Note to the GP Walkers – Although there was no Greasy Pole due to coronavirus, I was hoping to have this long overdue short completed for the 2020 Saint Peter’s Fiesta weekend, just to cheer everyone up. My son broke several ribs on Friday and instead of editing over the weekend, I was taking care of my family. He’s on the mend and today was my first chance to finish editing. Better late than never I hope.
Congratulations to 18 year old Derek Hopkins for winning Gloucester’s Greasy Pole Friday, Saturday, and Sunday competitions!
Derek is only the second walker to win the Friday, Saturday, Sunday trifecta, after Jake Wood (1999).
Derek’s Dad, Rich Hopkins captured the flag in 1996 and 1997. Derek and his Dad are the fourth father-son duo to win the flag.
Note about the music – Eh, Cumpari! or Hey, Goombadi! is a Sicilian song we hear playing often during Fiesta. Sung by Julius La Rosa and released in 1953, it is a cumulative song, in which each verse contains all the previous verses.
From wiki – a rough translation –
Hey buddy, [music] is playing.
What is playing? The whistle.
And what does it sound like—the whistle?
[vocalized instrument sound]
the whistle, [rhythm words]
u friscalettu = whistle [small flute]
u saxofona = saxophone
u mandulinu = mandolin
u viulinu = violin
la trumbetta = trumpet
la trombona = trombone
Our beautiful Gloucester community is the inspiration for Buona Fiesta! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who appears in the film. I love it when you see me and smile and wave—it just adds another layer of fun to the film!
Buona Fiesta! begins with the opening of the Friday night ceremony at Saint Peter’s Square. The statue of Saint Peter, the patron saint of fishermen, is processed around the American Legion Building (Gloucester’s first City Hall), with the parade ending in a fanfare of confetti and cheers at Saint Peter’s Square. Joe Novello is the host for the formal opening ceremony of the 2014 Saint Peter’s Fiesta.
Highlights from the Friday and Saturday Greasy Pole events are followed by the Sunday morning Mass and the procession through the city streets to Our Lady of Good Voyage Church, and then back to Saint Peter’s Square. Tradition has the rallying Sunday Greasy Pole Walkers joining the feast well underway at the Giambanco childhood home, before heading over to the Gloucester House Restaurant and Saint Peter’s Club for liquid encouragement. Highlights from Sunday’s Greasy Pole are followed by the midnight closing ceremony. Saint Peter and followers process around the Fort and are greeted with more confetti and a beautiful fireworks display over the water. As Saint Peter is safely tucked back into the window at the Saint Peter’s Club, all wish him good night with cheers of Viva San Pedro…until next year’s Buona Fiesta!
You’ll see all three Greasy Pole winners take their flags, Mark Allen, Kyle Barry, and Jack Russ; the Giambanco sisters, Sefatia, Rosaria, Marianne, and Grace, who provide a Saint Peter’s Feast for the entire community; House Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante, State Senator Bruce Tarr, Mayor Kirk, Melissa Cox; Oar’Dacious teammates and sisters, Janelle Sleepy Pallazola Puopolo, Leanne Pallazola, and Jamie Pallazola; Salvi Benson’s final Greasy Pole Walk; Nicky Avelis; Steven Le Blanc almost capture the flag; Crazy Hat Ladies, sisters Robyn and Amy Clayton; and many, many more.
A request for feedback: Is the film’s content relatively self-explanatory, or are more subtitles and commentary needed? Please, if you have a minute, let me know what you think in the comment section. Thank you for watching!
Next year I am going to just have to figure out how to film the Seine Boat Races, too, which happen further down the beach. I need two camera set-ups!!
Thank you to all who work so hard to make Saint Peter’s Fiesta a wonderful and positive event to be shared by all in the community. With thanks and gratitude to the Giambanco sisters Rosaria, Marianne, Sefatia, and Grace for inviting me to film the feast and rally at their home. With thanks and gratitude to Nicky Avelis and the Greasy Pole Walkers for permitting me to film on the boat ride to the Greasy Pole. With thanks and appreciation to Nina and Frank Groppo for the invitation to join them on the beautiful midnight procession and fireworks through the Fort.
Buona Fiesta! is dedicated to Carlo Sleepy Pallazola, John Wagner, Dominic Nicastro, Salvi Benson, and Peter Black Frontiero.
“The Walker” by Fitz and The Tantrums
“Love Runs Out” by OneRepublic
“Best Day of My Life” by American Authors
“A Sky Full of Stars” by Cold Play
Durable, practical, fun, and cololorful–I can’t decide which of Frieda Grotjahn’s Fiesta designs I like better, VIVA or the Greasy Pole–both would be wonderful fun to own! All Again and Again bags are made of recycled sailcloth.
Again and Again Fiesta bags are available at their design studio, located at 195 East Main Street and at Alexandra’s Bread, 265 Main Street, Gloucester. See previous GMG posts about Again and Again: Shopping Local ~ Again and Again