Fall Festivals in Ptown (and beyond)


It is no longer high season here in Ptown but that just means there are fewer tourists.  That does NOT mean there is less to do.  The September and October calendars are chock-a-block full with all kinds of festivals, special events, and more.  Check out the Ptown Chamber of Commerce’s Events Calendar or Ptown.org to see what’s happening.  Here are a few events that I am looking forward to this fall:


11th Annual Ptown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

September 22 – 25

This festival honors Tennessee Williams by presenting his classic and undiscovered plays, the work of his peers, and new work inspired by Williams’ creative vision worldwide.  In the 1940s, Williams spent summers in Ptown, writing prodigiously while here.  The work he did included ‘The Glass Menagerie’ and ‘A Streetcar Named Desire.’  This year, the Ptown TW Fest is juxtaposing Williams with another famous Ptown visitor from a generation earlier, Eugene O’Neill.  Works by both playwrights will be presented.  For more info, visit twptown.org.


Monumental Yard Sale

October 7-10

The yard sale to end all yard sales, stretching up and down Commercial Street and at residences throughout the town. Who knows what treasures are awaiting discovery!  For more info, visit Ptown.org.


Wellfleet Oyster Fest

October 15-16

If you have never been to OysterFest, you should go.  It’s a scene.  This annual celebration is a great way to enjoy the town’s famous shellfish.  The Main Street comes alive with food, art, music, games, and more for this two-day family festival that brings together locals and visitors.  For more info, visit wellfleetspat.org.


Fantasia Fair

October 16 – 23

Fantasia Fair is a weeklong transgender event held every October here in Ptown.  Part conference, part social gathering, the Fair is a “full immersion” experience, meaning that attendees can and usually do spend an entire week 24/7 presenting their gender as they wish.  Running each year since 1975, Fantasia Fair attracts people from the entire spectrum of the transgender community.  Individuals can attend workshops, seminars, banquets, special events and shows. There’s nothing else like it.  For more info, visit FantasiaFair.org.


Dead Silence: The Disease Of Astonishment

October 8 – 31

I can’t wait to check out producer David Flower’s newest immersive haunted horror attraction.  It takes place here in Ptown and combines a little bit of theater, special effects, and haunted mazes, all within the framework of a story.  It’s about 30 minutes long and proceeds from ticket sales benefit the Friends and Supporters of the Provincetown Public Library.  For more info, visit deadsilence-terror.com.  Yeah, pretty much that domain name says it all!








Why You Need To See Pilgrim Monument


Pilgrim Monument.  Over the past 100 years, it has become one of the classic symbols of Ptown.  Yes, it is completely touristy—arguably THE most touristy thing you can do on a visit to Provincetown.  But you’ve just got to do it.  Building tall things just so we can climb up and catch a great view seems to be an inherently human thing to do.  There’s something magical about getting up off the ground for a little bit.

Built between 1907 and 1910 to commemorate the Pilgrims’ first landing in Ptown, the castle-like tower stands 252 feet high—which by Cape Cod standards of elevation (or lack thereof) is gargantuan.  It is also the tallest all-granite structure in the U.S.  This time of year is ideal for a visit.  The weather has cooled down just a bit, making the trek up the 116 steps a slightly less sweaty endeavor.  The climb isn’t bad.  I’ve done it (carrying a toddler) with my 70-year-old mom walking right alongside.  In our experience, people of all ages can handle it.  It’s about 10 minutes up and just as you are feeling like it’s time to stop, it is.

Plus, the payoff is huge!  You get your daily exercise.  You can feel like you accomplished something (you did!).  AND from the top, you can take in a breathtaking 360-degree view. On a clear day, you can see the entire ‘hook’ of Cape Cod, Plymouth, the South Shore, all the way up to Boston in one direction and straight out onto the Ptown dunes, the Cape Cod National Seashore, and the vast Atlantic Ocean in another. Of course, you can also peek down at all of Ptown bustling below you.

Located at the base of the monument, the Provincetown Museum is also worth a stop.  The Museum is a hodge podge of eccentricities, most of which have at least a tangential connection to the town and its history.  The giant polar bear (yes, it’s real!) is my personal fav, followed closely by the antique fire wagon and the furniture painted by Ptown folk artist, Peter Hunt.  I’m also a bit of a history nerd—or at least someone who dreams of living in the 19th century–so I think the recreation of a Captain’s Quarters aboard a whaleship is pretty cool too.

If you go, choose a clear day and bring a hat and a camera.  The Monument is open seasonally, April – November 30.  For more information, go to www.pilgrim-monument.org.