By Times Staff
Gloucester Daily Times
---- — Faithfully keeping tradition, women gathered Monday evening to attend the unofficial kick-off of Fiesta, which occurred not with a bang, but with murmured prayers and joyful song.
The novena offering prayers and petitions to Peter, the patron saint of the fishermen, opened Monday evening, marking the start of the overall Fiesta.
The novena spans nine days and runs through next Tuesday, June 25, starting at 7 each night, in the American Legion Hall, and all are welcome to participate, organizers said.
The five core days of Fiesta start June 26 when the carnival opens and run with its usual full slate of events through Sunday, June 30.
The novena itself, like Fiesta as a whole, dates to 1927 and heralds the June 29 Feast of St. Peter, which this year falls on Fiesta Saturday.