We can add these short films and greasy pole videos to the GMG library of greasy pole contributions.
The dates of Saint Peter’s Fiesta are June 21st through June 25th and the schedule will be posted on the Saint Peter’s Fiesta website. There is a rumor circulating that Fiesta falls on the following weekend, which is definitely not true. This information comes straight from Fiesta committee member Al Millefoglie.
Buona Fiesta 2016
Salty language advisory.
Thank you to our beautiful Gloucester community for participating in Viva San Pietro! Thank you to the Greasy Pole Walkers for interviews given during the Sunday rally and especially to Nicky Avelis for help coordinating. A huge thanks to Joe DaSilva for the suggestion to listen to Mike Forgette’s music for the film’s soundtrack and for help in contacting Mike. A tremendous thank you goes to Mike Forgette for granting permission to use his song “Whats the Difference” (link to hear more of Mike Forgette Music).
Viva San Pietro! opens with Joe Novello preparing Gloucester’s Saint Peter’s Square for the formal opening ceremony, to which he is also the master of ceremonies. Highlights from Friday afternoon’s sporting events are followed by the procession of Saint Peter, the patron saint of fishermen, around the American Legion Building (Gloucester’s first City Hall), with the parade ending in a fanfare of confetti and cheers. Mayor Sefatia Romeo Thekan takes to the stage and provides some history about the origins of the Fiesta. Senator Tarr and all officials give praise to the committee for their tireless dedication. Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante and City Councilor Steven LeBlanc rally the crowd with the traditional call and response that is heard throughout the city in the coming days, and Father Jim Achadinha gives his blessing.
Saturday’s Greasy Pole competition is featured with highlights from Joe DaSilva’s winning walk. Due to foul weather, Sunday’s events take place on Monday. The Sunday Greasy Pole Walkers in their zany and colorful costumes tell of past walks and wins at the rally held at the home of Sunday Walker Joe Sanfillipo. After processing through downtown with stops along the way at the Gloucester House Restaurant, House of Mitch, and Saint Peter’s Club, the Walkers head over to Beach Court. Because Sunday’s events had been postponed to Monday and the stage broken down on schedule, the statue of Saint Peter was temporarily moved to Beach Court. After blessings and prayers, the revelers headed back to Saint Peter’s Square to board the ferry to the Greasy Pole.
The men’s seine boat competition does not disappoint, with Lock and Load taking the trophy, followed by an outstanding flag capture by Jake Wagner.
The Walkers hoist Jake upon their shoulders and carry him to the Greasy Pole Hall of Fame Wall. Then it’s back to Beach Court where the closing ceremony is held. Congratulatory speeches are given by the team captains, with much cheering and accolades for all. After the award ceremony, the statue of Saint Peter is processed through the Fort amidst much merriment, joyful singing, and “Me chi samiou tutti mutti? Viva San Pietro!,” which roughly translated means: Are you all mute? (or Why are you not shouting?)—long live Saint Peter!
You’ll see all three Greasy Pole winners Joe DaSilva, Lenny Taormina, and Jake Wagner, Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, House Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante, State Senator Bruce Tarr, Sunday Greasy Pole Walker and City Councilor Steven LeBlanc, Peter Black Frontiero, Nicky Avelis, Joe Sanfilippo, Paul Nicastro, Kyle Barry, Mark Allen, Crazy Hat Ladies, sisters Robyn and Amy Clayton, and many, many more. Viva San Pietro!
Bianca, Rosaria Floyd, Mayor Sefatia (holding the key to heaven), Joe Orlando, State Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante
Snapshots from Friday night opening ceremony. I am mostly filming, but do manage to take a few photos. So many beautiful moments last night–I wish there was a simple way to film and take good quality photographs at exactly the same time.
Thank you to all our GMG friends and family who came to the opening last night! Thank you Anna, James, and Joey for organizing a super fun event! With a special thanks of appreciation to Kathy Numerosi and Leslie Heffron.
Thank you with the deepest appreciation and greatest gratitude to everyone who is helping to make Buona Fiesta! a success. We are receiving beautiful thank you notes from as far aways as Terrasini, Rome, Japan, Korea, and Hawaii. Buona Fiesta! has received over a thousand views in less than a week, which is very gratifying and encouraging, especially in light of the fact that this short film is part of a larger documentary project.
Buona Fiesta! is long, at 17 minutes, for an internet film, and Vimeo is more strict about recording number of views. For example, when a video or film is clicked on YouTube, it is instantly recorded as a view. On Vimeo, the viewer must watch all the way through to the end, or nearly all the way through, for the view to be recorded. The fact that we have so many viewing the film on Vimeo is a true measure of interest.
Thank you to all who work so hard to make Saint Peter’s Fiesta a wonderful and positive event to be shared by all in the community. My most heartfelt thanks again to everyone who appears in the film.
If you enjoyed seeing Buona Fiesta! please copy, paste, and share one of these links with your friends, Facebook friends, and Twitter friends. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP!
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 ~
First published in the Gloucester Daily Times in 2007
Buona Fiesta! Ten years ago my involvement with St. Peter’s Fiesta was maybe walking through the carnival on Friday night, avoiding the traffic on Rogers St., and spending time far away from the downtown area. As a non- Italian, non-Catholic, the Fiesta was not a big part of my own childhood or adult life. I didn’t attend Mass unless it was for a wedding or funeral. I didn’t understand the Novena. There was no craving for a huge sausage sandwich. I didn’t get it!
But then around 1998, I’m not sure how it happened, but I got it. I wanted to capture some of the festivities as a photographer. Little did I know this would transform me into an honorary Italian. At first I felt like an outsider looking in on foreign traditions and cultures. I think that year I just took photos of the parade on Sunday and the greasy pole.
I remember exactly when I got it, though. I was waiting for the parade standing under the arch of balloons outside the St. Peter’s Club when it was on Main St. The street was packed with hundreds of people. The statue of St. Peter was hoisted high into the air as the red and green balloons were released. Confetti was tossed from the roofs of the nearby buildings. Band music filled the air as someone called “Come siamo tutti muti?” and the crowd responded with “Viva San Pietro!” The emotion and passion were overwhelming. I fought back the tears. And from that time on, I knew that even though I had no Italian relatives, I was Italian at heart.
In the years that have followed, I’ve had the honor and privilege of photographing all the Fiesta events. From seine boat practices, the Novena, the St. Peter’s Committee Reception, opening night, all the boat races, the greasy pole contests, the kids’ games, the parade, Sunday Mass, the Blessing of the Fleet, the walk through the Fort, and everything in between, I have met the most amazing people.
Of course, there’s Joe Novello, but there’s also his new baby granddaughter, Sofia Rose, Tim Oakes, seine boat scuttler, and his four girls, Joey Palmisano who organizes the kids’ games on Saturday, Santo and Lea Militello celebrating over 50 years of marriage, little Marissa Numerosi, Sara Favazza, who loves to have her photo taken, Joe Frontiero, Joe Marino, Lenny Biondo, Lenny Billante, the names go on and on and they’re all part of the history of Fiesta.
I’ve felt the elation of the Morrisseys, Phil Francis, and Tim Oakes, the love between Joe Balbo and his son, the disappointment in the eyes of Gina Lampassi, the pride in Tony Testaverde as he carried the statue for barely a minute on Sunday, the sadness of those who have lost loved ones this year, my own sadness in losing my best friend, Tony Barbara, and the kindness of the crowd down the fort as they stuffed dollar bills into the jar to help J.J.
If I hadn’t gotten it, I would have missed out on this incredible opportunity to meet these wonderful people and experience the passion, joy, and love that is St. Peter’s Fiesta.
Viva San Pietro! And where’s Ambie with my sausage?