By All Hands
What better day than this, full of sunshine to show off Gloucester's beauty, to bring the following to your attention:
Rand McNally/USA Today has launched their 2012 Best of the Road competition! You may recall from last year, we encouraged voters to narrow down categories to concentrate of votes.
This year, we suggest all voters go to just one category, "Most Beautiful," to make sure we don't spread the votes thin.
Go to: http://www.bestoftheroad.com/town.do?destinationId=4272 and contribute your thoughts (and a photo if you can) on what makes Gloucester deserving of the "Most Beautiful" title.
Last year, Gloucester received 74 submissions. Let's try to at least double that this year to push Gloucester higher into the winner's circle!
Stepping up the concert ante
Gloucester-based gimmesound.com music entrepreneurs Vickie and Peter Van Ness are taking a big leap forward on the entertainment promotion front.
They're presenting a summer concert series featuring local talent on stage with national recording artists at North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly under a new venture called gimmeLIVE.
The string of events marks the Van Nesses' first major concert promotion since the successful Celebrate Gloucester festivals christened Cruiseport Gloucester in 2007 and brought new life and more than 1,000 people together on Gloucester's then newly-acquired I-4, C-2 harborfront site over Labor Day Weekend in 2010.
"We've been looking for a suitable venue to showcase some of the area's best talent and bring national recording artists close to home," explains Peter Van Ness, president of gimmeLIVE Inc. "The North Shore Music Theatre is perfect with about 1,500 seats in the round. The stage revolves slowly, so there are no obstructions. All seats are within 50 feet of the stage — and that makes for an intimate concert experience with excellent sound."
The gimmeLIVE Summer Concert Series kicks off Thursday, June 28, with Chris Isaak, who is perhaps best known for his hit "Wicked Games," featured in the David Lynch film "Wild at Heart" and in one of MTV's truly legendary videos.
The producers plan to announce a local singer-songwriter to open for Isaak within the next couple of weeks.
On Saturday, June 30, gimmeLIVE presents New Orleans multi Grammy Award-winning legend Aaron Neville with his quintet featuring his brother, Charles — who played the 2010 Celebrate Gloucester show with Cape Ann's own Henri Smith.
Gloucester band-leader and vocalist Smith, a New Orleans native, will open this show with his band New Orleans Friends & Flavours.
Finally, on Friday, Aug. 31, gimmeLIVE brings Gloucester native Fly Amero's band, Orleans, to the North Shore Music Theatre for the very first time.
Last year, the Orleans Trio (Amero with Lance and Larry Hoppen) sold out Rockport's Shalin Liu Performance Center over a month before the show. This time gimmeLIVE presents the full band featuring Lance, Larry and Lane Hoppen with Amero and Charlie Morgan (Elton John's drummer for 14 years).
Just as they did for Celebrate Gloucester, the Van Nesses' gimmeLIVE is offering a exclusive VIP package in limited quantities for these summer shows. VIP packages include premium seating, a three-course dinner, meet-and-greets with the performers, exclusive pre-show parties, gifts and more. VIP package details are available at http://gimmelive.tv/vip/.
The flag at the Veterans' Center will fly this week in honor of Civil War veteran James Lee Hart.
Born April 23, 1832, in Manchester, Nova Scotia, he entered the U.S. Navy on Aug. 7, 1861, and was discharged Aug. 6, 1862.
The seaman served with USS Fearnot, USS Sciota, and USS Ohio. He served in the Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip in New Orleans, La., and during the bombardment of the Grand Gulf.
He died June 26, 1912, and is buried in Cherry Hill Cemetery. He was the son of John and Elizabeth (Irving) Hart.
The flag was requested to fly in his honor by the Office of Veteran's Services.
Anyone wishing to fly a flag in honor of a deceased veteran can call the Office of Veterans' Services at 978-281-9740.