Explore North End New Bedford

In addition to its inventory of delicious eateries and eclectic retail shops, Acushnet Avenue and North End, New Bedford is your destination for these special places and events. Begin your exploration with these 6 items of note.

1. Feast of the Blessed Sacrament

Founded in 1915 by four Madeiran immigrant men who wanted to recreate the religious festivals that were so common in the villages of their home island and to commemorate their safe passage to these American shores, this traditional gathering has become the Largest Portuguese Feast in the World and the largest ethnic festival in New England, according to organizers. The Feast – as it’s known in New Bedford – takes place the first weekend of August every year and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the globe. The festival grounds also house the Madeiran Heritage Museum, preserving and celebrating the Portuguese heritage of the area. Find out more here.

2.Festival Típico Guatemalteco

This annual event in Riverside Park, organized with the assistance of the Community Economic Development Center, showcases Guatemalan culture through a variety of activities. Initially focused on a Kite Festival, it has grown to include music, dance, food, and vendors representing Guatemalan and Central American heritage. The feast draws attendees from across New England and has become a significant cultural gathering.

3. St. Anthony of Padua Church

This historic church was built over a century ago with donations from residents of French-Canadian heritage. The Romanesque style structure has an exterior of red sandstone and its spire is 256 feet high. The outline of the church can be seen for miles around and dominates the skyline of North New Bedford. It is an architectural landmark in the city and holds cultural significance for the community. Musical events at St. Anthony of Padua Church make use of a large 4 manual Casavant pipe organ dedicated in 1912. Learn more here.

4. Hatch Street Studios

Many of the different ethnic communities that came to New Bedford in the early 20th century did so to work in its textile factories – including many in the North End. One such building was 88 Hatch Street and its sibling. 90 Hatch Street. Today, they constitute Hatch Street Studios, an address home to over 60 artists, artisans and other creative enterprises. It is the largest artist studio complex in the city. Step inside here.

5. Patio de Comidas

As a lead-up to Festival Típico Guatemalteco, Riverside Park hosts the Patio de Comidas event most Saturdays throughout the summer. This celebration highlights Central American cuisine, with food made and sold by community members. The event also features music, dance performances, and other cultural elements, bringing Riverside Park to life.

6. The Cape Verdean Cultural Center

While still under construction, this coming home of the Cape Verdean community in New Bedford at 1156 Acushnet Avenue is already a cultural force in the city. Its adjacent Island Park (also still under construction) boasts a popular mural immortalizing Cape Verdean and island music of all kinds. It’s already played host to area musicians and even members of the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra. The building itself was the former historic Strand Theater and dates to the early 20th century. It is being redeveloped in partnership with the Waterfront Area Historic League (W.H.A.L.E.) of New Bedford.