New Bedford Homecoming of the Charles. W. Morgan

Nine Days of Celebration
Saturday, June 28 – Sunday, July 6

The Charles W. Morgan Homecoming Steering Committee, as appointed by the City of New Bedford, planned a spectacular schedule of events for the Homecoming Celebration of the Charles W. Morgan. All programs were free of charge. In addition to the special programming listed below, visitors could board the Charles W. Morgan, view the traveling dockside exhibitions and community exhibitions, and participate in educational programming. Daily activities took place June 28 through July 6, 2014 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. All Morgan events took place on State Pier, unless otherwise noted.

Visitor Information – Security, Parking and Directions

Charles W. Morgan Countdown Celebration (PDF)
A free event for the entire family on Wednesday, June 25th, from 2:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Charles W. Morgan Pre-Homecoming Event Series



Saturday, June 28 

Mystic Seaport Dockside Exhibition, Traveling Dockside Exhibitions, Community Exhibitions and Educational Programs – 9:00 a.m.

Official Homecoming Ceremony – 10:00 a.m.
This public ceremony will include a keynote address by American author Nathaniel Philbrick

Opening of Charles W. Morgan follows the Official Homecoming Ceremony

Homecoming Gala at State Pier – 6:30 p.m. SOLD OUT – All ticket requests received will be put on a wait list on a first come first served basis.
A once-in-a-lifetime celebration, featuring cocktails alongside the Morgan, a plated dinner, entertainment, and auction of the official Charles W. Morgan New Bedford Homecoming painting by Arthur Moniz.


Sunday, June 29 

Ecumenical Service at Seamen’s Bethel – 10:00 a.m.
A non-denominational service with community clergy of various faiths featuring music and song by  The Sisters of Song. Light refreshments will be served following the service.

Boat Parade in New Bedford Harbor – 12:30 p.m.
A Parade of Boats to honor the Charles W. Morgan and the storied maritime history of the Port of New Bedford. Starting with an opening cannon shot at 12:30 p.m., whale boats, sail boats, commercial fishing boats and recreational boats will pass in parade by the Charles W. Morgan to salute her triumphant return to New Bedford. Boat Parade in New Bedford Harbor (PDF)


Sunday, June 29 – July 6

Weeklong preview of the traveling exhibition Yankee Baleeiros! The Shared Legacies of Luso and Yankee Whalers  and reproduction panels of the world largest painting,  Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage ‘Round the World.”


Monday, June 30 – Thursday, July 3

38th Whaling History Symposium – 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The New Bedford Whaling Museum, Mystic Seaport, Nantucket Historical Association, and The Melville Society are pleased to co-host the 38th Whaling History Symposium. First established in 1975, the Whaling History Symposium brings scholars, writers, artists, museum curators, and local historians to New Bedford from all over the country and abroad to share interests in whales, whaling, Herman Melville, , maritime history, nautical lore, and the many intriguing facets of whaling heritage worldwide. This time around, the Charles W. Morgan is the focus, but the topics covered will be wide-ranging and deeply engaging. This event is sponsored in part by Michael Dury and Boston Marine Society. For the full schedule, visit

Tuesday, July 1

The Art of Seeing Whales opening reception at the Museum – 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Highlights from the Elizabeth Schultz Collection, the Melville Society Archive, and the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Much of the visual art in this exhibition was inspired by the literary art of Herman Melville, a common sailor who shipped out on the maiden voyage of the Acushnet in January 1841, a few months before the Charles W. Morgan made its maiden voyage from New Bedford harbor into the heart of the Pacific.

Friday, July 4

City of New Bedford Fireworks – postponed to Saturday, July 5, at 9 p.m.

Saturday, July 5

Whaleboat Skills Challenge – 10:30 a.m. 
A lighthearted competition where crews demonstrate their expertise in maneuvering whaleboats. Teams are judged on speed and precision.  Open to all teams, including teams formed specifically for this event. For more information or to register, visit This event is sponsored by Whaling City Rowing.

New Bedford Folk Festival  – 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
This two day family-oriented festival brings together over 70 renowned and emerging performers and 90 juried arts and crafts vendors in New Bedford’s authentic historic district. Enjoy continuous folk music from 11am to 9pm on seven sound stages in and around the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park ranging from the majestic 1200 seat Zeiterion Performing Arts Center to the intimacy of the National Park Garden Stage.

42nd Annual Cape Verdean Recognition Parade (Cape Verdean Recognition Committee) – 11:00 a.m.
Parade starts at Buttonwood Park and Union Street.

Independence Day Whaleboat Rowing Races – 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
The featured race follows the 1857 course. Best time wins the silver pitcher replica of the 1857 award.  The featured race is about 2½ miles long, and it is for well-conditioned rowers.  A second race, for less experienced crews, will use a shorter course.  Open to all teams, including teams formed specifically for this event. For more information or to register, visit This event is sponsored by Whaling City Rowing.

City of New Bedford Fireworks – 9:00 p.m.
Fireworks can be viewed from various points throughout Downtown New Bedford and from the west side of Fort Phoenix in Fairhaven. State Pier will not accessible for fireworks viewing.

Sunday, July 6

New Bedford Folk Festival (see July 5 description) – 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Whaleboat Sailing Race (PDF) – 11:00 a.m.
Two of the new wooden whaleboats and two Azorean whaleboats compete around a triangle course in the harbor, starting and ending at State Pier.  One of the teams will be from the Azores. This event is sponsored by the Azorean Maritime Heritage Society. The best viewing place is the State Pier.

Bon Voyage Party – 4:00 p.m.
The Zeiterion Theatre presents the “Morgan Bon Voyage Party". Join friends and neighbors as we bid a fond farewell to the Charles W. Morgan at this festive and musical bash featuring a Jimmy Buffet tribute band. Everyone is welcome to the party that celebrates this historic event.



Commercial Fishing  and Scallop Vessel Tours
Saturday, June 28 – Sunday, July 6 – Daily tours aboard offshore commercial fishing and scallop vessels from 10 am to 3 pm at Pier 3. This opportunity is provided through generous contributions by Eastern Fisheries and Carlos Rafael of New Bedford.


For general questions, contact Caitlin McCaffery at
All dates are subject to change due to inclement weather or other unexpected situations.

Last modified: February 9, 2014

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