Tag Archives: Saint Peter’s Fiesta
Cape Ann Museum celebrates Fiesta with film, photography, sculpture and more.
GLOUCESTER, Mass. (June 10, 2015) – The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to offer a special view of Fiesta-inspired art. The mini-exhibit will be on display in the lower level atrium from Tuesday, June 23 through Sunday, June 28 during Museum hours. Drawing on the Museum’s own collection, along with private collections in the area, the exhibit includes works by New York artist Philip Reisman who worked in Gloucester during the 1940s and 1950s, painters Lucette White and Eileen Mueller who captured the color and excitement of Fiesta in more recent years, and collage artist and sculptor Hans Pundt. Two documentary films about Fiesta will be available for viewing on a continuous loop throughout the week. Related exhibits and information can be found in the Museum’s Maritime Galleries.
St. Peter’s Fiesta – Festa di San Pietro – honors St. Peter, the patron saint of fishermen. It is the largest and most colorful of the celebrations that Sicilian immigrants brought to Gloucester. The tradition of celebrating Fiesta began in Gloucester the late 1920s as a neighborhood novena and expanded to a city-wide event in the 1930s. Fiesta is still celebrated in Gloucester in late June, with music, dancing, parades, fireworks, seine boat races and the traditional greasy pole competition. On the last day of Fiesta, an outdoor Mass is held, followed by the blessing of Gloucester’s fishing fleet.
Our beautiful Gloucester community is the inspiration for Buona Fiesta! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who appears in the film. I love it when you see me and smile and wave—it just adds another layer of fun to the film!
Buona Fiesta! begins with the opening of the Friday night ceremony at Saint Peter’s Square. The statue of Saint Peter, the patron saint of fishermen, is processed around the American Legion Building (Gloucester’s first City Hall), with the parade ending in a fanfare of confetti and cheers at Saint Peter’s Square. Joe Novello is the host for the formal opening ceremony of the 2014 Saint Peter’s Fiesta.
Highlights from the Friday and Saturday Greasy Pole events are followed by the Sunday morning Mass and the procession through the city streets to Our Lady of Good Voyage Church, and then back to Saint Peter’s Square. Tradition has the rallying Sunday Greasy Pole Walkers joining the feast well underway at the Giambanco childhood home, before heading over to the Gloucester House Restaurant and Saint Peter’s Club for liquid encouragement. Highlights from Sunday’s Greasy Pole are followed by the midnight closing ceremony. Saint Peter and followers process around the Fort and are greeted with more confetti and a beautiful fireworks display over the water. As Saint Peter is safely tucked back into the window at the Saint Peter’s Club, all wish him good night with cheers of Viva San Pedro…until next year’s Buona Fiesta!
You’ll see all three Greasy Pole winners take their flags, Mark Allen, Kyle Barry, and Jack Russ; the Giambanco sisters, Sefatia, Rosaria, Marianne, and Grace, who provide a Saint Peter’s Feast for the entire community; House Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante, State Senator Bruce Tarr, Mayor Kirk, Melissa Cox; Oar’Dacious teammates and sisters, Janelle Sleepy Pallazola Puopolo, Leanne Pallazola, and Jamie Pallazola; Salvi Benson’s final Greasy Pole Walk; Nicky Avelis; Steven Le Blanc almost capture the flag; Crazy Hat Ladies, sisters Robyn and Amy Clayton; and many, many more.
Read More Here ~
With funny Leggomen time lapse sequences!
Congratulations to Jack Russ, the 2014 Saturday Greasy Pole Champion. This was his first win and first walk. Jack was home on from leave from the United States Air Force.
Music by the Black Keys. “Fever” was the first single released from their latest album Turn Blue (2014).
Mark Allen Walking for Loved Ones
Congratulations to Mark Allen, the 2014 Sunday Greasy Pole Champion! This was Mark’s first win, after 16 previous years of walking! Allen was walking for his cousin Peter “Black” Frontiero who has the second most wins of all time, with a total of nine.
Each year I look forward to filming and photographing the greasy pole events. The determination on the men’s faces, the camaraderie, the ecstasy and pride in winning, the anguish of defeat, the hilarious costumes, and the Felliniesque antics combine to create a fabulous fiesta of stories and images.
The film opens at the childhood home of the Giambanco Family, with Sefatia leading the Greasy Pole Walkers and guests in the rallying “Viva San Pietro,” the cheer that is heard throughout the city of Gloucester during Saint Peter’s Fiesta. Giambanco sisters Marianne, Grace, Rosaria, and Sefatia continue with their mother Rosalia’s, “Lia’s” custom of feeding the Greasy Pole Walkers dinner before the walk. The tradition began years ago when their brother, Anthony “Matza” Giambanco, began walking. Sefatia explains that Lia had always held a huge family feast with relatives from all around the country attending. The first year her brother walked he told his mom he couldn’t eat because he was meeting everyone. She said I don’t care; you have to eat, and told him to bring everyone back to their home. That was in 1978!
Next the Walkers head over to rally at the Gloucester House, where they greet Lenny shouting his name over and over, to a packed restaurant full of guests. Several more stops are made along the way before the next rally at the Saint Peter’s Club. The Walkers make one last stop to say a prayer to Saint Peter, and perhaps pin a gold charm or coin to the statue, before departing for the greased pole platform at Pavilion Beach
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With special thanks and appreciation to Nicky Avelis and all the Greasy Pole Walkers for allowing me to ride on the boat. It went by way too fast! And thank you to the skipper for giving me a ride back to shore.
With thanks and appreciation to Rosaria, Sefatia, Marianne, and Grace for inviting me to come film the Walker’s rally at your welcoming Fiesta Sunday Feast!
The song “Love Runs Out,” is by OneRepublic for the reissue of their third album, Native.
The song “The Walker” is by Fitz and The Tantrums from the album More Than Just a Dream.
Congratulations to Kyle Barry, the 2014 Saturday Greasy Pole Champion! This was Kyle’s second win. He was also the 2013 Friday Champion.
The first clip is especially Felliniesque but then again, the entire time I am shooting the greasy pole I feel as though I am in the midst of a Fellini film. Friday’s and Sunday’s films are coming in the next few days, with some Very Fun Footage.
I Loved this song when first I heard it and thought it perfect for Greasy Pole Walkers. Written and performed by Fitz and The Tantrums, “The Walker,” (that is really the title of the song!) is from their second album, More Than Just a Dream.
Previous GMG Posts about Kyle Barry: Kyle Barry for the Win! Additional music note ~ Fitz and The Tantrums will be performing at the House of Blues in Boston on November 15th.
Not the winning walk, but when looking through photos realized that this sequences was of Mark Allen, Sunday’s Greasy Pole Champion, and believe it was his second walk of the event. Click to view larger.
Here are my Fiesta photos: http://artery.wbur.org/2014/06/30/st-peters-fiesta-gloucester
Thanks for your interest. Please let me know if I’ve gotten anything factually wrong.
And thanks for all you do!
Families At The 2014 Saint Peter’s Fiesta Parade Not Wearing White and Link To Fiesta Whites Slideshow
THIS IS WHY WE LIVE HERE!
TRADITION-COMMUNITY-PASSION- BUONA FIESTA!
We had so many photos from the parade and Felicia was out to capture a special slideshow of all the folks wearing their Fiesta Whites. Here’s the rest so we don’t leave anyone out-
Part Two ~ to read part one, click hereThe ride to the platform was thrilling, and a little terrifying, as I wasn’t exactly sure how my not-waterproof camera gear would fare. After the pole walkers disembarked, the skipper kindly gave me a ride to shore to continue filming from Pavilion Beach. The Walks began under windy conditions and the tide was low, as it had been all weekend, which made for a very, very long drop when the guys hit the water.
Congratulations to Mark Allen for winning the Sunday 2014 Greasy Pole title. Congratulation to Sunday’s Senior Seine Boat champions, the Wharf Rats, and junior champions, Bad Intentions! Festivities continued throughout the night with the awards ceremony and live music. Around 11pm, after the late night carnival crowd had dispersed, a beautiful event began to unfold. From all corners of Gloucester, people gathered around to fill the fair grounds. Saint Peter was again lifted down from the stage and a throng of hundreds lined the square to carry the statue around the Fort. With much cheering and jubilation, Saint Peter and his followers were welcomed throughout the neighborhood. Midway during the route, the procession paused and confetti rained down on all. Rounding the bend, a fabulous fireworks display had been organized for the crowd. Sparkles shot all around, and I stayed close to my friends Nina and Frank as we reveled in the sheer beauty of it all. The fireworks concluded and the procession continued, with the sight of Gloucester’s exquisite port illuminated by the nights’ light. Arriving at Saint Peter’s Club, another shower of confetti greeted Saint Peter. The statue was carefully removed from the carrying stand and placed back in the window of the Saint Peter’s Club.
Thank you to the beautiful Nina and Frank Groppo and their friends and family for always welcoming me with their open arms. Thank you to the beautiful Giambanco family for welcoming us all to their home for their fabulous Sunday Fiesta Feast and Fun! See Part One Here
Every seat for the outdoor Mass at Gloucester’s Saint Peter’s Square was filled by 10am, with people spilling out under the trees and a standing room only crowd along Roger’s Street. Blue skies and wispy white clouds above made for an exquisite June morning, while the aromas of suntan lotion, popcorn, and the salty sea filled the air. The crowd was jubilant with everyone dressed in bright pretty colors and fresh fiesta whites and especially sweet were the little girls in their summer frocks and sandals. Friends greeted friends and families prayed together, accompanied by cheers of Viva San Pedro. Bishop Arthur Kennedy gave the Mass, relating Saint Peter to the work of fishermen today, and was assisted by Father Jim of Our Lady of Good Voyage and Holy Family parishes.
Ann Margaret Ferrante and Joe Novello
Melissa Cox and Ann Margaret Ferrante Following the Mass, Saint Peter was brought down from the stage and the stunning and lovingly made floats and marching bands lined up behind the statue for the procession through town. Saint Peter was hoisted upon the shoulders of eight bearers and the parade began, following the long established route up Washington Street to stop in front of Our Mother of Grace Club, then onto Our Lady of Good Voyage, before making its way back to the Saint Peter’s Club, where the statue was then carefully returned to the stage.
Meanwhile, over at the Giambanco Family home, preparations were well underway for their annual Sunday Saint Peter’s Fiesta celebration. Friends and family flowed through the welcoming doors of the childhood home of sisters Rosaria, Sefatia, Marianne, and Grace.
Rosaria and Sefatia
Lia and April
Brandon and Marianne Paquette
Sefatia and Matt
After the rally at the Giambanco home, the Walkers next stopped at the Gloucester House. Upon arriving there, shouts of LENNY, LENNY, LENNY filled the restaurant as Mr. Linquata greeted the band of merrymakers. Frequent stops along the way were made before arriving at Saint Peter’s Club for the final rally prior to setting off on the rig that took the Walkers to the Greasy Pole platform.
See More Snapshots Here
Attached you will find our release for the 2014 Fiesta. Thanks for all the work you do at GMG, and thank you to all your readers for making this a great Fiesta!
Chief of Police
City of Gloucester, MA
I am so happy to have celebrated St. Peters Fiesta with the citizens of Gloucester again this year. I am even happier to report the following:
The Gloucester Police Department Fiesta Response was forced to make only three arrests (two for assault, stemming from one incident, and one for drug possession) and place one individual into protective custody for drunkenness this year. Overall we received fewer than 15 Fiesta related calls for service (disturbances, mv stops, lost and found property, and capsized boat.). We received enormous cooperation from the business community and, especially, St. Peters Club and St. Peters Fiesta Committee. We also had the great support of the Essex Sheriff’s Department and the Massachusetts State Police. I cannot thank the residents, visitors, and business owners enough for their cooperation and respectfulness throughout Fiesta. I would also like to thank Mayor Carolyn Kirk for her strong support of the Fiesta Action Plan.
As you know, we always evaluate police presence at Fiesta. Our first priority, always, is to maintain a safe and enjoyable atmosphere for ALL who attend St. Peter’s Fiesta. And we can’t do it alone. This year, we had very frank discussions with business owners and interested parties, about their responsibilities in continuing to make St. Peter’s a tradition we can all be proud of. Those businesses stepped up to the plate and delivered in 2014. They are the reason for the low number of disturbances and I congratulate them on a job well done.
With the business taking such a responsible role in Fiesta, we were able to quell disturbances before they rose to the level of a police action. We were able to effectively manage the crowds of patrons at the end of the night with little more than our presence, and we believe it was one of the most successful Fiesta’s in recent history, from a public safety standpoint.
One of the most noticeable additions to this year’s Fiesta was the Mounted Unit of the State Police. We have thus far received overwhelming support for this Unit and are happy to have had them. Families enjoyed having their picture taken with the horses and their quiet presence was an effective and proactive deterrent to the historical late night disturbances.
A Fiesta that has gone this smoothly from a public safety standpoint is good for all of us. It reinforces that St. Peter’s is a RELIGIOUS, FAMILY AND COMMUNITY event. And we here at GPD are proud to do are part to keep it that way.
Chief of Police
Salvi Benson is the All Time Greasy Pole Champion, with 4 Saturday wins and 6 Sunday wins (wiki). As he swam in from the Greasy Pole platform, his friends shared that this was his last walk. Congratulations to Salvi for all his wins over the years. Very best wishes to you!
Lawrence J. Sabato has the high honor of the dedication for the stand that carries the statue of Saint Peter. I would love to learn more about him if any of his friends or family has a spare moment to write in. Thank you so much.
Bringing it back old school. As long as I can remember it was all about wearing the Fiesta Whites when you were a kid. Felicia was out to capture as many people as she could in the parade wearing their Fiesta Whites- Enjoy the slideshow- there’s a ton of pictures for us to work through and a ton coming at you over the next couple day
Here’s the Fiesta Whites Slideshow (Remember next year if you can to dress your beautiful children in their Fiesta Whites So We Can Include Them In The Fiesta Whites Slideshow-