After two days of musical entertainment, a road race, carnival rides and games, St. Peter’s Fiesta took a more formal turn Friday night, with shouts of “Viva San Pietro” in the air.
In keeping with tradition, Friday night’s official opening ceremonies brought the statue of St. Peter himself out of the club that bears his name to the stage altar, with members of the Fiesta Committee carrying the likeness of the fishermen’s patron saint as if the saint himself were to watch the weekend’s proceedings.
And public officials, including Mayor Carolyn Kirk, turned to matters at hand within the fishing industry, which is wrestling with dire cuts of up to 78 percent in fishermen’s allowable catch this year, seriously threatening Gloucester’s and New England’s fleet.
Friday night’s ceremonies also set the stage for the weekend core of Fiesta’s religious activities, leading up to Sunday’s Outdoor Mass in St. Peter’s Square, the Procession of St. Peter, and the Blessing of the Fleet.
And, yes, the Greasy Pole Walk and seine boat races continue today and Sunday, capped by the Greasy Pole Walk of Champions competition late Sunday afternoon.