Gloucester Schooner Festival Celebrates 21st Anniversary

The Twenty-first Annual Gloucester Schooner Festival will take place on Labor Day weekend, September 2-4, 2005. It’s Gloucester’s major marine event, with participating vessels coming from ports along the Eastern Seaboard. There will be both large and small vessels’ranging from 19 feet to over 125 feet in length. You will see new boats and old boats’ranging from new this year to two over 100 years old, and another whose design is 200 years old! The 177 foot barkentine, Gazela, which was built in 1883, will join us for the festivities and will be a highlight of the Parade of Sail on Sunday morning, September 4.

The Mayor’s Race is the major event of every Schooner Festival and will take place this year on Sunday, September 4, with over a dozen large schooners expected to compete for the Esperanto Cup and the Cameron and Ramsey trophies. Racing starts on Saturday afternoon with seven classes of traditional small craft, consisting of approximately 50 vessels from 19 to 45 feet long.

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, shore side highlights include the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Day activities, the lighted boat parade and a gala fireworks display over Gloucester Harbor. Sunday morning, a grand Parade of Sail is led past the Boulevard promenade (Stacy Boulevard, Route 127) by Gloucester’s own schooner Thomas E. Lannon, as the large schooners head out to sea for the Mayor’s Race. In addition, the Gloucester Fund will be serving food on Harbor Loop ‘ near the schooners’ berths ‘ on both Saturday and Sunday.

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. Further information can be obtained by calling 978-283-1601.

For a full schedule of events, go to