Gloucester is big on winter lights charm and New England architecture. Many neighborhoods join in together, glittering, and have for years. Every year is unique. Scroll down to see the first batch of photos for the 2021 map – as of December 4, 2021. More homes and neighborhoods will be added, so be sure to check back. This first week in December is twinkling less than last year at this same time. (By December 29, 2020, more than 250 illuminated homes were mapped.) Weather impacts planning and displays. Perhaps the mighty wind storms October 24th and 27th and November 11, 12, & 19 may have waylaid some early trimming prep. Could it be the supply chain clog?

Trends so far? 2021 is looking like “The Year of the Snowman”, which by the way is an easy & cheery Ispy addition for Holiday Lights and Cocoa Drives. A Mandalorian holding a baby Grogu was new to the list of lawn inflatables.

How lovely to see Temple Ahavat Achim Lobster Trap Menorah back again!

2021 Map Holiday Lights and Cocoa Drives

#GloucesterMA house photos Dec. 4, 2021: C. Ryan

GIF Wrap around down Perkins Portuguese Hill Gloucester MA

Lobster Trap Christmas Tree Main Street as of 11/20/2021

Before the lighting ceremony and hand-painted buoy ornaments. Town wreaths and banners were installed even earlier. 2021 lobster trap tree lighting ceremony is scheduled for Dec. 14th

Behind the scenes- deck the home prep STARTS EARLY

Bring on the ladders! Before Thanksgiving- some photos November 18th, 2021.

Mighty effort: the Blue Christmas and Red Trim dazzlers on Reynard were surprisingly bare November 18, 2021. Now they’re all decked out, too.

2021 Food Pantry Drive on Reynard

Open Door food pantry drive drop


This is the 5th year of Holiday Lights and Cocoa Drives. Here’s the 2020 map for comparison. More than 250+ homes were illuminated and over 100,000 map views were tallied in just a couple of weeks!

Notes about the maps: The maps are great in the embed mode because when you scroll down, each house photo(s) pop up, with a big arrow that directs you to that one point. From a desktop, hovering or right clicking the house icons reveal the photos for each pinpoint. For those who prefer a paper copy –which doubles as a seek and find sheet–click on the three vertical dots and then select “print” (horizontal mode best) from pull down menu. You can also google search Holiday Lights and Cocoa Drives Good Morning Gloucester.

Watching Waves for spin drift Rainbows. November surfers. Long Beach #RockportMA #GloucesterMA

Walking on Long Beach 11/24/2021 – Steady waves. Light on sea spray rainbows (a watched pot never boils…) November surfers.

vid clip Long Beach 11/24/2021- November rainbow sea spray; love when sunlight breaks through spin drifts– tossed rainbows. Faint and infrequent this day.

Long Beach November surfing GIFs and vid. clip-

Joy to the Orchestra World: Cape Ann Symphony is BACK! Launching its 70th Season


A Festive Musical Celebration to Celebrate the Season for orchestra and chorus. Featuring the Cape Ann Symphony Chorus

News and notes from Heidi Dallin:

“Cape Ann Symphony

Bringing back the Cape Ann Holiday tradition


It’s the first performance of the Cape Ann Symphony orchestra




18 months!”

Heidi Dallin

The Cape Ann Symphony’s Annual Holiday Pops Concert, returns to kick off our 70th season  with our traditional holiday concert on Saturday, November 27 at 2 pm at the Dolan Performing Arts Center at Ipswich High School on 134 High Street, Ipswich, MA; Saturday, November 27 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, November 28 at 2 pm at Manchester-Essex High School auditorium on 36 Lincoln Street in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA.  

For tickets and information about this Cape Ann Holiday tradition, call 978-281-0543 or visit

The 2021 Holiday Pops Concert led by CAS Conductor and Music Director Yoichi Udagawa features the return of the Cape Ann Symphony Chorus under the direction of Rockport’s Wendy Betts. Udagawa has planned a joyful program of music from Anderson, Humperdinck, Rutter, Tchaikovsky plus Mark Hayes’ Believe from the hit film Polar Express, Courtney’s Musicological Journey Through the 12 Days of ChristmasDavis/Hayes’ Little Drummer Boy, and Hayman’s Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.

Cape Ann Symphony Board President Fran White is thrilled to have the orchestra back in performance in Manchester and Ipswich.

“This is a milestone year for CAS, our 70th anniversary of making music on Cape Ann! We stayed strong during the pandemic due to the diligence and Herculean efforts of our board, music director, and musicians and most importantly, the incredible support from our patrons! The Holiday Pops kicks off a spectacular 70th anniversary concert season! We are back and ready to make music for you for the next 70 years! “

Fran White, Cape Ann Symphony Board President

Cape Ann Symphony Conductor and Music Director Yoichi Udagawa is looking forward to this year’s Holiday Pops Concert,

The musicians of the Cape Ann Symphony and I are very excited to be back to performing live with a full orchestra for our amazing audiences starting with the Holiday Pops. The wonderful singers of the Cape Ann Symphony Chorus under the fabulous direction of Wendy Betts will be featured in the concert, and it will be a joyous celebration of the Holiday Season. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we all feel a tremendous sense of gratitude to the incredible outpouring of support from our audiences and supporters, and we can’t wait to be together again with our loyal audiences to make music and celebrate!”

Yoichi Udagawa, Cape Ann Symphony Conductor & Director

The 2021 Holiday Pops program includes Tchaikovsky’s Selections from The Nutcracker; Anderson’s Christmas Festival , Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel Prelude, Hayman’s Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer,Davis/Hayes’ Little Drummer Boy, John Rutter’s Joy To The World and Candlelight Carol, Mark Hayes’ Believe from the hit film Polar Express, John Leavitt’s Bashana Haba’ah, and Holcomb’s Festive Sounds of Hanukkah.

The Cape Ann Symphony launched The Cape Ann Symphony Chorus at the 2005 Holiday Pops Concert. The Cape Ann Symphony Chorus is a chorale with over 75 voices from the North Shore area. The group performed with the Cape Ann Symphony at Holiday Pops Concerts in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 2013, 2014. 2015, 2016. 2017, 2018 and 2019. The 75 plus member chorale under the direction of Wendy Betts is comprised mostly of North Shore residents, the majority of which live on Cape Ann.

“The CAS Chorus is glad to be back together! I have missed working with these tremendous singers! They work hard, are disciplined in their music tasks, and put out a lovely choral sound. But best of all, they truly enjoy one another, which is what choral singing is all about! Making music TOGETHER!”

Wendy Betts, musical director Cape Ann Symphony Chorus (north shore community residents)

Founded in Gloucester in 1951, the Cape Ann Symphony is a professional orchestra of over 70 players from throughout the New England area. They perform a subscription season of four concerts per year plus several Pops and youth concerts. The Symphony Board of Directors named Yoichi Udagawa the Music Director and Conductor of the Cape Ann Symphony in the summer of 2000 after a yearlong search. In addition to his leadership of Cape Ann Symphony, he is Music Director and Conductor of the Melrose Symphony Orchestra, and the Quincy Symphony Orchestra and a cover conductor at the Boston Pops Orchestra. Frequently invited to guest conduct, Mr. Udagawa has worked with many different orchestras including the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Nobeoka Philharmonic Orchestra, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, the University of Texas Symphony Orchestra, the Indian Hill Symphony, the Garden State Philharmonic, the Brown University Orchestra, the Syracuse Society for New Music, the Boston Conservatory Orchestra, the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra, the Newton Symphony, the Austin Civic Orchestra, and the Mid-Texas Symphony. Mr. Udagawa is at home in popular and contemporary music as well as the standard symphonic repertoire. He is known for his relaxed manner and ability to speak from the podium which has helped new audiences as well as enthusiasts gain a greater appreciation for symphonic music. His programs often include premieres of new works – some specially commissioned for the orchestra — as well as great orchestral works across the symphonic repertoire and lively Pops programs. He is also an integral part of the Cape Ann Symphony Youth Outreach programs to area schools.

Cape Ann Symphony’s Holiday Pops Concert is Saturday, November 27 at 2 pm at the Dolan Performing Arts Center at Ipswich High School on 134 High Street, Ipswich, MA; Saturday, November 27 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, November 28 at 2 pm at Manchester-Essex High School auditorium on 36 Lincoln Street in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA. Single ticket prices are $45 for adults, $40 for senior citizens age 65 and above, $20 for Students of any age with a valid student id; $5 for youth 12 years old and under. For tickets and information, call 978-281-0543 or visit

In accordance with the CAS Covid Safety Policy, all concert attendees will be required to show proof of Covid 19 vaccination or to present documentation of a negative test within 72 hours prior to the event and will be required to wear a mask during the performance.

photo caption: Yoichi Udagawa, Conductor and Music Director, Cape Ann Symphony Orchestra joined by Wendy Betts, Director Cape Ann Symphony Chorus | photo © Jeph Ellis

2021 Veterans Day Schedule 9AM #GloucesterMA | June 1953 vets fishing at STrangman pond

Cape Ann Veterans Services reminder:

Come join in! Celebrate veterans and honor Armistice Day. The 2021 Veterans Day outdoor service begins at 9AM tomorrow at City Hall, followed with a car parade –with CATA trolley option– to Washington Street locations (Seacoast Nursing and Gloucester Healthcare) in support of veterans in assisted living.

1953 “Disabled Vets Fishing Carnival” Gloucester, MA

Hosted by the Cape Ann Sportsman’s Club at Strangman Pond off Reservoir Rd., Dogtown.

In 1954, President Eisenhower signed the proclamation designating November 11 Veterans Day.

Scan of Gloucester Daily Times. Would love to see original photos by Marilyn Silveira (top) and Ralph Esty

photo caption: No fish story as photographer’s proof shows string of rainbow trout hooked by disabled veterans during Cape Ann Sportsman’s Club outing yesterday at Strangman’s pond, left to right are Robert Kwasnick of New Britain, Conn. and Chris Seros of New London, Conn. | Bottom photo: Battery of rods and reels on special-built platform at Cape Ann Sportsman Club site during disabled vets fishing carnival yesterday. Vets braved downpour to continue fishing for rainbow trout. June 1953 Gloucester, Ma.

Look for area businesses special notices like this one:

Beauport Hotel – Gloucester, MA
Offers 10 complimentary city-view rooms to any veterans who would like to come and have a little getaway. Once those 10 rooms are booked, any veteran can receive 30% off a room booked on Nov. 9 through Nov. 12.

GHS Fishermen: #GloucesterMA vs East Boston Varsity Soccer (Replay) 11/6/21 Cape Ann Live

Did you miss Round 1 of the tournament? Not to worry! Cape Ann Live filmed the game. Find them on YouTube Cape Ann Live Gloucester vs East Boston Varsity Soccer (Replay) 11/6/21

Since the October storm: “Unfortunately, we had the same issues at Newell Stadium (11/6/2021)…Slow, sporadic internet connection which caused us to get knocked off while livecasting the soccer game. I’ve been in contact with the school IT guys and hopefully it will be fixed by Wednesday’s game. But fear not, the game was recorded in camera so it will be available in its entirety on Cape Ann LIVE’s Facebook and YouTube pages! Please share the link and enjoy the game!”– Cape Ann LIVE

How nice to have any film, whether or not the live feed is up. Thanks GHS Fishermen Athletics, IT, DPW, all!

game 2 is at HOME – 6pm Wednesday | at GHS stunning New Balance Field Newell Stadium | vs. New Bedford

Should be a great match up of a seed 8 vs. a seed 9! They have a long trip here for this game. Winner travels to Belchertown. See tix information below. $10 / $5 students & seniors

Read Nick Curcuru GDT coverage of Game 1 here:  “Gloucester Soccer Boys Dismantles East Boston in First Round Rout” 

Check out GHS Fishermen Athletics all sports – website, Facebook and Twitter

bonus – Pretty fall sunsets

Day 4: down to 94 Power outages #GloucesterMa, under 100 #CapeAnn October Storm

As of October 30, 2021, the Massachusetts no name storm power outages tally 92,600 dipping below 100,000 for the first time.

Gloucester Fishermen Boys Soccer away game vs. Danvers was **NOT ** called off last evening ahead of game due to the forecast.

*Author note- updated- apologies for typo. Game on

The repair crews carry on as they brace for foul weather and high winds.

Day 3: less than 500 Power outages on #CapeAnn. #GloucesterMa Essex Manchester Rockport in the green. MEMA Map shows 162,000+ across Mass still to go Northeast October Storm

As of October 29, 2021. Massachusetts no name storm no power outages tally 162,436, dropping steadily.

Green/0% breaks down to less than 500 out locally.

Day 2: school closed, Power outages #GloucesterMa 40%. Essex 25%. Manchester 68%. Rockport in the green 8%. Across MASS Some 350,000 Northeast No Name Storm #CapeAnn

As of 4:30AM Thursday, October 28, 2021. Massachusetts no name storm no power outages 349,401

5:30 AM **update** Manchester improved to 25% and Essex 14%


SCALE – New Balance sneaker size 8 (shout out to New Balance, fan of Gloucester) vs. grape magenta jellyfish beached

I’m adding a couple of photos to the great question about the mystery jellyfish Joey posted thanks to a GMG reader.

I saw them that same day on Long Beach, September 6, 2021. I only saw seven, and one was a piece rather than whole, so I can’t confirm hundreds were there.

The one in the photo with the sneaker was the largest I observed. They were hard to miss. Four were in proximity at that spot. On the other side of the beach, one group of kids scooped up a sample with a sand shovel, running back to the furthest Gloucester end to show their parents.

The two times I’ve seen lions mane on any beach, I was wrong. If these were lion’s mane this will be the third time they’ve looked like a different jellyfish to me. The beached jellyfish on Long Beach this week looked a bit like pictures I’ve seen of mauve stingers.

Everyone has been remarking how warm the water’s been, and these deposits followed Hurricane Ida. Storms bring in unusual gifts from the sea.

Looking forward to a marine educator helping us learn more!

Magnolia Community Farmers Market on August 8, 2021

On Sunday August 8, 2021, the Magnolia Community Farmers will be held from 10 to 1:00.  The Magnolia Community Farmers Market gets better and better every week.  Thank you to the Staff who run this great Farmers Market.

Great food, gifts and treasures can be found on Lexington Avenue at the Magnolia Community Farmers Market.

The Annisquam Exchange Outdoor Furniture Sale

Saturday, August 7th
~9 am to 12 pm~
32 Leonard Street
Annisquam Village, Gloucester, MA