By all accounts, the Working Waterfront Festival is a resounding success. The event has truly transformed the working waterfront and touched many of those whose lives are connected to it, raising awareness, increasing respect for and restoring a sense of pride in the commercial fishing industry and culture. What follows are a few of the comments collected from Working Waterfront Festival participants and visitors:


“The National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) believes that the Working Waterfront Festival is one of the most significant new traditional arts/culture festivals in the nation.”
— Julia Olin, Executive Director, NCTA


“People up and down the coast are still talking about this festival. This is the most positive event that has happened for the fishing industry in years, even the non-believers now believe in the Working Waterfront Festival.”
— Rodney Avila, boat owner and retired fisherman


“I loved the Working Waterfront Festival, I simply loved it. I felt it was an extraordinary tribute to a vital, living industry in a city which has been primarily recognized for the richness of its past. At the same time, the Festival managed to bring the past forward-the history of New Bedford and the history of commercial fishing-in creative and inspired ways that helped to illuminate the culture of the working waterfront and to underline the successes of the commercial fishing industry and the challenges it faces. In short, the weaving of narrative and work, art and folklore, history and song, created a powerful and fully integrated whole that celebrated commercial fishing and the older traditions that it is carrying forward, as well as the newer traditions it is creating for the future.”
— Dawn Tripp, author


An Award-Winning Festival!

National Geographic

In September of 2011, the Working Waterfront Festival was named one of the world’s “Top 20 Travel Events” by National Geographic Traveler Magazine

ABA Top 100 of 2007The American Bus Association has selected the Festival as a 2007 Top 100 Event in North America! The Festival is only one of three events in Massachusetts selected for this award.

The Festival was also awarded the 2006 Spirit of Commerce and Industry Award by the Southeastern Massachusetts Convention & Visitor’s Bureau.

The Working Waterfront Festival was one of 12 projects statewide to be recognized by the Massachusetts Cultural Council with a Gold Star Award. The project was nominated for the award by the Dartmouth Cultural Council.