The Working Waterfront Festival returns to the working piers of New Bedford, the nation’s most valuable fishing port, on Saturday, September 23, 2017.  This free, family friendly event celebrates the history and culture of New England's commercial fishing industry in a way that is authentic, hands-on, and educational.  The flagship event is back with a new co-producer, a new format, and a new festival director.

This year, the Festival is partnering with the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center. Located in the heart of the City’s historic downtown, the Fishing Heritage Center opened its' doors last June.  Its mission is to tell the story of the fishing industry past, present, and future, through exhibits, programs, and archives.  This partnership is a natural fit for two organizations dedicated to celebrating the commercial fishing industry.

The 2017 Festival will be presented in two locations: on Steamship Pier and at the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center.  These two sites will be linked by a free shuttle bus, allowing visitors to enjoy all the Festival has to offer.

Steamship Pier will host the Contest Stage; demonstrations of industry skills and fisheries science; dockside vessel tours; kids' activities; a tug boat muster, whaleboat races; corporate and non- profit exhibitors; maritime artisans; and a Food Court featuring fresh, local seafood and cooking demonstrations. The Fishing Heritage Center will host performances of music and fisherpoetry; author readings and signings; kids activities; and the exhibit - Nautical Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them. Visitors will also be able to visit the Center's gift shop and main exhibit ­­­­From Boat to Table, featuring a full-sized wheelhouse and a variety of hands-on activity stations.

In addition, the Festival is pleased to announce long time Development and Exhibits Manager, Jessica Bailey, has been named Festival Director. Ms. Bailey brings a wealth of knowledge about the industry as well as significant experience in event production.  Founding Director, Laura Orleans, will continue to be involved as Director Emeritus during this transition year, focusing on Festival programming.

For more information call 508-264-3394 or contact

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