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 May and June
Motif No. 1 Day: The Motif No.1 Day Festival celebrates the Arts in Rockport and centers around the iconic building right on one of Rockport's historic wharves. The day's events include a 5k and a Fun Run. 2018 Date: May 19
Cape Ann Artisans Tour: The Tour is self-guided tour of artists’ studios in Gloucester and Rockport. Both areas are also home to three important Massachusetts designated Cultural Districts – downtown Gloucester, downtown Rockport, and Rocky Neck. 2018 Dates: June 2 & 3
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. 2018 Dates: June 27 - July 1.
St. Peter's Fiesta takes place in June - Gloucester MA
North Shore Events in July & August
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.
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. 2018 Dates: July 27-August 5.
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. 2018 Date: August 4.
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: 2018 Date: August 4.
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. 2018 Dates: Aug 11.
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. 2018 Dates: Aug 18 - Aug 19.
North Shore Events in September
Gloucester Schooner Festival: This renowned festival is one of Cape Ann's top local summer events. The Schooner Festival 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. 2018 Dates: Sept 2 - Sept 4.
Schooners take to the sea at Gloucester's Schooner Festival.
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. 2018 Dates: Sept 21 - 23 & Sept 28 - 30.
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. 2018 Dates: Sept 15.
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
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