The carnival, seine boat races and the first walker to hit the Greasy Pole are more than a week away.
But one important staple of Gloucester's annual St. Peter's Fiesta opens tonight with the start of the nine-day Novena to St. Peter, slated for the American Legion home on Washington Street.
The Novena, which is set for 7 p.m. tonight and will continue at the Legion every night through next Tuesday, June 26, touches off the religious side of Fiesta, which — like the rest of the main five-day festival — dates to 1927 and revolves around the June 29 Feast of St. Peter, the patron saint of fishermen.
Ironically, this year's official Fiesta opening ceremonies — always held the Friday night of the celebration — will fall on the exact date of St. Peter's Feast on Friday, June 29.
Meanwhile, crews this week are continuing work on the Fiesta altar and stage, with the carnival and the first night of stage entertainment set for Wednesday, June 27, the Fiesta 5-k road race slated for Thursday, June 28, and the first day of the threedays of Greasy Pole competition on tap for Friday the 29th.
The Fiesta culminates with the Blessing of the Fleet and the downtown procession of St. Peter on Sunday, July 1 _ with Gloucester's annual Fourth of July Horribles Parade following just two nights later on July 3.