America’s First Destination set to make 30th anniversary of Women’s Week one for the ages
Provincetown, Mass. – Over the years Provincetown has come to represent many things to many different people. For artists and art enthusiasts it is known as America’s oldest continuous artist colony. For historians, it is known as the first stop by the Mayflower during the Pilgrims journey to the New World. For travelers it is the vacation destination named as one of the quirkiest towns in America in 2014 by Travel and Leisure, where one can experience picturesque beaches, world-class shopping and dining, and some of the best whale watching in the country.
But PTown, as it is known by locals, perhaps is the most meaningful to the LGBT community that has come to know it as America’s first destination for same-sex marriage and its pioneering spirit of diversity and progressive, inclusive culture. It is in this same spirit that Provincetown announces another shining example of its culturally progressive identity in the 30th anniversary of Women’s Week, set for October 13-19, 2014.
In 1984, several entrepreneurial and vivacious female innkeepers convened to talk about the summer vacation season and ways to bring women back during the fall. This small discussion blossomed into the idea of a clambake on the beach for one weekend in October that would be called Women’s Weekend. With email yet to exist, the women wrote letters to their summer guests and invited them all to come back to stay and enjoy Provincetown’s off-season, while enjoying the picturesque surroundings and local entertainment, in addition to the clambake. The event was a resounding success, and today is one of the longest running lesbian events in history.
The innkeepers officially became the Women Innkeepers of Provincetown, inviting new innkeepers to join their ranks and become a part of Women’s Week. A few events came out of this endeavor that are still mainstays of the celebration today. These include a community dinner, an annual golf tournament, a fun run, and the epic dance party on the final night of the week, dedicated to the women of Provincetown.
Over the past 30 years, Women’s Week has grown far beyond anyone’s expectation. Comics, drag performers, jazz, blues and contemporary musicians, opera singers, and many more local and international talents have all performed in years past and continue to come back to entertain those celebrating during this special week. Some of these include iconic and award-winning LGBT entertainers include Kate Clinton, Poppy Champlin, Kristen Becker and Suzanne Westenhoefer; musicians Lisa Ferraro and Erika Luckett, Cris Williamson,Tret Fure, and Janis Ian; and authors Marianne K. Martin, Lynn Ames andGeorgia Beers to name a few.
Another reason this year’s anniversary is special is that award-winning filmmaker Andrea Meyerson will be filming her Women’s Week documentary entitled “Clambake: 30 Years of Women’s Week in Provincetown.” Upon completion, the documentary will debut at the Provincetown International Film Festival in June 2015, and then another special viewing will take place at next year’s Women’s Week. The goal will be to have it play in all the LGBT film festivals across the country and all over the world to show exactly how large a role Provincetown has played in the emergence of LGBT awareness and advocacy in the past three decades.
Other Women’s Week events scheduled include original plays, writing, photography and theater workshops, walking tours, craft fairs, and meet-and-greet events for all to enjoy. Revelers will have an overwhelming amount of activities that include sunset sails on the PTown harbor, afternoon tea dances, dune tours, sunset campfires, culinary classes, drum lessons, a mock American Idol night, wine tasting, a fish fry, a 1920s speakeasy, the annual clambake that started it all, and much, much more. This year is so full of events that are not be missed that there’s simply too many to mention them all. For a complete Women’s Week calendar of events and entertainment head over to the 2014 Women’s Week website here.
Over 30 years Women’s Week has grown into one of Ptown’s largest, longest running and most beloved events. Through hard work and determination, the original women innkeepers that put on a simple clambake three decades ago can now surely look on in awe at their event and the success it’s achieved. Today, any women attending for the first time will find it immediately evident why Provincetown truly is America’s first destination for celebrating LGBT culture and diversity, but even more importantly for celebrating the culture and diversity of ALL people. Come experience it for yourself!