New Film: Buona Fiesta!

Our beautiful Gloucester community is the inspiration for Buona Fiesta! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who appears in the film. I love it when you see me and smile and wave—it just adds another layer of fun to the film!

Buona Fiesta! begins with the opening of the Friday night ceremony at Saint Peter’s Square. The statue of Saint Peter, the patron saint of fishermen, is processed around the American Legion Building (Gloucester’s first City Hall), with the parade ending in a fanfare of confetti and cheers at Saint Peter’s Square. Joe Novello is the host for the formal opening ceremony of the 2014 Saint Peter’s Fiesta.

Highlights from the Friday and Saturday Greasy Pole events are followed by the Sunday morning Mass and the procession through the city streets to Our Lady of Good Voyage Church, and then back to Saint Peter’s Square. Tradition has the rallying Sunday Greasy Pole Walkers joining the feast well underway at the Giambanco childhood home, before heading over to the Gloucester House Restaurant and Saint Peter’s Club for liquid encouragement. Highlights from Sunday’s Greasy Pole are followed by the midnight closing ceremony. Saint Peter and followers process around the Fort and are greeted with more confetti and a beautiful fireworks display over the water. As Saint Peter is safely tucked back into the window at the Saint Peter’s Club, all wish him good night with cheers of Viva San Pedro…until next year’s Buona Fiesta!

You’ll see all three Greasy Pole winners take their flags, Mark Allen, Kyle Barry, and Jack Russ; the Giambanco sisters, Sefatia, Rosaria, Marianne, and Grace, who provide a Saint Peter’s Feast for the entire community; House Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante, State Senator Bruce Tarr, Mayor Kirk, Melissa Cox; Oar’Dacious teammates and sisters, Janelle Sleepy Pallazola Puopolo, Leanne Pallazola, and Jamie Pallazola; Salvi Benson’s final Greasy Pole Walk; Nicky Avelis; Steven Le Blanc almost capture the flag; Crazy Hat Ladies, sisters Robyn and Amy Clayton; and many, many more.

Read More Here ~

A request for feedback: Is the film’s content relatively self-explanatory, or are more subtitles and commentary needed? Please, if you have a minute, let me know what you think in the comment section. Thank you for watching!

Next year I am going to just have to figure out how to film the Seine Boat Races, too, which happen further down the beach. I need two camera set-ups!!

With thanks and gratitude to the Giambanco sisters Rosaria, Marianne, Sefatia, and Grace for inviting me to film the feast and rally at their home. With thanks and gratitude to Nicky Avelis and the Greasy Pole Walkers for permitting me to film on the boat ride to the Greasy Pole. With thanks and appreciation to Nina and Frank Groppo for the invitation to join them on the beautiful midnight procession and fireworks through the Fort.

Buona Fiesta is dedicated to Carlo Sleepy Pallazola, John Wagner, Dominic Nicastro, Salvi Benson, and Peter Black Frontiero.


“The Walker” by Fitz and The Tantrums
“Love Runs Out” by OneRepublic
“Best Day of My Life” by American Authors
“A Sky Full of Stars” by Cold Play

16 thoughts on “New Film: Buona Fiesta!

  1. OMG – this is so totally awesome!! Loved every minute of it…will share with family and friends, especially those who don’t understand when I try to explain to them all that Fiesta entails and all the history and everything coming together. Well done!!!!


    1. Thank you Jenn, I am very touched by your comments. I am so glad you enjoyed it!! Gloucester has so much magic and we are so fortunate to belong to this very special community.


  2. A well done visit to my past as I grew up in the Fort section for my first 16 years and then as a young married. The part I missed and that has gone by was the blessing of the fleet all freshly painted with families on board celebrating and the competitive seine boat races with the commentary by my uncles about the crews. It would have been fun to have seen some names of the pictured old timers who added their spirit to the event and the Lady with the Fiesta shout. I remember the young men going around the Fort at the conclusion with St Peter and the Italians joining their shout like prayers of gratitude for the blessings of this country and their love of family and tradition. I remember the greased pig chase and the clay pots overhead filled with water, live chickens, flour. candy and small change. and the prize of a watch for the oarsman that struck the lucky blow blindfolded. Blueberriy Pie and watermelon eating contest,was choice for the kids to be part of and the gathering of Families from all over. You did a super job of creating the feelings to remember about Fiesta. I would have loved to have seen a group picture of the participants of the Greasy pole as well.They made the event exciting and you made it an event to remember. Really Awesome Job!


    1. Thank you Fran for your good words and for sharing your memories. The pig chase, and watermelon and blueberry pie eating contests sound like so much fun!

      Next year I promise to find a way to film the seine boat races, which will be included in the finished documentary, no worries! And the blessing of the fleet.

      The challenge is that the boat races happen further down the beach oftentimes while the Greasy Pole is underway. I have to plan to have two camera set up next year. More subtitles, as well as narration, are planned for the full length film.

      Thank you so much for your very much appreciated and thoughtful comments.


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