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Purchase Street’s Multi-Media YOUR WEEKEND

If you need to quantify the distance New Bedford has traveled in just one year, all you need to do is look at the amazing array of events happenings from one end of Purchase Street to another this very weekend.

Nationally, it’s record store day on Saturday, April 22. And this year, New Bedford is in the thick of it – thanks to Purchase Street Records.

That same day and also on Sunday, April 23, the spring edition of the New Bedford Bookfest happens right here at Groundwork! Burnishing the city’s reputation as regional hub, dozens of authors, publishers, booksellers and hundreds of book lovers will make their way to this stretch of Purchase Street from all over Massachusetts and beyond.

Doubling down on the words and adding art into the mix, on Saturday night Alison Wells Fine Art Studio and Gallery will host bookfest authors for a special reading event.

And finally, down the other end of Purchase Street at the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, the International Portuguese Music Awards is live onstage Saturday night.

Yeah – it’s a big weekend in New Bedford. Full of all the things that define a city and move it forward into the future. So let’s get right to it and take a deeper dive into these stellar events:

Record Store Day at Purchase Street Records

Beginning at 10:00am, Purchase Street Records joins its national brethren by celebrating the independent music store. At 767 Purchase Street, they’ll do that with exclusive sales as well as DJ Chromatics (of All Chrome fame) spinning vinyl and hosting 94 HJY in the house. Expect several giveaways all day long – and 10% off all record purchases. Afterwards, ‘80s Hair & Metal band, San Dimas perform across the street at the Pour Farm Tavern for an after-party. Purchase Street Records has energized the entire block – and now they’re putting their own spin on Record Store Day and putting New Bedford on the vinyl map!

New Bedford Bookfest at Groundwork!

New Bedford has long been on the literary map thanks to a chap called Melville – but in the 21st century, our very own New Bedford Bookfest is the ‘X’ that marks the spot. The two-day bookfest is free and open to the public from 11:00am to 4:00pm both Saturday and Sunday. At 1213 Purchase Street, you’ll discover dozens of local, regional and national authors – with their beautiful books available for sale. Special events include: On Saturday: 11;30am – a presentation by Spinner Publications on Urban Renewal in New Bedford; at 1:30pm – Brooklyn author and photographer Matt Lambros discussing The Rise & Fall of the American Movie Theater from his book of abandoned cinemas, “After the Final Curtain,” and a reading by Spinner author Catherine Mclaughlin at 3:15 from her book, “Blue Collars.”

On Sunday, April 23, author Courtney Morgan from Colorado flies in for a reading at 11:30am, followed by a special author talk between Standard-Times BookLovers columnist Lauren Daley and South Dartmouth’’s own Holly FitzGerald at 1:30pm. To top it all off, Destination Soups will be serving from the Groundwork! Kitchen both days! Read more about everything happening at

After Bookfest at Alison Wells Fine Art Studio & Gallery

Bringing bookfest into the night, Alison Wells hosts an impressive line-up of poets, writers and artists at 106 William Street beginning at 6:00pm. Co-organized by bookfest participant and publisher, Nick LeBlanc, it will feature New Bedford’s Poet Laureate Patricia Gomes and an all-star local line-up of outstanding writers. A few open mic spots are available!

International Portuguese Music Awards at the Z

Adding an international flavor to Purchase Street’s big weekend is the Zeiterion Theater. Saturday night at 7:00pm, the stage is taken over by the International Portuguese Music Awards for a one-of-a-kind gala. The International Portuguese Music Awards (IPMA) is an annual awards show recognizing outstanding achievement in the music industry by artists of Portuguese ancestry. The award show also features performances by prominent artists and is televised online – right from downtown New Bedford! – and on various media outlets. This year, the IPMA Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Daniela Mercury – the Latin Grammy award-winning superstar with over 20 million records sold and the most number one hits by any Brazilian female singer ever. Yep – it’s a big deal at the Z and for New Bedford. See more here.

A packed weekend like this doesn’t happen by accident. It’s the result of many creative people working in tandem to energize the city with their talent and industry. We’ve long held that the city is poised for a new era of growth and greater cultural relevance. That day is here. Hang on for the ride!

Steven Froias