23th annual Gloucester Schooner Festival this Weekend!

High resolution media images are available on-line for download at: www.capeannvacations.com/schooner/mediaimages.


The Mayor’s Race for the Esperanto Cup has always been the highlight of the annual Gloucester Schooner Festival, now in its 23rd year, but this year’s event is shaping up as really special. A record number of schooners have already registered for the Festival, which takes place on the Labor Day Weekend, September 1-2, and, among them are two mid-Atlantic states’ representatives’Virginia and Pride of Baltimore II’who intend to challenge Rockland, Maine’s American Eagle, the winner of every Mayor’s Race since 2003. Other contenders will include six-time winner Spirit of Massachusetts, the McManus designed Alabama from Vinyard Haven, Boston’s Liberty Clipper and Roseway, and the 114 year old Lettie G. Howard from New York’s South Street Seaport.

Other highlights of the Schooner race on Sunday, September 2, will be the competition for the Cameron Cup (vessels ranging in length from 45′ to 80′), featuring Gloucester’s Thomas E. Lannon, Rockport’s Appledore III, and Salem’s Fame, and for the Ramsey Plate (vessels under 45′), including long-time participants Green Dragon, Bald Eagle, Lewis H. Story, and Estrela.

Also participating in this premier marine event will be Salem’s merchant ship Friendship and the U.S. Navy’s Guided missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94). They will be joined by the boats competing in Saturday’s races, over 40 contestants representing both classic and modern designs’from traditional gaff and marconi-rigged to multi-hulls to Friendship Sloops.

Although much of the Festival action takes place on the water, there are plenty of shoreside activities as well. In addition to Gloucester’s many year-round attractions, such as art exhibits, beaches, fishing, museums, seafood restaurants, historical sites, and whale watching, the Schooner Festival weekend includes entertainment for all types of interests. On Saturday, this includes Gloucester Maritime Heritage Day, dory races, the lighted boat parade, and a gala fireworks display over Gloucester Harbor. Sunday morning, a grand Parade of Sail passes the Boulevard promenade (Stacy Boulevard, Route 127) as the large schooners head out to sea for the Mayor’s Race. Throughout the weekend, public touring of the USS Nitze, Gloucester’s historic schooner Adventure, the schooner Alabama, and the schooner Pride of Baltimore II will be allowed (see the online schedule for details and times).

The Festival is planned and organized by the Gloucester Schooner Festival Committee, composed of representatives of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce and the City of Gloucester. Dunkin’ Donuts is the lead sponsor of the Festival. Additional corporate support is being provided by Gorton’s Seafood, Suez/Neptune LNG, Cape Ann Savings Bank, the Gloucester Cooperative Bank, Rockport National Bank, and the Thomas E. Lannon. Further information can be obtained by calling 978-283-1601. For a full schedule of events, go to www.capeannvacations.com/schooner.

High resolution media images are available on-line for download at: www.capeannvacations.com/schooner/mediaimages.