Don’t miss Gloucester Maritime Heritage Day, Saturday August 31st, from 10am to 4pm.
Maritime Heritage Day floats out a boatload of seaside fun
By Gail McCarthy
Maritime Gloucester will bring the glory of sailing the open seas during the Age of Sail to shore on Saturday for its Maritime Heritage Day, an annual event tied in with the Gloucester Schooner Festival.
The free, daylong event — which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — offers visitors an opportunity to step aboard a schooner and feel the history of these sailing vessels. The public will also have the chance to watch America’s oldest marine railway in action, which also learning about traditional boat building and the biology of the region’s oceans.
“Both locals and visitors can come down with their families, and it’s free and it’s meaningful,” festival chairwoman Daisy Nell Collinson said. “It’s one of those passive educational things. You are learning and absorbing things without making it feel like a lesson.”
This year, the festival venue is expanding and will include both Maritime Gloucester’s home base on Harbor Loop and the temporary schooner docks about a block away on Rogers Street. The dirt lot known as I4C2, next to The Gloucester House restaurant, will be dedicated to the festivities for the day.
The additional space will allow more boats to be open for deck tours, with greater opportunity for the public to experience them.
“Maritime Heritage Day is one of my favorite things about Gloucester Schooner Festival,” said Michael De Koster, executive director of Maritime Gloucester. “Not everyone wants to get out on the water, but everyone can have a great day of maritime fun at Maritime Gloucester and at the new schooner docks at I4C2. So many great community organizations get together to show the best of Gloucester and make it a family-friendly day.”
To interest all ages, organizers have pulled together a variety of local organizations and exhibitors, each with their own attraction or activity. Participants include Gloucester 400, Cape Ann Art Haven, Cape Ann Museum, Cape Ann Vernal Pond, Essex Shipbuilding Museum, Great Salt Marsh Project, Lowell’s Boat Shop, Ocean Alliance, North Shore Sea Scouts Ship 5, Seaside Sustainability, Schooner Adventure, Schooner Roseway and Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association.
OLLIE — Ocean Learning Lab and Immersive Experiences — will be at the I4C2 lot, along with other exhibitors, so those waiting to board schooners can find out more about the maritime environment while having some fun.
There also will be artisans displaying their wares and food vendors, including The Eclectic Clam, Gig Rower Hot Dog and Veggie Burger Stand, and Kim Gregory Pure Pastry, serving up their specialties.
Where: Maritime Gloucester at 23 Harbor Loop
When: Saturday August 31st 10 AM-4 PM
Price: Free and open to the public