Essex celebrates its bicentennial on Saturday, Aug. 10, with a parade, featuring bands, floats and a dozen units of Aleppo Shriners. It steps off at 10 a.m. from the intersection of Southern Avenue and Route 133. From there, the procession will travel to Main Street, Western Avenue, Winthrop Street, Martin Street and end at the intersection of Martin and Western.
Gloucester's latest Block Party is Saturday, Aug. 10, from 6 to 10 p.m., featuring food, live music, beer garden, magic with Kam Diaz and more along Main Street downtown. For details, visit: www.gloucesterblockparty.com.
“Mamma Mia!” presented by Annisquam Village Players, nightly through Monday, Aug. 12, at 7:30 p.m. at Annisquam Village Hall, 34 Leonard St., Gloucester. Reserved seating $32, general admission $16. For more information, visit annisquamvillageplayers.com.
Rockport Illuminations weekend features fireworks on Saturday, Aug. 10, at 9 p.m. Others events are Saturday's Farmers Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., live music in Dock Square and children's activities and face painting at Rockport Baptist Church from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For details, visit rockportilluminations.com or the Rockport Fireworks Facebook page.
"Ben Butler," a play by Richard Strand, is at Gloucester Stage, 267 E. Main St., is described as a battle of wits between two "equally formidable men" — one enslaved and another a general — during the Civil War. Shows are Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Saturday's shows will be followed by free post-show discussions with the actors. For tickets and information, visit: www.gloucesterstage.com.