Well known to the world as Gloucester’s major maritime and sailing event, the annual Gloucester Schooner Festival takes place in the harbor and nearby waters of America’s oldest seaport. The festival honors the major contribution of the historic fishing schooner to the heritage of Gloucester and the eastern seaboard. A spectacular highlight of the festival is the Parade of Sail on Sunday morning, as the participating schooners make their way through the harbor and out past the breakwater, to the Mayor’s Race starting area off Eastern Point.
This highly anticipated weekend is expected to draw particularly large crowds in 2013 as the BLUENOSE II from Nova Scotia will be participating in the festival, the ADVENTURE will be sailing, and dozens of schooners are expected to return to Gloucester for this unique sailing event and fun weekend.
With an eye toward the future, as well as the past, the Gloucester Schooner Festival Committee has always embraced the goal of involving young sailors in the event. This past year, the committee chose to broaden this effort and to institutionalize the educational component of the festival by providing further opportunities for kids to sail on the schooners and giving financial support to local programs that put Cape Ann kids on the water.
With this renewed focus on youth and education, Maritime Gloucester, a non-profit organization with a mission of connecting generations to the ocean, will take the helm in 2013 as host of the festival. They succeed the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce which founded the Gloucester Schooner Festival in 1985 and successfully ran the event through its first 28 years.