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All is Merry and Bright

There’s no feeling quite like coming home to Provincetown. Its magnetism begins at the bridges and the salt air enters your lungs as you go over the Cape Cod Canal. If all goes well, it’s a little over an hour to Provincetown. You pass your own personal landmarks to gauge how much longer.  The rest stop at Exit 6. The Orleans rotary. Wellfleet Cinemas. Almost there. And then driving over Pilgrim Heights approaching Beach Point in North Truro you see the skyline of Provincetown cradled in the sandy palm of the Outer Cape. Sigh. That sight is all the more special when the Pilgrim Monument is lit for the holiday season rising up into the inky black of a winter’s night over a cozy little town way out in the North Atlantic.

Boston Gay Men’s Chorus. Photo:

In the old days Provincetown was shuttered up tight not long after Labor Day. That has of course changed, as September and October are a golden time to visit and with a Halloween celebration eclipsed in New England only by that of Salem. And just as the jack o’lanterns begin to droop so begins the holidays in Provincetown, a time that has grown into a unique season as the town puts its own quirky stamp on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Newcomers are often surprised just how hopping Provincetown is during the holiday season. While crowds certainly don’t rival those of summertime, that’s the charm, as Provincetown takes on a more quaint, though no less fun, demeanor, as all of the town’s beloved elements are intertwined.  If you’re looking for an intimate dinner followed by a drink by the fire accompanied by live music, you’ll find it. If you want to take in a wild drag show and then dance the night away at a club, you can do that, too. Provincetown is a living Choose Your Own Adventure book. It’s all up to you.

Donnelly & Richardson

This issue marks the last Provincetown Magazine for 2019. Covering arts, culture, and entertainment on the Outer Cape is always thrilling, and this year in particular proved to be exceptionally so. From drag queens to artists to compelling theater and an aerialist circus, Provincetown quite literally took us all to new heights this year. We here at Provincetown Magazine look forward to seeing what 2020 brings to this wonderful little town. See you in April!  Until then Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year (and don’t forget to make sure you are registered to vote!) Here’s a rundown of all that awaits you this holiday season in Provincetown!

Thanksgiving comes late this year landing on the 28th, but the fun begins early here in Provincetown. Things get rough and tumble at the Crown and Anchor the weekend prior with the Mr. New England Leather contest as well as the continuing weekly RuPaul’s Drag Race UK viewing parties each Thursday.

Thirsty Burlington

The Provincetown Theater also gets an early start on the festivities with its presentation of It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, a fun and creative stage retelling of the beloved Frank Capra film, opening November 21 and running through December 8.

Of course, the Pilgrim Monument signifies the beginning of the holiday season when they turn the lights on the night before Thanksgiving, and then things get more festive as the Lobster Pot tree begins to twinkle and shine in Lopes Square on Saturday night.

Once Macy’s has deflated the balloons after the parade and the fridge is full of leftovers, Provincetown is anything but sleepy the day after Thanksgiving. The Crown gets things rolling with the annual Day After Thanksgiving Drag Bingo hosted by the hilarious Tiki Bronstein. Piano man Jon Richardson takes to the piano at the Dive Bar all weekend as VJ Tom Yaz works his magic in the Wave Bar, and Lakia Mondale, Ania Bangkoks, and Roxy Pops keep it shaking with Thanksgiving Drag Leftovers.


Down Commercial Street the Pilgrim House offer 24-carat comedy with Thank Yule For Being A Friend: A Golden Girls Musical Adventure featuring the Golden Gays of New York City for one night only that Friday.  In this drag stage show based on the hit sitcom, Blanche, Dorothy, and Rose are trapped in Miami for the holidays by a winter storm as they try to travel to see their families for Christmas. But in a Dickensian twist the girls must visit their Christmases of past, present, and future and find Sophia, who will be played by an audience member making a cameo as the smart aleck Sicilian. On Sunday night the folk duo Donnelly & Richardson, featuring Peter Donnelly and Jon Richardson, celebrate the release of their Christmas album by performing songs from the record at a holiday party. All are encouraged to wear ugly holiday sweaters. And Pilgrim House hosts its own RuPaul’s Drag Race UK viewing party each Thursday, as well.

You know the holidays have arrived in Provincetown when the guys from the Canteen open their Holiday Market and Winter Lodge. Now in its fifth year, it’s become an incredibly popular town tradition featuring local artisans, live performances, hearty food and beverages to fend of the winter chill, and loads of holiday cheer. The Holiday Market kicks off on Friday, November 29 and remains open each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through December 29.

Lee Squared

The Provincetown Business Guild is well known not only as one of the first LGBT chambers of commerce in the United States, but also as the producers of Carnival and the big parade, which has become the town’s signature event. But the PBG also presents Holly Folly, an LGBT holiday festival, and First Light, the town’s New Years’ celebration. After years as a small blip on Provincetown’s calendar, Holly Folly has taken flight like Santa’s sleigh in recent years. The town is decked out in its holiday best, and all of the bars, clubs, and restaurants are ready for some naughty and nice revelry. The town is full of music—especially at the Crown, the Gifford House, and at Tin Pan Alley—to get you in a festive mood. And in keeping with the spirit of the holidays the Crown hosts the annual holiday revue Tis’ the Season! an evening of fun and performance hosted by Anita Cocktail and Barbie Cue on Friday night to raise money for the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod.

The following night drag queen superstars BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon join forces as they present their holiday extravaganza All I Want For Christmas Is Attention for one night only as they tour the United Kingdom and the United States. After last year’s hit holiday show To Jesus, Thanks for Everything, Jinkx and DeLa, the drag duo join forces to show how DeLa, who is all sugar, and Jinkx, who’s all spice, deal with the stress of the season. With a little song, a lot of eggnog, and a theater full of people looking at them, they are getting exactly what they want for Christmas: lots of attention!

Marti Gould Cummings

After a smash hit summer season, Lee Squared returns to the Pilgrim House for a special Holly Folly engagement. This fabulous fictional pairing of Liberace and Peggy Lee, portrayed by David Maiocco and Chuck Sweeney, respectively, is rip-roaring funny and amazingly entertaining as this talented duo presents an evening like none other. Local favorite and rising star Mackenzie presents a holiday spectacular Underneath Her Tree: Mackenzie’s Misfit Toy Cabaret that’s sure to jingle your bells and she also hosts drag bingo on Sunday morning.

The thermometer might say it’s getting cold out, but the temperature will be rising with the annual Jingle Bell Run, where scantily clad Santas, Mrs. Clauses, and mischievous elves sprint down Commercial Street on Saturday, December 7. That night of Holly Folly is punctuated by the annual Boston Gay Men’s Chorus holiday concert, A Super Gay Christmas, at Town Hall. And the party goes into the wee hours with the Snow Ball at the Atlantic House. If the weekend has you feeling like you’ve had a bit too much eggnog, but you’re still in the mood for a party, head over to Bayside Betsy’s for a Pajama Drag Brunch on Sunday.


The year 2020 seems to be a long awaited one with of course the presidential election coming on November 3. But 2020 will also see the Summer Olympics in Tokyo and the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower in Provincetown before they headed over to what is now Plymouth. To welcome in the New Year the Art House is presenting Well-Strung with their musical stage show Home For The Holidays at Town Hall Sunday, December 29 and Tony Award-winning star of Dear Evan Hansen Rachel Bay Jones with host Seth Rudetsky at the Art House on Monday, December 30 and Tuesday, December 31. The Pilgrim House brings in Marti Gould Cummings with her show 2019 Is So Over! to ring in 2020 with shows on Friday, December 27 and Sunday, December 29.

Anita Cocktail. Photo: Bobby Miller

The Crown and Anchor welcomes 2020 starting on Saturday, December 28 with Tiki Bronstein hosting First Light Drag Bingo (and again on Monday) followed by the ladies of Illusions with a powerhouse drag revue. Sunday night the fabulous Thirsty Burlington presents her Holiday Spectacular.  The incredible Suede presents a one-night-only concert on Monday, December 30 as the legendary piano man Bobby Wetherbee entertains all weekend long.  The big event of the weekend is Sunday evening as the PBG presents a fireworks display over Provincetown Harbor to welcome in the New Year. All over town, bars, clubs, and restaurants ring in the New Year with special parties and dinners on Tuesday, December 31. And to begin the year with a most sobering event, join the brave and/ or crazy and take part in the Fifth Annual Polar Bear Plunge and take a quick dip in frigid Provincetown Harbor on the first day of the new year! Happy 2020 everyone!

Venues Mentioned

214 Commercial St. 508.487.9222.

4 Masonic Pl. 508.487.3821.

177 Commercial St. 508.487.6566.

225 Commercial St. 508.487.3800.

247 Commercial St. 508.487.1430

9 Carver St. 508.487.0688.

336 Commercial St. 508.487.6424

1 High Pole Hill Rd. 508.487.1310.

238 Bradford St. 508.487.7487.

Provincetown TOWN HALL
260 Commercial St. 508.487.7000.

269 Commercial St. 508.487.1648.

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Graphic Artist

Ginger Mountain

Ginger Mountain (MS Communications Media, BA Fine Arts/Teaching Certification K-12) has been part of the graphic design team at Provincetown Magazine since 2008. Ginger has worked as a creative director, individual contractor, and freelance designer with clients representing many areas —business software, consumer products, professional services, entertainment, and network hardware to name just a few — providing creative layout and development of a wide range of print media content. Her clients ranged from small local businesses to large corporations and Fortune 500 companies, from New Hampshire to Georgia

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[email protected] 14 Center St. Provincetown MA, 02657