Although the daytime hours are diminishing, Cape Ann will become brighter with the first Winter Lights Display, which will run from the day after Thanksgiving through Jan. 1.
More than 150 locations will create light displays to give residents and families an opportunity to safely enjoy a holiday season outing as part of this collaborative effort including the Rockport Cultural District, Discover Gloucester, Manchester Cricket and Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce. Light displays will be set up at places such as the gazebo and welcome center at Stage Fort Park, Manchester's downtown center, on the Gloucester schooners Adventure, Ardelle and Thomas E. Lannon, at inns, shops, and many other sites.
A custom-designed Google Drive map will be produced and available at DiscoverGloucester.com that highlights the participating locations in the coastal communities of Rockport, Gloucester, Essex and Manchester. The map will showcase each decorated structure as well as provide information on parking, shopping, dining and lodging.
"We are so thrilled with the energy and enthusiasm of our many partners to support a new but time-honored tradition of using light to celebrate the magic of the season. By simply illuminating our businesses and special places with lights helps us all find and share joy during these challenging times," said Elizabeth Carey of Discover Gloucester.
In addition to the dozens of locals businesses, many other organizations are taking part, including municipalities, service organizations and cultural organizations.
The displays will run from Nov. 27 through Jan. 1 from 4 to 10 p.m. daily.
A brochure also will be available to guide visitors through this illuminated journey on Cape Ann, including parking, a list of contributing members and places to stop along the way to shop, dine and perhaps an overnight stay, noted Carey.
She said the idea was to not focus on the difficult times but to do something to brighten people's spirits.
"We wanted something that would be a car ride away and we wanted to make it fun and easy and uncomplicated. If people stop to buy a hot chocolate or an ornament or gift, that is a bonus and all the better to support local business and stay positive," said Carey. "We look forward to this magical event and hope that you make our Winter Lights event a holiday tradition for years to come."
A complete list of participants may be found at www.discovergloucester.com/winter-lights-cape-ann.
After the completion of a comprehensive revaluation of all properties and preliminary certification from the state, Gloucester's residential, commercial, industrial and personal property classes have all seen changes in valuation.
The changes comes as a result of the city Board of Assessors' analysis. The proposed fiscal year 2021 assessments were based on the status of properties of a Jan. 1, 2020, assessment date.
These will be made available during the public disclosure period that runs Nov. 18 through Nov. 24. The public is invited to reach the city Assessors Office at 978-281-9715 with any questions.