Though the 5 day festival honoring the patron saint of the fishermen, St. Peter, began on the 24th, there are still 4 days left to join in the celebration. The festival is put on by the spirited Italian-American community of Gloucester, Mass. The St. Peter's Fiesta has been featured on The Discovery Channel, PBS's United Tastes of America and New England's own, Yankee Magazine. The 2009 festival started June 24 and ends this Sunday, June 28.
In 1927 an Italian-American fishing captain, Savatore Favazza, ordered a life-sized statue of St. Peter to be enshrined in the heart of the Italian district. The fishermen and their families began to pray to their patron saint and it wasn't too long after, that the wives and mothers of the fishermen made plans for an annual religious procession on June 29 in honor of St. Peter. Slowly through the years, this annual procession grew to a day-long demonstration of faith to the protector of all fishermen, which then of course turned into the 5-day celebration Gloucester still holds today.
Beyond the procession, the prayers and the mass, lies a full schedule of music, sports, activities, feasts and drink. Perhaps the most anticipated events are the Seine Boat Races and the Greasy Pole. The schedule is here, so you can plan you trip.
Photo courtesy of St. Peter's Festival Committee