There are big things happening on Cape Cod in July! Special events this month include the Annual Mashpee Wampanoag PowWow, the longest-running tribal powwow on the east coast of the US.
Then, of course, there's our All-American Independence Day celebrations with 4th of July parades in many towns, boat parades in the harbors, and spectacular fireworks displays bursting over the harbors and bays.
Cape Cod's July events calendar heats up later in the month with the Barnstable County Fair, and concludes with the renowned Woods Hole Film Festival.
Whatever your entertainment wishes might be, there's a special event in July that you won't want to miss!
When: June 27 - July 3, 2015
Where: Various venues in Yarmouth
Admission: Most events are free
More Info: Yarmouth Summer Celebration
The Town of Yarmouth gets into the summer spirit with a town-wide celebration. Events include "Kite Fun", a beach BBQ, dancing by the sea, the Ice Cream Chill-Off, a kids' fishing derby, and a grand finale fireworks display set to music.
As you drive around Yarmouth, be sure to look for the commissioned sand sculptures gracing the lawns near the town's public buildings, hotels, and local businesses. The sculptors' talents are truly phenomenal!
When: Multiple dates in July (see event schedule below)
Where: Mullen-Hall Elementary School, 130 Katharine Lee Bates Road, Falmouth
Admission: One ticket per ride, prices vary
More Info: Carousel of Light on Facebook; (774) 521-8408
Come out for a ride on one of the most popular attractions in Falmouth - the Carousel of Light.
This hand-carved, twirling work of art features 20 wooden horses and 2 wheelchair accessible chariots (including one called "Bubbles" that actually blows bubbles!), all decked out in a nautical flair.
Every Tuesday evening from mid-June through late August, Music Night at the Carousel will feature a different genre of music to sing along with as you ride to your heart's content.
Here are this month's special events at the Carousel ...
* Unless otherwise noted, all events are from 5 p.m. to sunset
When: July 3-5, 2015, gates open at 10 a.m.
Where: Cape Cod Fairgrounds, 1220 Route 151, East Falmouth
Admission: $13 adults; $8 children (5-12) and seniors (62 and over); under 5 free
More Info: Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe
This colorful annual event draws Native Americans and visitors from all parts of the globe for a celebration of Mashpee Wampanoag tribal culture.
Three days of solemn, spiritual and festive events include traditional ceremonies, tribal drumming and dance performances, Native American handcrafts and cuisine, and musical performances by the Wampanoag Nation Singers and Dancers.
One of the most breathtaking scenes of the Powwow is the "Fireball Game". Similar to soccer, but played with a fire-lit ball that's kicked and carried, the game is played to honor the sick and those who have passed on, by remembering their pain.
When: July 4th
As the old song goes: "I love a parade!". Here on Cape Cod, these patriotic events are at the heart of our Independence Day celebrations.
Last Year's Parade Schedule (2015 schedule TBA)
West Barnstable - The parade will start at 9 a.m. from the County Complex on Railroad Avenue, proceed down Main Street, turn left onto Mill Way and end at the Village Hollow.
Bourne - Beginning at 10 a.m., along Main Street in Buzzards Bay
Cotuit - At 11 a.m. the parade will start from the Post Office and proceed down School Street and up Main Street to the Waldorf School.
Centerville - The village of Centerville's parade begins at 10 a.m. with a route that goes from the Centerville Elementary School, up Bay Lane, then right onto Bumps River Road, left onto Park Avenue, right onto Main Street, and continuing to the Centerville Recreation Building where it ends.
Chatham - Chatham's parade kicks off at 9:30 a.m. and will proceed down Main Street and continue on to Veteran’s Field
Falmouth - 10 a.m. Beginning at the Village Green, down Main Street to Peg Noonan Park
Hyannis - Boat Parade in Hyannis harbor beginning at 1:15 p.m., then Main Street is the place to be at 4 p.m. for the Hyannis 4th of July street parade
Hyannisport - The village of Hyannisport holds their parade at 11 a.m., after the road race (road race begins at 9 a.m.)
Orleans - Begins at 10 a.m. on Eldredge Park Way, goes along Rt. 6A, Main Street, Rt. 28 and back to Eldredge Park
Provincetown - Starting at 11 a.m. at the Cape Inn, proceeding along Commercial Street
Sandwich - At 10 a.m. the parade begins at the Wing School on Water Street, to Old Main Street, right on Beale Avenue, left on Morse Road, and finishing at the fields behind the Wing School
Wellfleet - Parade of antique cars at Mayo Beach at 9:00 a.m., parade of floats begins at 10 a.m. from the Town Pier to the center of town and back.
Woods Hole - This popular 4th of July parade, organized by the Marine Biological Laboratory, begins at noon on School Street and proceeds down Water Street, over the drawbridge, and ends at Waterfront Park.
When: Various dates during 4th of July week
Where: Towns across Cape Cod
More Info: Click here for dates and best viewing locations
Of all events on Cape Cod during 4th of July week, the fireworks displays stand alone as the #1 favorite with locals and visitors. In fact, folks from near and far have told me that they always plan their vacation to coincide with the gala fireworks displays.
Seeing the big boomers going off over the water is a breathtaking sight. Be here, if you can!
When: July 4, 2015, 9 p.m.
Where: Shawme Pond, Sandwich
More Info: Sandwich Recreation Department (508) 888-4361
The Sandwich Boat Parade has been around since the late 1800's! The Boat Parade is comprised of small boats and canoes decorated in creative ways using paper lanterns illuminated by candles. The boats parade by the bandstand for all to see, and for the Recreation Department and Recreation Committee to select the evening's winners.
Want to take part in the parade? Contact the Sandwich Recreation Department (see phone number, above) to enter your boat.
When: July 5, 2015, noon
Where: Wellfleet Preservation Hall, 355 Main Street, Wellfleet
Admission: $5 for strawberry shortcake
More Info: Wellfleet Preservation Hall (508) 349-1800
The Wellfleet Historical Society's Annual Strawberry Festival is held in the garden behind Preservation Hall. The festival is a great chance to chow down on fresh, sweet native strawberries served over freshly baked biscuits, topped with a nice *splop* of real whipped cream. Yum!
When: Every Thursday in July & August, 6 p.m.
Where: Old Harbor Life Saving Station, Race Point Beach, Provincetown
Admission: $5 adults, $2 seniors and children 7-17, under 7 free
More Info: Cape Cod National Seashore (508) 487-1256
Stories abound of the brave rescue crews who saved shipwrecked sailors off the coast of Cape Cod in the early 1900s. Here's your chance to see, first-hand, one of their most heroic rescue tactics.
Known as the "Breeches Buoy Drill", this daring procedure involves firing a projectile out of a small, cannon-like gun, over a simulated ship’s bow, and rigging up lines to haul the buoy from shore to ship and back.
The Old Harbor Lifesaving Station at Race Point Beach is one of the few places in the US where you can see the drill re-enacted ... so don't miss this fascinating event!
Note: The Station holds Open House hours in July and August, daily from 2-4 p.m. Admission is free. Race Point Beach parking fees may apply.
When: July 7 - 11, 2015
Where: Sandwich High School, Quaker Meetinghouse Road, Sandwich
Admission: Free. Buy a wristband for unlimited rides. Wristbands available every day except Friday.
More Info: Sandwich Town Fair
This fun annual event features lots of great carnival rides, games and fun for the whole family.
A highlight of the Fair is on Friday night when the skies will light up with a spectacular fireworks display. Not to be missed!
When: July 20-26, 2015
Where: Cape Cod Fairgrounds, Rt. 151, East Falmouth
General Admission: adults $12; children (6-12) $3 with paid adult; 5 and under free with paid adult; seniors and valid military I.D. $9; multi-day passes available
More Info: Barnstable County Fair
Put on your fun duds and mosey on out to the Barnstable County Fair. For over 168 years, the Fair has been a highlight of summer on Cape Cod.
The Fair's attractions include animal shows, monster trucks, carnival rides, demolition derby, petting zoos, horticulture displays, games, live music, arts & crafts, and lots of food and vendors. It's a full week of fun for the whole family!
When: July 25-26, 2015, Saturday 10 am - 5 pm, Sunday 10 am - 4 pm
Where: Drummer Boy Park, Rt. 6A, Brewster
More Info: Castleberry Fairs (603) 332-2616
Brewster's scenic Drummer Boy Park is the site for this quality arts and crafts festival. Exhibitors will showcase their handcrafted jewelry, artwork, clothing and accessories, pottery, pet items, glass and woodworking creations, gourmet food items, and much more. There'll be live music and demonstrations, too.
When: July 25 - August 1, 2015
Where: Multiple venues in Provincetown
More Info: Family Week
Family Week is the largest national gathering of the LGBTQ-headed family community in the United States. Parents, their children, their extended families, prospective parents and friends gather in Provincetown for a fun-filled week of events including picnics, parades, dances, movie nights, and more.
When: July 25-August 1, 2015
Where: Multiple venues in Woods Hole
Admission: Ticket prices vary by event
More Info: Woods Hole Film Festival
Dedicated to showcasing and promoting the work of independent, emerging filmmakers, the highly regarded Woods Hole Film Festival draws filmmakers and patrons from around the world.
The Festival showcases more than 100 feature-length films during its 8-day run.
Parties, workshops, entertainment, readings and awards round out the week.
When: July 30 - August 1, 2015, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Where: Chatham Elementary School, 147 Depot Road, Chatham
Admission: $5.00 per person
More Info: Chatham Antiques Show
This is one of Cape Cod's oldest and most prestigious antiques shows. The show features formal American and European furniture and accessories, fine art, porcelain, fine period ceramics, silver, jewelry, and more.
There will be a free drawing for two round-trip tickets to Nantucket on Cape Air. An entry form will be given with each admission ticket.
Important Note: The date, time, place, admission charges, etc. of the events on this page may be changed by the event sponsor at any time, without my knowledge. Please be sure to confirm all information directly with the sponsor before you make any plans!