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Gloucester celebrates its 86th Annual St. Peter’s Fiesta

GLOUCESTER, MA – On the last weekend in June thousands of people thronged America’s oldest fishing port for the city’s annual St. Peter’s Fiesta.

The celebration honors Peter, the patron saint of fishermen, and the fishing way of life that has shaped Gloucester for nearly 400 years.

The Statue of St. Peter, draped in dollar bills and adorned with flowers, leads the procession through the city during Gloucester’s St. Peter’s fiesta.  (Susan Pollack photo)

The Statue of St. Peter, draped in dollar bills and adorned with flowers, leads the procession through the city during Gloucester’s St. Peter’s fiesta. (Susan Pollack photo)

On Sunday Jun. 26, following an outdoor mass, fishing families assembled for a procession.

Eight strong men carried the turquoise-robed statue of St. Peter through the city’s winding streets shouting, “Viva San Pietro! Viva San Pietro!”

Walkers bearing other statues and icons followed, some celebrating the patron saints of Sicilian ports from which many of today’s Gloucester fishing families originally came.

Then, as always, children carried oars displaying the names of Gloucester fishing vessels, past and present.

The procession stopped for prayers and blessings at St. Ann’s and Our Lady of Good Voyage churches – the latter a structure of Azorean design, whose congregation had originally consisted of Portuguese fishing families.

A statue of the Virgin holding a…

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