6 New England towns to visit in August

Many of this month's events focus on food.

Lobsters at the Maine Lobster Festival
Lobsters at a previous Maine Lobster Festival, taking place this year Aug. 1-5. –Tim Sullivan

Do you like to travel in New England? Do you like to eat in New England? You’re going to enjoy this month’s list of six towns to visit for their upcoming events.

Eat lobster rolls on top of lobster rolls at the Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland, Maine

About 20,000 pounds of lobster will be served at the 71st Annual Maine Lobster Festival, taking place Aug. 1-5 in Rockland, Maine. The event will include carnival rides, live music, and craft booths. You’ll also be able to cheer on amateur chefs in a seafood-cooking contest and the contestants in The Great International Lobster Crate Race. Grab a spot on Main Street for Saturday morning’s “The Big Parade.”

Grill your own food at the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament in New Bedford


When you attend the massive Feast of the Blessed Sacrament Aug. 2-5 in New Bedford, you can grill sirloin steak cubes at a 40-foot-long, communal, outdoor barbecue pit. If you’re of age, you can wash it all down with Madeira wine. When you aren’t eating Portuguese fare, you can listen to live musical performances on four different stages and attend a carnival and parade.

A photo from a previous Vermont Cheesemaker’s Festival in Shelburne, Vermont. —Vermont Cheesemaker's Festival

Sample hundreds of cheeses at the Vermont Cheesemaker’s Festival in Shelburne, Vermont

The 10th Annual Vermont Cheesemaker’s Festival on Aug. 12 will be a cheese fan’s happy place. At the all-day fromage fest on the shores of Lake Champlain, attendees will be able to sample more than 200 kinds of cheese, attend cooking demonstrations and workshops (one example: “What is a cheesemonger?”), and indulge in plenty of other Vermont-made specialty foods, beer, wine, and cider.

Get competitive at the Washington County Fair in Richmond, Rhode Island

There will be plenty of ways to compete at the 52nd Annual Washington County Fair from Aug. 15-19 — everything from vegetable growing to arm wrestling to sunflower-seed spitting. Animals will compete, too — don’t miss the swine obstacle course, bunny races, and animal costume parade. Activities for children will include an egg toss, milking contest, and three-legged race. When you decide to take a break, you can shop the wares of more than 100 crafters and grab a bite from more than 20 food vendors.

Celebrate the moose in Colebrook, New Hampshire, and Cannan, Vermont


Have you ever tasted moose chili? You’ll get a chance, if you’d like, at the 27th Annual North Country Moose Festival, taking place across two New England states — New Hampshire and Vermont — the weekend of Aug. 24-25. You can try your hand at a moose-calling contest, listen to live music, shop craft vendors, and take a horse-and-wagon ride and watch a dog show (those last two are decidedly un-moose-like, we know).

Climb on board antique boats in Salem

Boats are a common sight on New England’s waters during the summer months. But the boats at the 36th Annual Salem Antique & Classic Boat Festival from Aug. 25-26 will stand out because of their ages. The antiques, which will be on display at Brewer Hawthorne Cove Marina, will include motor yachts, mahogany speedboats, sloops, yawls, schooners, and even a 19th-century gold-leaf canoe, according to festival coordinator Pat Wells. “We have a couple of boats that are over 100 years old,” Wells said. Some boat owners get into the spirit, wearing vintage garb. Others invite folks onto their boats for tours and to share the history of their vessels. Back on land, visitors can enjoy a craft fair, live music, and children’s activities, such as building little boats.