Nantucket Events

Maritime Festival – Celebrating Life on an Island

maritime-race Appreciating the sea around us and all it gives to Nantucket is part of living on our island. This marks the third year in a row that the Egan Maritime Institute has invited all islanders to enjoy a full day of activities dedicated to celebrating the best parts of island and maritime life. The 2013 Nantucket Maritime Festival will take place on Saturday, September 21, from 10 am to 4 pm at Children’s Beach & at Brant Point.

maritime-science The day will be packed with free fun that the whole family can enjoy on the water, at the beach, and on the grass by the bandstand. Some of the biggest hits from the festival’s prior two years will return, from the crowd-pleasing oyster-shucking contest at 3 pm to the interactive children’s musician performances going on throughout the day. Youngsters are invited to see and touch maritime critters at the Maria Mitchell Association Aquarium’s Touch Tank.

maritime-shucking Accompanying these classics will be newcomers such as a station for making sailors’ valentines and one for face painting. Also for the crafty islanders among us, instructors from the Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum will be on hand to demonstrate the island’s time-honored basket weaving technique.  There will be a table for making fish prints and one for making origami whales.  Festival goers can also look forward to paying homage to Nantucket’s heritage through harpoon throwing, scrimshaw and quarterboard carving, net making, knot tying, and more maritime pastimes.

maritime-benz maritime-coastguard A particularly exciting element of the day is the Build-Your-Own-Boat race, when Nantucket High School’s sailing team members will show off the skills they’ve been honing. Shearwater Excursions will be offering their famous harbor Tours for free throughout the day, so boat lovers definitely want to hop on board for that (make sure you sign up early for this activity because space on the Shearwater is limited).  If you prefer to enjoy the water while still standing on solid ground, you can take a tour of the Brant Point Coast Guard Station and of the Shellfish Propagation Lab. There really is something for everyone at the Maritime Festival!

Throughout the day, shuttle transportation will be provided between Children’s Beach and Brant Point. In case of weather beyond light showers, the event will be rescheduled for the following day, Sunday, September 22. So bring your enthusiasm and bring your kids. Maritime Festival is a great way to spend a lovely fall day on Nantucket! For additional details and late updates, visit

Articles by Date from 2012