By Times Staff
Gloucester Daily Times
---- — Welcome to 2013!
But in ushering in 2013 at the strike of midnight last night — with a ball drop and countdown along the lines of a miniature Times Square — Rockport residents and visitors alike also gave 2012 a rousing sendoff in and around Dock Square and at other sites across the town’s downtown.
The occasion was the 16th annual New Year’s Rockport Eve, which once again was to offer a wide variety of music, dancing — and even a touch of science, with the Gloucester Astronomy Club’s telescope “lookout point” exhibit — late Monday night.
In fact, founder and organizer Claire Franklin managed to schedule 85 musical performances into 16 different venues between 6 p.m. and midnight, with events and presentations for adults and children alike.
And while the night wound down to the final seconds of 2012, it actually included extended time on the front end of the evening, with the popular drum parade program and African drumming lesson running an extra hour this year, between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
All of the festivities led up to the final performances closing at 11:45 — when spectators and performers alike gathered for the countdown and firefighters dropped the traditional ball from a ladder truck in Dock Square.
Happy New Year to all.