September Festivals: Come Celebrate Cape Cod

Volunteers serve up the signature fried scallops at the annual Scallop Fest in Falmouth. Cape Cod Canal Region Chamber of Commerce photo.

September signals the end of summer. It is the traditional transition month from bathing suits and flip flops to long sleeves. Although summer is ending, the fun still continues on Cape Cod where we say goodbye to summer with a month-long celebration.

There is always something fun happening on Cape Cod and festivals are planned all throughout the year. But September is without doubt the festival month on Cape Cod.

During the month you can celebrate individual towns, nature, pets, music, film and Cape Cod cuisine. 

Cape Cod's delicious seafood makes for the one of the best and most popular festivals in September--the annual Scallop Fest in Falmouth. 

Now in its 47th year, the Scallop Fest is three days of mouthwatering food, talented crafters and incredible live music. There is also plenty of fun for kids making it a wonderful activity for families.

This year, the festival will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 23, 24 & 25 at the Cape Cod Fairgrounds in Falmouth. The gates open each day at 11 a.m. 

The Cape Cod Canal Regional Chamber of Commerce sponsors the event. Marie Oliva, president and CEO of the chamber, has been involved in the Scallop Fest for 18 years--she's even served up the scallops that make the festival so famous!

Oliva loves being a part of the festival as much as she loves attending the festival. "It's an experience, a memory," she said. 

Over its nearly 50 years, the Scallop Fest has drawn hundreds of thousands and has been named a Top 100 Event in North America by the American Bus Association for six consecutive years. More than 500 volunteers work to make the festival a reality each year.

Locals and visitors return each year for the signature fried scallop and chicken plates, the live music and fun. 

This year, visitors will see some changes and new additions. "I can't wait to see all the changes we have made get implemented," said Oliva. "There's a new village-style layout, new children's activities, new car shows, new corn hole tournaments and improved entertainment."

Musical favorites including Dan Clark, the Singing Trooper, and Entrain will return. They will be joined by the Michele Rockwell Band, the Dave Macklin Band and Grace Morrison to name a few. Ashley Jordan will perform Saturday, as will The Voice Top 5 Finalist (Season 6) Kristen Merlin. Cash is King will perform on Sunday. This year's talented roster could earn the 47th Scallop Fest music festival status too.

Oliva will of course, enjoy a plate of scallops, but she'll be headed to the raw bar too. "I love the sights and sounds of people having fun and enjoying themselves," she said. "I love to hear Entrain every year, since I dance to the music!"

In addition to scallops and chicken, festival-goers will feast on lobster rolls, chowder, burgers, hot dogs, sausage, kettle corn, cider donuts, strawberry shortcake, ice cream, wine, beer and more.

Admission is $7, $2 for children 6-12 and free for children 5 and under. Combo admission/meal tickets are available. Meal tickets may also be purchased separately inside the festival. Parking is free.  Proceeds from the Scallop Fest benefit the chamber's scholarship programs, three local food pantries and the operation of information centers.

The Scallop Fest is held at Cape Cod Fairgrounds at 1220 Nathan Ellis Highway in East Falmouth.

In addition to the Scallop Fest, consider one of these other fine festivals for your September 2016 calendar...

September 9-11

Eastham Windmill Weekend - This year the 39th annual Eastham Windmill Weekend--"Bayshore to Seashore"--will be held Friday, September 9 through Sunday, September 11. This traditional festival is a community favorite. Most activities and events occur at the Eastham Windmill Green on Route 6, although several events are held at the Orleans-Eastham Elks Lodge in town.

Activities include a classic car show, a sand art competition, craft fair, great food and live entertainment. The highlight of the weekend is the annual Windmill Weekend Parade which steps off at Arnold's on Route 6 at 1 p.m. on Sunday, September 11. 

September 16-18

Truro Treasures Weekend - This down home celebration, now in its 25th year, takes place Friday, September 16 through Sunday, September 18. The theme for this year's quarter century celebration is "Lighthouse Revisited".Here you'll find all the community favorites including a pancake breakfast, arts & craft show, silent auction, car show, 5K run/walk, an adult treasure hunt, a dog show, fun for kids and much more. 

A toe-tapping Grape Stomp & Jazz Festival marks the end of this fun three days. This signature event is held from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Truro Vineyards of Cape Cod on Shore Road. 

Celebrate Our Waters Festival - The 7th annual Celebrate Our Waters Festival highlights the natural beauty of the saltwater estuaries and freshwater ponds and lakes in Orleans. The event is sponsored by the Orleans Pond Coalition, an organization charged with protecting the town's waterways. There will be 50 free, water-related events for adults and families in and around the Orleans area. 

September 17 & 18

Harwich Cranberry Arts & Music Festival - This 40th annual celebration features the works of talented artisans and musicians. The craft fair is on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The annual CranJam music festival is on Saturday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. The CranJam features a lineup for local talent including Sarah Swain & the Oh Boys, Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys, Jah Spirit and Entrain. This year's CranJam also features NY-import Donna the Buffalo.

All events take place at Brooks Park in Harwich Center at the corner of Oak and Main Streets. Admission and parking are free. In addition to crafts and great music, there will be a dance floor and food, beer and wine for sale. CranJam is presented by WOMR 92.1/WFMR 91.3. 

September 23-25

Pet Appreciation Weekend - The 17th annual Pet Appreciation Weekend draws pet lovers from near and far to Provincetown. Humans and their furry friends are invited to participate in a weekend of fun including a feline photo contest, canine games, a pet parade, blessing of the animals and much more. 

The event is sponsored by the Carrie A. Seaman Animal Shelter (CASAS).

Other notable September festivals

About the Author

The CapeCodTravel staff aims to bring you the best of Cape Cod including tips from hospitality experts about the best places to eat, the best places to stay and how to make the most of your Cape Cod vacation.