An overview of events at New Bedford for BACFest 2017.

By now, you should have already made hotel reservations for BACFest 2017. You also hopefully have already registered with BAC for event credentials.

Assuming you have done all that, you can now focus on lining up your personal schedule of fun. Most members have planned extra days both before and after BACFest to take advantage of all the activities the area has to offer.

Here’s what we plan to do as a group:

September 21 Thursday is arrival day. If you have a meal at the Airport Grille at KEWB save the receipt. There may be a few dollars available to give you partial reimbursement. Maybe. Use the day efficiently. Go to the New Bedford Whaling Museum. It is world class. Drive 12 miles from the hotel to Battleship Cove in Fall River. You get a day’s entertainment for less than twenty bucks. Take your plane to Martha’s Vineyard or tour Cape Cod airports. Go to the Heritage Museum in Sandwich. It is a nice experience.
Try shopping at the outlets in North Dartmouth near the New Bedford Airport. Visit Boston on Thursday but be back at the hotel by 8pm. That is when the first of three nights of hospitality room service will be opened. That will be in the function room at Hampton Inn with do-it-yourself home style bar service until 11pm… all paid for in your registration fee.

September 22 Friday, in the morning, the pilots leave early for the airport to take off for Newport, Rhode Island. A bus leaves for Newport about an hour later for the people not flying. (See the September issue of AOPA PILOT for more info on Newport). After a day of shopping, sightseeing and exploring mansions we all go to the New Bedford waterfront for dinner at 7pm. The restaurant overlooks the hundreds of boats in the fishing fleet. After dinner it’s back to the Hampton Inn for another hospitality evening until 11pm.
September 23 Saturday is tour day taking us on a Cape Cod Canal tour via bus and vans. Stops include Fort Phoenix for a Revolutionary War reenactment by real simulated soldiers. They say they may even fire a cannon for us. While at that stop you can walk the beach or see and stroll on America’s largest stone structure, the hurricane barrier protecting New Bedford harbor. Other stops include the Buzzards Bay elevator-like railroad bridge and Bournevale village. We’ll cross the canal and forge on to the Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center and Museum in Sandwich. The Army Corps of Engineers operate this and we will have a special park ranger to guide us. Across the parking lot and at the east end of the canal is Seafood Sam’s Restaurant happy to accommodate hungry BACers. Return to the hotel is about 3pm for a nap. Pilots will go to the airport for a maintenance seminar. At 5:30pm we will leave for the Wamsutta Mansion for a cocktail party followed by the Annual Meeting and Banquet. Of course, we end the evening with our hospitality room at Hampton Inn.

September 24 Sunday is departure day and the chance to go see the things you missed. Maybe you’ll choose to drive 45 miles and see the City of Boston. You could spend several weeks to take in this very walkable and welcoming city.

Notes: Breakfasts are included with your room charge at Hampton Inn. Lunches in Newport and Sandwich are on your own. You choose the restaurant, the meal and pay for it directly. The cocktail party at the Waterfront Grille and Wamsutta will be a cash bar. BAC will provide hors d’ oeuvres. The hospitality room will be the main gathering point nightly. The hospitality room will have plenty of seats, snacks and beverages.

This kind of a schedule is an experiment for future BACFests. There will be nothing restful about this event. Plan on go, go, go and getting to know everyone.

Tom Corcoran, Organizer for 2017

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