It's funny that you have to go to sunny Ft. Myers, Fla. to celebrate New Bedford and the South Coast, but that's what hundreds of snowbirds, transplants, and visitors who fly down specifically for this event do! New Bedford Day will be Tuesday, March 13th from 3 - 6 pm. WBSM will be broadcasting live.

And it's worth it, to see old friends enjoying a cool drink, exchanging greetings, hugs and lots of laughter. It's a fun get-together thanks to former New Bedford Mayor Brian Lawler and his creative wife, Johan.

In 2004, Johan Lawler was running into people she knew from New Bedford and was wondering how many more other folks from the South Coast were in the Ft. Myers area?

By word of mouth only, the first New Bedford Day was launched at a local marina where 87 people showed up. That was 14 years ago. Since then, this party has grown exponentially and had to be moved to the spacious Shell Factory and Nature Park in North Ft. Myers, where last year nearly 900 happy souls showed up.

It's a social gathering for some and a merrymaking reunion for others. My wife Celeste and I enjoy seeing friends while we take in the warm sun, blue skies and palm trees. Everyone is in very casual attire with name tags and cocktails in hand.

Expect to see retired teachers, police, municipal workers, business owners and the like, celebrating a festive occasion that salutes the people of New Bedford and the South Coast. New Bedford Day is always the second Tuesday in March. Cheers!

Thank you to our amazing sponsors who helped make New Bedford Day 2018 possible! Mattapoisett Power Equipment, Mike & Wayne’s Uniform & Accessories,Tetrault Insurance, FCFCU, Narragansett Beer, Quahog Republic, Destination New Bedford, Carmine’s Italian Restaurant, and The Black Whale.