The St. Peter's Fiesta has long attracted visitors from all over the country. It is an annual celebration in Gloucester, MA taking place on the weekend closest to the Feast Day of St. Peter, June 29. The event is sponsored by the Italian-American fishing community of Gloucester.
The St. Peter's Fiesta of recent years provides a varied program certain to be of interest to all. The entire Italian-American section of Gloucester is decorated with flags, bunting, colored lights and streamers. Some fifty archways are erected over the streets, their colored lights presenting an awe-inspiring sight when viewed at night. An enormous altar and double bandstand several stories high form the focal point of the decorations. The life-sized statue of St. Peter is centered on this altar, lavishly decorated with hundreds of flowers. From the bandstand two concert bands alternate in entertaining every evening of the Fiesta. Sunday morning is the annual open air Mass at the Alter at St. Peter's Square. Hundreds of people gather to take part in this religious ceremony. Following the mass is a procession composed of several bands and floats, hundreds of men and women participants, and the statue of St. Peter carried on the shoulders of eight fishermen. Later in the afternoon the crowds witness the blessing of the Italian-American fishing fleet. The fleet of almost one hundred fishing vessels, all gaily decorated with signal flags, presents a most impressive panorama. After the Bishop blesses the fleet, the vessels' fog horns are blown. These blasts can be heard all over Cape Ann. Various sporting events are held each afternoon during the procession. The Greasy Pole is a contest where brave soles run across a grease covered pole trying to capture a flag. The other event is the Seine Boat Races. Here, twelve man crews prove strength and stamina by rowing against each other in old seine boats in a grueling mile long race.