It's been five years now since a group of downtown Gloucester merchants and others in the business community launched the idea of a block party, with a night of outdoor dining, art displays and entertainment along a temporary Main Street pedestrian mall from Pleasant to Washington streets.
Now, the summer block parties have grown into one of Gloucester's most popular downtown traditions. When this year's series kicks off tonight at 6, it will do so with the promise of being bigger and better than ever, with 10 restaurants offering outside tables, and three stages of musical and other entertainment, pulled together by coordinator Valerie Marcley.
But through all the performances, and all of the camaraderie shared by residents and visitors alike, the brightest shining star is once again Gloucester's historic downtown itself.
If you haven't been to downtown Gloucester lately, there's no better time to take it in than tonight. Check out the party; you'll like what you see.