City Sidewalks A Free + Festive Night in Downtown New Bedford, Thursday, December 9

Nov 29, 2021

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AHA! (Art, History, Architecture) is a free cultural showcase of New Bedford’s creative community, making arts, culture, and creative expression accessible to all. Over 60 community partners come together every second Thursday night to present a festive and fun adventure for all ages.  This month it’s all about festive “City Sidewalks,” and the shops, artists, and restaurants that bring them to life. For a complete listing of events, visit  AHA! events are free on Thursday, December 9th, and listed in chronological order.

New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, 33 William Street, 10:00am-4:00pm

Celebrating their 25th anniversary, the Visitor Center welcomes you to experience the heritage of the world's preeminent whaling port during the nineteenth century.

New Bedford Art Museum/Artworks!, 608 Pleasant Street, 10:00am-8:00pm

Highlighting the best local and regional artists, explore the annual Members’ Exhibition, with works selected by guest juror Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the Norman Rockwell Museum. 

New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center, 38 Bethel Street, 10:00am-8:00pm

Salty Santa will make an appearance starting at 6pm during this holiday open house celebrating the fishing culture of New Bedford. Evening activities include ornament making and a 10% discount at the Gift Shop.

TL6 The Gallery, 100 William Street, 12:00-8:00pm

This one-of-a-kind shop offers custom affordable art and unique gifts by over 20 local artists -- come see their holiday additions including vegan soaps by Miriam’s Wellspring. 

Judith Klein Gallery, 127 West Rodney French Blvd, 4:00-8:00pm

Celebrating their 13th Anniversary, AHA! Night features two artists, Laurie Steger’s fiber art and Marita Torbick’s sculptures located on the second floor of Kilburn Mill at Clarks Cove.

Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum, 396 County Street, 4:00-6:00pm

It’s “Christmas on County Street,” where you can drop in to see the decked halls of the historic mansion and hear from docents about the holiday customs held by the former famous residents of the house.

Selfies with Santa, 128 Union Street, 5:00-7:00pm 

The Family Resource & Development Center of the United Way of Greater New Bedford will host “Selfies with Santa” in the lobby of the DeMello International Center. 

SouthCoast Brass Band, Strolling throughout downtown, 5:00-7:00pm

New Bedford JazzFest presents the joyous and soulful brass band dedicated to the traditions of jazz and funk that radiate from New Orleans.

Stage Artistry Studios, Strolling throughout downtown, 5:00-7:00pm 

Young aspiring artists will perform short theater pieces, including a silly “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” as well as singing holiday carols throughout downtown.

The Oxcart from Oxford Creamery, Custom House Square, 5:00-7:00pm 

Oxford Creamery’s food truck, the Oxcart, will be serving hot chocolate and cookies near Custom House Square fountain courtesy of First Citizens Federal Credit Union.

Gallery X, 169 William Street, 5:00-9:00pm

Come celebrate over 30 years of showcasing contemporary art in New Bedford with the “32nd Gallery XMAS Show,” featuring local artists of all backgrounds. Singer-songwriter Molly O'Leary will perform selections from their first studio album “Holding Space” from 7-9pm.

Alison Wells Fine Art Gallery & Studio, 116 William Street, 5:30-7:30pm

Shop local art while listening to the AHA! concert by Montage Bleu, a dynamic acoustic duo with multi-instrumentalists Annette Almeida & Kim Mitchell. 

Nathan & Polly Johnson House, 21 7th Street, 6:00-7:00pm

Come for an AHA! holiday tour of this national historic landmark and Underground Railroad site that sheltered many freedom seekers during the anti-slavery period. Decorated in Victorian finery, learn about the history of the remarkable visitors who spent their first “Christmas in Freedom” here.

New Bedford Whaling Museum, Virtual Presentation

Online via Zoom registration, 6:00-7:00pm

Hear about New Bedford’s changing cityscape in the 20th century with Curator of Maritime History, Michael P. Dyer, and a panel of local historians, who will provide first-hand accounts of a dynamic period from the 1930s-1970s.

UMass Dartmouth CVPA Star Store, 715 Purchase Street, 6:00-8:00pm

“Nancy Holt: Massachusetts” explores Nancy Holt’s family history in New Bedford, where her grandfather Samuel Holt was a faculty member at the New Bedford Textile School and her Aunt Ethel lived on Locust Street. 

Afro-Algonquin Ensemble , 71 8th Street, 6:30-8:00pm

The First Unitarian Church presents internationally renowned Lee Mixashawn Rozie, Native American and First Nations jazz saxophone and flutist, with bassist Wes Brown and percussionist Royal Hartigan.

SouthCoast Children’s Chorus, 33 William Street, 6:45-7:15pm

The young singers in grades 1-12 sing joyful holiday songs outside at the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park’s garden.

Co-Creative Center, 137 Union Street, 7:00-8:30pm

New Bedford native and acclaimed singer-songwriter Sarah Donner performs songs from “She Makes Waves,” a collection of songs about gritty women, corsets, whalers, and queer folks who made the world better a better place. With support from the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the first 50 people in attendance will receive a free vinyl copy.

Calendar and Program Guide is online at

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Event Date: 

Thursday, December 9, 2021 - 10:00am to 8:00pm

Event Location: 

Downtown New Bedford

Contact Name: 

Lee Heald