HARWICH – If it’s mid-September, this is the place where you want to be.
On Saturday the Harwich Cranberry Arts and Music Festival will be in full swing, so come and get some shopping done while swaying to the music flowing out of the CranJam Music Festival tent. The festival is a two-day event with something for everyone.
This year promises to be better than ever with more than 150 crafts vendors on display at the artisan market and a number of bands promising to wear the soles of your sandals thin on the CranJam dance floor.
“As Ed Sullivan would say, it’s going to be a really, really big show,” said Harwich Cranberry Festival President Ed McManus.
Fireworks by Atlas Pyrotechnics, Inc. of New Hampshire will come in the middle of the festival, added Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Cyndi Williams. The fireworks, sponsored by chamber members, are scheduled to ignite around 8 p.m. on Saturday night from Whitehouse Field. The best place for viewing is the front lawn of Monomoy Regional High School.
The festival events take place across Oak Street from the school behind the community center. McManus said the community center parking lots will be reserved for handicapped parking, but there will be plenty of parking at Monomoy Regional High School.
HCF treasurer Joanne Clancy said the response from crafters this year was overwhelming. More than 150 vendors signed up for the two-day festival, she said. The artisan market will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Along with the vendors, there will be another 16 to 20 non-profit organizations on hand providing educational opportunities, advice and assistance.
This year, Clancy said, the crafters are making product donations for a raffle that will raise money for local scholarships, and one of the artists will be providing a painting for a silent auction to raise scholarship funds. Tickets will be sold at raffle tables at the festival, she said.
Be sure to leave plenty of time to wander through the corridors of crafters, Clancy added. There will be a large variety of items for sale, including paintings, pottery, photography, hand-crafted jewelry, body art and aftercare products, seasonal embroidered items, faux floral arrangements, spices, dips and, of course, cranberry products.
The number of food trucks in the food court is increasing with the addition of Andale on Wheels, which offers Mexican specialties, along with Dancing Spoon. They will join Trolly Dogs, Dennis Public Market, Chocolate Cafe, Lewis Bros. Ice Cream and Kettle Corn, McManus said. The festival will also be serving locally brewed Devil’s Purse beer and a selection of wines.
The festival is also known for its music. CranJam Music Director Bob Weiser has once again mixed new bands with past performers and the best of the local bands.
The CranJam will open up at noon with Out Late with Diana DiGioia, a Cape-based band known for roots rock, Americana and blues. DiGioia is known for her witty, compelling storytelling through her songs. The Mashpee-based group is a soul-funk Afrobeat jam band The Groovalottos will be returning to the CranJam stage on Saturday afternoon, starting at 2 p.m. The Grupo Gozarsa Salsa Band will be playing a traditional and contemporary Afro-Cuban beat beginning at 3:45.
Weiser is very excited about Kotoko Brass, a Boston-based band started by a couple of Yarmouth musicians, Brian and Ben Paulding. The group melds the complex tradition of drumming from Ghana, the sturdy bass and keyboards of the Caribbean, and the joyous horns of New Orleans, he said. Kotoko Brass will be the closing group on Saturday evening.
On Sunday at 12:15 p.m. the CranJam will kick off with one of the Cape’s perennial favorites, Sarah Swain and the Oh Boys. Returning to the festival for the third time will be Daneille Miraglia and the Glory Junkies. They take the stage at 1:30 p.m., led by 2021 New England Music Awards Blues Act winners led Miraglia, who was the Female Performer of the Year at the New England Music Awards in 2019. The band, and Miraglia, have become a CranJam Festival favorite and will close out the music festival.