This weekend brings us the annual Scallop Festival, with all of the prestige and revenue that accompanies it. It really is the last blast of summer, and it's nice to see our old friend return to... Falmouth???
Yes, Falmouth. The people who run the Scallop Festival- the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce- decided that the event needed a larger venue, and shifted it to the Barnstable County Fairgrounds in Falmouth.
The move gives the festival more parking, better facilities, and dare I say a more prestigious locale. The event has swollen in popularity, to the point where it draws in 50,000 people every time they throw it. A larger facility means the chance of more money. It makes perfect sense to move the event to Falmouth.
Bourne's claim to the Festival had a fingertip grip at best, buffeted by hopes of a new hotel complex, the arrival of the Commuter Rail, and the revival of the Main Street business district. There was also a nostalgia/historic basis, but that isn't worth a few thousand parking spots these days.
The move also gives a stomach punch to a struggling village, a village that has stood by the Festival for her whole existence. The Scallop Festival has been going on for 45 years. Sometimes it was in the Armory, sometimes in the big tent by the old Playland location, sometimes on the military base, and- until now- in Buzzards Bay Park.
is was a Bourne tradition. Now, the town is losing their Main Event, the annual gift horse that would fill the hotels, buy out the goods from our stores, and put our gas stations on a paying basis. Who knows? Some of the people who visited Buzzards Bay during the Festival may have liked it enough to maybe return again and spend more money. We'll never know now, will we?
All summer long, people heading to spend money in other Cape Cod towns clutter up Bourne during any time period you can hang "commute" off of. We're asked to deal with it, so that Eastham and Martha's Vineyard can prosper. We get very little in return for it, other than some people who tire of the traffic enough to pull off of the highway in search of food or gasoline.
The Festival has always been a sort of the last hurrah for Cape Cod's summer, especially when the event coincided with the October scallop harvest. It was fitting that Bourne got the final bow with her Scallop Festival. We took the brunt of the hassle all summer long, so it was only right that we got the last bite out of the tourists before the desolation of winter set in. The festival was kind of like a Thank You from all the people who had been leaning on Bourne during the peak traffic season, and the town was dependent upon it.
Now, they take even THAT away from us.
Oh, well, there will be another Canaliversary in 99.75 years, I guess we'll be OK.
Others are not so forgiving. Homeland Security has been tracking a group called Al-Mollusk, who were planning to disrupt the Faux Falmouth Festival. They had an elaborate plan to buy junker cars and use them to block the Bourne Bridge during the festival, depriving Falmouth of anyone Inland while seeing how many Cape Codders will travel through a mob to get scallops and fries.
The town considered her own measures. The big idea was to host an Oyster Festival on the same night. Advertising was to focus heavily on the aphrodisiacal properties of the Oyster, while disparaging the scallop scarfer. "You can go to the Scallop Festival, but if you still love your spouse, you'll be in Bourne instead."
Yeah, we were gonna go right for the friggin' jugular, you really have to these days.
Bourne took it on the chin with this Scalloping of our tradition, and we should already be planning our revenge. If this were the old days, we'd be sending guys across the bridge to burn down their salt mill and deflower their virgins. You people are lucky that I don't run Bourne, I'd drop those two bridges into the water faster than you can say "Jack Robinson." I'd try to steal their Road Race.
I can tell you this.... you won't be seeing many people from Bourne down at the Fairgrounds this weekend. It's never nice to see your ex with someone else, especially if they are being fed scallops.