Everything You Need To Know About Scallop Fest

One of the biggest annual autumn events on Cape Cod is the Scallop Fest at the Cape Cod Fairgrounds in East Falmouth.

The three-day event draws thousands from near and far for a weekend of live music, kids activities, classic car displays, arts and crafts shows, fried chicken, chowder, lobster rolls, ice cream, and, of course, plenty of fried scallops.

Special presentations this year include a comedy act by Lenny Clarke, nationally known as a comedian and actor who starred on his own self-titled sitcom on CBS, FX’s Rescue Me, There’s Something About Mary. Our very own Cat Wilson will be introducing Lenny on 9/22.

Comedian Christine Hurley be first on stage Friday, September 22nd at 6:30pm, followed by Clarke.
There will be a single-elimination Corn Hole from 1 until 4 on Sunday, featuring up to 32 teams and a grand prize trip for two to Nantucket.

At the end of the day however, Scallop Fest is about the food. Dozens of vendors, food trucks, and beverage stands will form the crux of the festival offering patrons a taste of the best in everything from seafood to snacks.
Nearly five decades in, the festival was re-branded last year from simply “Scallop Fest” to the “Cape Cod Scallop Fest.”

The name isn’t the only part of the event to change over the years. In the past, Scallop Fest was held inside the National Guard Armory in Buzzards Bay, when it outgrew that venue it was moved for a brief time to the Massachusetts Military Reservation.

Scallop Fest moved outdoors more than two decades ago to accommodate the growing crowds. Organizers began setting up the festivities beneath a large tent in Buzzards Bay Park before things were finally moved to their current location at the 98-acre Cape Cod Fairgrounds in East Falmouth.

Several years ago the Cape Cod Canal Region Chamber of Commerce stepped in to handle organization and management of the popular festival, which now represents their largest fundraiser. Profits go to support the chamber’s scholarship program, benefiting four area schools, three food panties, and providing funding for a number of area tourist information centers.

Aside from the event’s direct benefit to the organizations it supports, the Cape Cod Scallop Fest draws visitors to the Cape at a time when the tourist season has wound down significantly. Hotels and businesses in the area are given a boost by the event’s draw.

The Cape Cod Scallop Fest isn’t just a hit with the crowds, organizations who rate these sort of events have consistently recognized its popularity. American Bus Association, for example, has put the festival on its “Top 100 Events in North America” year after year.

Gates open at 11 a.m. each day. General admission for the day (not including meal tickets) is only $7 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-12 and free for kids under 6.

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