Travel
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Provincetown celebrates ‘Second Summer’

Huge crowds disappear after Labour Day — but fun in P'town continues

The Canteen is a popular Provincetown meeting spot serving up tasty food. Credit: Courtesy The Canteen

Once Labour Day passes, many vacation destinations are shuttering their windows and packing away patio furniture. Not Provincetown. The gay mecca in Massachusetts is rolling out a season of “Second Summer” events that can be found only in this idyllic haven at the tip of Cape Cod.

The hustle and bustle of huge summer crowds has dwindled, leaving Provincetown a more peaceful oasis. Locals cherish this time of year, as warm sunshine mixes with cool ocean breezes and long sunsets unfurl slowly into the sea. The town's quaint shops, charming restaurants and renowned art galleries open their doors to the sidewalks, and the award-winning beaches remain a picturesque spot for fun and relaxation.

Events so far in Second Summer have included public concerts, art shows and the Provincetown Harbor Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla, a benefit for AIDS, Women's Health and the Provincetown community.

One upcoming highlight is the Kate Clinton Classic Women's Flag Football Tournament, which will take place Sept 20 to 22. The tournament will see national and international women's teams compete in eight-on-eight semi-contact flag football.

The annual Tennessee Williams Theater Festival this year “celebrates the woman.” The festival will feature eight productions that explore Williams's renowned classics as well as some lesser-known experiments, in conjunction with works by Gertrude Stein and Jane Bowles. The festival will run Sept 26 to 29.

Second Summer continues in October with a roster of fun events.

Gay leather folk and kinksters will converge on the Cape for the annual Mates Leather Weekend, Oct 3 to 6, with a series of leather/fetish community events, bar parties and entertainment. A portion of proceeds will benefit the local AIDS support group.

Enjoy the beautiful P’town landscapes while sampling an array of fine wines and delicious cuisine from local venues during the Provincetown Food and Wine Festival, Oct 4 to 6. Culinary writer and comedian Cheril Vendetti will be the special guest for the event. The festival will benefit the Provincetown Soup Kitchen and the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies.

Imagine one of the gayest places on Earth — now imagine what treasures its yard sales must hold! The annual townwide yard sale, running Oct 11 to 13, is a bargain hunter’s dream.   

The annual Women's Week gathering takes place Oct 14 to 20, with a week of events, shows, exhibits and fun all geared toward women. Back in 1984, a group of women who were new innkeepers in town got together to find a way to attract women to Provincetown in the fall. They held a clambake on the beach that October — and decided to call it Women’s Week.

For trans folk, Provincetown holds what is billed as “one of the longest-running annual events in the transgender world.” The Fantasia Fair is a weeklong celebration of gender diversity, featuring workshops, entertainment and fine food, Oct 20 to 27.

Closing out Second Summer is the P'town Halloween celebration, which includes the spine-tingling Ghost Town attraction Oct 31 to Nov 2. Halloween @ The Crown festivities run Oct 31 to Nov 3 at the popular Crown & Anchor club

For the most up-to-date travel information on gay Provincetown, see our City GuideListings GuideEvents Guide and Activities Guide.

For more information on Second Summer events, visit Provincetown Tourism.