Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church Middle Street Walk

Holly Tanguay

The Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church holds its annual Holiday Fair on Saturday, December 14 from 9:00 a.m. 1:30 p.m. The fair is one of the favorite stops on Gloucester’s Middle Street Walk.

Bring the whole family to the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church’s Annual Holiday Fair! This year food vendors expand their offerings with coffee, tea, hot mulled cider, bagels, and muffins, and turkey or vegetarian chili, clam chowder, and hot dogs. Many of the food items sell out early in the day so don’t be late!

The fair features a variety of local crafts, a book sale, and a white elephant boutique. Santa will be on hand throughout the day to hear your holiday wish list and pose for a selfie. You’ll find a wide selection of holiday cookies for sale and free s’mores on the Church’s green.

The Church, located at the corner of Middle and Church Streets, will host musical performances, tours of the historic 1806 Meetinghouse, caroling, and more in the Church Vestry.

Activities include:

11:00 a.m.
Gloucester High School Chorus Concert

11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
Tours of the 1806 Meetinghouse

9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Food vendors will sell coffee, tea, hot mulled cider, bagels and muffins

10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Food vendors will sell turkey and vegetarian chili, clam chowder, and hot dogs

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Enjoy free s’mores on the Church green

12:30 p.m.
Holiday caroling by the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church choir

The Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church is located at the corner of Middle and Church Streets. Entrance at 10 Church Street – handicap accessible.


Topside Grill | Lemon Crush- do yourself a favor

LEMON CRUSH and a great dinner at Topside Grill last night for Gloucester’s downtown shopping Ladies Night. We had a ball! Thanks to Joe Ciolino, Weathervane–one of our first stops so we can meet Mark Parisi and grab the next Off the Mark calendar which he kindly signs– and all involved for such a festive Gloucester tradition. Our second annual stop is across the street– we make sure to buy a couple of new toys from Toodeloos for the stuff a bus toy drive parked right there.




Stephanie Benenson HARBOR VOICES light show #GloucesterMA | immigration, conversation & acts of generosity manifest as public art

Stephanie Benenson, artist studio, discussing 2017 Harbor Lights 20171122_091510

Stephanie Benenson, artist studio, discussing Harbor Lights, GIF 1122091429
from a studio visit with Stephanie Benenson Nov 2017

You can join in Stephanie Benenson’s fascinating big vision, Harbor Voices, a public art and cultural piece that’s made from light, sound and community participation. Part of the project is a  large-scale and temporary LIVE light & sound installation which will happen on ten minute loops from 4-8pm on Friday December 8th, and Saturday December 9th, one of many featured events for the 2017 Middle Street Walk. Harbor Voices will be held inside the Kyrouz Auditorium in City Hall , 9 Dale Avenue, Gloucester, MA.

Come experience a sweeping ocean of sound, stories and light, drawn by the voices and acts of generosity of neighbors and friends.

Benenson, a Rockport native and North Shore based fine artist, received a prestigious and competitive RISD grant to create Harbor Voices. Benenson collected over 100 stories in eight languages of recent and ancestral immigration to Cape Ann. For the past year she led (and continues to lead) practical and creative storytelling sessions and workshops at area schools like Veteran’s Memorial and Gloucester High School,  as well as community organizations and centers such as Sandy Bay Historical Society. Students talked with Benenson about “their ancestors* and families bringing cultural heritage to Cape Ann.” She said that kids mentioned “family members that started businesses here (like Jalapenos, Sclafanis, and other cultural destinations on Cape Ann)…and how meangingful that was to them…and people that they had deep respect and admiration for…” They discussed “family recipes, music, food and how immigration historically has made American art and culture come alive.”  Mayor Romeo Theken was the first story collected. Other Cape Ann storytellers outside of the schools and non profit partners include: Jean Testaverde (Portuguese fishing ancestry), Ingrid Swan (Swedith quarrying ancestry), Heather Lovett (descendent of Roger Babson), Sal Zerilli (Awesome Gloucester and Rockport), Jan Bell, Buddy Woods, Susannah Natti (Finnish and descendent of Folly Cove designer), Rich Francis (GHS teacher), and Celestino Basille (GHS teacher).

Depending upon age and preference, stories were written, recorded, or drawn. All were mixed into materials and audio that will choreograph connections directly into the light installation, and an enlarging community. At first, Benenson thought the light might guide any audio. Instead voices continue to guide the light.

Every story and act of generosity is linked to the installation and transformed into light.

Blurring the lines between public art and social sculpture, LIVE happening and virtual action, Harbor Voices emblematically presents stories, shared connections and actions. Participants of all ages are encouraged to interact with the project and its installation– to bathe so to speak in a community of vibrancy and waves of interconnectedness and support.  Benenson adds that from 4-6PM during the two days of this installation iteration, “children will be offered a small flashlight to engage with this artwork, allowing them a tangible moment to consider their part in this interconnected network of community and local history by creating their own beam of light.” Also, before the installation opens to the public, one hundred Gloucester High School students –including some who have already added into the piece– will come to City Hall to experience Harbor Voices.

Benenson’s promotion for Harbor Voices launched in September. Leveraging attention for this remarkably ambitious project is an essential component as more involvement means more impact. Straight away it fostered community and brought opportunities. For example, Benenson spoke about the project and shared audio of the stories with Rose Baker seniors, Gloucester Rotary and the Cape Ann Museum’s Red Cottage Society. Someone from Beverly has already underwrittten  support for a class at Veteran’s Memorial Elementary School. She spoke about the project with Joey as part of GMG podcast #253

As a third generation Cape Ann artist, Benenson is especially excited to “create art and conversations around our cultural heritage and our contributions to the vibrant mix of people that live on Cape Ann.”

See more pictures and read more about the artist

Continue reading “Stephanie Benenson HARBOR VOICES light show #GloucesterMA | immigration, conversation & acts of generosity manifest as public art”


dscf1522Toodeloos tea party with Avvi, in twenty five degree weather. Her Mom says its her favorite thing 🙂

Winning Gingerbread Houses – Gloria Parsons shares that the first one in the gallery, with the turrets, is going to be on the cover of next year’s holiday issue of Cape Ann Magazine.

dscf1536Combined childrens’ choir concert of St. Johns, Annisquam Village Church, and Rockport Congregational, under the direction of Mark Nelson, Kathleen Adams, and Kristina Martin

dscf1531Jude representing the UU Church knitting circle, with these wonderful #lovewins hats and scarves

dscf1542Amy Kerr with Bex and her fun lobster pot ornaments

dscf1553Melissa Cox’s handmade lobster soaps. The blue is scented lemon and the pink, cranberry.


64 Middle Street, love the shadows of the trees on the face of the building

Before: Gloucester Lobster Trap Tree awaiting painted buoys

Love the new wood signs heralding the Lobster Trap Tree lighting on Saturday, December 10th, just after a fun-filled day of Middle Street walk festivities.

The tree looks gorgeous already, but just wait until it’s trimmed with buoys hand-painted by children in our community under the direction of Cape Ann Art Haven and with the help of volunteers! The After is priceless and original. Thank you Cape Ann Art Haven and all who help to make this tradition happen in Gloucester. Wreaths and lights  on the street lamps are readied by the City,  Gloucester Downtown Association, and Ringo Tarr.


Nichole’s Picks 12/10 + 12/11

Pick #1: The Middle Street Walk

A full day of fun local activities that culminate with the famous Lobster Pot Tree Lighting Ceremony at 4:30!


Middle Street Walk

“Where the Past is Present”

The Middle Street Walk is a community event organized by volunteers and supported by the City of Gloucester, Massachusetts, businesses and organizations in the Middle Street neighborhood, and generous private donors.

This year’s Middle Street Walk will be held on Saturday, December 10, 2016

The program of the day’s events are posted here so you will be able to plan your day and be able to get the most out of everything that will be going on from 9:30AM until the Lobster Pot Tree Lighting after 4:30.

Programs will also be available the day of the Walk at businesses and organizations participating in the 2016 Middle Street Walk.



Pick #2: Buoy Painting at Art Haven




Pick #3:  Charlie Brown Christmas at the Larcom Theatre

THE Christmas classic comes to life!

Everyone’s favorite holiday television special LIVE in BCT’s new stage production of A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS.  Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy and all the Peanuts gang as they produce their own Christmas pageant and ultimately learn the true meaning of Christmas.  Complete with the little Christmas fir tree, A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS is a present the whole family can enjoy!  Directed by award-winning Burgess Clark, BCT Executive Artistic Director.

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS is presented by arrangement with TAMS-WITMARK MUSIC LIBRARY, INC. 560 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10022


To read more or purchase tickets CLICK HERE



As always, for a comprehensive list of family activities, visit our friends at North Shore Kid


What could be easier than to give the gift of membership to the Sawyer Free Library. There are different levels, beginning with the very low amount of only $10.00 for seniors and students. 

Membership dues are pooled to support the excellent library programming. One of the added benefits of becoming a member are the free passes or reduced admission to area museums, including the Peabody Essex Museum and the Boston Children’s Museum. CLICK HERE to learn more about what membership means and what your contribution brings.

Save the Date for the Gloucester Historic Middle Street Walk Event, upcoming December 12th unnamed-1


Lise Breen submits-


The Sargent House thanks everyone who helped create a magical day to appeal to Middle Street Walkers’ eyes, ears, and appetites.

The Sargent House Museum gives a huge cheer to Nathan Cohen and His Talented Rockport High School Student Chamber Music Players who regaled us with an extraordinary playlist.

The stellar performers included:
Isa Brisson, Aidan Flynn, Lydia Giangregorio   , Sayles Kasten , Nelson Pike, Soni Razdan, Emma Sekercan

Gloucester High School Sargent House intern Hannah St Cyr graciously greeted guests and revived their frosty fingers with hot mulled cider and homemade goodies—fresh baked muffins, anyone? Not a crumb remained.

None other than our own Kimberlee Cloutier-Blazzard performed as Judith in Jay Di Prima’s original production, “Mingling of Souls from Sorrow to Joy” at the Unitarian Universalist Church.

Jay performed the part of Reverend John Murray, the love of Judith’s life. Judith led an appreciative audience back to the House to view John and Judith’s bedrooms and her rare writing closet.


Many thanks go to the volunteers who decorated the House with fresh greens. Eva DiLascio, Barbe Ennis, and Vicky Bennet showed off their artistry and skill.

The showcase designs on view throughout the House are rendered in ribbons, greens and berries, gilded shells and holly–often in unique containers–are for sale. Next year, stop by for special holiday events and pick out your own fresh wreath or centerpiece to help support the Sargent House!

Happy Holidays to all!

Credit must go, with pleasure, to Sharron Cohen for her photographs.





Can You Ever Have Too Much Fun? More weekend picks!

While actually writing my Thursday “Weekend Picks” post is not difficult, narrowing down the choices and trying to be mindful enough to find activities that appeal to different likes/tastes/hobbies can be.  That having been said, I won’t sleep tonight if I don’t add a few more activities to this week’s list!

The most near and dear is the fantastic Middle Street Walk!  Hopefully you’ve already read about its awesomeness in other posts here on GMG, but just incase you haven’t…. you should!  As Joey says, “It’s insane”  (and he means that in a good way).

Check it all out here!  It is really a not-to-be-missed day here in town!!! If you’re not in the holiday spirit yet…this is just the medicine!

Middle Street Walk website is here too


Also, The Gallows Hill Theatre in Salem is playing “A Very Grinchy Holiday Special”.  How awesome does this look!  Again, the Schraffts will be doing this for sure!    Gallows Hill Theatre



In addition, a friend of GMG was kind enough to remind me that Smolak Farms is always a great bet!  Thanks so much, Erin!  We’ve been there several times…and Finn’s class just had a pumpkin picking field trip there in October.  It is truly a great spot.  This month, in particular, they are offering great activities.  Cookie making on Tuesdays and Fridays, Tea with Mrs. Claus, and Santa’s Workshop (meet and greet, craft making, and more!) are highlights.  Be sure to check out their website and mark your calendars.  Next week, for example, they are offering a great Gingerbread House Workshop!

Smolak Farms


Middle Street Walk At The Sargent House Museum Dec 13,2014 11-3PM

This Saturday!

From 11A-3P, see historic Sargent House finely decorated for the holidays as you shop for gifts, greens and more! Snack on holiday treats and enjoy our family-friendly programming:

  • Listen to music provided by Rockport High School musicians, led by director Nathan Cohen.
  • Happening at 1:00PM at the UU Church (see map & inset below): Dramatic reading of “Mingling of Souls from Sorrow to Joy.” A one-act play by Jay DiPrima about the lives and writings of Reverend John Murray and Judith Sargent Murray. (Suggested donation $5.) Afterwards, walk with the actors to Sargent House.

For more information, visit our website:

Sargent House Museum is #11 on the map.
UU Church is #12.
(Click on map for full Middle St. Walk program.)

Middle Street Walk Gingerbread House contest

Hi Joey,

Would you please post this announcement in goodmorninggloucester?  The Middle Street Walk is coming up and we would love to have lots of Gingerbread Houses in the contest!

Thank you again!


Time to Start Making your Gingerbread House for the Middle Street Walk!


The 17th annual Middle Street Walk will be held on Saturday, December 13th this year and the Gingerbread House Contest is a huge part of the event!
We are very fortunate to have two professional bakers as our judges.  Barbara Catalini from Cakes by Barbara and her friend, Roz Puleo from Nahant, have been judging the contest since the beginning,
There are a few rules, which are listed below.  There will be several different entry levels, from 5 year old beginners to professional bakers.  Individuals and groups may enter. 
                                              What a wonderful way to kick off your holiday activities!
1. The contest is open to everyone.
2. Contestants may submit entries either individually, or as a group. More than one entry may be submitted.
3. All entries must be made entirely of gingerbread and decorated with candy or other edible embellishments. Anything that appears on the house must be edible. Contestants may decorate their entry with non-edible figures, material, etc.  However, these embellishments may not be connected to the house in any way. Everything that appears on, or is connected to, the house must be edible.
4. The gingerbread house submitted may take any shape, form or size. Creativity is encouraged and contestants should model their houses on places real or imaginary, basic or elaborate.
5. Each entry must be submitted on a cardboard, wooden or plastic base. There is no standard size or shape for the bases although it must be larger than the house.
6. Entries must be dropped off at Kyrouz Auditorium in Gloucester’s City Hall either Thursday, December 11th between the hours of 8:30 AM and 6:00 PM or on Friday, December 12th before Noon. There is an elevator in case you need it as the Auditorium is on the second floor.
7. Judging will occur prior to the start of the Middle Street Walk which begins at 11:00AM on Saturday, December 13th   Entries will be on display to the public that day at City Hall until it closes at 3:00 PM. Contestants can pick up their houses at that time or can pick them the next week during regular City Hall hours.
8. Entry forms will be on the tables set up in the Kyrouz auditorium Thursday, December 11th and Friday, December 12. Please make sure you fill out the front and the back of the form!  Turn the back side of the form UP next to your entry.  And, please make sure you fill out your contact information!
9. Prize ribbons will be awarded in numerous categories as stated on the entry form. Please make sure you enter your contact information!  This year there will be a trophy for Best of Show!
10. Please let us know if you are planning to submit a gingerbread house by registering over the phone to either of the following contacts: Barbara Catalini of Cakes by Barbara at 978-281-0639 or email   or Gloria Parsons at 978-283-9292 or email 
Cape Ann TV It will begin airing “How to Make a Gingerbread House with Barbara Catalini”:  Thursday, November 27 at 6:30 pm; Friday, November 28 at 3:00 pm and 7:30 pm; Saturday, November 29 at 8:00 am and 6:00 pm; Sunday, November 30 at 9:00 am and 12:00pm; Monday, December 1 at 9am; Tuesday, December 2 at 5:00 am; Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 8:00 am at 1:30 pm and 11:30 pm
It is also on the website on their “video” page.
Please visit  for more information about this year’s Walk and see Gingerbread House contest entries from past years.  The program for all the Middle Street Walk events and activities will be uploaded on the site by December 5th.  You may also pick up your programs from Sawyer Free Library, Cape Ann Museum and other places throughout Gloucester after December 8th.
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2013 Middle Street Walk Schedule- Don’t Be a Frickin’ Grinch- Participate!!!

If the Middle Street Walk doesn’t get you in the mood for the Holidays then you have a heart of stone plain and simple.

Might as well paint your face green, strap a mangy dog to the front of a sleigh and go around stealing little kid’s presents.
Don’t be this guy-

Thank Bill OConnor for producing this readable, searchable program-

2013 Middle Street Walk Schedule of Events

Saturday, December 14, 2013

When Where and What
8 am – 6 pm Gloucester Boy Scout Troop #112 will be selling Christmas Trees on the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church lawn, Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 6pm
9 am-4:30 pm Saunders House, Sawyer Free Library

  • seARTS Wearable Art Holiday Show& Sale
    • (and Sunday from Noon to 4pm)
  • Raffle drawing to be held on Sunday at 3:30pm to benefit Sawyer Free Library
  • Raffle tickets sold at Saunders House and Library, Middle Street entrance of Sawyer Free Library 3pm
10 am- 2 pm Sawyer Free LibraryPresentation of History of WPA Murals and Samuel Sawyer
10 am
3 pm
Gloucester City Hall

  • 10am – Welcome and Launch in the Auditorium
  • Festival Headquarters for information and buttons
  • Committee for the Arts will sell postcards of City Hall’s WPA Murals and have a table with information on City Hall Restoration efforts.
  • The Gingerbread House Contest Display – winner will be announced in Kyrouz Auditorium at 1pm.
  • Girl Scouts Troop #60235 – Bake/Cocoa Sale
  • The Phyllis A. Marine Association will have an information table and Ship’s Store.
  • Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church – Popcorn & Lunch Ticket Sales
  • ‘Community of Neighborhoods’ Quilts from the Rose Baker Senior Center
  • Cape Ann Museum – Folly Cove Designers inspired family ornament making and Museum Pop-Up Store
10 am-3 pm Trinity Congregational Church of Gloucester
Cape Ann Thrift Shop Seasonal Goods Sale.Cape Ann YMCA
Open house, kids activities, face painting and craftsSargent House Museum
Visitors can shop holiday Christmas decorations, enjoy seasonal foods and browse the museum gift shop for holiday gifts and treats
10 am-4 pm Cape Ann Art Haven

  • Join a community art creation! Help create a Giant Ice Sculpture (ice courtesy of Cape Pond Ice)
  • Buoy Painting for Lobster Trap Tree All Day

Sargent House Museum
Open House decorated for the season, Holiday Goodies & Seasonal Gifts.

10:30 am Trinity Congregational Church of Gloucester
Performance – Bell Ringers
11 am Sawyer Free Library
Magic by Matthew Cushman – Magician to the Red Sox
11 am – 4 pm Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church
Make your own s’mores, coffee and cocoa for sale on the Church lawn!
11 am-2 pm Gloucester City HallTours of City Hall Tower on the half hour by Maggie Rosa, Chair of City Hall Restoration Committee.Guided Tours of Middle Street

11:30 am Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church
Tour of this historic churchGloucester City Hall Auditorium
Live performance – Cape Ann Big Band
11:30 am – 1:30 pm Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church
Lunch with 2 menus:

  • Historic New England – Clam Chowder, corn bread & gingerbread cookie – $10
  • Modern New England – Fenway Frank, Cape Cod chips & brownie – $5
12 pm Trinity Congregational Church of Gloucester
Concert – Plum Cove Singers
12-2 pm Middle Street Trolley Rides
Featuring the Songbirds and a Holiday Sing Along, courtesy of CATA.
12:30 pm Gloucester City Hall Auditorium
“Mixed Bag of Nuts”:

  • Christmas Carol Singing
  • Collection for ‘Toys for Tots’

Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church
Tour of this historic church

1 pm Saint John’s Episcopal Church
‘A Children’s Holiday’ with the Rockport and Annisquam youth choir singing music for the season
1 -3 pm A Visit with Santa at Brown’s Mall
1:30 pm Trinity Congregational Church of Gloucester
Concert – with Louis Stella (piano), Mary Jane Fabanio (cello), Jeanine Lynch (flute) and Robert Heinaman (French horn)Gloucester City Hall

Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church
Tour of this historic church

2 pm Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church
Concert – Elementary and Middle School String Group & Band and Gloucester High School Chorus
2:30 – 3:30 pm Temple Ahavat Achim
Tour and Q&A Session with Rabbi LewisSargent House Museum
Scenes from Judith Sargent Murray’s play “The Medium”, staged by the North Shore Folklore Theatre Co.
3 pm Sawyer Free Library

  • seArts drawing
  • Concert: What Time is it Mr. Fox? Trio
3:30 – 5 pm Art Gallery Open Houses – Pleasant & Main Streets
Visit All four Galleries and Win a Prize:

  • The Hive
  • State of the Art Gallery
  • Law and Water Gallery
  • Trident Gallery
4:30pm Cape Ann Art Haven & Gloucester Police Station Plaza
Lighting of the Holiday Lobster Trap Tree and a visit from Santa!

Get your Cape Ann Solstice tickets tomorrow at the Middle Street Walk

Tomorrow is what Winter in Gloucester is all about.  Stroll downtown from 8am – 4pm and take in our historic city’s wonderful, eclectic architecture, do some shopping, eat, make an ice sculpture — or s’mores, listen to music, sing carols, (see music schedule) take some tours — you can even get a tree (see full Middle Street Walk event schedule).  Plus you can get your Cape Ann Solstice tickets at City Hall and the Unitarian Universalist Church.  Don’t wait until the last minute — and don’t say we didn’t warn you.  If you can’t get downtown tomorrow, get tickets here.