Tom Balf submits-
This year’s 30th annual Gloucester Schooner Festival, which runs from August 29th to August 31st, celebrates and honors our maritime history. Says Festival Chair Daisy Nell “this year’s Festival reaffirms Cape Ann as a premier location for schooner history, education, sailing and fun.”
This year’s festival offers a number of great story lines.
First, the City welcomes the Coast Guard Barque Eagle for the weekend. At 295 feet in length, the Eagle is the largest tall ship flying the stars and stripes and the only active square-rigger in the U.S. government service. With more than 23,000 square feet of sail and six miles of rigging, the Eagle is a sight to see. In fact, the ship wil sail into Gloucester Harbor on Friday at approximately 1pm led by the Gloucester police boat and water cannon, the Schooners Ardelle and Thomas Lannon and a flotilla of other vessels. It will be berthed at Americold’s terminal in Gloucester Harbor (One Rowe Square on Rogers Street, adjacent to Cruiseport) and the training vessel will be open to the community for free tours on Saturday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Second, the Festival has surpassed last year’s record number of schooners. Vessels vying for the Esperanto Cup on Sunday will include Gloucester’s Schooner Adventure, Roseway, American Eagle, Amistad and Liberty Clipper. Additionally, at least six schooners will be offering spots to paying passengers to sail over the weekend and during the race. Go to http://www.gloucesterschoonerfestival.net for further information about booking a sail on a schooner. This is your opportunity to sail in the race!
Third, this year’s festival will continue its theme of putting kids on the water. The Festival will be supported by the Sea Scout “Ship” 5 out of Maritime Gloucester as well as teens from Gloucester High School Sailing and The Museum School/Project Adventure . Some spaces are available to sail on some of the schooners at no cost. Interested youth should contact Maritime Gloucester at 978-281-0470 or at email@example.com
The festival sees the return of the now famous Lobsta Bake. On Saturday afternoon – from 4:30 to 7:30 — a Lobster Bake at Maritime Gloucester and Fitz Henry Lane Park will offer a lobster, corn on the cob and a Virgilio’s roll for $15. Beer, wine, soda and water, as well as hot dogs and hamburgers, will also be available. Music will be provided by Old Cold Tater. Advanced tickets can be purchased at Maritime Gloucester at 23 Harbor Loop.
In addition to the deck tour of the Eagle, Schooner Adventure (at Maritime Gloucester) and Schooner Amistad (at the Coast Guard Station Gloucester) will offer deck tours. In fact, the Amistad (a replica slave trade schooner) will host a special tour on Monday from 11am – noon entitled “Refuse to do Nothing” that discusses contemporary world slavery issues.
In addition to the sailing, Maritime Heritage Day takes place Saturday, August 30st from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm. Area environmental groups and maritime heritage organizations will be set up with interactive exhibits along side of local crafters demonstrating their art. Music will be provided during the afternoon and lunch will be available on the pier. This is a great and fun event for families and visitors to Gloucester Schooner Festival weekend. The event is followed by the Lobster Bake and then the Boat Light Parade and Fireworks over Gloucester.
Lead sponsors of the Festival include: Building Center of Cape Ann, City of Gloucester, First Ipswich Bank, Market Basket, Americold and Institution for Savings. For a full list of sponsors, go to the website. The Festival raises much needed funds from the community by offering Schooner Festival raffle and lobster bake tickets in addition to corporate support. Please purchase raffle tickets (available at Maritime Gloucester) or during Maritime Heritage Day. These funds directly support our efforts to put kids on the water and to bring the Tall Ship Eagle to the City.
Maritime Gloucester is a 501(c) (3) non-profit institution whose mission is to inspire students and visitors to value marine science, maritime heritage and environmental stewardship through hands-on education and experiences. Its one-acre campus is located on Gloucester Harbor at 23 Harbor Loop, adjacent to the Coast Guard Station. For more information go to http://www.maritimegloucester.org or like us on Facebook.
Current List of Schooners Intending to Participate in the Gloucester Schooner Festival.
2014 SCHOONER REGISTRATIONS
3. American Eagle
7. Bald Eagle
10. Fame (Parade of Sail only)
11. Green Dragon
15. Liberty Clipper
16. Light Rein
21. Sugar Babe
22. Thomas Lannon
23. Tillicum I