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Mark your calendars: Gearing up for music, food, and family fun on the SouthCoast

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As the weather heats up so do the unique events happening across the SouthCoast.  The area will soon be full of festivals, concerts, and family fun to partake in.

It’s been a pretty rainy spring so far but with sunshine on the horizon, it’s time to get out of the house for date nights, friend time, and family togetherness.

Whether you want to enjoy live music, taste-test local cuisine, or get the thrill of a ride, there is sure to be plenty of excitement coming to the SouthCoast.

It’s time to grab your calendar and start filling it up with these local events:

Sunday, May 5: Traditional festival to celebrate cherry blossoms and the town’s friendship with Japan. You can take part in activities, watch demonstrations, and get a free museum tour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Whitfield-Manjiro Friendship House, 11 Cherry St., Fairhaven. There will be a kimono sale from Tosashimizu, Kamishibai (paper theater), Shin Daiko (Japanese taiko drumming), Martial Arts (Aikido plus), Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging). You can pre-order a $20 Bento lunch box by calling Gerry at 508-858-5303.

Friday, May 17: Craft beer, friends, and the zoo, what more could you need? This 21+ event from 6 to 9 p.m. is filled with unlimited wine and beer samplings, animal encounters, and live entertainment. It costs $55 per person ($30 for a designated driver) with general admission and $90 per person ($40 for a designated driver) for a VIP experience.  Find your new favorite drink at Buttonwood Park Zoo, 425 Hawthorn St., New Bedford.

Saturday, May 18: Connect your family to all the resources available to the Greater New Bedford community. This free family resource fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. will have multiple organizations, family fun activities, and entertainment at the Andrea McCoy Rec. Center, 181 Hillam St., New Bedford.

Saturday, May 18: This is a salute to the troops on Armed Forces Day as Seaglass Theater Company presents a concert of rousing patriotic numbers and timeless classics celebrating the men and women who have served our country. The event will have a 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. show with tickets costing $30 for general admission; and $25 for seniors and students. Enjoy the live band and professional singers at Gallery X Inc., 169 William St., New Bedford.

Sunday, May 19: In its 17th year the Taste of SouthCoast brings restaurants, bakeries, and caterers from the area to one place for you to taste and judge their signature dishes. From noon to 5 p.m. at Madeira Field, you can try sample-sized portions of the dishes and cast your vote for your favorite. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children 5 to 12 years old. There will be live music throughout the day at 50 Madeira Ave., New Bedford.

Tuesday, May 21: Musicians from New Bedford High School will be performing at 7 p.m. with various pieces of jazz, and contemporary repertoire from the last 100 years. Students in grades 6 through 12 from the New Bedford High School Jazz Band and the New Bedford High School Steel Band will be participating in the concert. Admission is free with lawn and patio sitting at The Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum, 396 County St., New Bedford.

Friday, May 24 through Monday, May 27: Every Memorial Day weekend Cathedral Camp Grounds becomes full of laughter, the scent of fried foods, and a sense of community.  The family day has amusement rides for all ages, a variety of decadent food booths, tricky game booths, a classic car show, and a giant barn sale. Admission is free and the fun begins at 157 Middleboro Road, East Freetown.

Saturday, June 15: Good vibes and even better music all day long starting at 10 a.m. Headed to New Bedford for the first time more than 20 multi-genre artists showcasing their passions along with nationally touring acts perform. Tickets are $35.84 before the event and $40 the day of. There is also an acoustic stage and a beer garden at 50 Madeira Ave., New Bedford.

Saturday, June 15: A day spent celebrating local wineries and food artisans while sampling a variety of wines, cheeses, and chocolates. This 21+ event has three sessions for you to choose from all include a logo wine glass. Sessions start at $50 per person with a $20 ticket available for the designated driver. Don’t miss trying these local specialties at the Westport Fairgrounds, 200 Pinehill Road, Westport.

Sunday, June 16: Rain or shine this event is all about the juicy red fruit we all know and love. Fun for the whole family from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with homemade strawberry shortcake, great food, an assortment of crafters, and live music. Check it out at the Bandstand, South Main St., Assonet.

Friday, June 21 through Sunday, June 23: A Music Festival for Earth Justice with live bands, open mics, drumming, art, food, resources on sustainability, and more. The event raised not only awareness but also funds to support the Heron Center in nature conservation, artist residencies, and wellness education. Join the movement and learn more at 179 Legacy Lane, Westport.

Saturday, June 29: With over 150 booths showcasing talented artisans and craftsmen it’s a vibrant affair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Homecoming Day. The free event has a host of events from kids’ activities to nostalgic fire engine rides, delicious food, live entertainment, and great art at Center Street, from William to Green streets, Fairhaven.

Wednesday, July 10 through Sunday, July 14: This free concert series brings world-class musicians all together for five outstanding performances. It includes full orchestral, as well as jazz, swing, piano duets, harp, and more. All concerts are held at the Fireman Performing Arts Center, at Tabor Academy, 232 Front St., Marion.

Thursday, Aug. 1 through Sunday, Aug. 4: The much-anticipated feast is a weekend chocked full of Portuguese cuisine, local entertainment, carnival rides and games, and a huge parade. There is a family day filled with kid-themed activities, non-stop live music, and incredible food and wine. Join the culture, history, and tradition at 50 Madeira Ave., New Bedford.

Friday, Sept. 27 through Sunday, Sept. 29: The Westport Fairgrounds will again be teaming with an autumn-themed event full of live music, fall food, an artisan market, and antique trucks. Make sure to check out all the fall garden displays at 200 Pine Hill Road, Westport.

Saturday, Oct. 5: Get ready for a culinary explosion from noon to 5 p.m. with over 30 local food trucks bringing their tasty cuisine to Fort Taber. The family-friendly event will have delicious craft beer, tantalizing food, family games, and live music. Tickets are $5 presale and $10 at the door at 1000 S Rodney French Blvd., New Bedford.

Upcoming events awaiting further details:

The Whaling City Festival: Thursday, July 11 through Sunday, July 14. 

NB Roots and Branches Festival: Saturday, July 20.

Mattapoisett Harbor Days: Saturday, July 20, and Sunday, July 21.

Whale City Comedy Festival: Wednesday, Aug. 28 through Sunday, Sept. 1

Lakeville Arts & Music Festival: Saturday, Oct. 5.

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