If you are thinking about a vacation to Boston's North Shore, consider planning your visit to coincide with one of the many local summer festivals. These widely celebrated North Shore events provide things to do for all ages as well as give a peek into local culture, art, music and more.
North Shore Events in June
St. Peter’s Fiesta: Originally a religious festival to honor the patron saint of the fishermen, "Fiesta" (as it is locally known) offers up parades and the annual blessing of the fishing fleet at an outdoor mass. Spanning 5 days at the end of June, this Gloucester festival also includes a carnival, parades, boat races, sporting events and contests. 2017 Dates: June 22 - June 25.
St. Peter's Fiesta takes place in June - Gloucester MA
North Shore Events in July
Independence Day Events: Towns across the North Shore each celebrate July 4th in their own way, from "Horribles Parades" and concerts to fireworks shows and bonfires. Check North Shore Kid's site for a town-by-town list.
Festival by the Sea in Manchester-by-the-Sea celebrates locally grown art, music and food and highlights the idyllic beauty of Cape Ann and the incredible talent for which the area has become synonymous. 2017 Date: July 29.
Beverly Homecoming: Rooted in the tradition of welcoming home the men and women in the armed services in grand style, this 10-day celebration also features parades,a carnival, fireworks, arts and music exhibitions, and more. 2017 Dates: TBD.
North Shore Events in August
Yankee Homecoming: Newburyport’s weeklong celebration of the heritage and beauty of New England, with concerts, Brewfest (featuring local craft beers), kayak and paddleboard races, art and heritage tours, parades, fireworks, and more. 2017 Dates: July 29 - Aug 6.
Gloucester Country Fest: Cape Ann goes country for a day with a lineup of nationally-known and local country artists at Stage Fort Park. 2017 Dates: TBD.
Gloucester Blues Festival: Hear world-class blues performed at Stage Fort Park. Located right on the waterfront on beautiful Cressey’s beach, the event features a beer garden as well as food and craft vendors. 2017 Dates: Aug 12.
The Gloucester Waterfront Festival: Artists & craftsmen from all over the country display and sell their unique creations. The two-day festival also includes live music, delicious foods and children's entertainments. 2017 Dates: Aug 19 - Aug 20.
North Shore Events in September
Gloucester Schooner Festival: This event fills Gloucester's harbor with gorgeous sailing vessels from all over the world, some which participate in the prestigious Mayor's Race that take place over Labor Day weekend. Even non-sailors can participate Maritime Heritage Day events, the Boat Parade of Lights, and a summer-capping fireworks display. 2017 Dates: Sept 1 - Sept 3.
Schooners take to the sea at Gloucester's Schooner Festival.
Newburyport Riverfront Music Festival: Put on by radio station 92.5 The River, this festival is a free show open to the public, featuring both nationally known and local musical acts. 2017 Dates & Lineup TBD.
Newburyport Riverfront Music Festival. Photo Credit: theriverboston.com
Newburyport Lantern Festival: Inspired by Asian traditions, families and friends will be remembered and wishes made for the future as lanterns are dedicated and then lit and floated on the the Frog Pond at dusk. Sponsored by Greater Newburyport Ovarian Cancer Awareness. 2017 Dates: Sept 3.
Trails & Sails: This mega-event celebrating the heritage of Essex County spans two weekends in September. Events are all free of charge and take place in locations throughout the County at museums, historical sites, nature reserves and parks, and cultural institutions. 2017 Dates: Sept 15 - 17 & Sept 22 - 24.
Gloucester Harvest Music Festival: Art and music are blended in one of the country’s most unique and rich artist communities. This day-long festival showcases music, arts and culture while supporting the local community hospital (Addison Gilbert Citizens Fund) and community-based outreach programs. 2017 Dates: Sept 16.
For even more North Shore events, visit our North Shore Events page.
There are so many things to do and see in Cape Ann, they can't all fit on one page! Find out more by reading our Cape Ann Guide.
- Things to do in Gloucester MA
- Things to do in Rockport MA
- Things to do in Essex MA
- Things to do in Manchester-by-the-Sea MA