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July 20, 2013

Talk of the Times: Cocktail contest adds twist to Block Party

Talk of the Times

As Gloucester’s Downtown Block Parties move into a sixth year tonight, organizers have once again come up with a new twist — perhaps, in some cases, even with a twist of lime or lemon.

The leading new “event” added for tonight’s Block Party, which opens at 6 p.m. with outdoor sidewalk dining, street entertainment and open shopping and mingling along Main Street and its side streets from Duncan and Pleasant to Washington streets, is a Block Party cocktail contest, sponsored by Ryan & Wood Distillery, which is based right here in Gloucester in the Blackburn Industrial Park.

For the contest, several participating Block Party restaurants — from Giuseppe’s at the Washington Street corner to Ohana in the party’s first upper block — will be making cocktails with Ryan & Wood products and offering samples to diners and other visitors, age 21 and older, of course.

Sippers will then be able to vote on their favorite sample to choose the winning mix, and restaurant.

The street party is slated to run to 11 p.m., and is the 16th such event since the downtown promotion was launched in August 2008.

Gloucester life on stage

“North Shore Fish,” by award-winning playwright Israel Horovitz, had a great opening night on Thursday this week, and is expected to continue to draw a steady audience for the three-week production here at Gloucester Stage Company.

But the production is not only set and rooted in Gloucester, it has a local history all its own to boot.

In a 1992 Gloucester Stage production of the piece, the cast visited a waterfront fish processing plant as part of their research. One photograph from that time shows a well-known local, Mick Verga, showing the cast a bit about the business. Decades later, Verga can now been seen working as a court officer at Newburyport District Court.

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