Working Waterfront Festival

The Working Waterfront Festival

Celebrating Commercial Fishing — America's Oldest Industry

Join us in New Bedford, America's largest commercial fishing port, to learn about the men and women who harvest the North Atlantic. Walk the decks of a scalloper, dine on fresh seafood, see fishermen's contests, and watch a cooking demonstrations. Experience the workings of the industry which brings seafood from the ocean to your plate.

New Bedford, Massachusetts
Fisherman's Wharf/Pier 3 — Steamship Pier

2014 Festival Dates:
September 27 & 28, 2014

Saturday 11:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sunday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

Festival held rain or shine!

View the latest 2014 festival pictures and a video celebrating the 10th anniversary of the festival!

Want to help? Volunteer!

Take A Sneak Peak at the 2014 Festival Program Guide

Plan your festival weekend! The 56 page guide contains a complete schedule of events, map, menu, list of exhibitors, bios of participating authors and performers as well as several articles related to our 2014 theme, a special feature of fishing family photographs, and quotes from our oral history archive.


Mark your calendar for our Festival Sampler, Friday evening, September 26th at 7:30 pm, at the historic Seamen's Bethel (15 Johnny Cake Hill).

Enjoy performances of traditional music, storytelling and fisherpoetry featuring: the Beans with Dan Lanier, Bob Quinn, Bridget Fitzgerald, Dano Quinn, Dave Densmore, Jon Campbell, Matthew Byrne, and Rob Seitz. Tickets are $10 with all proceeds benefiting the Festival and our year-round educational programs.

Seating is general admission. Tickets can be purchased in our online shop.

2014 Friday Sampler

This year we were fortunate to receive funding from Mass Humanities to support the work of a Scholar in Residence, Diana Lempel, to listen to our Narrative Stage audio recordings and help us use them to understand family and community identity in the commercial fishing industry. She shares some of her discoveries in this on line exhibit.

Working Waterfront Festival and National Park
Team Up for Dock-U-Mentaries

Films about the working waterfront are screened on the third Friday of each month beginning at 7:00 PM in the theater of the Corson Maritime Learning Center, located at 33 William Street in downtown New Bedford. All programs are open to the public and presented free of charge.

Partial funding for Dock-u-mentaries is provided by the
Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts - Henry H. Crapo Foundation Fund

Friday, December 19th - In the Path of the Storms

In the Path of the Storms is a portrait of a coastal culture struggling to preserve its heritage and vanishing way of life. The 2011 film - based on a book of the same name - explores the lives of residents in Bayou La Batre, including former refugees, students, shrimpers and others who make their living plying local waters. Among those featured in the documentary are shrimper Henry Alexander and seafood shop owner Rodney Lyons, who talk about the values associated with the traditional seafood culture and the contemporary economic pressures residents face.

The documentary was produced by Mike Letcher, production manager for the Center for Public Television at the University of Alabama. Letcher said. The film won an Emmy for Outstanding Achievement for the Southeast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Watch the trailer here.


More details...

The Working Waterfront Festival and New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park invite you aboard the F/V Huntress

Take a virtual tour of a working scallop boat.

Working Waterfront Festival Voices from the Port Radio Project

VOICES FROM THE PORT is a series of short audio pieces based on oral histories collected as part of the Working Waterfront Documentation Project. The programs are designed to provide a window into the history and culture of the working port, and encourage listeners to visit New Bedford, America's #1 Port to learn more. The project was made possible with funding from Mass Humanities.

Click here to listen.

Working Waterfront Festival