The gifts and food of the holiday season start sneaking up on us this week with some of the first fairs and markets of the year. Among them is the annual Alternative Gift Market, online and lasting 10 days due to COVID-19 concerns, where your gift can make a difference for charities helping children, refugees, water quality and more.
There’s a weekend-long cyclocross event at Cape Cod Fairgrounds, and shows to consider include a circus act with a Wild West twist in Wellfleet and a storytelling event in Provincetown centered on excuses. Kids who love science can visit a Brewster museum to help celebrate NASA’s giant new telescope or hang out with their dads while beachcombing in Waquoit.
If you’re looking to learn something new, there are talks and walks about Outer Cape and Dennis history, authors, a sommelier, birds at your feeder, and slavery on Cape Cod. Here are some ideas:
Alternative gift market helps local and global charities
The Alternative Gift Market Cape Cod, now in its 15th year, gives shoppers the opportunity to make donations to any of 20 nonprofits at the beginning of the holiday season. Online again this year due to COVID-19 concerns, the market represents a diverse range of missions, each addressing what organizers consider a critical need in today’s world. The market is sponsored by a coalition of faith communities on the Upper Cape working together to organize the event and cover all expenses so that 100% of the money raised goes to the participating charities. Among the local groups that will benefit: About Fresh, which offers weekly markets to increase access to fresh foods; the Fund for Afghan Immigrants and Refugees; the Falmouth Water Stewards for equipment and lab analyses of Falmouth ponds water quality; A Baby Center; and Tommy’s Place.
When: Friday, Nov. 12 through Nov. 21
Payomet circus moves indoors
Payomet Performing Arts Center will bring its Cirque by the Sea circus performers in from its tents to stage “Saddle Up!” in Wellfleet. The show is a Wild West adventure for all ages that features aerial arts, juggling, acrobatics and comedy in a story about gender equality and changing perspectives. On Saturday, the troupe will offer free circus workshops for all ages, learning the basics of the skills seen in the show. Each session is about 30 minutes with a maximum of 10 participants.
When: shows at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday; classes 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday
Where: Wellfleet Preservation Hall, 335 Main St.
Show tickets: tickets.payomet.org/SaddleUpWPH or 508-487-5400
Registration (required) for classes: tickets.payomet.org/MiniCirqueWorkshops or 508-487-5400
Events celebrate NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope
The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will be the official local NASA host site for the James Webb Space Telescope community event, celebrating the largest telescope in space — 100 times more powerful than Hubble, and able to see back in time almost 13.5 billion years to observe the earliest galaxies. The event will include over 20 hands-on STEAM activities for all ages throughout the museum and grounds. Charles Law, a Ph.D student and research fellow at Harvard University and the Center for Astrophysics, will talk about the background and hopes for the powerful telescope.
When: 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; Law will talk at 11:30 a.m.
Where: Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, 869 Main St. (Route 6A), Brewster
Admission: Free; reservations required
Learn about Anna Howard Shaw
The life and legacy of Anna Howard Shaw will be the topic of a discussion led by the Rev. Connie Bickford. Shaw was a trailblazing minister, leading suffragette and friend to Susan B. Anthony and one of the first women ever ordained in the Methodist Protestant Church. Her career as progressive provocateur, organizers say, is one of the great under-told stories in Dennis history.
When: 2 p.m. Saturday
Where: Dennis Union Church, 713 Main St.
Admission: $5 recommended donation
Cyclocross comes to Cape Cod Fairgrounds
One of 16 elite cyclocross competitions in the country, the RRFCX/Really Rad Festival will take place at the Cape Cod Fairgrounds with races for all cyclists, from first-time amateurs to the elite UCI professionals. There will be two distinct courses, with riders facing steep hills, sandlots, obstacles and demanding twists. For spectators, there will be food and beverage options at the Alltown Fresh food tents.
When: 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Where: Cape Cod Fairgrounds, 1220 Nathan Ellis Highway (Route 151), East Falmouth
Sandwich holiday fair returns
First Church Sandwich, UCC will host its holiday fair after missing last year due to the pandemic. Available for purchase will be almond cakes, other homemade baked goods, crafts, antique treasures, raffle baskets and an online silent auction. Masks will be required.
When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday
Where: First Church Sandwich, UCC, 136 Main St., Sandwich
Admission: Free; $5 for early-bird entry at 8:30 a.m.
Information: 508-888-0434; https://www.firstchurchsandwich.org
Terri Arthur to hold book signing
Award-winning author Terri Arthur, a retired disaster nurse for the American Red Cross who lives in East Falmouth, will give a presentation on her new book, “Power Failure: A Nurse’s Story,” an account of survival in a deadly winter storm in 2013. Books will be available for purchase and signing at the event, and a light buffet will be served. Arthur’s book, “Fatal Decision: Edith Cavell, WWI Nurse,” has sold over 20,000 copies and been optioned for a film. s optioned for film. Arthur has also worked as a critical care nurse in hospitals on Cape Cod and in Plymouth.
When: 3-4 p.m. Saturday
Where: Waquoit Congregational Church, 15 Parsons Lane
Don Wilding’s historical walks, talk
Award-winning writer and historian Don Wilding will be busy this weekend, leading two guided walks on Saturday followed by a virtual lecture on Sunday. The walks will be along the Nauset Marsh Trail, with its panoramic views of the Cape Cod National Seashore, where he’ll discuss Outer Cape storms, shipwrecks and rescues at one walk and author Henry Beston at the next. The walks are sponsored by Harwich Conservation Trust and Eastham Conservation Foundation. The talk on Sunday, which complements a current exhibit at the Cape Cod Maritime Museum, will cover the Portland Gale of 1898.
When 10 a.m.-noon Saturday for the Outer Cape walk; 1-3 p.m. Saturday for the Beston walk; 2:30 p.m. Sunday for the Portland Gale talk
Where: walks on Nauset Marsh Trail, Eastham; talk via Zoom or Facebook Live
Admission: $20 each walk; free for Sunday’s talk
‘Bite it live’ at the Mosquito Story Slam
The Provincetown Theater will partner with The Mosquito Story Slam for a storytelling night Saturday (and a second on Dec. 11). Co-hosted by Vanessa Vartabedian and William Mullen, both events will feature five-minute true stories from seven to 10 registered storytellers picked at random from volunteers. Stories must be told, not read (though notes and props are allowed). Saturday’s theme is “Excuses, Excuses” (in December, it will be “I Fought the Law”). The theater requires proof of vaccination and masking for COVID-19 safety.
When: 7 p.m. Nov. 13 and Dec. 11; sign-up at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Provincetown Theater, 238 Bradford St.
Dads and kids explore Waquoit Bay
Father figures and the children they care for are invited to a one-hour outdoor nature adventure at the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The event, designed for male caregivers and children up to age 8, will feature beach-combing and a nature walk focused on exploration, teamwork and connecting with your child. The event, a partnership between the reserve and The Coalition for Children, will be guided by Joan Muller of Waquoit Bay and Danny Rodrigues, licensed independent clinical social worker.
When: 12:30-1:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, 131 Waquoit Highway, East Falmouth
Admission: Free with registrationInformation: 508-548-0220; http://www.thecoalitionforchildren.org/specialevents.html
Mass Audubon expert IDs backyard birds
Chris Walz from Mass Audubon will present a virtual lecture on backyard birds sponsored by the Trustees of the Falmouth Public Library. Attendees will learn to identify the most common feeder birds, including those confusing finches and sparrows. The group also will discuss best bird-feeding practices and native plants that attract birds.
When: 2 p.m. Monday
Where: Only via Zoom
Admission: Free with online registration
Information: 508-457-2555, ext. 7; https://www.falmouthpubliclibrary.org; email@example.com
Learn about slavery, abolition on Cape Cod
In a “Talk of the Town” event by Sandwich Glass Museum, teacher, author, columnist and speaker Jim Coogan will discuss how slavery was common on Cape Cod until the Revolutionary War. He will also explain how indentured servitude was a common practice for those without means to come to the U.S., and how abolitionist sentiments took root on the cape.
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Online via Zoom
Sommelier talk in Chatham
Wine educator and video producer Camille Broderick Rodier will discuss life as a sommelier at a presentation hosted by the Chatham Historical Society. She’ll also talk about her experiences as a radio show host and video producer and the common denominator between all her pursuits.
When: 5 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Atwood Museum, 347 Stage Harbor Road, Chatham
Admission: $10, nonmembers; free, members
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