Nantucket Events

Fall Festivals

Fall is festival season on Nantucket, and fall 2012 is gearing up to be quite a memorable season! This year brings brand new additions to the Arts Festival, along with good old Nantucket fun at our beloved Cranberry Festival, and many exciting autumn happenings to anticipate.

Countless creative people have found the ultimate artistic muse in this little island. It is fitting that each year, Nantucketers and visitors celebrate what has been created here in the past, what is currently on the palette, and art that that has yet to be dreamt. The Nantucket Arts Council will again host the Nantucket Arts Festival, which will continue a full ten days this year, kicking off on September 28 and lasting until October 7. Prepare to enjoy art exhibits, gallery and studio tours, lectures, live music, live theatre in an historic setting, poetry readings, art-centered films, creative demonstrations, and the famous Wet Paint Weekend, which includes a special Meet the Artists morning with coffee and
muffins at 10 am on Saturday, October 6 and the exciting preview and auction on October 7, starting at 4 pm at 21 Washington Street.

Some events are free, while others suggest a small donation. The full schedule of events can be found in the official Arts Festival Passport and at The passport is available at the Arts Festival Center upstairs at Preservation Hall, 11 Centre Street, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
daily throughout the festival (and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 7). Your $10 donation for the passport not only supports the festival, it also includes name entry into the grand prize drawing!

What is more Nantucket than cranberries? Nothing, except perhaps an entire festival dedicated to them! The Nantucket Conservation Foundation will host the annual Cranberry Festival at Milestone Cranberry Bog on Saturday, October 6 from 11 am and 4 pm. Festivities include sheep shearing and sheep herding demonstrations, sack races, face painting, hay rides, bog tours, spinning & weaving demonstrations, and music. Getting to the bog is simple: head east on Milestone Road for 4.2 miles. Watch for a brown rock on the left that bears the number 220. Continue on Milestone Road for another 100 yards, make a left, and you’re there. Admission is free and parking is just $10 a car.

In town on October 6, from 10 am to 2:30 pm, the First Congregational Church will host an Inter-Church Harvest Fair at 62 Centre Street. Sale tables include baked goods, jewelry, Christmas decoration, and knits and crafts. A silent auction will be available during most of the fair. Lunch will be offered from
11:30 am. While you’re there, climb the church tower to get a birds-eye view. The Annual Nantucket Historical Association’s annual Harvest Fair offers a host of youthful activities on Saturday, October 13, from noon until 3 p.m. at the Old Mill. Inside the mill, the grindstone will be grinding corn into cornmeal that will be available for purchase; and NHA interpreters will be on-hand to offer
guided tours of the interior of the structure and explain its operation. Outside the mill, activities will include a photo booth, historic games, and arts and crafts and may be purchased at the event.

The final fall celebration on Nantucket is Halloween. Parties for adults begin the Saturday before, on October 27, at various nightspots (check our calendar online; as parties are planned, they’ll be posted). On Halloween Day, October 31, head to Main Street in costume at 4 pm for more fun and for the Inquirer & Mirror’s Halloween parade at 5 pm.

Even more island fun is in the works for November and December. Check the island’s complete events calendar at for updates.

Articles by Date from 2012