HARWICH — There is no better time to be in town than Harwich Cranberry Festival weekend, with the usually warm days and hints of fall in the evening, the red berries igniting the bogs and the festivities flowing like a perigean spring tide.
This weekend is the most energetic of the year in town, with the Harwich Cranberry Arts and Music Festival hosting two days of great music and large crowds of people at the rear of the community center on Oak Street for a juried arts and crafts fair featuring 150 local and regional artisans and crafts people, a food court featuring a variety of food trucks and a picnic area and beer and wine garden. There will also be a dozen booths for community-based organizations. The craft fair will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Under the tent, the CranJam Music Festival will provide two days of music from a collection of talented local and national bands, and it's all free, including parking. The music runs from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Bands include Los Texmaniacs, 2010 Grammy winners for the Tejano Album of the Year for “Borders Bailies, along with Donna The Buffalo and Entrain, which rocked the tent over the past couple of years, all playing on Saturday. Donna The Buffalo has been playing together for 25 years with roots in old-time fiddle music infused with elements of Cajun, rock, folk, reggae and country. The band is described as “distinctive, groove-heavy and danceable.”
The Martha's Vineyard based band Entrain is all about drums and infectious rhythms. The band moves effortlessly from rock, blues, calypso and ska to zydeco, jazz and funk, often within the same song. They are winners of the Boston Music Award for Best Live Act and have recorded eight albums.
Chandler Travis has been called the king of Cape Cod rockers and will appear with The Chandler Travis Three-O band on Saturday, featuring local trumpet player (and Harwich resident) Kami Lyle.
The music festival this year has been extended to two days, and on Sunday will feature two of the Cape's most important bands, festival music director Bob Weiser said, Monica Rizzio Band and Bruce McClean (aka Linc Montana) with the Cyclones.
On Saturday the chamber of commerce's Fall Business Expo will take place in the community center gymnasium. The event will feature Harwich goods and services. That morning national motivational speaker and comedian Kathleen Ronald will speak at a meet and greet on “Clutternomics.”
But the excitement really begins shortly after dark on Saturday night with the chamber of commerce-sponsored fireworks. Executive Director Cyndi Williams said the pyrotechnic show will begin immediately after the last song at the CranJam. Williams said the best location for viewing the fireworks will be right at the fields behind the community center.
“This is something the community has loved so we brought them back last year,” Williams said of the fireworks. “It was something everyone looked forward to, remembered and loved about the Harwich Cranberry Festival. Who doesn't love fireworks?”
Williams said the show is a collaboration demonstrating a community partnership and the generosity of a variety of chamber of commerce members. The fireworks will be provided by Atlas PyroVision Entertainment from Jaffrey, N.H., which does the Fourth of July fireworks for the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, she said.
The Presenting Sponsors are Stonewood Products and ZUDY. Platinum Sponsors are Harwich Paint and Decorating, JFF Design Architects and Harwich Cranberry Festival. Gold Sponsor is Terry's TV and Appliances, and Silver Sponsors are 400 East, Capeside Kitchen, The Mad Minnow and Outer Cape Health Services.
2-3:30: Los Texmaniacs
4-5:15: Chandler Travis Three-O with special guest Kami Lyle
5:45-7:45: Donna the Buffalo
Fireworks to follow
Noon-1:15: Bruce Maclean (aka Linc Montana) with the Cyclones
1:30-2:45: Monica Rizzio Band