Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Plymouth have a number of excellent events on the calendar each year that you won’t want to miss! The events and community make the region so special, and events are a great way to dive into the region’s culture and traditions. For the most recent information on upcoming events on Cape Cod, be sure to visit our Events Calendar. For a more in-depth look at the festivals, click on the links below of the specific events to get the full backstory.
Let’s take a look at some of the great, not-to-be-missed annual events on Cape Cod:
1. Nantucket Daffodil Festival (April 27-30, 2023)
Nothing says spring like the first bright blooms of daffodils! Every April, the Nantucket Daffodil Festival is a celebration of island spring, featuring yellow blooms, fun hats and outfits, and lots more!
The event includes a Daffodil Flower Show that exhibits unique blooms, a Car Parade and Tailgate in ‘Sconset, and lots of great activities for kids at Children’s Beach.
2. Martha’s Vineyard Film Fest (March 22-26, 2023)
he Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival usually occurs in March and includes films, special guests, art, music, workshops.The event celebrates artists, filmmakers, and stories from the Vineyard. Farm-to-table meals, live music, and free educational programs for kids.
The 23rd annual film festival will take place at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury.
3. Figawi May (May 26-29, 2023)
The Figawi weekend heralds the start of a summer sailing season for sailors! The raucous tradition features a race from Hyannis to Nantucket, a high school sailing invitational, a gala, and infamous tent parties.
The sailing race began with a playful bet and a race between friends. The group was enveloped in that notorious Nantucket fog. One group member yelled to the others, “Where the F*** are we?!” Add a Cape Cod accent, and you’ve got the sailing race’s name!
4. Brewster in Bloom ( May 5-7, 2023)
Brewster in Bloom kicks off with the Brewster Band Spring Concert on Friday, followed by the Fine Arts & Craft show in Drummer Boy Park throughout the weekend.The Cape Cod 5k Bloom Run/Walk begins at 10am, rain or shine on Saturday. The Brewster in Bloom Town Parade starts from Eddy elementary School and heads down Route 6A at 1pm on Sunday. This years theme is “Flower (Flour?) Power!”
5. Cape Cod Baseball (Opening Day June 20, 2023)
For many on the Cape, summer means baseball! The long-running Cape Cod Baseball League features star college ballplayers and is a perfect way to spend a summer evening. You won’t want to miss “Where the Stars of Tomorrow Shine Tonight!”
Check here for other June Events on Cape Cod and the Islands.
6. Provincetown Portuguese Festival and Blessing of the Fleet (June 22-25, 2023)
Each June, Provincetown celebrates its Portuguese heritage and culture and features a colorful parade, great town-wide music and food, culminating in the Blessing of the Fleet on MacMillian Wharf. The Blessing of the Fleet celebrates the Portuguese contributions to Provincetown and hopes for good fortune for fishing vessels and other boats.
7. Hydrangea Festival (July 7-16, 2023)
A celebration of summer gardens in July. Cape Cod’s Hydrangea Festival is not to be missed. The event unfolds over ten days, featuring tours of spectacular private gardens, workshops and talks, and a celebration of all things hydrangea! The funds raised from private garden tours support many great causes and organizations across the Cape.
Check here for other July Events on Cape Cod and the Islands.
8. Barnstable County Fair ( July 17-23, 2023)
The Barnstable County Fair happens each July, promising good times for all! The event includes great entertainment and musical performances, amusements and midway rides, horticultural exhibits, farm animals, all your favorite fair foods, craft vendors, and lots more!
The Barnstable County Agricultural Society runs the event. One of the great family events on Cape Cod.
9. Grand Illumination Night ( August 16, 2023)
Darkness doesn’t stand a chance on Grand Illumination Night. This iconic Martha’s Vineyard event takes place on the third Wednesday in August in Oak Bluffs. The event features thousands of Japanese lanterns around the Gingerbread Cottages as well as a community sing and band.
Check here for other August events on Cape Cod and the Islands.
10. Falmouth Road Race (August 20, 2023)
The Falmouth Road Race draws a wide crowd of runners and spectators!
The racecourse winds for seven miles on a seaside course and many runners fundraise and support nonprofit organizations.
The event takes place in late August, and in 2023 is celebrating its 51st year!
11. Wellfleet OysterFest (October 14-15, 2023)
The pristine waters of the Outer Cape produce world-class oysters, and this event celebrates those bivalves! During the pandemic this was one of the most-missed events on Cape Cod. The 2023 Wellfleet OysterFest is celebrating it’s return with fun, tasty, and educational pop ups for all to enjoy over the course of a month.
The events includes a shucking contest, vendors, food, music, and more!
12. America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Parade (November 18, 2023)
Each November, Plymouth comes alive, celebrating its fame as the home of Plymouth Colony and as “America’s Hometown.” The event takes place over three days and features “America’s only historically accurate chronological parade” beginning at Plymouth Rock.
The Thanksgiving Parade includes floats and participants showcasing notable events and people from the 17th century onwards. These have ranged from commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day to celebrating the Bicentennial of the Cultivated Cranberry!
The patriotic day is filled with family fun, music, drinks, food, and more!