Two popular fall annual Nantucket events that were cancelled last year due to the pandemic are being held this October, just not in their familiar formats. The Nantucket Island Fair, normally held over a weekend in Tom Nevers, is being replaced by a Fall Fun Day celebration on Saturday, October 2, with events at various locations in town.
The day begins at 8:30 am at Sustainable Nantucket’s Farmers & Artisans Market, where people can see a farm animal display, pick up instructions for a scavenger hunt, and wander through Gertrude’s Harvest Exhibition, where locally grown fruits, vegetables, and preserved foods will be on display. Entries into the Harvest Exhibition will be judged later at Moors End Farm.
Live entertainment will start in the Atheneum garden at 9 am, and at 10 am games for kids will be held, with a new group entering every half hour. Suggested donation for entry is $5 per child or $10 per family: kids must be accompanied by adults. From 10 am till 5 pm, participants can stop by the AAN Cecelia Joyce & Seward Johnson Gallery at 19 Washington Street where the Artists Association will be handing out Grab-and-Go Leaf Project Art Bags (while they last) or stop by the Maria Mitchell Association location at 33 Washington Street starting at 11 am for a Science Kit.
Lunch will be sold at the American Legion Post 82 building at 21 Washington Street from 11 am to 2 pm, with quahog fritters, chowder, burgers and hot dogs, Italian sausage, and French fries on the menu. The Nantucket Skating Club will be holding a bake sale in the American Legion.
Pet owners can register at 12 noon for NiSHA’s Dog Show at 33 Washington Street. The show starts at 1 pm on October 2. Dogs must be leashed and dogfriendly. Awards will be given for Best Trick, Waggiest Tale, Best Eyes, Most Unique Mixed Breed, Owner-Dog Look Alike, and for the dog the judges would most like to take home.
End the Fall Fair Day with the joy of laughter when you attend a free comedy performance by the kids (ages 8-13) of Nantucket Comedy Fest’s Stand Up & Learn program. The free show starts at 12:30 in the White Heron Theatre at 5 North Water Street. Following pandemic protocols, masks are required for entry.
The 17th Annual Nantucket Cranberry Festival has also been reimagined for 2021 due to COVID safety concerns. Rather than hold an event that draws a large crowd to the Milestone Cranberry Bog on one single day, the Nantucket Conservation Foundation is holding a series of events celebrating the cranberry harvest throughout the month of October.
Nantucket Conservation Foundation’s self-proclaimed “Cranberry Month” kicks off on Saturday, October 9 as part of the Sustainable Nantucket Farmer’s Market, where the first batch of the 2021 cranberry harvest will be available for sale along with NCF merchandise. Beginning the following week, NCF will offer scheduled guided tours through the Milestone Cranberry Bog for participants to learn about the history of growing cranberries on Nantucket and current cranberry operations. Check the calendar of events for dates and times. A selfguided tour on-site will also be available. For children, a number of pop-up NanPuppet shows will be held at the Cranberry Bog. School tours and farm-to-table events are also in the works: check NantucketConservation. org for additional events during Cranberry Month.
“We are disappointed to not hold the Nantucket Cranberry Festival as we all remember, but are excited for the series of events and collaborations to celebrate the cranberry harvest,” said Cormac Collier, President & CEO of the Conservation Foundation. “In the interest of the island’s most vulnerable populations, we did not feel that we could hold the traditional Cranberry Festival this year.”