More Holiday Lights and cocoa drives #GloucesterMA 2019

Here are a few more twinkling neighborhood lights in Gloucester,  Massachusetts, from December 2019, including a few GMG reader requests and tips following the “merry drives and cocoa” post part 1.

Holiday lights decorated homes_ Christmas 2019 Gloucester Mass_20191219_©c ryan.jpg

Holiday lights decorated homes_ Christmas 2019 Gloucester Mass_20191210_©c ryan (7)

(you can double click the photos to enlarge and pinch and zoom)


There are plenty of local homes decorated with white lights only or candles in every window aglow with single color bulbs. I love these, too, but my phone camera not so much.

Holiday lights decorated homes_ Christmas 2019 Gloucester Mass_20191219_©c ryan (2).jpg

photo caption below- I’ve always been in love with holiday lights. Personal distinction or traditional inspiriation- I’m grateful for all creative cheer each year. Decades ago ca.1970s, this home and yard (on Lowell Street between Peabody and Lynnfield) was trimmed all in pink lights. Just pink. 

Peabody home had pink Holiday lights 1980s decorated homes_ ©c ryan

photo caption below: Decorated Saugus condos just off Rt. 1 and homes off surrounding streets  if you happen to be in that neck of the woods. 

Saugus condos_Holiday lights decorated homes_ Christmas 2019 ©c ryan
(Saugus condos just off Rt.1)
Lobster Trap buoy tree Gloucester MA © Margaret McDonald 2019
Home is best! Gloucester lobster trap tree lighting photo from FOB Margaret

Holiday lights and cocoa drives #GloucesterMA 2019

Merry drives and cocoa:

If you’re wondering about holiday lights near you, in addition to the city’s beautiful seasonal trees and festive sparkle downtown, rewarding drives through Gloucester neighborhoods abound. These local homes were shining last week. Can you guess which street was most lit up? Grab some hot chocolate and go!

With each new day, more merry lights brighten December nights. Did we miss a street?

Answer- Reynard Street is dazzling and concentrated. (See if you can spot the back fence illuminated with fish shapes when you go. Neighborhood kids could set up a hot chocolate stand 😉 easy. Walk or drive with the great complete street work by the City DPW.) Other streets with decorated homes: Maplewood, road into Annisquam (coming from Gloucester look off to second story star shining off Goose cove), Rt. 127, Abbott, and) 

Combine it with Middle Street Walk! Mark your calendars: December 14th

Middle Street.jpg




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