Fun in the sun at Padanaram Summer Festival

Jul 27, 2019

The annual Padanaram Summer Festival took over the South Dartmouth village on July 27, with hundreds of visitors wandering through the vendors, musicians, dancers, and other attractions on offer.

From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. people shopped, chatted, ate, drank, and made merry at the daylong event, which saw Elm Street closed off to traffic and nearby roads crammed with parked cars.

Kids lined up to get their faces painted or hands hennaed while their parents bought hand-blown glass ornaments, clothing, and items crafted from repurposed ropes and used books.

Performances throughout the day included local ukulele band The Unlikely Strummers as well as Dartmouth’s own The Dancer’s Edge company dance team, among others. 

Local magician Tony “Baloney” entranced children with magic tricks, and even the town got involved, with a Master Plan display at the new Maritime Center on Bridge Street.

And almost everyone seemed happy with the day.

“First of all, the weather couldn’t have been any more beautiful,” said Louise Wheeler of New Bedford, who was standing in the shade after purchasing a couple of handmade gifts for friends. 

“We have a perfect day for this, and a lot of great artisans that repurpose different materials and make unique gifts.”

The vendors were also pleased.

“Lots of buyers. We were chock full. It’s just barely noon, I think, and we’re already almost down to the nubs,” said Helen Montague, a part-time sales associate at Padanaram boutique Flora. “So it’s a great day.”

Little Compton artist Shane Dorey agreed. “It’s a really nice day,” he said from his stall of handcrafted blown glass ornaments. “And it’s very nicely organized … they clearly know what they’re doing.”

Meanwhile Dartmouth resident Brian Baker was taking his three girls Sophia, Julia, and Ella to get their faces painted. “We come down every year,” he said of the event, adding that they come to the Christmas festival too. 

“The kids love it. They came down for the face painting, that’s what they were looking forward to.”

Dartmouth Harbormaster Steve Melo greeted visitors who came to see the new Maritime Center. 

“It’s a busy festival,” he commented. “Lot of people here using the bathrooms and checking out the waterfront. Been popular!”