Saturday | September 28, 2019

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Concert 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Big Boats Little Boats
A free celebration of commercial fishing culture in New Bedford, MA, the #1 Fishing Port in the Country.

Activities will take place in and around the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center (38 Bethel Street) and on Steamship Pier (walking and vessel tours) from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. A free shuttle will run in a loop between the Center and the waterfront.

An evening performance of maritime music at the Seamen’s Bethel, (15 Johnny Cake Hill) from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. featuring the New Bedford Sea Chantey Chorus, Ana Vinagre Ensemble, and the Johnson Girls.

Through exhibits, demonstrations, walking tours, dockside vessel tours, author readings, and performances, the event will showcase industry skills, fisheries science, and sustainable seafood.

A display of model fishing boats will complement the Center’s fall exhibit F/V Innovation chronicling the history of vessels and gear and honoring the contributions of local industry innovators.

Presented with support from our generous sponsors

Presented in partnership with

Paul Doucette was born and raised in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, the youngest son of Captain Louis Doucette, Jr., a New Bedford fisherman whose career spanned fifty years. His grandfather,Captain Louis Doucette, Sr., was one of the earliest proponents of the movement from dory fishing to trawling, a change which catapulted New Bedford to fishing prominence.

Rachel Rowley Spaulding holds a business degree from Boston University and has worked primarily in the financial field.She gained her writing education from UMassDartmouth. A native of Cape Cod, Rachel now lives close to New Bedford, the historic fishing port she has come to love

12. Vessel Tour

Vessel Tours

Dock Walk

Dock Walk
Seaman's Bethel Tour

Seamen’s Bethel

Harbor Tours


Cooking Demos

Eating with the Ecosystem presents cooking demonstrations on their Food Boat, a mobile kitchen. The organization promotes a place-based approach to sustaining New England’s wild seafood, through flourishing food webs, healthy habitats, and short, adaptive seafood supply chains.

Net Mending

Big Boats Little Boats
Link Squeezers Photo by Dan Orchard

Link Squeezing

Wire Splicing

wire splicing

Fishery Science

Formed in 1997, The Johnson Girls are the leading all-woman maritime song group in the world. Sea chanteys and songs, as the first real “world music”, captured their imagination. Just as sailors who were heavily influenced by the songs they heard while traveling the world over, each of the Johnson Girls brings a special style to the ensemble. Their extensive repertoire of both traditional and contemporary material includes sea chanteys and work songs of other traditions, African-American,Canadian, Caribbean, Irish,French, Italian as well as songs from the inland waterways and fisheries. Widely acclaimed for their powerhouse performances of rousing work songs, sensitive renderings of haunting ballads and laments, and hair-raising harmonies, The Johnson Girls dazzle audiences wherever they perform.

Ana Vinagre is one of the area’s best known, and most respected Fadistas. Born in Portugal, she immigrated to New Bedford as a young woman with her husband Jose. Both had been members of folkloric dance and music ensembles and they have continued to perform at area Portuguese restaurants, community events, and in festivals and concerts around the nation. They take great pride in their culture and enjoy teaching American audiences about the tradition of Fado music, a genre that developed in the port city of Lisbon and was performed at waterfront clubs and bars frequented by sailors and seamen is one of the area’s best known, and most respected Fadistas.

For the past 25 years Jon Campbell has been writing and performing music based on the wide range of experience available to those people living in coastal regions, the tourists, the cuisine, the fisheries, cranky Yankees and an assortment of humorous and poignant characters. on has been a recognized Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Folk Artist since 1982, and he has been involved in a large number of recording projects both as performer and producer. He is presently retired from a 25 year career in the motion picture industry, and yes he did work on the Perfect Storm, in addition to many more major releases

“Old Zeb,” “Song for Gale,” “Song for The Bowdoin,” “John,” “Get Her Into Shore,” “Selling The Isabel”–just a few examples of the extensive song bag of some of the best contemporary ballads from New England and along its shores you will find in modern folk music today. Larry Kaplan songs have been performed and recorded by many respected artists and audiences around the world–poignant stories in song, written in the truest folk tradition, honest, highly singable… always memorable.

New Bedford Sea Chantey Chorus–Hosted and organized by the Schooner Ernestina, this 43-member chorus was created in 2001, and is made up of some of theErnestina’s most vocal volunteers. The repertoire includes a variety of chanteys and songs that reflect the rich maritime heritage ofNew Bedford and the region. Sea Chanteys were traditionally sun gas work songs on board sailing ships both as a way to pass the time and as a means of helping establish a rhythm for various types of work aboard the ship. Asa sampler of musical traditions connected to New Bedford Harbor and the New England seafarer, their performances feature the chanteys of the Yankee sailor, along withthe ballads and ditties of global mariners and coastwise fisherfolkin North America, the Cape Verde Islands, and the British Isles