2020 Moby-Dick Marathon graphic
MDM2020 Illustration

Friday, January 3 – Sunday, January 5, 2020
Thank you one and all for making the 2020 Marathon the best ever!

  Schedule of Events  |  Marathon Reading Timetable (pdf)  |  Reader Roster (pdf)  |  Photo Gallery

Join us for the annual readathon of America’s most iconic novel, Moby-Dick. An experience you don’t want to miss, you’ll relive the famous, action-packed narrative and be transported back in time on the search for the elusive white whale. In addition to the main event, the Whaling Museum hosts two mini-marathons on January 4: a Portuguese-language reading of Tiago Patricio’s abridged Moby-Dick; and a children’s version by Classic Starts.

Illustration by David Blanchette
The 2020 Moby-Dick Marathon is dedicated to the late David Blanchette, a talented artist, illustrator, author, and long-time volunteer at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.



Schedule of Events

Friday, January 3

5:30 pm – 8:00 pm Moby-Dick Marathon Opening Night

Kick off this year’s Moby-Dick Marathon by enjoying a meal well-suited for hungry sailors and a lively presentation by Mary K. Bercaw Edwards, Melville Scholar, titled Herman Melville: Sailor, Writer, Metaphysician, followed by a Q&A.

Ticketed Event:  Sold Out


Saturday, January 4

From 9:30 am Saturday to 1 pm Sunday*
All Saturday and Sunday events are free and open to the public. Guests may come and go as needed through the Museum’s main entrance.

9:30 am Stump the Scholars
Bring your most challenging Melville-related questions and try to stump Melville scholars. Cook Memorial Theater (Lower Level)

10 am Children’s Mini-Marathon
Harbor View Gallery (Upper Level)

11:30 am Extracts
Read by members of the Melville Society Cultural Project. Bourne Building (Main Level)

12 noon The Main Attraction
Bourne Building (Main Level)

1:30 pm Father Mapple’s Sermon
Seamen’s Bethel (Reserved seating at Bethel and livestream in Cook Memorial Theater)

2:15 pm Main Marathon Continues
Harbor View Gallery (Upper Level)

2:30 pm Chat with Melville Scholars
Wattles Family Gallery (Lower Level)

3 pm Portuguese Marathon
Bourne Building (Main Level)

5 pm – 9 pm Cousin Hosea’s Chowder House
FREE hot chowder, and local beer for sale. Jacobs Family Gallery (Lower Level)

7 pm Midnight on the Forecastle (chapter 40)
Performed by  Culture*ParkCook Memorial Theater (Lower Level)


Sunday, January 5

8 am The 20th-Hour Treat
Get fueled up for the home stretch. San Francisco Room (Upper Level)

9:30 am Chat with Melville scholars
Wattles Family Gallery (Lower Level)

1 pm Epilogue
The final words are read and prizes are given out to the hearty souls that make it through the entire night. Harbor View Gallery (Upper Level)

*Times are approximate and are dependent on the reading pace of the Marathon.



 Live streaming of the Marathon began January 4 and ended January 5.

livestreaming via youTube graphic








Allan Smith Company Logo

Empire Loan



vineyard wind logo



BayCoast Bank

Hampton Inn



Food & Beverage Sponsors

Moby-Dick Brewery

Freestone’s City Grill

Whaler’s Tavern

Destination Soups

Friendly Donuts