As a quintessential Cape Cod beach destination, Provincetown bustles during the summer, from sun-drenched days on nearby dunes and beaches to differently-themed celebrations nearly every week in the summertime. Provincetown events throughout the season are diverse, ranging from Pride parties and LGBTQ+ weeks to festivals highlighting film, Portuguese culture, and jazz. Our bed and breakfast in Provincetown is your perfect home base for joining in the festivities, so get away to the Cape this summer for sunshine, celebration, and the non-stop excitement of Provincetown Events during peak season.

Provincetown Events in Early Summer – Single Women, All Things Pride, and Celebrating Film

Late May ushers in the busiest time of year on the outer Cape, kicking off with Single Women’s Weekend from May 17-19. It’s a jam-packed three days of speed-dating, evening dance parties, and afternoon singles dunes tours — a unique mixing of nature sightseeing and socializing. The organizers aim to “get off the dating apps” that dominate nowadays, bringing the focus back to old-school meetups and fostering in-person connections. Amidst the nighttime party atmosphere (don’t miss the spirited “Flirt Party”), fun-filled daytime happenings like the annual and adventurous scavenger hunt throughout town, a book discussion group, and events like a box lunch, which Gabriel’s proudly hosted in 2023. Their website features testimonials from multiple couples who met at the event and are still together or married years later, so put down the phone, close the apps, and get to Provincetown to mix it up and mingle with other single women.

Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer, marked by the Cape Cod National Seashore opening for the season and the beginning of Pride Month, which runs through June. As a welcoming and proud LGBTQ+ destination for generations, gay pride is ever-present in Provincetown, but it takes center stage over the 7th annual Pride weekend, which will take place from May 31 to June 2. Hosted by the Provincetown Business Guild, it’s a weekend of non-stop celebration of all that Pride represents, from queer-focused comedy, parties at venues all over town, panel discussions covering LGBTQ+ topics, and a raucous rally at Town Hall across the street from Gabriel’s. If you’re a runner or walker, join the Feet Over Front Street 5k on Sunday, June 2nd – it has one of the most scenic routes of any race, going the complete length of Commercial St, with views of the Provincetown Harbor along the entire way. The Women of Color gathering coincides with Pride Weekend, aiming to “strengthen, educate, and celebrate” LGBTQ+ women of color through workshops, parties, and dinner nights at restaurants. Whichever events you attend, Pride represents the best of Provincetown’s spirit, open-minded to a fault.

Later in June, the Provincetown Film Festival (PFF), which takes place from June 12 to 16, is a bucket-list fest for movie buffs. One of the Provincetown events with the most storied history – 2024 will be their 25th anniversary – the Filmfest will screen 80 films over five days, ranging from emerging indie films to screenings by esteemed filmmakers. The opening and closing night films are always a huge hit, and the screening schedule in the days between includes narrative films, shorts, documentaries, and nightly gala parties. In the lead-up to the festival, catch PFF-sponsored screenings at the Waters Edge Cinema, an intimate arthouse movie theater near the harbor on Commercial St.

Summer’s Height – Portuguese Heritage and Two More Weeks of LGBTQ+ Events

Provincetown events: Provincetown Portuguese Festival

Midsummer brings one of the most culturally unique Provincetown events, the Provincetown Portuguese Festival, from June 28 to 30. This year’s theme is “Share the Heritage,” celebrating the rich history of Portuguese fishing families on the outer Cape – generations of fishermen settled in Provincetown to work on fishing, lobster, and whaling boats, bringing their Portuguese food and customs and bridging a deep and lasting connection between Portugal and Provincetown. Friday and Saturday feature live music and dancing near the marina, a fishing derby, food and crafts vendors, and nightly Fado music at Town Hall. Fado is the timeless folk music of Portugal, and many songs are about sailors, apt for a place like Provincetown, surrounded by water on all sides. Be sure to catch the 77th annual Blessing of the Fleet on Sunday, when locals decorate their boats at MacMillan Pier with Portuguese and American flags – representing the merging of the two cultures and countries – while families parade a statue of St. Peter down to the dock, a historic blessing of the ships for a fruitful fishing year to come.

In late July, the LGBTQ+ festivities continue with the men-focused Bears Week from July 13-20, followed by women in the spotlight from July 24-27 for Girl Splash. Bear Week playfully welcomes bears, wolves, cubs, and otters, whimsical names for different groups within male gay culture, with daily meetups, sunset cruises on the water, and drag cabarets. Different establishments host events like pool parties at the Crown, a costumed Fireman’s Party at the BoatSlip, and late-night pizza at Spiritus. Girl Splash features much of the same but with a lesbian focus, including beach bonfires, all-women whale-watching outings, feminist author readings, and a designated “Girls Beach” all weekend long at Herring Cove.

Women performing during the Carnival

Late Summer – Exploring Jazz and the Wild, Vibrant Jubilee of Carnival

In August, the Provincetown Jazz Festival rings in its 20th anniversary, with different shows taking place between August 5th and 13th. On August 13th, catch the live jazz show in the evening at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM). Arrive a couple of hours early to check out their impressive exhibitions and multiple gallery spaces – PAAM is a cultural institution and represents the brilliant spectrum of Provincetown’s century-old art scene – before seeing the performance by Atla and Matt DeChamplain, ranging from bebop piano trio arrangements to classic jazz vocal tunes. Their non-profit operation also brings year-round music education to elementary and middle schools along Cape Cod, introducing jazz to the next generation, a shining example of the outer Cape’s long-standing support of the arts. Whenever you visit during the summer, if you’re a music lover, check out the live music calendar at Payomet Performing Arts Center – diverse acts like Los Lobos, Buckwheat Zydeco, and Aiofe O’donovan will take the stage through July, with more late summer shows yet to be announced.

Carnival takes place from August 17-24, one of the original party-focused Provincetown events dating back to the late 1970s. Every year features a different theme, and 2024 is themed “Renaissance and Revolution”, sure to inspire unique costumes from post-medieval figures and revolutionary heroes of yesteryear (imagine Michelangelo or Che Guevara but with colorful flair). It all culminates in the parade through town on August 22nd – modeled after the massive Carnival parades in Rio de Janeiro – when partygoers line the streets as over-the-top themed floats make their way down Commercial St from 3-6 pm. The parade is one of the year’s most attended parties in Provincetown, attracting thousands of Carnival celebrants, so make your reservations early!

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