By James Niedzinksi and Gail McCarthy, Staff Writers
Gloucester Daily Times
---- — Editor's Note: The original version of this story said the Rockport Legion Band was on the day's schedule. The band was never scheduled to play, and is not performing at the event. We regret the error.
ROCKPORT — Downtown Rockport will come alive with music, film, art, dance and poetry Saturday — all with an eye toward celebrating the town’s iconic fish shack,.
Motif No. 1 Day is slated to run Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., kicking off with the annual Motif No. 1 Day 5K and one-mile fun run, sponsored by Rockport Public Schools to benefit its health programs. The all-ages road race starts and finishes on T Wharf in downtown Rockport. Runners can sign up tonight from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Rockport Community House, or on race day at Harvey Park from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m.
From the 5K to a new film festival and presentations from the Rockport Art Association, Sarah Kelly, who heads the Rockport Festival Committee, said that one of the day’s goals is to unite the community.
”One of our goals was to bring all these different pieces together,” Kelly said.
Although Kelly said the festival began in 1949, public interest began to take a turn for the worse in the 1980s. The festival saw a revitalization, however, about five years ago.
One new aspect to the festival this year is a short film festival, the only stipulation being that the films have to be related to Cape Ann.
Kelly said the films range from a variety of topics, from the life cycle of a butterfly to the legend of a sea serpent in Gloucester in the 1800s.
”It’s a true community and arts celebration,” Kelly said.
Although Motif No.1 is nationally recognized, the festival that celebrates it remains true to its Cape Ann roots.
“We’re not trying to turn it into an international art show,” Kelly said.
One of the many activities of the day is a free lecture by Leslie Bartlett to commemorate the 80th anniversary of a 1933 float depicting a scene in Rockport that was on display at the National Convention of the American Legion in Chicago in 1933.
That program begins at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Hibbard Gallery at the Rockport Art Association. The 40-minute lecture will be followed by a question and answer session.
The lecture is a summary presentation of more than 15 years research and reflection by Bartlett. The historical monograph: “The Fish Shack Float That Charmed Chicago,” will be available for purchase along with a special commemorative photograph.
Another piece to the festival is the two-day scavenger hunt seeking hidden treasures takes place townwide on Saturday and Sunday. Over these two days, participants can look for the special red sign that says “Motif Scavenger Hunt” in more than 60 participating shop windows.
Shoppers should then proceed inside to search for the treasure. The “Motif Scavenger Hunt” tag hanging on select items offers a savings.
The Motif 1 Day festival community kickoff will be tonight, downstairs at the Rockport Community House on Broadway from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Saturday’s Motif No. 1 Day events are as follows:
9 to 10:30 a.m. — Motif No. 1 Day 5K & Fun Run to benefit Rockport Public Schools Health & Wellness programs, sponsored by Rockport Public Schools.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Art & Flowers at the Rockport Art Association. Floral arrangements inspired by works of art at this RAA-sponsored event.
Shopping Scavenger Hunt. Over 60 shops participating in a fun scavenger hunt for special Motif No. 1 Day weekend promotions. Organized by La Provence, 4 Main St.
10:30 a.m. to noon — Instrument petting zoo at the Old Firehouse Trust. Sponsored by Rockport Music.
11 a.m from 5 p.m. — Kids’ Art Zone in Harvey Park. Motif graffiti, coloring pages, lobster toss & more.
Rockport Elementary School Art Show in the Old Firehouse Trust.
Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest throughout downtown. Registration located at the corner of School & Main Streets. Sponsored by Rockport National Bank.
Dock Square Chowder Stand serving chowder from Nate’s at Front Beach A percentage of proceeds support 2013 festival programming.
New Year’s Rockport Eve Food Booth in Harvey Park. Proceeds support 2013 New Year’s Rockport Eve programming.
11 a.m. — Vision, Light & Motif No.1: a free presentation by the photographer and historian Les Bartlett at the Rockport Art Association, Hibbard Gallery.
Rockport Dance Academy performs in Dock Square.
Singer Michael O’Leary & harper Carol McIntyre in Harvey Park.
Noon — The Sturdy Oaks in Dock Square; a mix of bluegrass & Americana.
Singer-songwriter Courtney Reid on Bearskin Neck.
Rockport School Band Concert in Harvey Park.
Noon to 2 p.m. — Dora Tevan, Puppeteer & Storyteller in Barletta Park sharing Cape Ann’s heritage and folklore.
Noon to 4 p.m. — The Evolving Mural in Harvey Park with several artists passing the paintbrush to create a piece together.
1 p.m. — The Sturdy Oaks on Bearskin Neck.
1:30 p.m. — Fight or Flight Aerial Theatre Co. in Dock Square. Sponsored by Brothers’ Brew Coffee Shop.
2 p.m. — Alek Razdan & the A-Train Orchestra on Bearskin Neck.
2:15 p.m. — Fight or Flight Aerial Theatre Co. in Dock Square. Sponsored by Brothers’ Brew Coffee Shop.
3 p.m. — Motif 1 Short Film Festival Screening in the Old Firehouse Trust.
Fight or Flight Aerial Theatre Co. in Dock Square. Sponsored by Brothers’ Brew Coffee Shop.
3:30 p.m. — Rockport school bands & ensemble in Harvey Park.
4 p.m. — Singer-songwriter Brad Byrd in Dock Square.
Words Before Dinner literary event at the Old Firehouse Trust. Original poems inspired by life on Cape Ann. Twin Lights Soda, a Cape Ann original, will be on hand.
4:30 p.m. — Photographer Thi Linh Wernau shares excerpt from her “You Are Beautiful” photography project. Books are available, with all net profits benefiting at-risk children and veterans’ programs.
5 to 5:30 p.m. — Community Festival Finale — Vintage Rockport on Film. From the collection of Pierce Sears of the Thomas Wilson Beverage Co. Located at the Old Firehouse Trust. Sponsored by the Twin Lights Beverage Co. with complimentary Twin Lights soda available at the screening.