If someone were to volunteer, they would need to be able to get a proper set of clothing, which we can help with, and they would need to be outgoing and comfortable speaking to groups. The stories and history can be learned, but a bit of acting skill is pretty much required. The ability to improvise is very helpful. And since the program is as fun and entertaining as it is educational, a sense of humor is really handy.

If you are interested in volunteering as a “pirate” or a villager, email me at [email protected] and we can set up a meeting to talk about it more.

Another goal for 2018 is to do something new at the Visitors Center on Saturdays in the summer. It looks as though this “something” might be a weekly marketplace for arts, crafts, antiques and collectibles. There could be some food and entertainment thrown in for good measure. Vendors would most likely be able to sign up either for the full season or by the week. I’ll be looking for names and contact information of people who might like to have booth space. Give me a call or send an email if you have any ideas or suggestions.

The hours of the Office of Tourism are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with a half-hour break around noon. You can contact me at [email protected], calling 508-979-4085, or stopping by the Visitors Center, 141 Main Street. There are some reserved parking spaces in the high school lot closest to the Academy Building.

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