The Five-Year-Old Takes Pictures: New Bedford Summerfest 2012

Dancing with Daddyo (Image: Mommyo, having borrowed The Five-Year-Old’s camera)

Here at Caterpickles Central, we love live music (even if our bedtime schedules don’t always let us hear a lot of it). So when we had the chance to spend a day at New Bedford Summerfest this past weekend, we grabbed it.

For those of you who haven’t been to (or heard of) the New Bedford Summerfest, it’s a family-oriented folk music and art festival that takes place the first weekend of July in New Bedford’s historic district. This year, the festival featured 70 performers giving nearly constant performances between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. on seven separate stages scattered throughout the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park.

The Five-Year-Old’s favorite band: Grace Morrison and the RSO. “They’re the most danceable, Mommyo.” (Image: The Five-Year-Old)

The festival offers attendees the chance to hear live music performed by artists ranging from the very well-known (Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary fame) to the should-be-better-knowns (Peter Mulvey and Grace Morrison & the RSO) and the I-can’t-believe-I-missed-thems (Dala, Amy Black, Boxcar Lilies and countless others).

And when you, like The Five-Year-Old, have finally heard enough music “to last the whole week!”, there’s still plenty to see.

Like most New England festivals, the New Bedford Summerfest includes a wide range of fair trade merchants, crafters, book peddlers, artists, and food vendors.

A selection of wares from the Swift Farms booth. I still can’t believe she let The Five-Year-Old completely rearrange her products for this shot. (Image: The Five-Year-Old)

The beekeeper at Swift Farms was especially welcoming, and greeted The Five-Year-Old with fun facts about life in a hive. Her “did you know that of the thousands of bees in a hive, only about a hundred are male?” and “want to know what the inside of a hive smells like?–smell this” was precisely calculated to catch The Five-Year-Old’s interest. It also guaranteed that Swift Farms would have a customer for life, or at least for the day, as The Five-Year-Old’s grateful parents immediately stocked up on honey, candles, soap, and a gorgeous wooden honey dipper.

The wall of kitties at the Intarsia Creations booth. (Image: The Five-Year-Old)

(While it’s possible to order Swift Farms products through the Swift Farms website, I encourage my Connecticut readers to stop by the Farmer’s Markets in Wethersfield, Willimantic, and Coventry to try the delicious Swift Farm honey and lovely soaps for themselves.)

The Five-Year-Old’s other favorite spot was the wall of wooden kittens created by Mike Iacona at the Intarsia Creations booth. It was only with very great difficulty and the promise of a frozen lemonade that we were able to drag her out of there so that other customers could take a look.

With all the booths set up along William Street, we never did make it to the Children’s Activities area. But don’t tell The Five-Year-Old. I want to surprise her with it when we go back next year.

Of course, judging by The Five-Year-Old’s reaction when we got back to the car, she may not have had enough energy for it this year anyway.

At last. (Image: Mommyo, who again had temporary custody of The Five-Year-Old’s camera)

About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book, Did Dinosaurs Have Belly Buttons?, is currently planned for release in 2018. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Ten-Year-Old at Caterpickles.com, chatting about books and the writing life at BostonWriters.blog, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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