Holiday Festivities for the Whole Family – on Cape Ann!
Join the seaside family-friendly celebrations that cap off a fun-filled holiday season
This time of year is filled with community traditions and holiday events in Essex, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-Sea and Rockport. With a wide array of wonderful celebrations, visiting Cape Ann is a must this holiday season.
Starting with Small Business Saturday on November 28th, be sure to shop local and support your favorite businesses in all four communities with holiday shopping. Many of the businesses are participating in Small Business Saturday and will have exciting promotions available.
The whole of Cape Ann will be bustling during the month of December. All four communities have many events that local residents and visitors are invited to enjoy.
Essex – The holiday festivities begin in Essex on Thursday, December 3rd with the Lighting of the Memory Tree in Honor of Lost Loved Ones at Town Hall at 6:00 PM. The following day, Friday, December 4th, Santa arrives at Town Landing by boat at 6:00 PM. Children and families are invited to join for carols, refreshments and the chance to sit on Santa’s Lap. On Saturday, December 5th, Breakfast with Santa will be held at Essex Elementary School from 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM. The cost is $10 per person or $40 for the family.
Gloucester – On Sunday, November 29th, the Gloucester Christmas Parade begins at the State Fish Pier at 3:00 PM and marches through the streets of Gloucester, ending at Kent Circle for the Tree Lighting Ceremony at 4:00 PM. Thursday, December 3rd will mark the 42nd Annual Ladies’ Night. Enjoy shopping and refreshments in the downtown shops as well as exciting deals and discounts from 5:00-10:00 PM. On Tuesday, December 8th, Temple Ahavat Achim will hold a ceremony to light the first candle on the Lobster Trap Menorah. Thursday, December 10th will be another opportunity to shop downtown during the 2nd Annual Employee Night from 5:00 -10:00 PM. Don’t miss the Middle Street Walk on Saturday, December 12th. From 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM historic house tours, concerts and special programs will be featured on Middle Street. On Sunday, December 13th shops will be open with refreshments and special discounts for Family and Friends Day from noon-5:00 PM. As we get closer to Christmas, Men’s Night will be held on Thursday, December 17th from 5:00 – 10:00 PM. Finally, make sure to stop by the front of the Police Station at 4:30 PM on Saturday, December 19th for a truly unique Gloucester tradition, the lighting of the Lobster Trap Tree, decorated by the children of Cape Ann Art Haven.
Manchester-by-the-Sea – The events of Christmas by the Sea are also not to be missed. Visit the downtown merchants for Shop Manchester Night on Friday, December 4th from 4:00 – 8:00 PM. On Shop Manchester Night, get your passbook stamped at all participating shops. Turn it in to 7 Central by 8:00 PM for the drawing; the winner will receive an Apple Watch! There will be great deals and discounts along with refreshments in the shops. Spend the day in Manchester on Saturday, December 5th, starting with a Pancake Breakfast from 8:00-10:00 AM at 7 Central Restaurant. This day is designated as Give Back Saturday! Drop off an unwrapped gift, in support of Action, Inc.’s Project Uplift, to Essen from 7:00 AM – 4:00 PM and receive a Manchester Card which allows for exclusive deals from the Manchester-by-the-Sea Merchants on that day only. In the afternoon, Santa will arrive by boat at 1:00 PM. Enjoy festivities in Masconomo Park and Manchester Community Center until 3:00 PM. The following day, Sunday, December 6th there will be a Christmas Concert at 3:30 PM at First Parish Church. The Lighting of the Friendship Tree & Festival of the Trees will be held at the Town Hall Common at 4:30 PM.
Rockport – Shop Rockport Weekend kicks off the Christmas in Rockport holiday festivities on November 27th and 28th. The weekend is dedicated to supporting local small businesses and will include exciting offers from the downtown shops. Friday, December 4th is Shop Rockport Night. Shops will be open from 4:00-9:00 PM for the occasion and will offer special deals and refreshments for shoppers. On the following day, Saturday, December 5th, Santa will arrive at T-Wharf by boat at 1:00 PM and will make his way to Dock Square for a Christmas celebration and to visit with children. Festivities will continue in the square with Christmas Carols and the Tree Lighting Ceremony at 4:00 PM, also at Dock Square. Christmas Shopping and Gallery Stroll Weekend is on December 12th and 13th. The shops and galleries of Rockport will be open, each offering different promotions. A unique event that engages the entire community, the 70th Annual Christmas Pageant, starts at 5:00 PM on Saturday, December 19th. The celebrations are capped off with Rockport New Year’s Eve with live music and entertainment from 6:00 PM to midnight, to ring in the new year.
To learn more about the events listed above contact the Call the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce at (978) 283-1601. Event information can also be found by visiting the following pages.