2015 Cape Cod Fall Festival Guide

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Late summer and early fall is festival season on Cape Cod. So take a look around Cape Cod and enjoy what it has it offer. If you have the time & inclination we definitely recommend attending some of these events, which celebrate local foods, culture and small town pride. Here is our guide to Cape Cod’s Autumn Festivals.

Cape Cod Fall Festivals:

  

Truro Agricultural Fair

 September 6th

     The Truro Agricultural Fair is unique on the Cape due to its emphasis educating attendees in local grown and harvested foods. The farmers market is varied featuring local farmers and fishermen. If you are a locavore or just interested in fresh produce and seafood the Truro Agricultural Fair is well worth attending. There are family friendly events as well such as pony riding, crafting tables, three legged & burlap sack races, and zucchini racing! The fair is organized by Sustainable CAPE – Center for Agricultural Preservation and Education.

Truro Agricultural Fair Website

 

Eastham Windmill Weekend

September 12th & 13th

Parade: Sept 13th @ 1pm

Eastham windmill weekend is a long standing local celebration held each year in Eastham centered around the Windmill Green. Featuring antique cars, local arts & crafts, live music, and fun family games Windmill Weekend is a perfect family event. Windmill Weekend Parade is on Sunday September 13th at 1pm. The Parade route is from the intersection of Old Orchard Rd (Arnolds’) down Rt 6 to the Windmill Green (Depot & Samoset Rds).

Windmill Green (intersection of Samoset Rd & Route 6), Eastham.
11-4pm Sept. 12, 13
 

Truro Treasures

September 18th to 20th

     Truro treasures is a family friendly event with an old town flair and an adventurous spirit. It hosts an Art Auction, Arts & Crafts an antique car show, live music & poetry readings. Some of the fun activities are a pancake breakfast on Saturday raffles, a golf tournament, an adult treasure hunt & a grape stomp set to live jazz!
     Events are split between the Truro Community Center (next to the Truro Public Library) at 7 Standish Way, and the Truro Central Elementary School at 317 Route 6, Truro and some of Turo’s Churches.
7:30-6:30pm Sept. 19, 8:15-6pm Sept. 20
 

Scallop Fest

September 18, 19, 20

     The Scallop Fest has moved to a new location at the Barnstable County Fairgrounds this year to accommodate its growing size. The Scallop Fest draws over 50,000 patrons during the course of its three day run. Highlights include an inflatable rides and obstacle course, a bean bag cornhole tournament, wooden boat building demonstration, a juried arts & crafts show, live entertainment, and plenty of Scallops and other eats. General admission is $7. This year scallop festival is at the county fair grounds.
1220 Nathan Ellis Hwy Route 151, East Falmouth, MA 02536
10am-9pm Friday Sept. 18 and Saturday Sept. 19th
10am-6pm Sunday Sept. 22nd
 

 Cape Cod Brew Fest

September 26th

3:30-7pm

     A rapidly growing adults only event now in its fourth year the Cape Cod Brew Fest features over 250 brews from 75+ craft brewers. Held at the Cape Cod Fairgrounds. General admission is $50 and includes unlimited sampling of beers and a custom beer glass. A 21 and older only event.
1220 Nathan Ellis Hwy Route 151
East Falmouth, MA 02536
 

Yarmouth Seaside Festival

Columbus Day weekend

October 10, 11, 12th

Fireworks Oct 12 @ 8pm

     On Columbus day weekend Yarmouth plays host to its energetic, fun and slightly off kilter Seaside Festival. Featuring a crafts fair, a 5k run, canoe & kayak racing, a pie eating contest, a bonfire and fireworks. Plus a greased pole competition and bed racing (which is exactly what it sound like)!
Laurence MacArthur Elementary School,
1175 Rt. 28 South Yarmouth
 
Wellfleet-Oysterfest-Logo

 Wellfleet OysterFest

October 17th & 18th

10am-5pm

A rip roarious small town celebration of its iconic shellfish The Wellfleet Oysterfest closes out Cape Cod’s Fall festival season with a bang.  Wellfleet center is closed to vehicle traffic to accommodate the festival. A continual stream of live entertainment, arts and crafts, children’s events, a dash of Wellfleet’s small town funk and of course oysters, lots and lots of oysters, make this an event not to be missed. With the highlight being the oyster shucking competition when the town’s various oyster shuckers all compete to see who is the fastest! $5 for a one day ticket or $8 for a two pass at the gate, tickets can also be purchased at online.

Main St, Wellfleet (Road is closed to vehicle traffic for the fest, off-site parking and shuttles are available.
10am-5pm Oct 17th & 18th

Highland Lighthouse, 1883

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Highland Lighthouse, 1883, Truro, Cape Cod, MA

 

Did you know Highland Light (also sometimes know as the Cape Cod Light) in Truro is one of the oldest established lighthouses in the United States? The lighthouse that currently stands looking out over the sea in Truro is actually the third structure to stand on the site. The first Highland Light was authorized by George Washington in 1797 and actually was the 20th lighthouse constructed in the United States and was built out of wood. In 1833 a brick lighthouse was built to replace the wooden one but was later declared structurally unsound and dangerous. So in 1857 lighthouse that currently still stands at Highland was built to replace this light.  At one point Highland light had the most powerful beacon on the East Coast to warn mariners of the danger of Outer Cape Cod’s ocean side, which continued to regularly claim lives and ships throughout the 19th century and early 20th century. In 1996 the Highland Light was moved further back from the eroding cliffs in front of it.

Provincetown Railroad Wharf, circa 1873-1877

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Provincetown Railroad Wharf, (Macmillan) circa 1873-1877, stereoscopic

G. H. Nickerson, Stereoscopic ‘Cape Cod Views,’ Provincetown Railroad Wharf, circa 1873-1877

Old images of Provincetown are fascinating as much of it’s landscape and landmarks remain intact today but their context was often far different and gives us windows into the daily lives of our ancestors. In many of them the old Town House dominates the town from Pilgrim Heights where the monument now stands. The Town House was the Provincetown town hall until it burnt down in 1877. The railroad wharf was where MacMillan wharf now stands and was constructed in 1873. On a personal note I love that people are fishing in bowler hats!

Summer Tourists Coming Ashore in Eastham, 1852

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1852-Tourists-Landing-at-Eastham,-Religious-Camp-Meetings

Summer tourists coming ashore in Eastham, 1852

A hundred and fifty years ago it was much more difficult to get to Outer Cape Cod. During the 1800s, Cape Cod played host to a large number of religious revivalist meetings in the summer. In many ways this was the start of Cape Cod’s tourist economy. Originally they congregated in large outdoor tent camps. This is how some roads like Campground Rd in Eastham got named. With the camp meetings occurring year after year, summer cottages were slowly built to accommodate the congregations. The railroad ended in Sandwich until 1854 when it was extended to Hyannis. It took until 1865 for it to reach Orleans, and 1870 for it to reach Eastham and Wellfleet, and 1873 to Truro and Provincetown. This left two methods of transportation available to visitors ,they could either take stagecoaches in uncomfortable trips that could take days, or they could take packet boats from Boston and New York City. In towns without a harbor large enough to accommodate the packet boats, such as Eastham or Brewster, stagecoaches were driven out onto the sand flats at mid tide to meet small craft ferrying passengers from the larger packet. The passengers were then transferred directly from the boat to the stagecoach which took them to their summer camps. One can only imagine the luggage mishaps that must have occurred!

Sankaty Lighthouse in 1883

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Sankaty Lighthouse 1883, Nantucket, MA.

Sankaty Lighthouse 1883, Nantucket, MA.

It is amazing the changes that a hundred years make. Look sheep! In all seriousness, on Nantucket the soils close to the ocean were too thin to support crops and was used for forage. Wool was an important resource for residents of the area, especially for fishermen because of its ability to retain heat even when wet. Behind Sankaty Lighthouse you can see some of the farm houses in the distance.