Maritime Gloucester is proud to announce an exciting one-year sponsorship deal with Beauport Hospitality Group in support of its annual Gloucester Schooner Festival. This establishes Beauport Hospitality Group as the premier corporate sponsor for the event. The partnership between Maritime Gloucester and Beauport Hospitality Group will have far-reaching implications for community access at the Festival. Now in its 34th year, the Festival seeks to expand its public engagement through additional public dockside access to visiting Schooners. This significant support from The Beauport Hospitality Group will help to underwrite Maritime Gloucester’s plans to construct sets of temporary dock space for the duration of the festival. These floats are expected to provide dock space again next year and for many years to come.
The Gloucester Schooner Festival is an annual event scheduled each Labor Day Weekend. This year’s dates are Friday, August 31 to Monday, September 3, 2018. Once again, this year’s Schooner Festival will be an historic event for the Cape Ann Community, with the arrival of Nova Scotia’s recently restored Schooner Bluenose II and the breathtaking replica of the 1923 Essex-built Schooner Columbia. Along with 26 other schooners coming from Maine to Maryland, the Festival hosts tens of thousands of people for a unique and inspiring four-day event.
Whether through the award-winning marine science initiatives offered at Maritime Gloucester or the Schooner Festival’s Youth Scholarship program, the Schooner Festival’s impact is felt beyond its four-day span. A true city-wide celebration of Gloucester’s maritime heritage, the festival captivates the imagination and provides opportunity for community engagement. The Beauport Hospitality Group’s Sheree Zizik expressed particular interest in this impact on the Cape Ann Community beyond just the event. “Beauport Hospitality Group has grown on a foundation of community involvement. We cherish the City of Gloucester, her history and her devotion to the education of her children. We are proud to be a part of the Cape Ann Community, who holds on to her heritage so dearly and yet is moving forward into the future with ever-changing maritime innovation. We are proud to contribute to the Gloucester Schooner Festival and be a part of its continued growth, and to see the educational and scholarship programs develop even more.”
Being part of the community and celebrating the people of Gloucester has been the bedrock of this Festival from the start. Each year, since 1985, the Mayor of the City of Gloucester has welcomed the arrival of the schooners, a magnificent link to the story of Gloucester and the community and vessels that fueled the economy of a growing country. This year Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken will again officially welcome the schooners on Friday evening, then present the Esperanto Cup for the winner of the Mayor’s Race on Sunday, Sept. 2.
“As the mayor of America’s Oldest Seaport, I take pride in honoring our rich maritime history. It is an honor to serve such a proud and vibrant community, especially when unique collaborations bring people together. The Gloucester Schooner Festival celebrates our cultural and maritime heritage; it honors our fishermen and the sacrifices they and their families have made. The historic schooners in Gloucester Harbor for our festival will provide cultural enrichment for citizens and visitors to our wonderful city.”
The Festival is coordinated by a committee of volunteers plus the staff of Maritime Gloucester. Michael Costello, former Executive Director of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, served as the original coordinator of the festival, now chaired by local author and folklorist Daisy Nell. Finding a partner who sees the value in not only the event, but also the community engagement around the event, is a key component for Chairwoman Nell. “I am so grateful for this gift of support from the Beauport Hospitality Group. This will allow us to offer more opportunities for people to experience, up-close, a variety of schooners. They can see why these authentic vessels still matter in today’s world. We want to show our young people that we have a meaningful touchstone to history, in a way that is thrilling and engaging.”
Michael DeKoster, Executive Director at Maritime Gloucester agrees. “The love of our collective maritime heritage and the sense of place that we celebrate resonates through the spirit of this festival. I have been an avid attendee for years, along with thousands of other locals and visitors from far and wide. A signature weekend in America’s Oldest Seaport, this is a must-see event for all. With the excellent and generous backing of our local partners, and now The Beauport Hospitality Group, festival-goers will be able to see more, do more, and engage more than ever before. It is a real pleasure to be working with partners who share our community goals.”
The City of Gloucester and many local banks, businesses, and individuals, make annual gifts of support and services, without which this festival could not take place. The Gloucester Schooner Festival wholeheartedly thanks each of its sponsors, and warmly welcomes the Beauport Hospitality Group as this year’s primary sponsor.