You Know You're in Provincetown When...

by Sofia Neilsen Sep 19, 2015

You have to wait in line behind a dog at a drinking fountain.

There is a reason why Dog Fancy Magazine voted Ptown the “most dog friendly city in America.” Outside most shops you’ll see a bowl of water for K-9 friends, but there are dog-level fountains attached to many public drinking fountains in town.

You spot a man running in a speedo and a Santa hat.

Each winter season people of all body types run a mile in speedos and Santa costumes in the Santa Speedo Run Provincetown event. This activity supports the volunteer fire department and EMS Cancer Relief Funds.

You pass a crowd of half-naked people wearing leather straps or sparkly wigs and tutus.

Anything goes in Provincetown. People are free to explore and express their identities wearing sequins or their mother’s dresses without judgment.

Someone scrapes gun off the sidewalk with their bare hands and puts it in the trash.

Ptown is a community all about environmental sustainability. Trash is not seen as “someone else’s” problem. Everyone jumps in to keep Provincetown clean.

Groups of people hang around outside a pizza joint at 1 in the morning.

Since the bars close at 1:00, everyone congregates outside of Spiritus Pizza to wrap up the fun.

You buy pumpkin yogurt dog popsicles because you want to know what they taste like.

Your love of desserts and insatiable curiosity won’t let you skip on the baked dog cookie or the puppy popsicles at Happy Camper.

People wonder why cars try to drive in the road.

Pedestrians rule the streets while cars crawl behind them. Walking or biking is always faster, and parking is a nightmare.

You definitely can’t assume which kid goes with what parents.

You’ll be in trouble if you assume you can match kids with parents since diversity wins when it comes to Ptown families. You’ll often see children in florescent-colored shirts that say, “I love my gay aunt,” or “I love my two dads.”

Everyone is on a first-name basis.

Like most small towns, people know and greet each other by their first names. You can’t go anywhere without running in to someone you know.

People say good morning and mean it.

At first you might think the stranger who said “good morning” as they passed on the sidewalk was taunting or hitting on you. Then it happens five more times and you realize people are serious.

A man in Pilgrim getup rings a bell and declares, “Hear ye, hear ye, all is well in Provincetown.”

Ptown residents are proud of their connection to the Pilgrims, since Provincetown was the first place the Mayflower landed (despite what your history class taught you). Look for the man in the Pilgrim consume to tell you about the unique history of the Pilgrims in this town and the Pilgrim Monument.

You freak out when you hear a car horn or siren.

The peace and quiet of a small town makes you forget the blaring sounds of car horns and sirens. When you do hear them on rare occasions, the whole town wants to know what happened.

You ask yourself why you didn’t become a world-famous artist.

Even though you haven’t taken an art class since high school, you wonder why you never pursued a romantic career in oil painting as you pop in and out of the sixty art galleries in town and chat with talented artists.

You have no cell phone service and couldn’t care less.

Normally you panic when your phone dies or you lose your cell signal, but this doesn’t faze you in Ptown. Besides, no one else can get their phone to work either. You’ll run into your friends eventually or jump on a random Wi-Fi network to coordinate.

You ride in a leopard print bus.

The Funk Bus is the awesome limo service in Ptown. Also known as a party bus, these animal-print vehicles are the ultimate way to celebrate a big event or to cart around a group of pals in style.

Miss Richfield has offended you and everyone you’ve ever met in her night show.

Miss Richfield is at it again in her popular comedy shows at the Crown and Anchor. You squirm in your seat as she makes pointed jokes at you and the entire room, but you know you’ll come back again next year.

You cry when you think about leaving.

Everyone agrees that the minute you step onto the peer you feel there is something special about Provincetown. With a promise that you can be whoever you want to be without fear and judgment, who would ever want to leave this fun haven? You know you’ll be back again next year.

[This piece was produced in partnership with the Provincetown Tourism Office]

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