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Contact: Emily G. Prigot, 508-996-4095 x 6105The summer of 2017 promises to be an engaging and activity-filled one at New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park. The park announces its summer programming, with highlights including walking tours, maritime crafts, living history, Thursday evening concerts, and special events such as AHA! Nights Dock-U-Mentaries film series. All of the park’s activities are free of charge.
New Bedford has a long and fascinating history, filled with stories of whalemen going to sea for years a time, wives left to run businesses, escaped slaves seeking freedom, and a connection to the sea that spans centuries. The public is invited to explore this history through free guided tours, offered on seven days a week from May 28 through September 5. The tours will be offered 10:30 AM and 2:30 PM. Tours leave from New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park’s visitor center, located at 33 William Street in downtown New Bedford. In addition to the tours, this year the park will offer fifteen- minute programs called UnderCurrents on intriguing and thought-provoking topics from July 2 through August 30, on Wed. Fri. and Sundays at 1:00 p.m.
Listen to the Whales, an interactive art installation, will be open daily from June 4 through July 30. The oversize work includes a listening station where visitors can hear whale songs. Artist William Chambers’ piece explores an alternative reality in which humans chose to live in harmony with whales rather than hunt them.
The ever-popular Thursday evening garden concert series will be back starting July 6, with weekly concerts continuing through August 31 (with the exception of July 20), with all concerts starting at 6:30 PM. Performances include Irish music, bluegrass funk, world music, African American spirituals, and Native American singers. In case of inclement weather, the concerts will take place in the park’s theater.
The park’s engaging Maritime Crafts series returns this summer on Saturdays from July 15 through August 26, from 10 am- 2 pm. Watch master craftsmen and women demonstrate scrimshaw, wood turning, the art of cooperage (making barrels and casks), blacksmithing, and rope-making, among others. Visitors will experience firsthand how artisans traditionally crafted everyday items out of wood, textile, bone, and metal.
Ruth and Abby, the park’s 1850s ladies, will be offering a number of programs, including Friday picnic in the garden and lawn games. In addition, Ruth and Abby will hosting special events on AHA! Nights, on June 8, July 13 and August 10, from 6:00-8:00 PM.
The park also hosts, in partnership with Working Waterfront Festival and the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center, the Dock-U-Mentaries series. Dock-U-Mentaries is a film series about the working waterfront, screened on the third Friday of each month beginning at 7:00 PM in the theater of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park on June 16, July 21 and August 18. All programs are open to the public and presented free of charge.
New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park was established by Congress in 1996 to help preserve and interpret America’s nineteenth century whaling industry. The park, which encompasses a 13-block National Historic Landmark District, is the only National Park Service area addressing the history of the whaling industry and its influence on the economic, social, and environmental history of the United States. The National Park visitor center is located at 33 William Street in downtown New Bedford. It is open from 9 AM-5 PM, and offers information, exhibits, and a free orientation movie every hour on the hour from 10 AM-4 PM. The visitor center is wheelchair-accessible, and is free of charge. For more information, call the visitor center at 508-996-4095, go to www.nps.gov/nebe or visit the park’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NewBedfordNPS. Everyone finds their park in a different way. Discover yours at FindYourPark.com
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