Category Archives: gloucester


The members of St. Peter’s Fiesta Committee in collaboration with Buttieri Press are pleased to announce the release of an illustrated children’s book that explains the meaning behind the traditions of Gloucester’s St. Peter’s Fiesta.

Nonna, What is St. Peter’s Fiesta? is the story of a young boy, Joey, and his cousins Amelia and Jacob who accompany their grandmother during the weekend festivities, learning as they go, about this annual celebration.

Nonna, What is St. Peter’s Fiesta? is written through the eyes of children and aims to preserve an understanding of the values behind the tradition.

Every child has her or his favorite book, a book they want read to them again and again. As Joe Novello, Committee President, points out, “When they have a book they enjoy, they always pick that book to read and have it read to them. At some point there is a connection and the meaning of the book comes across, which is the intent. Then when Fiesta comes they can relate to it because the story has been read to them a hundred times. It’s embedded in them.”

The author, Laura M. Alberghini Ventimiglia, is a Gloucester resident whose family has a history of being involved with Fiesta. Even before the Fiesta began in the Italian neighborhood known as the Fort, relatives were living there and four generations experienced first hand the true meaning of Fiesta. This experience now extends through to the sixth generation with the author’s grandchildren.

Ventimiglia was inspired to write the book during the 2015 Fiesta. Participating with her children, grandchildren, and extended family members, she noticed that while everyone was having fun; the majority of people were enjoying the Fiesta as if it were a carnival. She realized that the further away from the original Fiesta, the further away participants are from knowing and understanding the meanings of the values behind the tradition.

She approached St. Peter’s Fiesta Committee members with her idea of a children’s book. They recognized the same dilemma of time. Committee members thought it was a great idea and decided to support the project because a children’s book could explain how the Fiesta started and what it was about. Anthony Cusumano, Committee Treasurer, described it appropriately. “So many years, generations have passed that maybe the younger generation had lost the original meaning. We wanted to bring it back to its roots. Help the young kids today know what the whole meaning of Fiesta is, what the meaning of the novena is, the greasy pole contest, the seine boats and so forth. We wanted to get back to the times when that’s what the Gloucester fishing fleet was about.”

Ventimiglia worked with Committee members for two years, gathering their ideas, and keeping them informed of the progress of writing, illustrating, and finally printing. She also spent months researching early Fiesta stories through microfilmed newspaper articles and interviewing people including Sara Favazza. Favazza is the youngest child of Captain Salvatore Favazza who commissioned the original statue in 1927 leading to the founding of the Fiesta tradition. “Sara was an amazing resource and infused her energy for the Fiesta into our work,” Ventimiglia says. “She was generous with her time, met frequently with me and even invited the illustrator, Maura O’Connor, and me to lunch. Maura dubbed Sara, ‘Fiesta Royalty’.”

Favazza describes Nonna, What is St. Peter’s Fiesta? as “a beautiful book, a wonderful book that every child would love to have.” She says, “It’s marvelous. Every parent in Gloucester should buy one to read to their children to find out what the Fiesta is all about.”

Committee members say they are looking forward to this year’s Fiesta. They describe Fiesta as a time for family and friends, “a time for people to get together and reunite,” according to Novello. “As generations grew and spread throughout the country, Fiesta became a time when people return home, return to Gloucester knowing they will see people they haven’t seen in a year.” And, every year Committee members try to do something special. A special happening this year will be the release of Nonna, What is St. Peter’s Fiesta?

A family and friends release by the Committee for the 2017 holidays generated great excitement about the children’s book spurring tremendous anticipation for the upcoming sales to the general public.

Illustrator O’Connor, a graduate of Montserrat School of Art, lives in Beverly yet visited Gloucester often sketching the workings of its harbor. Diletta Ballati who lives in Italy and considers Gloucester her American home, translated the book into Italian, available online at

The book also includes a brief history of the Fiesta, photos from the initial years, and photos by Kim Smith and Bridgette Mathews of last year’s 90th celebration.

All proceeds from sales of the book go to The St. Peter’s Fiesta, Inc., a 501c3 organization aimed at preserving this Sicilian-Italian American tradition of Gloucester’s fishermen.

Scheduled to be released to the public on June 1, 2018, accompanying events throughout the month include:

June 1 to June 30 –The Bookstore of Gloucester – Artist of the Month, the original illustrations of the book will be on display.

June 2 – Sawyer Free Children’s Library kicks off events with the official children’s book launch from 10:00am to 11:30am with the author, illustrator, and Sara Favazza. The event is co-hosted by The Bookstore of Gloucester.

June 9 – Cape Ann Museum will host a CAM Kids program from 10am to 12 noon.

June 16 – Sawyer Free Children’s Library hosts a Fiesta Children’s Program from 10:30am to 11:30am with authors Laura M. Alberghini Ventimiglia and Alice Gardner with activities from their books Nonna, What is St. Peter’s Fiesta? and St. Peter’s Fiesta: Gloucester, Massachusetts.

June 29 to July 1 – St. Peter’s Fiesta Kiosk by the Altar will have books available to purchase.

June 30 – The Bookstore of Gloucester will hold a book signing from 1pm to 3pm with the author, illustrator, and Sara Favazza.

Books are available at each of the above events and at the following:

The Bookstore, 61 Main Street, Gloucester

Harbor Loop Gifts, Building Center of Gloucester, 1 Harbor Loop, Gloucester

Cape Ann Museum, 27 Pleasant Street, Gloucester

Buttieri Press,

 Sara Favazza unveiling the new Saint Peter, Saint Peter’s Fiesta opening ceremony, 2017.     

Bob Davis aka Johnny Carwash will host the evening’s blues party tonight @ The Rhumb Line 8:30pm 5.17.2018

Because Tom Scola my bass player cut his index finger last night, he’s unable To play on Thursday. In his place Russell Keyes will be filling in for him.

40 Railroad Avenue
Gloucester, MA 01930
(978) 283-9732


Dear Friends of AVP,

AVP is excited to announce our production for 2018 will be The Little Mermaid. The show runs August 7-12, 2018 at 7:00 pm. Tickets will be available on our website, starting in early July.

Our 2018 newsletter is hot off the presses. In it, you’ll find out more about our upcoming production, auditions, our new scholarship program, a feature on longtime AVP set designer Chicki Hollett and plans for the purchase of a new sound system.

We’re looking forward to seeing you this summer!

The Annisquam Village Players

Make a tax-deductible DONATION TO AVP

Annisquam Village Players

Jon Butcher joins Fly Amero this evening 7pm @ The Rhumb Line 5.16.2018

Dinner Specials Each Week!
Wednesday, May 16th – 7pm
My Musical Guest: JON BUTCHER!

Grammy nominated Jon Butcher joins us this week at the
Rhumb Line, toting his rootsy, soulful bag of musical tricks.
Jon and I have a special chemistry when we meet onstage.
Surely this will be no different. Come along! Be a part! ~ Fly
Dinner with great music!
*Each week features a special, invited musical guest
The Rhumb Line Kitchen……features Morgan! Dishes are better than ever before!
Plus a fine, affordable wine menu!
5/23 – Julie Dougherty

5/30 – Honkytonk Women

6/6 – John Rockwell Hosts

Looking forward……to seeing you there 🙂

Drift (formerly Cafe Brew & Spirits) Opens this Saturday May 12th, 2018

Come join long-time North Shore residents Kurt Hosman and Richard Hosman for the “Soft Opening” of the all new DRIFT Café Saturday May 12th, 2018 open from 8am to late.
With the help of prior owner Will Bard we were driven by the strong sense of place and purpose to create a Café built for those seeking to continue that warm, musical Café vibe.
During the day, we are a coffee house Café that focuses on espresso-based drinks while proudly serving an array of fresh made, pastries, muffins, scones and croissants along with fresh seasonal salads and sandwiches. At night, we transform into a bar where people feel “at home”, dishing out an array of bar bites and stirring up both classic and contemporary elixirs for every taste and price point. Whether you go booze free or spiked, we welcome you to go ahead and espresso yourself.
Drawing inspiration from the unique character of the neighborhood and the local community, and the creator of Café Brew and Spirits the NEW Drift Café Gloucester has been designed to be part of this growing community, satisfying both body and spirit from sun up to lights out.
Please do stop in to see us, check out the new look of the Café and say hello.
** Opening night entertainment will showcase music by the exceptionally talented Brian King & Joe Cardoza at 8:30 pm.

We look forward to seeing everyone back at DRIFT.

Kurt & Rick

Gloucester Stage Presents World Premiere of Madame Defarge

Robert Walsh, Artistic Director Jeff Zinn, Managing Director




Gloucester Stage Company opens its 39th season of professional theater on May 11 with the world premiere of Madame Defarge, Wendy Kesselman’s new musical inspired by Charles Dicken’s classic A Tale of Two Cities. The world premiere musical runs from May 11 through June 2 at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. A passionate re-imagining of Dickens’ infamous Madame Defarge illuminates this new musical by Wendy Kesselman. Set against the turmoil of the French Revolution, two men similar in face but separate in fate weave a story of sacrifice and salvation all driven by Madame Thérèse Defarge battling oppression with longings for love, freedom, justice, and revenge. Directed by Ellie Heyman in her Gloucester Stage debut, the cast features GSC veterans Jennifer Ellis as Madame Therese Defarge, the woman whose revenge sparked a revolution; Benjamin Evett as her husband Ernest Defarge; and Broadway veteran Rockport’s Wendy Waring as Miss Pross; along with GSC newcomers Broadway’s John Hillner as Monsieur Le Marquis; Boston Conservatory’s Sabrina Koss as Lucie; Jason Michael Evans as Sydney Carton; Rob Karma Robinson as Doctor Manette; Matthew Amira as Charles Darnay; Marissa Simeqi as Little Lucie; and John Shuman as Mr. Lorry. Massachusetts based playwright Kesselman wrote the book, music and lyrics for this untold story of Madame Defarge, New York’s Christopher Berg provides the musical arrangements, Mindy Cimini, is the music director and Asher Denburg is the associate musical director for this world premiere production.

Besides her Tony-nominated new adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank, Wendy Kesselman’s plays include My Sister in This House; The Executioner’s Daughter; The Notebook; The Foggy Foggy Dew; The Last Bridge; I Love You, I Love You Not; Maggie Maagalita; Merry-Go-Round; The Shell Collection; My Sister in This House, A Re-imagined Version (Deaf West Theatre); The Graduation of Grace and Spit. She has written the book, music and lyrics for The Juniper Tree, A Tragic Household Tale; Becca and The Black Monk, A Chamber Musical. A member of the Dramatists guild, among other honors she has received the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the AT&T Onstage Award, The New England Major Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement in the American Theatre, the first annual Playbill award, the Roger L. Stevens Award, the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, the Lecomte du Noüy Annual Award, Meet the Composer Grants, a Massachusetts Cultural Grant and Guggenheim, McKnight and NEA Fellowships. Her screenplays include Sister My Sister (adapted from My Sister in This House), directed my Nancy Meckler, with Joely Richardson, Julie Walters and Jodhi May; I Love You, I Love You Not (adapted from her play of the same name), directed by Billy Hopkins, with Jeanne Moreau, Claire Danes and Jude Law; and Mad or in Love for Fox 2000. She won a WGA Award for her screen adaptation of John Knowles’ A Separate Peace, directed by Peter Yates. The CD of her chamber musical The Black Monk will be released Fall 2018.

Read more

Wednesdays with Fly Amero @ The Rhumb Line ~ This weeks special guest: Quentin Callewaert 7pm 5.9.2018


Dinner Specials Each Week!
Wednesday, May 9th – 7pm

I’m happy to be back in the saddle on the Rhumb Line stage
this week, hosting one of our all-time favorite musical guests…
the spectacular Quentin Callewaert! Thanks, Bradley Royds,
for a great job holding down the fort in my absence. ~ Fly
Dinner with great music!
*Each week features a special, invited musical guest
The Rhumb Line Kitchen……now features Janet Brown with some new and healthy ideas!
Plus a fine, affordable wine menu!
5/16 – John Butcher

5/23 – Julie Dougherty

5/30 – Honkytonk Women

Looking forward……to seeing you there 🙂


Martin writes, “The North Atlantic Right Whales that have been spotted around Gloucester spent the morning feeding just off Long Beach.  And I mean just off; in some cases, within 20 feet of the rocks.

There were at least four of them, which represents 1% of the global population of this extremely endangered species, which has been described as “on the brink of extinction” (  This past year has been a tough one, with no confirmed live births, and more than a dozen deaths due to boat strikes and entanglements.
They seemed to my untrained eye to be adults, much larger than the juvenile who visited Bass Rocks in 2015 (  And unlike that whale, which seemed to be exploring and playing, these whales were feeding systematically.”
All photos copyright Martin DelVecchio
See Marty’s flicker album here for more North Atlantic Right Whale photos:


A full day of Safety and Survival Training was held today at Gloucester’s Coast Guard Station. SST is cosponsored by the Fishing Partnership Support Services, Division of Marine Fisheries, and the USCoast Guard. “Fishermen are 37 times more likely to die on the job than policemen. And on top of that, New England’s waters are the most dangerous in the country. Safety and survival training is not something to ignore—it’s desperately needed and can truly be life-saving for everyone on your boat.” Training was conducted in these vital areas:

  • Man-Overboard Procedures
  • Fire Fighting & Emergency Communications
  • Flooding & Pump Operation
  • Flares & EPIRBs
  • Survival Suits
  • Life Raft Equipment
  • Helicopter Hoist Procedures
  • Basic First Aid


To learn more about the Fishing Partnership Support Services Safety and Survival Training, and all the services provided to fishermen, visit their website here.

Wednesdays at The Rhumb Line ~ Bradley Royds hosts for the evening w/ Special Guest:Tony Frontiero 7pm 5.2.2018

Dinner Specials Each Week!
Wednesday, May 2nd – 7pm
Your Guest Host: BRADLEY ROYDS!

Sheila Roberts Orlando photo

Bradley’s Guest: TONY FRONTIERO!


Bradley Royds steps in once again as host this week. His
outstanding guest will be Gloucester’s very own Tony Frontiero.
The ultimate songwriter’s night. Tres cool! ~ Fly
Dinner with great music!
*Each week features a special, invited musical guest
The Rhumb Line Kitchen……now features Janet Brown with some new and healthy ideas!
Plus a fine, affordable wine menu!
5/9 – Quentin Callewaert

5/16 – Jon Butcher

5/23 – Julie Dougherty

Looking forward……to seeing you there 🙂


Hello Friends of Backyard Growers,

Backyard Growers is on BankGloucester’s voting ballot for the first time for a chance to win up to $5,000!

Please help us rake in the votes!

Voting is from 5/1-5/31. You just need to vote once. And please share this opportunity with your networks!


Many thanks,


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