ust when you felt it safe to stow away those costumes from Provincetown’s famous Carnival, in rushes an event-filled “Second Summer” in America’s First Destination. Locals and loyal visitors alike will tell you Ptown might be one of the nation’s best-kept secrets during September and October, when “Townies” say the best weather shines on the tip of the Cape. The warm sun mixes with brisk ocean breezes, and stunning sunsets descend slowly into the sea.
While most vacation destinations are shuttering their windows and packing away the patio furniture, Ptown’s quaint shops, charming restaurants and renowned art galleries open their doors to the sidewalks, and the award-winning beaches remain a picturesque spot for fun and relaxation or contemplation.
Second Summer also means lodging rates are a bargain, hosting a fall bloom in this town with something for everyone. Come to Ptown and mingle with international visitors who crowd the streets seeking a blend of scenic views, great cuisine and authentic culture. Experience unique adventures and special events in the place Travel and Leisure called one of “America’s Quirkiest Towns.”
The slate of fall activities begins Sept. 7-10 with The Great Provincetown Schooner Regatta, a four-day sailing event that brings the sailors to town and makes for an entertaining, edifying spectacle both on and off the water. Most of all, this event is a fitting tribute to the role that seafaring folk have played in Provincetown’s past and in the nation’s history. And only in America’s oldest continuous art colony can artists jump aboard a Whale Watch Boat for Castle Hill’s “Paints the Race,” where artists can do just that from a great view on the water.
Next up is the Provincetown Harbor Swim for Life and Paddler Flotilla, Sept. 12, a benefit for AIDS, Women’s Health and the Provincetown community. Swim for Life is considered one of the town’s quintessential traditions, along with an unrivaled concert at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting Hall (UU), where local stars from town entertainment venues stage a talent show unlike any other as a celebration of life and a great weekend.
The Afterglow Festival begins Sept. 14 and offers up an entire week of performance art by emerging as well as renowned artists. Following the festival, the National Gay Pilots Association lands in town for the Cape Cod Classic, making the weekend of Sept. 18-20 time for a getaway to take advantage of the season. The same weekend is the 10th Annual Kate Clinton Classic Women’s Flag Football Tournament, in which national & international women’s teams compete in 8-on-8, semi-contact flag football. It’s definitely a sight to behold!
On Sept. 19, the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM) hosts its Annual Consignment Auction, featuring rare and special works by deceased Provincetown and outer Cape Cod artists. Come put in your bid at this exciting and free live event!
The busy weekend of Sept. 25-27 is full of benefits, dances and other fun events, including the Carrie A. Seaman Animal Shelter (CASAS) sponsored Pet Appreciation Weekend, which provides fun ways to show appreciation for our animal friends, while also raising money for the CASAS shelter that aids animals without a home. Blooming for fall also is the Provincetown Dahlia Show, a free event designed to give the public an opportunity to marvel at some of the most beautiful local flowers on the Cape, grown with love and care by local gardeners with an affinity for the particular flower.
Celebrate works of an all-time great at the acclaimed Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, Sept. 24-27. The festival is now in its 10th year and continues to wow attendees with its creative takes on the work of one of America’s most beloved playwrights. The 10th anniversary celebration features a collection of landmark productions and brand new plays that honor the Festival’s past and a world premiere that paves the way for the Williams of tomorrow.
Polish up your gear and leather as October belongs in large part to LGBTQA events, kicking off with Mates Leather Weekend, Oct. 1-4, a series of leather/fetish community events and music with a portion of proceeds benefitting the AIDS support group. Columbus Day Weekend follows, Oct. 9-12, reinvigorating Ptown’s party side leading into the 31st Annual Women’s Week, Oct. 12-18, and Fantasia Fair, Oct. 18-25, a weeklong celebration of gender diversity and the longest-running annual event in the transgender world with show-stopping entertainment, workshops and more.
Show your support at PAAM’s 10th Annual Benefit Gala, Oct. 10, its largest fundraising event of the year. An elegant benefit for PAAM’s curatorial projects, celebrate PAAM in style with a catered dinner, and help PAAM honor artists and supporters for their work and dedication.
Oct. 9-12, residents and businesses of Provincetown throw open their doors and throw out the loot for the Fall Monumental Yard Sale Weekend! If you are looking to add something eclectic or antique to your personal collection at an affordable price, head out to this a one-of-a-kind, town-wide yard sale, fit for everyone from antique enthusiasts to bargain hunters. But, come early for the best treasures.
To put an exclamation point on a successful Second Summer, Ptown goes full-throttle for Halloween. Experience the eclectic schedule of spooky, sexy parties, street entertainment and events fit for every kind of angel, demon and daddy, including Spooky Bear Weekend, a burly event that’s devilishly fun. Simply put, if you haven’t been to Halloween in Ptown, you haven’t been to Halloween!
For a schedule of events during Second Summer and all year long, visit ptowntourism.com/events.