The Beach Times

Check Out the Yarmouth Seaside Festival
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, October 1, 2018


Yarmouth Seaside Festival

 

Although the Cape is mainly a summer destination, plenty of reasons to visit in other seasons exist. As we move into fall, for example, autumn festivals are taking place up and down Cape Cod, and most are excellent events for the entire family.

One of these festivals is the Yarmouth Seaside Festival, a tradition on Columbus Day weekend every year. This year’s event will go ahead between October 6 and 8, with most events taking place at Joshua Sears Memorial Field in South Yarmouth. Some functions be held at the beaches and other venues around town, however. This year's festival will be its 40th edition and will include activities like a craft fair, a parade, rides, food, races, and fireworks.

If you're thinking about visiting Cape Cod this fall, the Yarmouth Seaside Festival is just one of the prominent events taking place as the leaves start to change. And since the festival is free, unless of course to buy crafts or food, you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank.

 

Arts and Crafts Fair

The arts and crafts fair at the event attracts more than 125 vendors from all over New England to Yarmouth, selling everything from ceramics to jewelry to collections of local art. This fair is a great place to look for Christmas presents or souvenirs, as you're sure to find items that aren't available anywhere else.

The craft fair runs on the Saturday and Sunday of the festival from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM, so you'll have plenty of opportunities to get out there and see what you can find. It takes place at Joshua Sears Memorial Field, and there is plenty of parking nearby.

 

Rides, Games, Music, and Food

You’ll find a wide range of other events at the same location as the arts and crafts fair. It all starts on Saturday morning with pumpkin decorating, followed by a science show, animal encounter, trampoline show, and pie-eating contest. On Sunday, the science show, trampoline demonstration, and animal encounter are back, and there is a demonstration by the police department’s K-9 unit, as well.

There are concerts, food vendors, rides, and games throughout the entire weekend, so make sure you stop by at some point. The kid's tent show is a particularly popular event, with concerts taking place in two locations on a rotating schedule.

 

The Races

If you haven't witnessed any of the races that are part of the Yarmouth Seaside Festival, you're truly missing out because they add a unique flavor to the weekend as a whole. Perhaps the most popular is the Bed Race. In this event, four team members push a custom-made bed through a course with a fifth team member riding it. There are awards for winning the race, in addition to the most outrageous bed and worst-designed bed. The bed race takes place at Bridgewater State University at 11:00 AM on Saturday, October 6. Even if you don't have time to put a bed or a team together, it's fun to head down there to experience it for yourself.

On Sunday, October 7, there will be a 3-mile road race through the streets of South Yarmouth. This race begins and ends at Bridgewater State University, with everything getting started at 9:00 AM. You can register the day of the run if you get down there by about 8:00, allowing you to participate if you're in the mood for a jog. Finally, on Monday, October 8, there's a canoe and kayak race from Bass River Beach to Wilbur Park. The race goes upriver, with a party taking place at the Sea Dog Brew Pub once the last racer has crossed the finish line.

 

Fireworks and Bonfires

On the Saturday night, you can head to Bass River Beach for a bonfire, starting at 6:00 PM. The fire is a family-friendly event and a great place to just hang out and enjoy the company of some locals.

There are fireworks on the Sunday at Seagull Beach in West Yarmouth. They get started at about 8:00 PM and this year's presentation is in memory of Bob Stanton, a long-time member of the event's organizing committee. Make sure you bring your beach chairs.

 

The Parade

One of the event's annual highlights is the parade, which runs down Route 28 from the old drive-in across from Captain Parker's Pub in West Yarmouth to the Massachusetts State Police building in South Yarmouth. The entire route is 1.8 miles in length, so there are plenty of places for you to find a spot to watch.

The parade has plenty of things for the entire family to enjoy, including old cars, floats, military vehicles, and marching bands. Because the upcoming festival is the 40th anniversary, you can expect it to be extra special this time around.

 

Start the Fall Right

As long as you’re on Cape Cod in the fall, you might as well get out there and enjoy everything this area has to offer. Just because the crowds have left after the summer doesn’t mean there isn’t something to do each and every day and you might even enjoy it more because you won’t have to wait in lines or struggle to find parking.

The Cape is positively becoming a destination for all seasons and the fact that Yarmouth puts on the Seaside Festival every year provides just one more reason to spend your fall holiday in a Cape Cod vacation rental.



Columbus Weekend Fall Festivals Yarmouth Yarmouth Seaside Festival

Historic Places to Stop on the Old King’s Highway
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, June 25, 2018


A must-do while on Cape Cod is to drive down Route 6A, much of which is known as the Old King's Highway, as it is full of historic attractions that will give you greater insight into life on the Cape as a whole. Along the highway, you'll come across architecture that reflects the changes the area has undergone, as there are buildings from the 1600s all the way through the 1900s.

This portion of Route 6A starts in Sandwich and runs all the way to Orleans. As you drive the highway, you'll be following the same route used by Native Americans before settlers even arrived in the United States, as it was first a trail connecting local villages and camps. The path was also used by the first European settlers, as they came to Cape Cod from Plymouth, before settling in the region and creating the still-standing society we enjoy to this day.

Of course, a lot has changed over the years, but you'll have views of the same beaches and green spaces that pilgrims saw over 375 years ago, and can even enter some of the homes built by some of Cape Cod’s first inhabitants. The Old King’s Highway is a look at living American history that you’ll struggle to find anywhere else in the country.

Get Started in Sandwich

Soon after crossing the Sagamore Bridge onto Cape Cod, you’ll reach Sandwich. Here, you’ll want to make sure you get onto Route 6A, rather than Route 6, as 6A will take you through many of the Cape’s historic districts.

Sandwich is not only the oldest town on Cape Cod, having been incorporated in 1639, but is also one of the oldest centers in the entire country. To start your tour of Sandwich, you'll head south just off the Old King's Highway into the town's historic center. Here, you'll come across the Sandwich Glass Museum, known for its rare glass creations dating back to the 1880s.

The historic district also has Dexter Grist Mill, which was built in 1637 and in commercial operation until 1881. It remains one of the country's oldest water mill sites, and you can purchase cornmeal ground right there at the mill.

Just south of the mill is Hoxie House, one of the oldest houses on the Cape, having been raised in 1675. There are tours through the house’s interior, which still features period decor. If you head a little further south off 6A, you'll come to the Heritage Museums and Gardens, a structure that is home to pretty much everything you'd expect to find in an American museum, including classic cars.

As you move along the Old King's Highway, you'll quickly reach East Sandwich, an area home to the Wing Fort House, the oldest continuously-owned-by-the-same-family home in New England, having been built in 1641. You can do a tour of the house during the high season for a small fee. This area is also where the Nye Family of America Homestead stands. This homestead was constructed in 1678 and is now a museum, with each room being representative on a different era of the home's existence, right down to the period decor.

 

Continue Through Barnstable

The Old King's Highway Historic District in Barnstable runs the entire length of the city from east to west on Main Street. In that space, there are nearly 500 buildings, some of which were built as far back as the 1630s, with the newer buildings being constructed in the mid 1800s. The area as a whole was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.

Of particular interest in Allyn House, which dates back to the late 1600s, and Barnstable House, a structure that might be haunted. The district is also home to the Old Jail, built in 1690 and the country's oldest wooden jail. The jail now houses a museum, along with the Old Customshouse.

 

A Stop in Yarmouth Port

The great thing about Yarmouth Port is you won't have to venture off Route 6A to visit most of the town's historic sites. This part of Cape Cod was popular with sea captains, as many built large homes there and, as luck would have it, a number of these structures remain to this day.

Captain Bangs Hallet House is Cape Cod's only fully-furnished former captain's house that is open to daily visitors. The residence provides insight into how a sea captain would have lived in the 1800s, right down to furniture and decor.

Just across fro Hallet House is Winslow Crocker House, which was moved to Yarmouth from West Barnstable in 1936. The house was originally built sometime around 1780 and was a very high-end home for its time period. The building belonged to a merchant and trader, who might have been a rum runner, and today is a museum with public tours available daily.

Edward Gorey House offers a different kind of Cape Cod history because it is an art gallery and museum dedicated to the life and works of Edward Gorey. Gorey purchased the home, which was 200 years old at the time, in 1979 and it became a museum after his death in 2000.

Yarmouth New Church dates back to 1870 and is one of Cape Cod's choicest examples of Gothic architecture. The building is detailed and very similar in quality to what you'd expect to find in an old European neighborhood. It is no longer an active church but does host events throughout the year.

 

Some History in Dennis

After crossing through Yarmouth, Route 6A heads north into the heart of Dennis, where you'll find Josiah Dennis House and the West Schoolhouse occupying the same grounds. Josiah Dennis House dates back to 1736 when it was home to a local reverend. In fact, the town of Dennis is named after this man, who was a minister for 38 years in the area. Today, the home is a museum, as is the West Schoolhouse, which was moved to the land in 1973. The school was constructed between 1770 and 1775 and is the last remaining schoolhouse from that era.

The Scargo Tower isn't as old as many structures along the Old King's Highway, having been built in 1901 as a lookout, but it is free to visit and at 30 feet tall, provides panoramic views of the entire area. In fact, on a sunny day, you can see all the way to Provincetown in the north and the Sagamore Bridge to the west.

 

Drive Through Brewster

In Brewster, Route 6A runs along Main Street and is surrounded by historic sites. As you approach the town's center, you'll see Drummer Boy Park, which is home to a windmill from the 1700s, along with a blacksmith shop. Just down the road from the park is the Cape Cod Museum Of Natural History, an entity that takes a more ecological approach to the area's history.

Moving into central Brewster, you'll find Captain Elijah Cobb House. This building is the permanent home of the Brewster History Society and hosts a variety of museum artifacts while offering tours. The home was built in about 1799.

The Crosby Mansion, just north of Route 6A near Nickerson State Park, is a massive 35-room house built in 1888 by Albert Crosby, a wealthy alcohol distiller. The home, which was built around the homestead in which Crosby was raised, would become an art gallery after his death in 1906. Today, the mansion is a museum but is only accessible to the public a few times per year.

 

The End in Orleans

Finally, the Old King's Highway runs through the heart of Orleans. Here, the official name of the road changes to the Cranberry Highway, but it's still part of historic Route 6A. Just off the highway is the French Cable Station Museum, providing an in-depth look at the undersea telegraphic cables used by the United States and France during World War One.

Just north of the museum is the Jonathan Young Windmill, which is unique because all of its original parts and mechanisms remain intact, despite the fact it was moved to Hyannis in 1897 and then back to Orleans in 1983. The windmill was constructed sometime around 1720 and now sits in a small park just off Route 6A.

 

Make a Day of Route 6A

After heading through Orleans, the Old King's Highway joins with Route 6, or the Mid-Cape Highway, where it runs through Eastham, Wellfleet, and Truro. Route 6A reappears in North Truro and heads through the heart of Provincetown, before coming to an end at Herring Cove Beach.

There are other historic sites to explore along Route 6, but that’s a journey for another day because if you stop at even a fraction of the museums and homes along the Old King’s Highway, you’ll quickly find it’s time to return to your vacation rental for some much-deserved relaxation.

 

 



Barnstable Brewster Dennis Old Kings Highway Orleans Route 6a Sandwich Yarmouth Yarmouth Port

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