Top 17 events for 2017

This year will bring some new headline-making events to Dorchester, plus events that have been making people happy for decades. Here’s a rundown of some of the big events — mark your calendar! Of course, there are great events here every month — from skipjack sails to historic walking tours to small town festivals, so be sure to check out our online calendar for the latest.

1. National Outdoor Show, Feb. 24-25
A slice of traditional Dorchester culture with muskrat skinning, duck calling, and more. DETAILS

2. Crawfish Boil & Muskrat Stew Fest, Feb. 26
Outdoor festival (yes, in February!) with muskrat dishes and fresh crawfish
plus live music. DETAILS

3. Grand Opening of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, March 11-12
NEW IN 2017! A weekend of special events to celebrate the opening of the museum-style visitor center with interactive and multimedia exhibits, as well as the 17-acre state park near Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. The visitor center is a collaboration between the National Park Service and the Maryland Park Service. DETAILS

4. Eagle Festival, March 11
A rare opportunity to get up close with birds of prey. At Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. DETAILS

5. Cambridge Classic Powerboat Regatta, May 13-14
Watch boats reach speeds up to 170mph on the Choptank River. Tour the pit area and check out the boats firsthand and meet the race teams. DETAILS

6. Chillin’ on the Choptank, May 26-27
NEW IN 2017! Wine, beer, and oysters on shores of the Choptank River.  DETAILS

7. Taste of Cambridge Crab Cook-Off and Festival, July 8
Taste and vote on crab dishes made by local restaurants, plus fun for kids, crab-picking competition, and music. DETAILS

8. Reflections on Pine, July 21-24
NEW IN 2017! Remembering the civil unrest and fire that happened in the Pine Street area of Cambridge 50 years ago. The weekend will include walking tours, art exhibits, book readings, prayer breakfast, and more. DETAILS

9. Seafood Feast-I-Val, Aug. 12
This belly-pleasing event features all-you-can-eat steamed crabs, fried fish, crab soup, fried clams, BBQ chicken, sides. Plus car show, live music. All on the banks of the Chopank River. DETAILS

10. Native American Festival, Sept. 16-17
Traditional dancing, drumming, crafts, food. In Vienna. DETAILS

11. Choptank Heritage Skipjack Race, Sept. 23
Watch icons of the Chesapeake Bay take to the water. The race offers amazing close-up views of these traditional oystering boats. DETAILS

12. Dorchester Center for the Arts Showcase, Sept. 24
Festival featuring regional artists and artisans offering their work for sale on Cambridge’s historic High Street. Plus food and music and fun for kids. DETAILS

13. Slave Dwelling Project, Oct. 13-15
NEW IN 2017! A powerful experience of dwellings that were once used as homes to enslaved people. DETAILS

14. Cambridge Tall Ship Schooner Rendezvous, Oct. 21-22
Majestic vessels offer dockside tours and sails; plus food, maritime music, and vendors. DETAILS

15. Sailwinds Park East Kite Festival, Oct. 29
Fun for all ages with kite flying, kids’ activities, face painting, food, and more. On the Choptank River. DETAILS

16. Cambridge-Dorchester Christmas Parade, Dec. 2
Lighting of the Crab Basket Christmas Tree kicks off this annual nighttime Christmas parade. DETAILS

17. New Year’s Eve Boat Drop, Dec. 31
A new tradition! Downtown Cambridge brings in the new year with a boat drop featuring a small replica of a traditional waterman’s workboat. DETAILS

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