Category Archives: Block Party

TBT Post

During the Block Party on September 20, 2014, TBT Post at 33 Main Street, Gloucester, MA has a great fun way to win a gift certificate. Richard and Mario have made little candy treats with the colors of the Italian flag for customers. Inside the treat bag is a raffle coupon with a number. There will be no need to fill out the raffle ticket with your name, because when the raffle ticket is picked, Richard and Mario will post the winning numbers at the store. Love this idea.
September 19, 2014 TBT

Big Block Party Bash Celebrates End of Summer

Even after dark, the street is packed. Here is my neighbor Jalapenos Mexican Restaurant. Always busy and always tasty. All the restaurants serve late.

SATURDAY from 6-11, this year’s final Block Party features a stellar mix of entertainment, including The GHS Docksiders Big Band, a quintet of Boston jazz maestros and a variety of other talent on five outdoor stages PLUS The Brass Fed Horns (featuring Carlos Menezes, Jr., the hardest working musician on Cape Ann) roaming Main Street with Gloucester’s version of Little Italy at the West End (from THE CAVE to Washington).


See the Entertainment SCHEDULE BY STAGE HERE


Participating Restaurants & Merchants here.

Fred’s Takeaway from Saturday’s Block Party

Shelley4390wmYes, there were massive crowds on the street, but the the 150+ people I appreciated most were the folks who came in to encourage me with my battle with cancer and the attack by a gangrenous appendix. Tugboat Captain Doug walked right up to me behind the desk to give me a big bear hug. I thought I was going to get mugged, as he was clean shaven and unrecognized at first. City Councilor Sepatia thrust my rollator/walker aside to give another hug and kind words. Reiki Master Karen Pischke made a promise to bring the resources of her Dreamtime Wellness treatment to me at home. Shelley (with PT/OT calzones) from Den-Mar Rehab, one of my prime physical therapists, came by with half a dozen of her best friends,. Then three nurses from Mass General charged in and offered their support too.

I’d like to thank Valerie Marcley, long time organizer in charge of the Block Parties, for her hard work on the event, her sensitivity, and for being a good friend. She was there cleaning up long after I had gone home. Lastly, I want to mention my “Gyotaku” fish print artist Patrick Horgan, who just happened in from Seabrook, N.H. I convinced him to set up his display outside the gallery. It’s always a pleasure to work with Pat, and he escorted and drove me safely thru the darkness to the refuge of my home in Rockport. Cape Ann is a very special community that cares. They’ll always have your back.


What will they think of next?  Circus performers, Dancers, Hula Hoops, Mary Poppins, Reptiles and more invade Main Street tomorrow night for this summer’s second block party — and what an extravaganza it will be (more info here).

Here’s a list of entertainment by stage.

And here’s a list of all the music by time.

Here’s a list of participating restaurants & merchants.  Remember to make reservations if you want to get a table.

And a big map with parking info right here.

Everything you need to enjoy a night on the town in beautiful Gloucester!

Block Party Video By Cape Ann TV – Allen Estes & Will Hunt

Put A Good Buzz On – Allen Estes and Will Hunt at the Gloucester Block Party July 2014

Cape Ann TV Video shot by Chris Mullen, Steven Essery, James Frye, John Walker, Dylan Benson and Jim Capillo. Edited by Jim Capillo


Cancer: Check. Appendix? Bye Bye!

I haven't posted lately because I wasn't feeling well, and my cancer treatment changed from hormone therapy to chemotherapy. I was progressively weakening, losing much of the strength I had recovered in physical therapy. I visited the ER at Addison Gilbert Hospital, was tested, and informed by Dr. Berger that it wasn't only the cancer – it was my diseased appendix, that was affecting me. Three hours later, Dr. Kacoyanis of Beverly Hospital surgically removed the offending organ. I'm regaining strength quickly here in Beverly, and feel much better. Although I won't be able to open my gallery for the wonderful Block Party July 19th, I hope you'll celebrate on our Main Street for me, and I'll see you there soon! Fred

I haven’t posted lately because I wasn’t feeling well, and my cancer treatment changed from hormone therapy to chemotherapy. I was progressively weakening, losing much of the strength I had recovered in physical therapy. I visited the ER at Addison Gilbert Hospital, was tested, and informed by Dr. Berger that it wasn’t only the cancer – it was my diseased appendix, that was affecting me. Three hours later, Dr. Kacoyanis of Beverly Hospital surgically removed the offending organ. I’m regaining strength quickly here in Beverly, and feel much better.
Although I won’t be able to open my gallery for the wonderful Block Party July 19th, I hope you’ll celebrate on our Main Street for me, and I’ll see you there soon! Fred

Part Two of My Article for the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism Featuring Gloucester’s HarborTown Cultural District

Friday was an especially terrific day for me as my article for Cape Ann Magazine hit the newsstands and later in the day, I learned that part two of my article for the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, “Gloucester Harbortown Cultural District,” was posted on the MOTT blog, Mass Finds.

I was completely taken by surprise that my photo was chosen for the cover of Cape Ann Magazine and just happened to be in Joey’s office down at the dock when Andrea Holdbook, CAMag’s editor-in-chief posted on goolge that the summer issue had hit the stands. It was especially fun to share the news with Joey because he provides a tremendous forum here on GMG highlighting all the good happenings and events in our community, and because he is so supportive towards all his contributors.

Yesterday I posted an excerpt from Cape Ann Magazine’s “Cape Ann to Mexico: The Monarch Butterfly Connection,” and the following is an excerpt from the MOTT article. Please share with your friends. Thank you! Part One is posted here.


MOTT Article
Gloucester HarborTown Cultural District
Part Two
By Kim Smith

The last days of winter and first days of spring herald the beginning of the nine-day novena leading up to the Feast of St. Joseph, which always takes place on March 19th. With its thriving Sicilian American community, Gloucester is one of only a handful of American cities that celebrates the Feast of San Giuseppe with traditional Sicilian customs. Homes are decorated with altars devoted to the patron saint of the poor and orphaned, and a special trolley takes everyone who is interested around the city to view the altars of San Giuseppe. Special Saint Joseph bread, oranges, and lemons are given to all who come, while everyone eagerly anticipates the coming feast day.

St. Joseph Trolley ©Kim Smith 2012Saint Joseph Trolley Participants

Summertime is Gloucester’s high season. The city is alive with nightly live music, an embarrassment of riches in fabulous restaurants, and bustling shops and galleries. On specially designated nights, Main Street is closed to traffic and the entire town becomes one giant block party. Restaurants open onto the street, merchant booths appear, shops have special offerings, and there are street performers and family-friendly activities at every corner.

Mayor Carolyn Kirk Family Gloucester Block Party ©Kim Smith 2012 copy

Bill and Mayor Carolyn Kirk Family and Friends at the Block Party

In August the tall ships arrive from around the world to participate in Gloucester’s Schooner Festival. “Le Beauport,” Gloucester’s beautiful working harbor, is the backdrop for the races and parades of these magnificent traditional fishing vessels designed during the age of sail. The afternoon lobster bake, nighttime nautical Parade of Lights, and fireworks that brilliantly illuminate the harbor are just some of the fun family-friendly activities that take place during the three-day long Schooner Festival.

Schooner Festival Lobster Bake ©Kim Smith 2013 copy

George and Charles Ryan at the First Annual Schooner Festival Lobster Bake

Don’t miss the opportunity to take a sunset tour of Gloucester Harbor aboard one of the exquisite schooners built by the living legendary ship builder and National Heritage fellow, Harold Burnham, on either the 65-foot Thomas E. Lannon with Captain Tom Ellis or the Pinky Schooner, operated out of Maritime Gloucester.

St. peter's Fiesta Gloucester ©Kim Smith 2012 copy

My favorite event of the summer is the annual St. Peter’s Fiesta, with both its deeply religious aspect of honoring St. Peter, the patron saint of fishermen, and the jubilant festivities that take place throughout the city during the five-day celebration. Read More Here.

St. Peter's Fiesta from Ferris Wheel © Kim Smith 2011 copy




If you want to make a living playing music, you have to make a living playing music!

One of my favorite local stars, Inge Berge, shared a post on his Facebook page about this “Call For Performers” by the city of Yellowknife, NT in Canada:

As we head into Gloucester’s spring/summer/fall busy season, I’m glad he brought this topic up because that’s often when musicians are asked to play for free in return for “exposure.”

I don’t expect musicians to perform for free, because I don’t work for free.  Actually, the last time I asked any musician to play without pay (except for passing the hat) was when Vickie and I were helping organize the first Block Parties in 2008, at which I played for free too.   And that was only because everyone involved in starting the Block Parties donated their time.  By last year  (could have been 2012) the Block Parties had evolved to the point where the Block Party Committee raises money and pays musicians.

Don’t get me wrong, I do volunteer my time for various causes that I feel are worthwhile — and I sometimes work for trade.  But in every trade case, I’m getting something in return for my work — something of equal value to the value of my work.

Next time somebody asks you to play for free, ask “What am I getting in trade?”  If the answer is something like, “Oh, you’ll get great exposure,”  my advice is just say no.

Lugging your gear into your car, driving to the venue, setting up, breaking down, loading your gear back into your car and driving home would be enough to demand some pay (at least what stage hands get).  Then there’s performing, which (among other things) requires years of practice, tremendous dedication, a willingness to trust your artistic instincts and … talent.  That should be reserved only for those occasions where the people who’ve asked you to perform value the fact that you’re digging deeper into the human soul than most people ever get and sharing what you find with the rest of us. 

I could rattle off a dozen reasons why mere “exposure” is no where near enough compensation for performing — and the first one that comes to mind is that if you’re playing anywhere on Cape Ann, you can get plenty of free exposure right here on GMG and on

Plus, because you don’t want to play to an empty room, you’ll probably plug the event on your own social media pages, which gets free exposure for the people who’ve asked you to perform in the first place.

Feel free to share this post with everybody who asks you to play for free …

What does Jesse Colin Young have to do with Saturday’s block party?

I know, this is really out of left field, but here goes:  In 1974 I discovered the re-release of “Soul of a City Boy” by Jesse Colin Young that had been released for the first time ten years earlier, but didn’t sell then.  This LP was recorded in a single 4 hour session at A&R Studios in NYC.  Just Young (22 at the time) and his guitar.  It remains one of my favorite albums.  There’s something haunting, almost mesmerizing about his voice and guitar on this record with six of his originals and 5 covers.  One of my favorites of his covers is “Rye Whisky” — and that just happens to be the featured liquor for Saturday’s final Ryan & Wood Cocktail Contest.  Back in 1974, when you got a new album, you put it on the stereo, sat on the floor and stared at the cover while it played.  Nobody does that anymore.  But here’s the next best thing:  Watch this video of “Rye Whisky” by Jesse Colin Young.  Mostly you’ll just see the Soul of a City Boy cover.  Did anybody else do this?  Remember what it was like to immerse yourself in your newest purchase from the record store?

This Block Party features some excellent music (details by stage here; details by time here).  Be sure to check out Alexandra Valenti (here’s a recent post about this endearing, young, rising star).  By the time she’s 22, she might be as good as Jesse Colin Young was.

3rd & Final Block Party of 2013 Saturday September 21st

September’s  Block party highlights a variety of entertainment with an emphasis on women performers. In addition to Willie Alexander, Karen Ristuben and Mo Bounce, emerging new talent such as Marina Evans and Alexandra Valenti will fill five stages.

Main Street restaurants serve outside and the stores are open late for shopping. Youngsters are entertained in Kids’ Town.

The third & final Ryan and Wood Distillery Block Party Cocktail contest will feature Rye Whiskey for the September party. Restaurant patrons may enjoy a sample and vote for their favorite creation at the Ryan and Wood information table.

  • The July winner was Alchemy Bistro’s “Simpler Tides” created by mixologist Felicia Grossi.  
  • August winner was Dog Bar’s  “Knockabout Jell-O™ Shots” created by mixologist Misty Baker.  

The popular contest will continue in September.

September 21 Entertainment

Applied Materials (SOVEREIGN STAGE) @ Sovereign Bank Upper Main St.
  • 6:00 PM – Bonnie Barrish – Romantic concert piano compositions
  • 6:45 PM – Toni Ann Enes – Original folk to rock to diva!
  • 7:30 PM – Deb Hardy- Dynamic Rockport singer-songwriter
  • 8:30 PM – Bradley Royds- X-tra-ordinary guitar and songs
Gloucester’s Hometown Realtors Stage – Main St. by Mark Adrian Shoes
  • 6:00 PM – Naoya and Yuri featuring Jamie Song – Japanese pop!
  • 6:30 PM – Bill Gleason  – Acoustic blues treasure vault
  • 7:20 PM – Karen Ristuben - Smooth Jazz Chanteuse with combo
  • 8:30 PM – Willie ALexander with the Razdans & Doctor Dave Vincent!
Whitmarsh Lock & Safe Stage (SARGENT STAGE) – Middle Main St. by Sargent House
  • 6:00 PM – Play Reading – “The Medium” by Judith Sargent Murray
  • 6:45 PM – Cape Ann Dance Company – Back by popular demand- this troupe always dazzles us!
  • 7:15 PM – Tony Fonseca – Drumming
  • 8:30 PM – Livin’ on Luck – Classic rock and choice gems to dance to!
Bank Gloucester Stage (MYSTERY TRAIN STAGE) – Lower Main Street in front of Mystery Train Records and the CA Cinema
  • 6:00 PM – The Docksiders - Gloucester High School’s terrific Big Band
  • 6:45 PM – Joe  Thomas - Giuseppe’s piano song monster takes requests
  • 7:30 PM – Marina Evans - Back from tour with a new CD!
  • 8:15 PM – Alexandra Valenti – young voice big talent, one to watch
  • 9:05 PM – Johnny and the Firecrackers – Rock ‘n’ roll , punk, new wave and soul

*All times approximate

  • Joe Thomas – outdoor sing-alongs during the breaks!
To see lineup by time click here

To see lineup by time click here

Toni Ann Enes on Local Music Seen with Allen Estes tonight

Toni Ann Enes

Toni Ann Enes on the set – photo: Joanne Silva

Local diva Toni Ann Enes is Allen’s guest on Local Music Seen with Allen Estes, which premieres tonight at 6:30 on Cape Ann TV Channel 12.

One of Gloucester’s most passionate singers, Toni Ann treats us to her original folk, blues and rock with a heartfelt, emotion that reaches through the screen and grabs you.

You can see Toni Ann live this Saturday at the Block Party Sovereign Stage at 6:45pm.

Watch the show tonight and get ready to have your heart strings pulled!

See complete Block Party music lineup here.  More Block Party details coming soon . . .

Fabulous Fall Finds From Pop Gallery!

The gals from POP Gallery at 67 Main Street have done it again! They have compiled a style spread of their top fashion picks for Fall! All brands/styles featured are available at Pop Gallery now!

Click the picture below to view the spread!


And remember to fall out for the last Block party of the Season on September 21st and “turn over a new leaf” with some new seasonal accents to your wardrobe! I will also be open block party weekend, with refreshments and snacks! Going to be a great time!

(And be sure to check out Pop’s facebook page for up to date information and special sales!)


Paula Cole’s Noise Interview is a MUST READ for every musician and music fan!

Yesterday we were treated to one of our new monthly pleasures: T Max dropped off a  few copies of the September issue of The Noise Magazine.  It’s one of the perks of living in Magnolia, which, since T Max moved to Gloucester, happens to be right on his delivery route as he takes The Noise to Beverly, Salem, and on down to Boston.

This is an especially good issue, the highlight of which is Eric Baylies’ wonderful interview with Grammy-winner and Rockport native Paula Cole.  Paula invites us into her creative process and shares her profound wisdom on the music business in one of the most insightful artist interviews since John Lennon’s 1980 Playboy interview.  Paula gives us too many wonderful quotes to list here.  You’ll just have to read the article.  Kudos to Eric for asking all the right questions, to T Max for printing the whole thing and especially to Paula for allowing herself to be honest, personal and profound in print, without so much as a care in the world for the usual hype and meticulous grooming that usually attends a new CD release from a major star, such as her.

Among many other gems in this issue are two exceedingly entertaining reviews by T Max of live music at Beverly’s Block parties and the Big Shot of Inge Berge by Sheila Roberts Orlando, which proves that Inge is one of Gloucester’s most creative artists!

Block party!

It was a great evening for a block party!

Among other people I ran into, Joey and his family were dining at Ohana:And Henry Allen’s North Shore Folklore Theatre were doing a reading of part of one of Judith Sargent Murray’s plays, “The Happy Medium”:

I also took a moment to go to The Cave to buy something for a party I was going to later. Peach Chutney, which I put on ice cream! It was delicious!


These are great events!

- Matthew Green

“Simpler Tides” winning Cocktail from July’s Spirit of Gloucester Cocktail Contest

Help select the 2nd Block Party Cocktail Winner at the Block Party on Saturday, August 17, 2013.  Ryan & Wood  Knockabout Gin will be the featured liquor.   Sample selections at participating restaurants and vote for your favorite at the Ryan & Wood table! Make sure you’re at least age 21!

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