All-Stars, cool blues and bright fireworks coming to Wareham this summer

By Matthew Bernat | May 31, 2017
Photo by: Andrew W. Griffith The Onset 4th of July fireworks will return this year after residents raised $40,000. In addition to the fireworks, many activities are scheduled this summer.

It’s going to be a hot one in town this summer as a full slate of activities is scheduled, including the return of Onset’s 4th of July fireworks and the arrival of future Major League Baseball players competing in the Cape Cod Baseball League’s All-Star Game.

According to Onset Bay Association President Kat Jones, the group is building on last year’s successful season.

“In 2016, we had a banner year,” Jones said. “We had more engagement, more people and we’re looking forward to another great summer.”

Good news for the fireworks, which were canceled last year due to a lack of funds and volunteers, and were announced in early May. That’s when the association said it had raised $40,000, the amount needed to stage the event. The news capped a year of fundraising and one sizable $25,000 donation from Wareham resident John Decas.

“I’m really proud of the community for stepping forward to help out with this project,” said Jones after making the announcement at the Selectmen’s May 9 meeting. “I think the community [now] has a better idea of what goes into a project like this.”

The fireworks are scheduled for July 1 (rain date July 8) starting at 9 p.m. Those who want a prime spot are advised to get there early as streets will be closed for the festivities. The fireworks display follows the fourth annual Onset Bay Blessing of the Fleet, which is scheduled the same day from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Onset Pier. A vessel parade sets sail at 11 a.m.

Each vessel in the parade will be blessed by a priest. All participants are encouraged to decorate their boats. After the blessing, more activities will be offered from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., including parades for pets, bicycles and doll carriages.

Long running traditions and recent offerings are on tap, too. Organizers are preparing for the 25th annual Onset Blues Festival, set for Aug. 5 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Onset Band Shell. The event is a major fundraiser for the Onset Bay Association and draws talented musicians from across New England. For more information or tickets, visit www.onsetbluesfestival.com.

An even longer running event returns July 4. Now in its 41st year, the Wareham Historical Society’s Annual Antique Faire, Craft Faire and Car Show is set for that day at the town green on Main Street.

After a six-year hiatus, the Wareham Village Associaton’s Swan Festival returns July 29. The festival takes place on Merchants Way and Besse Park on that day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wareham Village Association President Tracy McGraw said 22 vendors selling food and crafts will be on hand. In Besse Park, games and activities for children will be offered.

“The response has been incredible,” said McGraw. “We’re so excited to be bringing it back.”

Baseball fans can look forward to the return of the Cape Cod Baseball League’s All-Star Game, set for July 22 at Spillane Field in Wareham. The game attracts the nation’s top college prospects and will be broadcast on Fox Sports. Gatemen officials said they expect the event to draw a crowd of 6,000 to 8,000 people for the festivities.

Before first pitch, fans will have a chance to meet the players, get autographs signed and watch a home run derby.

It takes a lot of volunteers to ensure the day runs smoothly. Gatemen officials are seeking people to help out. To volunteer or for more information, contact Sheri Gay at sheri.gay4gatemen@gmail.com.

Looking for something more low key? The Free Onset Film Festival starts June 29 with a showing of the recently released “Beauty and the Beast.” The show starts at the Onset Band Shell at 8 p.m. Refreshments will be available. Showings of family-friendly films will be held on most Thursdays until Aug. 17. Midsummer Shakespeare returns with “The Tempest” on July 9. The play will be performed at the Onset Band Shell on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays starting at 6:30 p.m. until Aug. 1.

With so much happening, Jones noted that summer events are as successful as they are with help from town officials.

“I’m happy and appreciative that all of the town departments are willing to work alongside us, helping everything to run smoothly each summer,” Jones said. “We couldn’t do it without them.”

For a complete schedule of the Onset Bay Association’s activities, visit www.onsetbay.org.

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