Rockport Ramblings: Makers' Festival back for second year

Courtesy photo/ Rockport Elementary School fifth-grader Caden Purington designed the entry button for this coming Rockport New Year’s Eve.


After a successful first run last year, the Rockport Makers' Festival is back for another holiday season on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14 and 15.

A juried indoor holiday market will be spread out across three locations — Rockport Art Association, Brackett’s Oceanview Restaurant, and Spiran Hall. Over 40 creative brands from all over New England will be on site selling their handmade wares from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

In addition, over 50 Rockport businesses will sell their maker-made gifts throughout the downtown area and at Whistlestop Mall. Craft workshops will be held at various locations. For example, Rockport Candle Company will host a do-it-yourself candle bar and free custom screen printing will be down at Rusty and Ingrid Creative Company. 

Be sure to check out free horse drawn carriage rides on Bearskin Neck, live music at the First Congregational Church's Old Sloop Coffee House, and a winter cocktail and beer garden featuring selections from Ryan & Wood Distillery and other local brewers. Other attractions include: an indoor holiday food market hosted by Rockport Exchange, a free holiday movie showing at Spiran Hall, food trucks, and various giveaways and raffles. 

Visit for the full schedule of events and a printable event map. 

New Year’s Eve Button

People attending Rockport New Year’s Eve events will be sporting an entry button sporting a design by a Rockport Elementary School fifth-grader. 

Caden Purington won the second annual Rockport New Year’s Eve button design contest.

The contest was open to third-, fourth- and fifth-graders at Rockport Elementary School. More than 30 designs were submitted, and the Rockport New Year’s Eve Committee chose six finalists. The finalists were displayed at the Rockport New Year’s Eve booth on Motif No. 1 Day on May 18, and the public voted for their favorite design.

Rockport New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest first-night celebrations in the region, with more than 40 performing groups providing entertainment for all ages, in more than 15 downtown venues from 6 p.m. until midnight.

Experimental art

“Unexpected No. Thirteen — The Experimental Group Small Works Holiday Show,” an exhibit by the Rockport Art Association and Museum’s Experimental Group will be on view at 12 Main St. from next Saturday, Dec. 7, though the end of the month.

The exhibit features paintings, mixed-media, graphics, sculpture, digital art and photography created by RAA&M artists and contributing members. An artist reception will be held on Friday, Dec. 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. 

The mission of the RAA Experimental Group is to increase public awareness and to foster self-expression by bringing artists together to explore and share ideas that cultivate creative freedom. 

Open gallery hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m., or by appointment. The RAA&M is closed on Mondays. For more information, call 978-546-6604.

--Live music and giving

At Saturday's Old Sloop Coffeehouse, donations will be accepted for Family Promise North Shore Boston, a nonprofit that assists local families in need with food and shelter.  

Rock, folk and blues singer Susan Cattaneo will perform live alongside The Big Loud Band on Nov. 30, at 7:30 p.m., at the First Congregational Church of Rockport, 12 School St. Harmonic duo Renée and Joe will open the show. 

Donations are being collected in conjunction with Fair Saturday, a global cultural movement with a social impact. Started in Bilbao, Spain, Fair Saturday is based on the open and participatory organization of artistic and cultural activities, each one in support of social projects.

In addition, Old Sloop Coffeehouse has promised to match monetary donations up to $500. 

This initiative was organized in conjunction with the Rockport Cultural District and the Massachusetts Cultural Council and.

Advance tickets to the concert are $15. Visit the website at, John Tarr Store in Rockport or The Bookstore of Gloucester for tickets. The suggested contribution at the door is $18 for adults, $5 for those age 18 and under, and $36 for families.

Quick hits

* Sandy Bay Historical Society's Holiday Cheer Open House will be held Sunday. Dec. 1, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Sewall-Scripture Museum, 40 King St. Enjoy historical and seasonal exhibits with members of the community. Refreshments and libations will be served. Admission is free.

* Literary Cape Ann will present a Holiday Book and Author Fair on on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., at Brackett’s Oceanview Restaurant, 25 Main St. Books of all genres, including New England history, mysteries, poetry, children’s books, and cookbooks, will be available to purchase. A slew of local authors will also be on hand to sign their works. Those who purchase books will be automatically entered into one of three basket-of-books raffles. Refreshments will be served.    

* Rockport High School's DECA the Halls event is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 8, from noon to 4 p.m. In addition to tours of the Paper House and Seven South Street Inn, guests will be serenaded by Rockport High School Madrigal singers and wowed by magician Kam Diaz. Tours begin at Rockport Inn and Suites. A shuttle bus will be available. Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased on the day of the event or in advance at Rockport Inn and Suites. For more information, email

Town Talk was compiled by Times. If you have a news tip or an item for Town Talk, please contact Michael Cronin at 978-675-2708, or

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