For anyone who has grown up in or around Gloucester, the St. Peter’s Fiesta has clearly served as the true kick-off to summer. But, it is much more than that. The funny thing is that the importance and significance of Fiesta has probably also changed throughout each individual’s life time depending on their age. At times the religious celebrations have been of upmost importance… and later the rides. At times maybe the five day celebration was all about family… and later it was all about hanging out with friends. At times it was about hoping to get a glimpse of that certain “crush” under the ferris wheel and years later it was all about air guitar at Old Timers or trying to cut in line at The Gloucester House. Still later, possibly you’ve come full circle, and celebrating with loved ones makes the Fiesta a time to truly be treasured. At times the parade reigned supreme….and later, maybe the fireworks. For many years playing on the beach during the seine boat races was more fun than actually watching them….and later cheering for a certain crew was equivalent to the Kentucky Derby. The Greasy Pole has always been….well, the Greasy Pole. Whether you love it for the tradition or the insanity, the sport or the absurdity….whether you watch it from Pavilion Beach or by boat in the harbor…there is nothing quite like it.
I’ve been there for all of them. I have fond memories of the Fiesta that range from being a very young child, to a preteen, to a teenager, to a college student, to a bar-crawling 20 something year-old, to a “grown-up”, and now as a parent….who feels blessed to be sharing the experience with my own children. I have Fiesta memories that involve holding my grandfather’s hand as he guided me through the crowd and later memories of holding his hand as I supported him. I have Fiesta memories of holding the hand of long ago boyfriends and later Fiesta memories of holding the hand of my now husband. Maybe the best memories are the newest….as just today, I held the hands of both of my sons while jumping from ride to ride.
So, as the mother of a 5 and 7 year-old, St. Peter’s Fiesta to me so far this year has been all about the rides, the games, and the food. It is all about the color, the sounds, the smells…and the way they all seem to blur together. While I may have desired to capture other aspects of this year’s Fiesta and I would love to get that “perfect shot”…..I have found myself enjoying it through my children’s eyes.
And this is how they see it.