Christmas Wishes to Press On Despite Tragic Loss

Christmas Wishes, a Middleboro area charity, mourns the loss of Louise Cowan, a key leader in the non-profit organization for over 20 years. Louise, who passed quietly on Sunday, October 20th, was the face of Christmas Wishes and personally arranged for thousands of gift donations to local, needy families during her years of service. Every year hundreds of families apply for assistance through the charity. Volunteers pick the name of a child and buy an item on their wish list.

Louise was dedicated to the non-profit’s mission of providing Christmas gifts to local children whose families could not otherwise afford them. Though her memory will live on in the work the charity continues to accomplish , her loss is a true tragedy to the organization and the surrounding community. It is during this time of sadness that we recall and honor the true spirit of Christmas as a moment when we may come together and share in the responsibility for one another.

In her inspiring devotion to the community, Louise exemplified the kind of selflessness necessary to volunteer one’s time and money to such an important cause. In light of her passing we hope that her altruistic ways live on to incite a passion for giving this holiday season.

It is in this vein that we call you to join us in celebrating the life of Louise this December by taking the initiative to collect food, clothes, and purchase gifts for our neighbors in need. In doing this we will be fulfilling Louise’s lasting Christmas wish: to bring warmth into the lives of others by easing their burdens and eliciting the kind of joy that may only be captured in the exuberant innocence of a child on Christmas morning.

If you would like to make a donation in memoriam of Louise Cowan, or apply for assistance please contact Christmas Wishes at:
PO Box 406
Middleboro, MA 02346
1-508-947-3579

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AHA! Night- Emphasizes the “HA”

By: Chelsea Taylor

New Bedford’s AHA! (Art, History, & Architecture) Night will emphasize the “HA” this Thursday, October 10th. A monthly event promoting local culture and artists since 1999, AHA! Night hosts yet another night of family friendly fun, and this month’s theme is “Walkabouts.” Walkabouts will take you on a journey of historic proportions, highlighting the architecture, cobblestone roads, and alleyways that give downtown its quaint charm.

Walkabouts will show you a side(walk) of New Bedford you’ve never seen before, complete with an expert tour guide. Walking tours downtown begin at 6 pm at the National Visitor’s Center, located at 33 William Street. For those who would rather walk about on their own, maps and programs are available at all participating locations.

A note to first time AHA-ers:

Some of you may be wondering what to bring to such an occasion, and to you we say, “Lace up and show up!” Your wallet will only weigh you down. Feel free to leave it at home because every AHA! Night is free.

How do you get there? Parking is located at Custom House Square or Elm Street Garage, with free on-street parking after 6pm. Public transportation is also available via the Elm Street SRTA bus station.

Not into walkabouts? With many local businesses including museums, boutiques, galleries, and eateries contributing to AHA! Night’s monthly events, you’ll surely find something worth the stroll.

Can’t make it? Luckily AHA! Night occurs on the 2nd Thursday of every month with a different theme each time!

Click here for more information! AHA! Nights

 

 

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Five South Coast Picnic Areas!

It’s slowing getting close to the end of summer. Before we know it the leaves will begin to change colors, pools will be closed, and beaches will be deserted. But don’t worry, there are still many chances to spend quality time with the kids before they are off to school. What could be better than spending a weekend going out for a relaxing picnic? Why not take a few days off from worrying about back to school outfits or supplies to simply enjoy the completely undisturbed time you have left as a family?

The South Coast has many areas that are perfect for picnicking with its beautiful beaches and green scenery. Picnics are a perfect opportunity to communicate and build stronger bonds together with not only the kids, but also siblings, or that aunt you haven’t seen in a while. Invite the entire family! All generations included! Here are my top five choices for the best places to picnic:

Buttonwood Park

Buttonwood Park is located right in between New Bedford and Dartmouth, making it a great spot to access a bunch of restaurants, retail stores, and other attractions. If you plan on continuing the day after your picnic, only five minutes away is the North Dartmouth Mall filled with stores with something for everyone. The park is the perfect place for a picnic with the kids to ride the swings, seesaws, and jungle gyms that are surrounded by trees, ponds, and all around greenery. It is home to many ducks and geese who like to wander around the park and say hello to visitors. There are two opened fields mostly used for baseball, soccer or football that would be a perfect for playing catch with the kids; or just relax and gaze up at the sky. Feel free to bring along the family pet, since Buttonwood is well known for its trails and walking areas. Buttonwood Park is also home to the Buttonwood Park Zoo, an absolutely perfect place to bring the kids after a full stomach! See the biggest attractions (in every sense of the word), two Asian Elephants named Emily and Ruth. Give a special hello to Ruth, who is over 50 years old!

Fort Phoenix Beach State Reservation

Another great choice for a picnic is Fort Phoenix. It is an adventurous beach area with rocks and hills to climb and is filled with great American history. Fort Phoenix is located right on the corner of Fairhaven, surrounded by beautiful houses and peaceful neighborhoods. The Fort has many grassy areas to sit down and eat and benches if you don’t want to get dirty. There are also tennis courts if the family is up for a game of casual sports. The park is the perfect place to fly a kite with its breezy winds and calming tides. Of course, Fort Phoenix is also a beach, so feel free to walk down the shoreline with your family or set up a nice beach picnic on the sand. When you’re done eating, be sure to take a walk around the shore. Fort Phoenix, from my experience, is also a perfect place to find sea glass and start a new hobby of collecting beach treasures! You can’t forget about the cliff walk- a beautiful short trail to our local hurricane barrier! Just around the corner are two great breakfast shops; Pumpernickels and Margaret’s, if you head out early enough. The Fairhaven City Hall and Library is on site if you feel like taking a quick tour to get familiar with Fairhaven history.

Demarest Lloyd State Park

Located in Dartmouth, Demarest Lloyd State Park has many grassy picnic areas that are waiting to be used! It is a perfect area for children since the Buzzards Bay surf is calm and shallow. You will see intricate wildlife birds such as; herons, egrets and terns. Parking hours are between 10am to 6pm on weekdays, and 8am to 6pm on weekends and holidays. There are a few rules to keep in mind; no pets, kite surfing, skim boards, boogie boards or any other flotation devices are allowed on the beach. But, the park has many other recreational opportunities like kayaking and fishing. There are also great walking trails to check out with the family after a satisfying lunch. If you stay the entire day, don’t forget take pictures of the breathtaking sunset view!

Freetown-Fall River State Forest

Another great picnic area only fifteen minutes away from New Bedford is the Freetown-Fall River State Forest. Covering over 5,000 acres of land between Fall River and Assonet, this forest land is the perfect family fun spot for an adventurous day full of activities. Picnic areas are conventionally located right near the main entrance, fully equipped with playing fields and restrooms. There is also a wading pool that is perfect if you have small children since it’s not too deep and completely fenced in so parents can breathe easily while the children enjoy the refreshing water. If you are feeling adventurous then be sure to check out the trails. You may want to bring some hiking gear, bikes, or an off- road vehicle, since the forest has more than 50 miles of unpaved roads. Don’t forget to also check out the beautiful and historical areas- like Profile Rock!

Fort Taber Park

Another great historical site that is perfect for picnicking is Fort Taber, located at Clark’s Point in New Bedford. It is a great park that is surrounded by the harbor and Buzzards Bay. Fort Taber has open fields perfect for a nice grassy picnic with a playground for the kids. The pier is another perfect spot for fishing or taking a nice stroll along the water! The park has a bike trail, cafe, and a museum with free admission if you or the kids become restless and would like to learn more about American history. A visitor’s pass is needed for parking and costs $1 per vehicle for New Bedford residents and $15 per vehicle for non-residents. The Fort is open every day from dawn till dusk and hosts many events including; the Civil War reenactment and dedication ceremonies.

Well there you go, folks! Five great spots all guaranteed to create a perfect family experience filled with laughter and joy. Now get that basket and blanket and start making the egg salad! Don’t forget to check in with the New Bedford Travel Guide for more family fun spots to take the kids while summer is still here!

By: Corinne Pavao

 

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An Osprey Sea Kayak Adventure

By: Angela Boffi

Summer takes its sweet time arriving then flies by like an outbound commuter rail train. Though I had been anxiously anticipating its arrival, when it finally showed up, I was not ready. Consequently, I spent the first two weeks of the season fussing over the lawn, the garden, and my wardrobe. When I looked up from my chore list, it was already July 4th. Fearing summer’s magic might pass me by, I reserved a tandem kayak from Osprey Sea Kayak Adventures in Westport.

Osprey is located at the head of the Westport River. It has an almost Oz-like quality with its lawn landscaped in multicolor kayaks tucked amidst homes dressed in the soft grey of weathered cedar.

For $45, my wife and I were given temporary custody of a tandem kayak in royal blue, two paddles, life jackets, basic instruction, and as a bonus, some sage reminders that I would apply the rest of the summer. “Relax. It’s not a race,” co-owner Sam Ladd told us, and we happily followed our trainer down to the river.

My wife has never kayaked. The first and last time I launched a kayak resulted in a long swim with my sister as we dragged our vessel back to shore. We spared our instructor the details and simply explained that we were novices. She gave our nautical naiveté a positive spin concluding that we were, in fact, “both equally experienced”. We were taught to hold the oars long side up and to paddle on the right in order to turn left. Then she added the most important part. If we paddled with our arm muscles rather than our core strength, we would get tired very quickly.

We were given a push off the shore and immediately began to swerve erratically. We eventually got the hang of it, sort of. We glided along the silky water and felt like we were on the adventure Osprey promised. Swaying reeds flanked the river, barn swallows flew overhead, and pairs of effervescent blue dragon flies danced over the bow. Navigating the course was satisfying, but the true reward came when we stopped moving. It was only when we were at rest could we truly appreciate the stillness of the river, the gentleness of the warm breeze, and the silence in the air.

Our reverie was broken when a fleet of kayaks resembling the Spanish Armada appeared suddenly from around the bend. We tried to act cool, but our clanking paddles going in opposite directions, disagreement as to exactly how to turn away from the oncoming traffic, and the river weeds scooped from the water and flung over head with each stroke may have given us away. Having had our fill of adventure, we headed back to shore.

As we arrived back at our starting point, we were met by and entourage of Osprey staff. One young man dragged our kayak in, another took our paddles, and our instructor retrieved our life jackets, inquiring whether we had a good trip. It was very good, it was an adventure, and it catapulted us into summer.

As we were reminded on the river, summer is best when we remember to relax, put a positive spin on things, move forward from our core, and take time to be still. If you visit Osprey Sea Kayak Adventures, I also recommend that you lather on the suntan lotion, bring a giant water bottle, and consider a towel for your car seat to protect it from your sopping shorts on the way home.

Osprey Sea Kayak Adventures offers multi-level group and private instruction, sunset, moonlight, and dinner tours, kayak and stand up paddle board (SUP) rentals as well as equipment for purchase. Visit them at ospreyseakayak.com.

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2013-2014 Print Guide Cover Photo Contest FINALISTS!!!

We know how excited you are to hear the winners of our 2013-2014 New Bedford Travel Guide Cover Photo Contest! We have to admit, it was hard work choosing from so much amazing talent! We are honored to have had the opportunity to view so many beautiful shots of New Bedford and the South Coast. Each photo submission has its own timeless character that truly captures the heart of the South Coast!

So, we decided to give more of a chance to our photo contestants and publish a few more photo submissions throughout our Print Guide! Click on the winners and check out which photo is a “Winning Cover and/or Inside Guide Book Photo!”

ARE YOU READY FOR THE NEXT STEP?

Looks like you still have to stay tuned! We will be releasing the final winning cover photo feature sizes and placement details with a sneak peek image of our 2013-2014 NBTG Print Guide Cover!

Thank you to everyone who submitted photos! We KNOW you have been very patiently waiting for the results! Congrats to all of our finalists! Please feel free to comment and share the talent for all to view a piece of the South Coast!

Think you can guess which cover photos will replace those from our 2012 cover?

 

 

 

Photos from David H Peck

WINNER! Photo 2 – from John J Capitao

WINNER! Photos 1,3- from Nathan Sears

WINNER- Photos 6, 9,12, 13 from Victor Simas

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