Jayme Perez was born and raised in West Wareham. She lived in Florida for a few years but moved back to her hometown nine years ago. “Once a Viking, always a Viking,’’ Perez said with a laugh, referencing Wareham High School’s mascot.
She and her husband, Mark, bought a house in Onset, a village in Wareham, three years ago; her parents, who grew up in Onset and the nearby town of Marion, still live less than 15 minutes away. Perez works at a local bank; her husband is an engineer. On the side, they run a business providing photo booths for weddings and proms.
“We love it here. It’s a really good place to live and play, and it’s really family-oriented,’’ Perez said of Wareham, which has a population of about 22,000. “I see kids I grew up with and their parents on the street, and it’s all love.’’
A true community spirit suffuses Wareham, according to Perez. She praised the volunteers who pick up garbage around town and an ongoing fund-raiser to improve Lopes Playground.
The couple makes the most of Wareham’s outdoors. “Every day, my husband and our dog, Reese, and I go on a four-mile walk. We have a little route going onto Onset Beach and through town’’ — with a stop for dog treats along the way.
They like to attend Onset’s Blessing of the Fleet, a tradition in fishing communities in which a priest offers a benediction to each vessel in a parade, which is followed by a concert and fireworks. Other events throughout the year include an Easter egg hunt, the Christmas parade, and block parties.
“We don’t leave town. We have everything at our fingertips,’’ Perez said.
The cost of admission to the annual Cranberry Harvest Festival, which will be held Oct. 7 and 8 (it’s $5 for seniors and military members, and children under 7 are admitted free). You can watch cooking demonstrations and harvesting, peruse the farmers’ market for cranberry-themed fare, put on waders and stand in a bog, and more.
The approximate number of visitors annually to Water Wizz, a family-run water park located in Wareham that has been open for 35 years and attracts throngs during the summer thrilled by its fast-moving slides, tube rides, and wave pool. The park has even served as the filming location for a couple of Hollywood movies.
The length of “The Moving Wall,’’ a traveling reproduction of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., which the town’s veterans’ council has arranged to bring to the Wareham High School/Middle School track from Aug. 17 to 21.
The year the town was officially established by combining land from Rochester (then known as the Sippican Grants) with land from the Agawam Purchase, which had been leased and then bought from Plymouth Colony landowners in the late 17th century.
That seaside locale
Wareham has 54 miles of coastline, including sandy public beaches and estuaries and lakes to explore by kayak. A boating-oriented community, Wareham offers on-demand water shuttles, dockside dining, visitor moorings, and Onset, which is lined with Victorian mansions and cottages. The community hosts many breezy events throughout the year, including its annual Onset Blues Festival (Aug. 5). Another nod to the town’s coastal feel: the annual Wareham Oyster Festival.
CON & PRO
GreatSchools.org rates Wareham’s public schools a 3 out of 10, while Niche.com gives them a C-plus. The school system has seen a drop in enrollment (699 Wareham residents of school age are not attending public schools in town, the superintendent said in March ) that some attribute to budget battles. In a decision that may attract more students, however, the high school is now offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma.