This July 4th (and 5th), while you celebrate the star and stripes, celebrate seals too! The first annual Cape Cod Canal Fest will be held on Saturday, July 4 and Sunday, July 5 at Buzzards Bay Park on Main Street in Buzzards Bay.
This festive summer fete, which kicks off with the town's annual Independence Day parade down Main Street at 10 a.m., benefits the National Marine Life Center, just down the road from the park. The center is a non-profit animal hospital and rehabilitation center for injured and sick marine animals including seals and endangered turtles. Founded in 1995, the National Marine Life Center has cared for 39 seals, 72 endangered sea turtles and 133 endangered native turtles since opening its doors. The always-present danger of these animals stranding along the Cape's shores, especially in the winter, speaks to the importance of the center and the work they do there.
In addition to caring for and rehabilitating marine animals, NMLC is a learning center for adults and children. Science-minded kids love the weekday programs offered by the center during the summer and school breaks including "Marine Animal Medical Mystery" and "Patient Updates". Each week features a different theme and kids clamor to come back to see what's next.
Visitors may long remember the Bourne Scallop Fest which was held at Buzzards Bay Park for more than four decades and has since moved to the Cape Cod Fairgrounds. The first annual Cape Cod Canal Fest is a fun way to celebrate and support the center as well as the uniquely Cape Cod canal area making this the new not-to-be-missed summertime festival in Bourne.
During the festival enjoy live music, kids activities (Saturday) an arts and crafts fair (Saturday & Sunday) and a farmers market (Saturday). In addition to the arts and crafts fair presented by East Coast Craft Shows, area businesses and civic organizations will also have booths on both days. There will also be fun rides and inflatables for kids including a shark ride they won't want to miss.
Most important--bring your appetite! There will be a beer & wine garden and a seafood tent on Saturday and an impressive array of local food and beverage vendors both days. The list of vendors who have already signed up for the fair includes Cape Cod Beer, Perry's Last Stand Ice Cream, Fired Up Pizza Truck, Velma's Kettle Corn, Famous Seafood, Schuck's Seafood Catering, Tom's Mac & Cheese Plus and Lindsey's Family Restaurant.
Admission to the festival is free. To learn more about the National Marine Life Center or to support the work they do, visit their website here. NMLC is a 120 Main Street in Buzzards Bay, 508-743-9888.