Old & New Schooners Join Together for the 22nd Annual Gloucester Schooner Festival

The 22nd Annual Gloucester Schooner Festival will take place on Labor Day weekend, September 1-3, 2006. Vessels, ranging from 19 feet to over 125 feet, come from ports all along the Eastern Seaboard to participate in Gloucester’s major maritime event. There will be both large and small vessels’ranging from 19 feet to over 125 feet in length. You will see new and old boats’from the brand new Isabella (launched in Essex on August 13, 2006) to the Lettie G. Howard, also launched in Essex in 1893! The schooner When & If, originally built for Colonel George S. Patton in 1939, returns this year after a two-year absence from the Festival, and the schooner Roseway, also built in Essex in 1925, joins the Festival Fleet for the first time. Canada’s schooner Bluenose II‘a replica of the Bluenose, winner of the International Fishermen’s Trophy races from 1921 through 1938’Salem’s Friendship, and the U.S. Navy’s DDG-94 USS Nitze will join in the festivities.

The Schooner Festival Committee is excited to announce that Rockport artist Donald A. Mosher has joined the Festival as its official artist. Mosher has lived in Rockport since 1980 and is highly respected for his work in both oil and watercolor. Mosher’s artwork will join that of artist Armand Sindoni, who provided original artwork to the Festival from 1996 through 2001.

The Mayor’s Race is the major event of every Schooner Festival and will take place this year on Sunday, September 3, with over a dozen large schooners expected to compete. Racing starts on Saturday afternoon with seven classes of traditional small craft, consisting of approximately 50 vessels from 19 to 45 feet long.

If boats are your big passion, then the Schooner Festival is for you! However, there are plenty of shoreside events too. 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 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.

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.

High resolution Schooner Festival Artwork can be downloaded from: www.capeannvacations.com/schooner/mediaimages.

For a full schedule of events, go to www.capeannvacations.com/schooner.