Gloucester Celebrates 400+ Years of Fisheries Heritage


In August, Gloucester will enter a month full of events dedicated to its 400+ years of fisheries heritage. To kick-off the celebrations on Aug. 1 at 6 p.m.,Mayor Greg Verga will read the proclamation at the iconic Man at the Wheel Statue on Stacey Boulevard.  Also in attendance will be dignitaries, leaders in the fishing community, Gloucester 400+, and members of the Marine and Waterways Committee.  Members of the public are encouraged to attend.

The kick-off event and its series of speakers will acknowledge the connection that has shaped Gloucester’s cultural identity, past, present, and future.  There, a special commemoration will be presented to elder members of Gloucester’s fishing fleet, as well.

The organizing group, Gloucester 400+, is led by Tri-Chairs Bob Gillis, Ruth Pino and Bruce Tobey, and Executive Director Elsje Zwart, with help from committees of city and community leaders and many organizational partners and volunteers.

The vision of the Gloucester 400+ is to inspire future generations, honor the past, and work collectively to frame the future.  Their mission is to commemorate, celebrate, and promote knowledge of Gloucester’s 400+ years of cultural, social, ethnic, and economic diversity.  Leading up to and throughout 2023, numerous events will highlight Gloucester’s rich history and heritage filled with unique art and culture, natural resources, and remarkable industrial achievements.

While there are many notable events planned throughout the month, the “jewel in the crown” is the free, two-day festival honoring 400+ years of Gloucester’s fishing industry on the Everett Jodrey State Fish Pier on Aug. 13-14.  The festival will include waterways demos, knot tying workshops, baiting demos, food from the Fishermen’s Wives Association, and much more.

On the Gloucester 400+ website (, one can find more information on the events as well as the message behind the celebration. 

Also online is a 400 stories project that highlights the lives and narratives of current or past Gloucester locals who helped make the city what it is today.   This unique project represents the importance of carrying on traditions and sharing stories to preserve the diverse history and impact of the people of Gloucester.

gloucester, the folk of gloucester, gloucester, massachusetts, bob gillis, elsje zwart, fishermen’s wives association, waterways committee, greg verga,, ruth pino, food