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, November 21st - Fish, Mercury, and Nutrition: The Net Effects

Fish, Mercury, and Nutrition: The Net Effects presents the many benefits of eating ocean fish and the risk of mercury exposure for the population with the most to gain (or lose): unborn and young children. Pregnant and nursing moms will learn why two ocean fish meals a week during the critical window of development can safely give their babies lifelong benefits. The rest of the population also benefits by including ocean fish in their healthy diets.

Fish, Mercury, and Nutrition: The Net Effects is a production of Prairie Public Broadcasting, Fargo, North Dakota, in collaboration with the University of North Dakota's Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC). Dr. Christian Pope, Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at St. Luke's Hospital and author of a monthly column on women's health topics in the Standard Times, will comment on the film and answer questions.


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