Dressed in beautiful gowns adorned with ribbons and ruffle detailing, several young girls elegantly parade through the streets of Gloucester in celebration of the town's annual St. Peter’s Fiesta. A large crowd gathers on both sides of the street to watch the girls, and banners decorated with nautical flags are fastened to nearby street poles and run between the houses.
The St. Peter's Fiesta in Gloucester honors St. Peter, the patron saint of fisherman, and is sponsored by the city's Italian-American community. The festival spans for five days and features a variety of activities, one of the most notable being the greasy pole contests. In this event, participants climb a greased 200-yard pole that is placed 25 feet above the water to try and successfully obtain a flag placed at the end of the pole. While somewhat silly, the activity is also rather dangerous, and so many precautions are taken in order to ensure the safety of its participants.
From the collection of Fred Bodin of Gloucester, MA. Fred was a long time resident and well-known photographer of Gloucester and had one of the best private collections of New England nautical photographs in private hands. Fred was a photojournalist having graduated with this degree from Syracuse University and worked for Yankee Magazine. Fred passed away in 2016 and HIP purchased his collection from his estate.