Category Archives: St. Peter’s Fiesta

Thank You Alice Gardner!

Me in my happy place. Alice’s title is “Pure Joy” and that is precisely how I feel when working on film projects. Thank you Alice for sharing your photo from Saint Peter’s Fiesta!

NEW FILM: VIVA SAN PIETRO!

Thank you to our beautiful Gloucester community for participating in Viva San Pietro! Thank you to the Greasy Pole Walkers for interviews given during the Sunday rally and especially to Nicky Avelis for help coordinating. A huge thanks to Joe DaSilva for the suggestion to listen to Mike Forgette’s music for the film’s soundtrack and for help in contacting Mike. A tremendous thank you goes to Mike Forgette for granting permission to use his song “Whats the Difference” (link to hear more of Mike Forgette Music).

Viva San Pietro! opens with Joe Novello preparing Gloucester’s Saint Peter’s Square for the formal opening ceremony, to which he is also the master of ceremonies. Highlights from Friday afternoon’s sporting events are followed by the procession of Saint Peter, the patron saint of fishermen, around the American Legion Building (Gloucester’s first City Hall), with the parade ending in a fanfare of confetti and cheers. Mayor Sefatia Romeo Thekan takes to the stage and provides some history about the origins of the Fiesta. Senator Tarr and all officials give praise to the committee for their tireless dedication. Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante and City Councilor Steven LeBlanc rally the crowd with the traditional call and response that is heard throughout the city in the coming days, and Father Jim Achadinha gives his blessing.

Saturday’s Greasy Pole competition is featured with highlights from Joe DaSilva’s winning walk. Due to foul weather, Sunday’s events take place on Monday. The Sunday Greasy Pole Walkers in their zany and colorful costumes tell of past walks and wins at the rally held at the home of Sunday Walker Joe Sanfillipo. After processing through downtown with stops along the way at the Gloucester House Restaurant, House of Mitch, and Saint Peter’s Club, the Walkers head over to Beach Court. Because Sunday’s events had been postponed to Monday and the stage broken down on schedule, the statue of Saint Peter was temporarily moved to Beach Court. After blessings and prayers, the revelers headed back to Saint Peter’s Square to board the ferry to the Greasy Pole.

The men’s seine boat competition does not disappoint, with Lock and Load taking the trophy, followed by an outstanding flag capture by Jake Wagner.

The Walkers hoist Jake upon their shoulders and carry him to the Greasy Pole Hall of Fame Wall. Then it’s back to Beach Court where the closing ceremony is held. Congratulatory speeches are given by the team captains, with much cheering and accolades for all. After the award ceremony, the statue of Saint Peter is processed through the Fort amidst much merriment, joyful singing, and “Me chi samiou tutti mutti? Viva San Pietro!,” which roughly translated means: Are you all mute? (or Why are you not shouting?)—long live Saint Peter!

You’ll see all three Greasy Pole winners Joe DaSilva, Lenny Taormina, and Jake Wagner, Mayor Sefatia Romeo Thekan, House Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante, State Senator Bruce Tarr, Sunday Greasy Pole Walker and City Councilor Steven LeBlanc, Peter Black Frontiero, Nicky Avelis, Joe Sanfilippo, Paul Nicastro, Kyle Barry, Mark Allen, Crazy Hat Ladies, sisters Robyn and Amy Clayton, and many, many more. Viva San Pietro!

New Film: Mark Allen ~ Sunday’s Greasy Pole Champion Walking for Loved Ones

Mark Allen Walking for Loved Ones

Congratulations to Mark Allen, the 2014 Sunday Greasy Pole Champion! This was Mark’s first win, after 16 previous years of walking! Allen was walking for for his cousin Peter “Black” Frontiero who has the second most wins of all time, with a total of nine.

Each year I look forward to filming and photographing the greasy pole events. The determination on the men’s faces, the camaraderie, the ecstasy and pride in winning, the anguish of defeat, the hilarious costumes, and the Felliniesque antics combine to create a fabulous fiesta of stories and images.

The film opens at the childhood home of the Giambanco Family, with Sefatia leading the Greasy Pole Walkers and guests in the rallying “Viva San Pietro,” the cheer that is heard throughout the city of Gloucester during Saint Peter’s Fiesta. Giambanco sisters Marianne, Grace, Rosaria, and Sefatia continue with their mother Rosalia’s, “Lia’s” custom of feeding the Greasy Pole Walkers dinner before the walk. The tradition began years ago when their brother, Anthony “Matza” Giambanco, began walking. Sefatia explains that Lia had always held a huge family feast with relatives from all around the country attending. The first year her brother walked he told his mom he couldn’t eat because he was meeting everyone. She said I don’t care; you have to eat, and told him to bring everyone back to their home. That was in 1978!

Next the Walkers head over to rally at the Gloucester House, where they greet Lenny shouting his name over and over, to a packed restaurant full of guests. Several more stops are made along the way before the next rally at the Saint Peter’s Club. The Walkers make one last stop to say a prayer to Saint Peter, and perhaps pin a gold charm or coin to the statue, before departing for the greased pole platform at Pavilion Beach

*    *    *

With special thanks and appreciation to Nicky Avelis and all the Greasy Pole Walkers for allowing me to ride on the boat. It went by way too fast! And thank you to the skipper for giving me a ride back to shore.

With thanks and appreciation to Rosaria, Sefatia, Marianne, and Grace for inviting me to come film the Walker’s rally at your welcoming Fiesta Sunday Feast!

The song “Love Runs Out,” is by OneRepublic for the reissue of their third album, Native.

The song “The Walker” is by Fitz and The Tantrums from the album More Than Just a Dream.

 

Saint Peter's Fiesta Greay Pole Mark Allen ©Kim Smith 2014

Follow Kim on Twitter @kimsmithdesigns and be her friend on Facebook.

New Film: Love Letters to Gloucester ~ Summertime 2013

Love Letters to Gloucester ~ Summer 2013 is a ten minute film compiled from butterfly films in progress and scenes from short films created for my community during the summer of 2013.

Special thanks to the Ciaramitaro Family and my Good Morning Gloucester friends and family.

Stay until after all credits roll to see a preview of films yet to come!

Cast In Order of Appearance:

Good Harbor Beach Surfers, Pat Ciaramitaro, Dante Holding, Amanda Mohan, Vanessa Linquata, Greasy Pole Walkers, Nicky Avelis, Sleepy Pallazolla Family, Crazy Hat Ladies Robyn & Amy Clayton, Alicia Cox, Chris DeWolfe, Joey Ciaramitaro, Bex Borden, Toby Pett, Ed Collard, Melissa Cox, Craig Kimberley, Brian M. O’Connor, Captain Heath Ellis, Captain Tom Ellis, Donna Ardizonni, Cathy Kelley, Lillian LoGrasso, Rick Doucette, Barry Mohan, Hannah Kimberley, Ron Gilson, Joan Gilson, BJ Mohan, Eloise Ciaramitaro, Madeline Ciaramitaro, Kathy Ryan, Bob Ryan

Creatures in Order of Appearance:

Great Blue Heron
Good Harbor Beach Harbor Seal
Mama Kildeer Searching for Baby Kildeer
Pair of Whimbrels
Shivering Monarch Butterfly Found at Daybreak
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Llama
Donkeys Zack & Abe
Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Luna Moth
Green Darner Dragonfly Migration
Eastern Point Light House Monarch

Links to Summer 2013 Film Projects:

Beauty on the Wing ~ Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly
Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Walking for Loved Ones ~ Sunday Greasy Pole Winner Nicky Avelis
Parade of Sails ~ Schooner Festival 2013
The Good Harbor Beach Seal PSA
Gifts of Gold Red Carpet Interviews
Good Harbor Beach Sunrise ft. the Great Blue Heron
Sunset Sail Aboard the Schooner Thomas E. Lannon
Happy Horribles
A Luna Moth Takes Flight

Greasy Pole Fall Classic Full Length Edit

As First Seen On Good Morning Gloucester

The Greasy Pole walk is a uniquely Gloucester Italian-American event that takes place every summer during the St. Peter’s Fiesta. The pole is rigged on a platform in the harbor off Pavilion Beach. The objective is to walk the heavily greased pole and capture the flag. During the fiesta three walks take place, one walk each on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and there are three winners declared. Much bravado and celebrating takes place during and after walking the greasy pole. To see Greasy Pole videos from the summer of 2011 visit Good Morning Gloucester. To read more about the Greasy Pole and Gloucester’s annual St. Peter’s Fiesta visit the St. Peter’s Fiesta website.

This past autumn the platform rigged in the harbor that supports the pole was damaged first by Hurricane Irene, and then destroyed by a subsequent ‘noreaster. Roughly eighty thousand dollars is needed to reconstruct the platform. The Greasy Pole Fall Classic fundraiser, from where the video footage was shot, was held at the local football stadium, and is a one time only re-creation of the annual event that takes place in the harbor. Gloucester’s St. Peter’s Fiesta is attended by tens of thousands and is a beautiful celebration of St. Peter, the patron saint of fishermen. The Greasy Pole is a highlight of the fiesta, and just one of many religious and celebratory events.

Donations to restore the Greasy Pole may be sent to the following address:

St. Peter’s Fiesta Committee

P.O. Box 3105

Gloucester, MA 0193

Greasy Pole Fall Classic Video Special

As first seen On Good Morning Gloucester. The following is the program schedule for the video special that I produced for Good Morning Gloucester, which is also airing on Cape Ann TV this week.

Program schedule for The Greasy Pole Fall Classic airing on Channel 12, Cape Ann TV:

Wednesday, November 23 at 8:00 pm

Thursday, November 24 at 1:00 am and 6:30 pm

Saturday, November 26 at 7:30 pm

My Cape Ann readers know of the Greasy Pole. For my off -island readers, the Greasy Pole walk is a uniquely Gloucester Sicilian-American event that takes place every summer during the St. Peter’s Fiesta. The pole is rigged on a platform in the harbor off Pavilion Beach. The objective is to walk the heavily greased pole and capture the flag. During the fiesta three walks take place, one walk each on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and there are three winners declared. Much bravado and celebrating takes place during and after walking the greasy pole. To see Greasy Pole videos from the summer of 2011 visit Good Morning Gloucester. To read more about the Greasy Pole and Gloucester’s annual St. Peter’s Fiesta visit the St. Peter’s Fiesta website.

This past autumn the platform rigged in the harbor that supports the pole was damaged first by Hurricane Irene, and then destroyed by a subsequent ‘noreaster. Roughly eighty thousand dollars is needed to reconstruct the platform. The Greasy Pole Fall Classic fundraiser, from where the video footage was shot, was held at the local football stadium, and is a one time only re-creation of the annual event that takes place in the harbor. Gloucester’s St. Peter’s Fiesta is attended by tens of thousands and is a beautiful celebration of St. Peter, the patron saint of fishermen. The Greasy Pole is a highlight of the fiesta, and just one of many religious and celebratory events.

Donations to restore the Greasy Pole may be sent to the following address:

St. Peter’s Fiesta Committee

P.O. Box 3105

Gloucester, MA 01930

Greasy Pole Fall Classic