The 9 Best Annual Events in Newburyport

The 9 Best Annual Events in Newburyport

Newburyport, Massachusetts, is a coastal town known for its rich history, culture, and tight-knit community. The city comes alive throughout the year with various annual events showcasing its character. From cultural celebrations to seasonal festivals, something exciting always happens in Newburyport. Let's delve into some of the best annual events that this town has to offer.

Yankee Homecoming

Yankee Homecoming is one of the most anticipated annual events in Newburyport. This week-long celebration, typically held in late summer, brings residents and visitors together for a series of downtown festivities. From live music performances to delicious food vendors, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

One of the highlights of Yankee Homecoming is the famous bed races, where teams compete in creative and colorful homemade beds, racing through the streets of downtown Newburyport. The event culminates in a grand parade followed by spectacular fireworks over the Merrimack River, lighting up the night sky and creating lasting memories for all who attend.

Newburyport Holiday House Tour

As the holiday season approaches, Newburyport transforms into a winter wonderland, and the Newburyport Holiday House Tour is a beloved tradition that adds to the festive spirit. During this event, participants can tour some of the city's most beautifully decorated homes, each adorned with festive lights and holiday cheer.

From historic colonial houses to seaside cottages, the Holiday House Tour offers a glimpse into Newburyport's neighborhoods' architectural diversity and creative décor. It's a perfect way to start the holiday season and gather inspiration for your seasonal decorations.

Fall Fest

Fall Fest is a beloved annual event that brings the community together to celebrate the autumn season with a variety of activities and entertainment. Scheduled for October 12-13, 2024, this festival is held daily from 10 AM to 4 PM at Waterfront Park, providing a scenic backdrop along the Merrimack River.

Attendees can enjoy live music from local bands, food trucks, and a beer garden, making it a perfect outing for families and friends. The festival also features an array of artisans and crafters showcasing their handmade goods, creating a vibrant marketplace atmosphere. This free, family-friendly event emphasizes the importance of community and local culture, encouraging visitors to explore downtown Newburyport’s shops, restaurants, and attractions.

In addition to the main festivities, the event typically includes special activities such as a pumpkin lighting or scarecrow contest, further enhancing the festive spirit. It's an excellent opportunity to experience the charm of Newburyport in the fall, with its picturesque foliage and welcoming community vibes.

Invitations Nights

For those who love to shop, Invitations Nights in Newburyport are not to be missed. Held several times throughout the year, these special evenings invite shoppers to explore the city's unique boutiques, galleries, and specialty shops after hours.

Participating businesses offer exclusive discounts, refreshments, and entertainment during Invitations Nights, creating a lively and festive atmosphere. It's the perfect opportunity to discover hidden gems, support local artisans, and find one-of-a-kind treasures.

Christmas Tree Lighting in Market Square

The annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Market Square is a cherished tradition that brings the community together to kick off the holiday season in style. Held on the first weekend of December, this festive event features carolers, hot cocoa, and the lighting of the city's towering Christmas tree.

Families gather in Market Square to witness the magical moment when the tree is illuminated, casting a warm glow over the historic buildings and cobblestone streets. It's a heartwarming experience that captures the season's spirit and creates lasting memories for all who attend.

Newburyport Literary Festival

For book lovers, the Newburyport Literary Festival is an annual event celebrating the written word and the authors who bring stories to life. Held each spring, this literary extravaganza features author readings, panel discussions, book signings, and more.

From bestselling novelists to emerging writers, the Newburyport Literary Festival showcases diverse literary talent and fosters a love of reading and storytelling within the community. Whether you're an avid reader or an aspiring writer, this event offers something for everyone to enjoy.

Newburyport Artwalk

Art enthusiasts flock to Newburyport for the annual Artwalk, a weekend-long celebration of creativity and expression. During this event, local artists open their studios to the public, offering a behind-the-scenes look at their creative process and showcasing their latest works.

From paintings and sculptures to photography and mixed media, the Artwalk features diverse artistic styles and mediums. Visitors can stroll through the streets of downtown Newburyport, exploring galleries and pop-up exhibits while immersing themselves in the local arts scene.


PlumFest is an annual music festival that celebrates community, live music, and the unique charm of the island. Scheduled for September 14, 2024, from 12 PM to 6 PM, PlumFest features performances by local musicians across various porches and venues throughout the island. This event is part of the broader "porchfest" movement, where local artists play in unconventional spaces, creating a festive, community-driven atmosphere.

The festival is free to attend, with no admission charges, as hosts and musicians volunteer their time. Donations collected during the event support the Boys and Girls Club of Lower Merrimack Valley, helping to fund their music education programs. This initiative aims to enhance the club's offerings by incorporating instruction in recording technology, studio engineering, and sound management.

Annual Newburyport Kitchen Tour

The Annual Newburyport Kitchen Tour, organized by the Newburyport PTO, is a highly anticipated event showcasing some of Newburyport's most beautiful and innovative kitchens and surrounding areas. Scheduled annually in May, this self-guided tour allows participants to explore various homes featuring historic and modern designs. Each kitchen highlights the craftsmanship of local designers, architects, and suppliers, blending historic charm with contemporary amenities.

In addition to touring these stunning kitchens, the event includes "Taste of the Port," where several homes will host complimentary tastings from local restaurants, chefs, bakers, and brewmasters. This provides a unique opportunity to sample a variety of delicious local fare while enjoying the architectural beauty of the homes. The tour offers inspiration for home improvement projects and supports local schools, as it serves as a fundraiser for the Newburyport PTO.​

Experience the Best of Newburyport

From lively festivals to cultural celebrations, the annual events in Newburyport offer something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you're a longtime resident or visiting for the first time, these events provide a unique opportunity to experience the character of this coastal community.

To explore Newburyport's real estate market and discover your dream home in this town, contact the Zaniboni Luxury Group today. With their expertise and dedication to client satisfaction, they can help you find the perfect property.

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