Santa!! On Saturday!! Rockport Harbor!! 3:45PM!!!

As an annual tradition dating back centuries, Santa Claus rides into Rockport Harbor on a fishing boat, and then makes his way to Dock Square to light the tree. This is no mall Santa but the real thing!!

The day we have all been waiting for!

Saturday, December 3rd. Santa arrives at 3:45PM and the tree lighting is at 4PM in Dock Square.

Last year’s tree:

Wait for it. Bam! That just happened! Check out all the people in the audience as I stuck the two photos together. Hopefully you are using a browser that allows moving gifs.  Some people disappear. Magic Santa!

Plan your strategy for where to be by reading the coverage from the past two years:

Good Morning Gloucester coverage in 2010

Good Morning Gloucester coverage in 2009

Christmas in Rockport website for much more info on the whole run up to the big day.


  • How did you do that? (get the tree to “light up.”)


    • Good question and I am glad you asked, During the tree lighting I took a bunch of photos from the same spot. While I was looking through them I noticed I had a before and just after tree lighting shot.

      So here comes the nerdy part. I knew there was some way to “gif” the photos together so I figured out in Photoshop that it really wasn’t that hard. I made two layers using the photos and tried to line the tree up. Then by erasing some of the people in the “off” tree close to me that moved I was able to make them overlay pretty well. Then in photoshop I made a moving gif photo which had five seconds off tree layer switching to the five seconds on tree layer. Presto.

      Since learning the technique I am thinking of all sorts of things that Homie and Rubber Duck can do in an animated gif. I might even throw in a sparrow.


  • Very cool Paul. I just got it.


  • Now I’m getting a little pushback from the Coast Guard and the Rockport Town Fathers. It turns out they have been keeping the fact that the Rockport Santa is actually the real Santa a secret. They fear a mad crush of humanity including a boat flotilla to get a glimpse of the authentic rotund red one.

    So come early to get a piece of dock to sit on. I’ve also received a note from the shop in the north. Anyone who pushes and shoves leading to a harbor dunking will get a large lump of anthracite in their stocking.


  • Apparently, there is much to learn from Photo Shop (my son keeps telling me), and you’ve just proved it. Well Done!


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