Author Archives: S.D. Kelly

Come to Seaview Farm and Support the Rockport Farmers Market!

The Gloucester Times ran a story last week about the Rockport Farmers Market and the Essex Farmers Market, and the difficulty of keeping volunteer-run markets going. Essex is taking a hiatus this year while they regroup. We hope you will support their efforts, as the more local food each community can bring to the people who live there, the better. The Rockport Farmers Market brings food to a village without a grocery store, while providing a chance for locals and visitors to hang out and catch up every Saturday morning. The market has become a crucial part of the local landscape; it’s success is this reason the volunteers, vendors, and patrons drag themselves out of bed on the weekends.

On Friday, June 23rd, the Rockport Farmers Market will celebrate the kickoff to the summer season, with Rockport Exchange (the organizers of the market) hosting a party and fundraiser at Seaview Farm. Music from Old Cold Tater, and beef sliders from Seaview, prepared by Relish Catering, along with delicious food & drink generously provided by Common Crow, StudioCrepe, Cake Ann, Westport Rivers Winery and more!

For this Friday’s event: a suggested donation of $35 supports the Rockport Farmers Market and helps keep it going in its mission in bringing local food to Rockport! Go to www.rockportexchange.org to reserve your spot, or click on the photo, below. See you there, and thanks!

Rusty+Ingrid Creative Company Moves to Rockport!

The grand opening for Rusty+Ingrid Creative Company’s new digs in Rockport continues through Sunday. Don’t miss the chance to stop by and see their work in their new studio and gallery. Their prints are vibrant, original, and completely handmade (including the frames). Also, they’re offering popcorn in different flavors. Who knew chocolate-drizzled popcorn was delicious? Not me.

The good news is that if you miss the grand opening, you can just stop by during regular gallery hours, or check them out in Boston at SoWa on Sundays, or find them online (especially their very cool Instagram).

Rusty + Ingrid Creative Company Grand Opening

Having Rusty and Ingrid relocate to Rockport is a great asset to the burgeoning makers and artists’ scene in town, and Rockport is truly lucky to have them right on Main Street. The space is live/work, so the entire family is making Rockport their home — another way they’re investing in the community. More and more downtown Rockport merchants are also Cape Ann residents, which has obvious implications for the level of investment our local merchants make the community. This shift is making a huge difference in town, and good things are happening all over. That is, if summer ever shows up and the MBTA doesn’t shut down the train.

Ingrid, looking as cool as that infused water.

 

oh Motif No.1..you never looked better

Maine gets in on the action

 

All the store fixtures were designed and built by Rusty and Ingrid

 

front of the shop with the studio in the back

 

The print studio

 

Fun with chalk

 

turns out that chocolate drizzle on popcorn is pretty awesome.

 

 

the view from Main Street

 

Rusty and Ingrid

Motif No. 1 Day 5K and Festival THIS Saturday!

Rockport’s going to be a happening place on Saturday, with the Rockport Elementary School Motif No.1 Day 5k & Fun Run kicking off at 9am, immediately followed by the Motif No. 1 Day Festival!

Tons of live music, great food, interactive art-making, a Seaside Circus, and a Rockport Art Colony pop-up art exhibit are all taking place right downtown from 11 to 7pm. Just outside the downtown area the YMCA’s Ben Beyea Youth & Teen Center celebrates its 10th anniversary with a party from 10:30 to 1pm with activities and food so good stuff is taking place throughout Rockport! Eastern Point Lit House is hosting an Open Mic for writers, and there will be plenty of opportunity to make art, whether as part of the Sidewalk Chalk art event or contributing to the community mural.

The Schedule of Events:

 

The 2017 Commemorative Poster from Rockport artist David Arsenault:

Motif No.1 Day is organized by the community nonprofit Rockport Exchange. For more on the festival itself or how you can get involved, go to www.rockportexchange.org. See you in Rockport on Saturday!

Get To the Old Sloop Fair Early or Get Left Behind

OldSloopFair-RummageSale-for-gmgAnyone who has spent time looking for bargains should know about the Old Sloop Fair at the First Congregational Church in Rockport. The Old Sloop Fair takes place over three weekends. It is a marathon, not a sprint, and the first leg of this Rummage Sale to end all Rummage Sales takes place this coming Saturday. With a wealth of hand-knitted items, baked goods and household linens, not to mention enough clothing to cover all those semi-naked people loitering on Front Beach, the Old Sloop Fair is not to be missed.

Here is a slightly less hyperbolic description from one of the organizers:

The Old Sloop Fair at the handicap-accessible First Congregational Church of Rockport, 12 School Street, will span three July weekends this year.  The Fair will begin with the Rummage Sale on Saturday, July 9 from 9:00AM to 2:00PM.  The Rummage Sale offers gently-used women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing, bed linens, luggage, handbags, and much more.  The Fair will continue with the traditional events — Silent Auction, White Elephants, Art Mart, Jewelry, Book Nook, Handknits, Ken’s Collection, Bake Table, and Snack Bar — on Friday, July 15 and Saturday, July 16, and conclude with a Giant Yard Sale on Saturday, July 23.  For more information, visit http://oldsloopfair.org, send email to info@oldsloopfair.org, or call 978-309-9667.

Calling All Poets! Open Mic in Rockport

A tradition of the Motif No.1 Day arts festival is to feature poets from Cape Ann and their work in a poetry reading, which takes place each year at 4pm.

This year the event is hosted by Christopher Anderson of the Eastern Point Lit House, and will take place in an open mic format. Poets and readers of all ages welcome. Come early for the other literary events at the festival (the Magnetic Poetry Slam, Book Spine Poetry, selections from Shakespeare presented by Cape Ann Shakespeare Troupe, and more) and stay for the Words Before Dinner Poetry Reading.

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Click HERE for a general festival Schedule of Events.

Art! Music! Poetry! Dance! on Motif No.1 Day

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Lots of great stuff is going on this year in Rockport at the annual Motif No.1 Day. We have the Rockport Farmers Market, coffee from Twin Lights Coffee Co., burgers from Seaview Farm, lots of good stuff from the Rockport New Year’s Eve Food Booth and crepes from the soon-to-be-open StudioCrepe restaurant by the train station.

A Seaside Circus, great live music, interactive activities like the Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest, poetry readings, and much more are all part of the event, not to mention the Motif No.1 Day 5K and Fun Run, with proceeds going to benefit health & wellness at Rockport Elementary School!

Go to www.rockportexchange.org for a Schedule of Events, but keep in mind more good things will be added before the festival takes place on May 21st.

The Red Shed Film Fest in Rockport!

Coming up on Monday, the 16th! Local filmmakers will showcase their work in a micro-film fest, the Red Shed Film Fest (in honor of the Motif in honor of Motif No.1 Day in honor of the arts…).

Starting at 7pm , short films will screen in Rockport Music’s beautiful Shalin Liu Performance Center. A party on the 3rd floor will follow the screening, with a cash bar and light food from the legendary Willow Rest. By “party” I mean: party, Rockport-style, where we stay up past 8pm, so bear this in mind in terms of your expectations. This doesn’t mean it won’t be fun, maybe even raucous! By Rockport standards! Which is still great!

The Red Shed Film Fest is a small but mighty showcase for our burgeoning local film scene. If you like short films and can tolerate other people and want to support art, this event is for YOU!

Come out to the Red Shed Film Fest on May 16th. The RSFF kicks off the week leading up to Motif No.1 Day on Saturday, and is a great way to begin the week. Admission is suggested donation. Your donations support the free programming of the Motif No.1 Day festival, celebrating Rockport across the arts, featuring film, dance, music and poetry. For more info on the fest go to www.rockportexchange.org.

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Rockport Farmers Market on Saturday!

Supporting Local Food

The Rockport Farmers Market has been setting up at the Community House in Rockport this winter as a new venture in local food, and it has been an interesting and exciting experiment so far to hold a farmers’ market every month from January all the way into the summer when the weekly market returns. The Cape Ann community supports local food producers in a big way, and the farmers’ market vendors are looking forward to seeing all of you on Saturday at the March market!

Local food patrons can pick up fresh greens and locally-raised meats from Arrowhead Family Farm, First Light Farm and Rockport’s own Seaview Farm. Plus, there will be loads of other foods from local producers: smoked fish from Sasquatch Smokehouse, locally-roasted direct trade coffee from Valverde Coffee, dried fruits from All-Fruit, soups from The Soup Guy, granola and more from The Yellow Plum, fresh baked goods from Cake Ann, pickles from Ma & Pa’s Pickles, and dahlia tubers from Roving Radish and much more!!!

RWinterFMposter (1)FREE Tote with $50 Purchase!

At Saturday’s Rockport Winter Farmers Market (March 19th from 9am to 1pm at the Rockport Community House), patrons who spend $50 or more will receive a Rockport Farmers Market tote: a high-quality screenprinted reversible fabric bag with inside pocket – perfect for carrying all your delicious farmers’ market goods.

Pick up a “farmers’ market patron” card at the Rockport Exchange booth at the market and vendors will check off each $10 increment you spend. If you spend $50 at tomorrow’s market, simply present your card back at the Rockport Exchange booth for redemption at the end of your Rockport Farmers Market visit.

Enjoy fresh, local food and support the work of local food producers, PLUS get a handy tote in the process: a winning situation!

For more info visit http://www.rockportexchange.org

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Rockport Winter Farmers Market on SATURDAY. Plus more stuff…

Christmas in Rockport this year has been Christmas-ier than I can ever remember it being in the 14 years I’ve been around (now you all know that I’m 14 years old, because of course I was born a Rockport native). You will get in the spirit in spite of yourself, even if the weather is so mild it’s more like June (which is always so freakin cold here) than December.

TOMORROW the Rockport Winter Farmers Market features fresh food from actual farmers who grow stuff and have been growing stuff specifically for this market and the Cape Ann Farmers Market (next Saturday 12/19 in Gloucester!). So don’t let the farmers down and come buy fresh, local food. The market will also feature baked goods, nisu bread, pickles, fruits, granola, nuts, and more more more. 9am to 1pm at the Rockport Community House at 58 Broadway.

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A raffle to support the work of the nonprofit Rockport Exchange (organizers of the farmers’ market) will be part of the fun. A bag of Rockport Farmers Market swag will be raffled every hour on the hour (10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm) so buy a ticket for just $1 and have a swell time winning stuff, supporting the market, and most importantly, supporting local food producers.

RFM swag bag

Also: Spiran Lodge has the annual Jul Fest tomorrow! This is a fantastic Rockport tradition and a nod to the village’s heritage. Pickled herring can be yours, along with tons of other great food and crafts. 9 to 1pm at Spiran Lodge on Broadway. And Rockport’s annual Gallery Stroll is tomorrow, with Rockport artists welcoming visitors to town.

AND the entire Charlie Brown Christmas album will be featured at the Old Sloop Coffeehouse Saturday night! This is just too much…. come for the Rockport Winter Farmers Market and stay for the day, ending the evening listening to live music, sipping coffee at the Old Sloop Coffeehouse at the beautiful First Congregational Church on Main Street in Rockport.

 

Harvestfest is SATURDAY! The Details on GMG

Harvestfest 2015 is here and the weather looks perfect and the schedule of events looks even better. Local food & drink will be on hand plus tons of things to do, from celebrating Rockport’s 175th birthday to hanging out and listening to some great live music. Harvestfest is organized by the nonprofit Rockport Exchange with the support of the Town of Rockport and a bunch of great local residents and business owners. We hope you join us for the fun!

Check it out and we’ll see you in downtown Rockport on Saturday to celebrate the best of New England in the fall! Scroll down for a Schedule of Events.

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Saturday in Rockport: Food AND Music!

On October 10th, Rockport hosts the final regular season Rockport Farmers Market (before next week’s Harvestfest!) and a great night of music at the Old Sloop Coffeehouse. In between the farmers’ market and the Coffeehouse you can enjoy shopping and dining in downtown Rockport!

imgresSaturday morning from 9am to 1pm: Rockport Farmers Market vendors feature a bounty of fresh produced, jellies, jams, cold brew coffee, pastries (including a pumpkin s’mores cupcake!)

Saturday night at 7:30 brings David Roth to the Old Sloop Coffeehouse! Buy tickets online or at the door. Connor Garvey opens. More info on both performers, below.

Enjoy a day of supporting local food and live music!

David Roth strikes many chords, hearts, and minds with his unique songs, offbeat observations, moving stories, sense of the hilarious, and powerful singing and subject matter. As singer, songwriter, recording artist, keynote speaker, workshop leader, and instructor, David has earned top honors at premier songwriter competitions – Kerrville (TX) and Falcon Ridge (NY) – and taken his music, experience, and expertise to a wide variety of venues in this and other countries full-time for more than two decades.

Click here to visit David Roth’s website.

Connor Garvey is an award-winning singer-songwriter from Portland, Maine, with the amiable presence of an entertainer, the lyrical depth of a poet, and the enchantment of a storyteller.

Garvey leaves audiences uplifted and inspired through a positive message delivered in a way The Portland Press Herald says proves you can be optimistic and self-aware without being boring. His unique sandy tenor and masterful blend of rhythm and melody draw comparison to Paul Simon and contemporaries Josh Ritter and Jason Mraz. He wins song competitions. He fills rooms. But most of all he moves people.

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Rockport Retail: It’s Gettin’ Hot in Here

by Rockport artist Stefan Mierz

Rambling in Rockport

Yesterday, a post went up on GMG written by the venerable Joey C. on his Saturday a.m. shopping experience in the equally venerable town of Rockport, Mass. The post has since been edited in response to the wail that went up from Main Street and parts of Bearskin Neck — a wail that could be heard all the way in East Gloucester, ringing through the antennae of the crustaceans piled up on the dock as Rockport shop owners rose up in protest. (The protest is mostly on Facebook if anyone wants to read along for some insight into what I’m talking about).

It seems that Joey came to Rockport on Saturday no less than twice (which is two times more than a whole lotta other locals) in an effort to procure some goods from some stores that had caught his eye on Instagram, but both times he was thwarted. Once, because he showed up with the not-unreasonable plan to eat breakfast and shop after the stores open (in theory anyway) at 10 am and the other time — after he was stymied the first time — because he couldn’t find parking. A parking pain we have all felt from the regular schmuck just trying to buy a doughnut from Brothers’ Brew to the the highest Selectperson in the land, just trying to buy a doughnut from Brothers’ Brew. In frustration Joey had no choice but to go to Bed Bath & Beyond or worse, maybe Kohl’s — I don’t know, it was some terrible place way far away with a couple of football fields of empty parking spaces — and line the pockets of our Corporate Overlords with his hard-earned dollars.

The point of the original post seemed to be twofold: 1) Talk about how genuinely great the shops in Rockport are, mention how awesome the Rockport Farmers Market is (yes it is!) and give a well-deserved shout-out to breakfast at the Blue Lobster Grille, and 2) Call out the shops for contributing to shopping difficulties by opening after 10am when securing a downtown parking space in Rockport in July is roughly worth the price of your firstborn.

A coupla things. First off, in the eyes of this very lame GMG occasional contributor, Joey stepped up by editing the post to reflect that he did not plan his shopping visit to Rockport with a strategy that included the realities of a shopping visit to Rockport. In Rockport, there’s not much about the retail scene that is like other places. The shops are independently owned, many of them run year-round by the same person (in spite of the assumption that everything is seasonal) who at some point has to see his or her family and take a shower, and then there is the consumer. Residents and tourists in Rockport follow ancient traffic patterns that involve a complex algorithm of when/if the sun is shining, vacation alcohol consumption recovery times, and preferred side of the street to walk on (I’m serious about the last one). Showing up in Rockport just minutes after the sun rises — which, on Rockport time, is more or less 10 am — is an exercise in futility, unless you are planning on going to the farmers’ market, eating a strudel, heading out in a boat, or staring at your fingernails while you sit on an empty bench. It may sound nuts from a consumer standpoint, but there is a method to the Rockport retail madness.

For most shops (multi-generational places like The Pewter Shop or John Tarr’s notwithstanding), opening at 10 am is equally an exercise in futility, with shop owners waiting in vain to make a sale to the approximately sixteen potential buyers that are out strolling Bearskin Neck and/or Main Street at that hour (a count that actually goes down to around seven people when adjusted for the ones who “forgot their wallet” — oldest excuse in the book — because they’re walking the dog or just aimlessly wandering between coffee places). Maybe the Rockport Farmers Market, which is only in its third year, will help change this, as shopping patterns shift to earlier in the day. I hope so.

Secondly, for those of you who read the Facebook thread in response to the original post, the merchants make some valid points, even if these points are cloaked in dismay, sadness, and even one or two expressions of rage.

People who come to Rockport, and maybe even more so people who live in Rockport, have no idea what running a shop in Rockport is like. It’s hard to write about this, because readers will immediately go into Mach-Defensive mode, rushing to explain to merchants everything they’re doing wrong, starting with the brilliant point that no one is forcing anyone to own a shop in Rockport (as though, because shop owners aren’t forced at gunpoint to run a business that means any point they make about the REALITIES of running that business become moot. Which is bizarre. So don’t bother with your “no one is forcing shop owners to own a shop” nonsense comments. I mean, you can bother with them, but I’ll just know you’ve got nothin if that’s your opener.)

Getting Real

Owning a small retail shop is a lot like owning a mom-and-pop restaurant in the sense that literally every single customer that walks through your door — or stands outside of it because your shop is closed — thinks, at some level, that they can do what you do. Imagine how crappy that feels for a second. Every single person thinks they are an expert on your work, when in reality they most likely know next to nothing about retail in general (let alone retail in Rockport), which demands a mix of smarts, financial wizardry, aesthetic gifts, salesmanship, and lots and lots of luck. Because weather is involved. It’s a lot like farming, actually. You have to anticipate what will sell at market six months in advance, throw everything you have ($$$) at it and pray like crazy the sun shines at the right time. Then you have to show up, pretty much all the time, but chances are (and by chances I mean literally, by chance because retail is also like gambling — you are always playing the odds), it will be still be the wrong time for someone, who will tell you how you screwed up. Which could be true, the screwing up, but if nearly every shop is closed in tandem at the hour you want to shop, then chances are there aren’t enough people shopping at that hour and the issue is with consumer patterns, not store owners.

I used to own a shop on Main Street in Rockport, and if I had a nickel for every soul who came in and stood at my counter and began a sentence with “I’ve always wanted to own a shop” or (the always-fantastic) “You know what you should do? You should…” well then I would still have closed my shop because I would be so incredibly rich I would have bought my own island, named it Cape Get Out of My Face I am So Very Tired and moved there.

Story time: one hot summer day years ago, I was standing in my shop in Rockport contemplating whether this was the right time to leave the store to dash to the bathroom. That’s right. Because I did not have a bathroom in my shop, even though I paid a rent that would make your ice cream melt, because several Rockport landlords have decided toilet facilities are optional. Anyway, a woman came in right at that juncture, when I was choosing between the health of my bladder and losing a potential buyer who might wander in and help pay my toilet-free rent. I looked at the woman — might this be a customer? who is always right? — as she stood blankly in the middle of the room, her mouth hanging open. I honestly thought she might need help of a non-retail variety because she she seemed so disoriented and aimless fifteen seconds into her visit. Suddenly she whipped her face toward me, a face distorted in rage and shouted “I might have BOUGHT SOMETHING if you had said hello to me!”  I was shocked. Before I could even respond she spun on her heel and stomped out the door. (Follow up: I chased her up the street and begged her forgiveness at the same scale at which she screeched at me. More confusion ensued.)

Take that scenario and multiply it by a thousand, only don’t forget to account for variations — like the strangers who come in and, when, you say hello in your best cheerily calibrated shop voice, haughtily inform you that when they need help they will ask for it, rolling their eyes at their companion at what a loser you are, accosting customers who want nothing more than to fondle your merchandise in peace — and it all adds up to a lot of stress for the small shop owner. Especially since most of their net worth — and lot of credit — is tied up in that merchandise.

Anyway, I could go on as I have stories galore, both from my store and those of friends. Like the time a customer — except he didn’t purchase anything — put a 14-inch vintage knitting needle up his nostril nearly (hopefully) into his brain in order to demonstrate his sideshow prowess to a lady friend, or that one time a customer — except she wasn’t — used the corner of another friend’s store as a bathroom. Actually, maybe I should have realized that last one, using a corner of the store as a litter box, was an option. I never would have had to leave the store then.

I should add, because I need to clarify, that having the shop was wonderful, and I loved working in Rockport and connecting with locals and visitors from all over the world. I really miss those days in so many ways. It’s just that getting advice from strangers when I was already about to pass out at the counter from working 7 days a week is not one of them.

The Takeaway (with Tissue Paper and a Gift Bag)

In short, while it’s important for shop owners to listen to consumers, especially ones who are as supportive of local businesses as Joey, it is also important for consumers to listen to shop owners, and not assume the worst — that they are willfully refusing to say hello, or that they purposefully refuse to stock whatever it is you want to buy, or that they are rolling around at home in a pile of undeclared cash that they raked in from all those suckers who came in to buy a candle or a card — or whatever it is that people assume. Buying local is a two-way street, a marriage between small business owners and their customers, and just like in any relationship, mutual respect goes a long way.

A Book Party in Rockport!

BookADayinRockportPlease stop by this Sunday, July 19th and join Mary Faino at her shop in Rockport, The Paper Mermaid, along with me (aka S.D. Kelly) for a party in celebration of our new release: A Day in Rockport.

Mary created beautiful illustrations of iconic places throughout Rockport, and I wrote the text to go along with her work. It was a fun collaboration and we enjoyed the entire process, from choosing the places that would make it into the book — ranging from Millbrook Meadow to Bearskin Neck to the Headlands — to the more technical aspects of book design.

We’ll have locally-made treats at the party, a Scavenger Hunt, and a raffle to win a framed print of one of the illustrations in the book. Celebrate Rockport with us and stop by!

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Raw Bar at The Fish Shack in Rockport on FRIDAY NIGHT

Say what? Yes, it’s true. Word on the street (the mean streets of Rockport, MA) is that Karin Porter of the Fish Shack (the restaurant, not the fish shack) in Dock Square is serving oysters along with a signature Motif No.1 Day cocktail to kick off the weekend’s pahtying in downtown Rockport in front of the Motif No. 1 Day festival on Saturday. Rockporters and assorted other types are eating raw mollusks in celebration of Motif No.1, Rockport’s famous fishing shack.

Motif No.1 is so famous that it has a festival dedicated to celebrating every inch of its surface, documented down to the last buoy and nail hole. It’s like Cape Ann’s very own Kardashian; we know everything about it and we still can’t get enough.

Come on down to Dock Square, eat oysters and lobster rolls, listen to music and generally party like it’s M1D:2015 this weekend! Because it is!

Motif No.1 for the win!

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Motif No.1 Day 2015 (M1D:15) is Gonna Be Amazing

Five days away from the best M1D in 65 years (really). Film, Dance, Poetry, Music, Art, activities for kids and tons of community events are planned.

FILM: (look for GMG goddess Kim Smith’s clip!) The Red Shed Film Fest at the Rockport Public Library

DANCE: The T-Wharf tent featuring the Rockport Dance Academy and Fight or Flight Aerial Theatre.

MUSIC: The Dock Square tent features the Mari Martin Band, Pesky J. Nixon and Glass Onion. The Shalin Liu features a FREE community concert and an Instrument Petting Zoo.

WORDS: The School Street Tent: Magnetic Poetry Slam, Words Interactive, Words Before Dinner: the Poetry of Cape Ann.

ART: motif 2015 is a show featuring fresh, new work curated by Bob & Jill Armstrong of Iartcolony Gallery in Rockport. Artists from Cape Ann, Boston and beyond have re-imagined the Motif in everything from sculpture to paintings to video installations. A gallery walk will also be part of the festival.

COMMUNITY: Rockport Elementary School 3rd Grade Art Show, the M1D 5k & Fun Run to benefit Rockport Public Schools, Thacher Island Committee, Sandy Bay Yacht Club, Rockport Cub Scouts, Millbrook Meadow Committee, Addison Gilbert, SISU Fitness and more!

FOOD: Top Dog will have a food booth at the School Street Tent, Blue Lobster Grille and That Nutty Redhead will be set up in Dock Square, the New Year’s Rockport Eve Food Booth will be in Harvey Park.

FAMILY ACTIVITIES: Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest with prizes sponsored by The Ice Cream Store, painting, sketching, a Story Walk and Make-a-Book craft sponsored by the Rockport Public Library and much more!

Print out this handy Schedule of Events and bring it with you to Motif No.1 Day. The CATA trolley Park ‘n’ Ride will be running all day. Follow us on Twitter @rockportfest to stay up on the festival haps (do people still say that?) #M1D #rockportrocks www.rockportartfestivals.com

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Awesome Local Workshop for Teachers Coming Up

Coming up on March 14th: a great workshop/micro-conference for teachers of English Lit and related subjects is taking place at the Eastern Point Lit House in Gloucester. There will be a communal meal and a few sessions on “Teaching Impossible Texts” with some outstanding local teachers. This event is designed for public, private and even homeschool educators to come together, connect and collaborate with other likeminded teachers who are into books and want to teach kids how to be into books as well. Feel free to call me (Sarah) at 978-546-2861 for more info. If you mention GMG there will be a 25% GMG Close Reader Discount refund offered after you register! 🙂

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Rockport Local Food Forum

Well, it’s been a while since I posted. But in the meantime, Nichole Shrafft and others have been killin’ it in the representing Rockport department, so that’s been awesome. A whole bunch of stuff is coming up, so I wanted to pass along some information, starting with a local Food Forum in Rockport scheduled for next Thursday night. We can all get together and figure out the answers to some pressing food-related issues. There’s an anonymous survey too, in case you want to make your thoughts known and submit any questions to the panelists. Click HERE for the survey.

Feel free to share the poster

Feel free to share the poster

Rockport Harvestfest: Enter Your Jams! The Edible Kind. And Much More!

It’s almost here! Harvestfest is on Saturday, and there’s still a chance to get involved! We have great music, food and drink lined up along with a TON of family-friendly activities. Check it out HERE.

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Fish Cakes & Beans & Trupiano’s Sausage Brunch at the Rockport Farmers Market!

Tomorrow, from 10am until supplies run out: a traditional fish cakes & beans, along with Trupiano’s sausage, served fresh at the Rockport Farmers Market. Proceeds benefit the market. The brunch features Cape Ann’s heritage food. A big thank you to Rockport Farmers Market vendors Mike & Grace from Trupiano’s Sausage and Tim & Ruth Sullivan of Sullivan’s Sugarhouse, along with food writer Heather Atwood for providing the food for tomorrow’s brunch!

RFMcodcakes2014About that Fish Cakes & Bean Brunch…
Tim & Ruth Sullivan are Rockport Farmers Market vendors, selling their own maple syrup each week. Tim knows a lot about fishing and lobstering in New England, having experienced a considerable amount of both growing up in Lanesville.

Tim gives a little background on the traditional Fish Cakes & Beans meal:
“In coastal areas, especially commercial fishing areas like Gloucester or Cape Cod, Maine, and the Maritimes, fish cakes are a staple of a traditional New England hearty breakfast. These are usually made from a flaky white-meat fish, such as cod or scrod, breaded and pan-fried to give them a delicate golden, crispy crust. They are truly scrumptious!  While baked beans are sometimes also a part of the traditional ‘Full English’ breakfast, Boston baked beans have a secret ingredient that gives them a deeper sweetness: molasses. The other secret to great Boston baked beans is slow cooking. The early colonists would make these beans in heavy ceramic beanpots, place them in the banked fire of their hearths on Saturday night, and let them slowly cook overnight until the Sunday breakfast. Ours will be on Saturday morning of course, and we have another secret ingredient…maple syrup!

For more on the history of cooking beans in the traditional way, check out this article from The Fisherman’s Voice.

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