St. Peter's Fiesta

St. Peter's Fiesta

Weekend nearest June 29
Honoring the patron saint of fishermen, St. Peter's Day is celebrated in fishing villages and ports all over the world. Perhaps the largest American celebration takes place in Gloucester, Massachusetts, where St. Peter's Fiesta has been celebrated by the Italian-American fishing community for several decades. The life-sized statue of St. Peter donated by an Italian-American fishing captain in 1926 provided a focal point for the celebration, and the Sunday morning procession carrying this statue from the St. Peter's Club to an outdoor altar erected on the waterfront is still the highlight of the two-day festival. The mass that follows is usually celebrated by a visiting bishop or cardinal, who also officiates at the Blessing of the Fleet that afternoon.
Other festival events include seine boat (formerly used to haul in the catch) races and a "greasy-pole" contest in which competitors try to retrieve a red flag from the end of a well-greased pole suspended over the water.
The 2000 film The Perfect Storm dramatized the dangers Gloucester fishermen face.
CONTACTS:
St. Peter's Fiesta Committee
P.O. Box 3105
Gloucester, MA 01930
978-283-5243
www.stpetersfiesta.org
SOURCES:
BkFestHolWrld-1970, p. 102
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