Park, Partners and Placemaking–AHA! Celebrating 25 years with the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park

Nov 2, 2021

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New Bedford, MA – On Thursday, November 11th, AHA! Night honors the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park in celebration of the unique partnership between municipal, institutional, and individuals who advocated for the transformation of downtown New Bedford’s local historic district into a national park.  AHA! Night visitors can explore the art, cultural resources, historic architecture and eclectic shopping and dining experiences that now, 25 years later, inhabit the Park’s cobblestoned streets, thanks to the collective power of partnership and dedication to placemaking in this historic seaport.

AHA! Night Highlights

25th Anniversary Party!

Park Visitor Center and MakerSpace, 33 William Street  

  • 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM - Looking Back While Looking Forward  Join park staff and community partners for a conversation about the last 25 years of the National Park's story. The panel will answer questions generated from social media, as well as the audience in attendance, about the birth of the Park in downtown New Bedford and the impact on our local community.  
  • 6:30 PM - 7:00 PM - CAKE!  What's a birthday celebration without cake? Visit the Park's MakerSpace to grab a slice of cake and share your vision of our park for the next 25 years and beyond. 
  • 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM - MUSIC!  To close out the night of celebrations, we will have performances from local musicians in the MakerSpace. Come to hear a wide variety of creative songwriting and individual performances from Darnel Staley, Scott Bishop, Sarah Donner, and Candida Rose. 
  • 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM - DATMA Logo Design Challenge Exhibition Eighth grade students from Our Sisters’ School will showcase logos they created for a design challenge in partnership with DATMA and New Bedford Whaling National Historical celebrate the National Park’s 25th Anniversary. Their designs will be shown in the Park’s MakerSpace.

Opening Reception  - Introducing New National Park Tour

CVPA Star Store, 715 Purchase Street 

  • 6:45 PM The New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park will unveil a new tour focused on Spinwinder. Nancy Holt’s public sculpture on the UMass Dartmouth Main Campus. Spinwinder has artifacts embedded in its foundation that refer to local industrial and other complex histories for which New Bedford is well-known. This exhibition is part of an initiative celebrating the 30th anniversary of Spinwinder, including an homage to Samuel Holt, faculty member at the New Bedford Textile School and Nancy Holt’s grandfather.

An Evening of Discovery – 5-9 PM

Downtown New Bedford  New Bedford’s vibrant, creative community is making arts and culture accessible to all on November 11th when Community Partners come together to create a festive, inspiring experience for you. Events for all ages and interests! 

Calendar and Program Guide is online at

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Event Date: 

Thursday, November 11, 2021 - 5:00pm to 9:00pm

Event Location: 

Downtown New Bedford

Contact Name: 

Lee Heald

Contact phone: 

(508) 996-8253 x205