The boats then motor into the Inner Harbor, offering the patrons of many of the city’s waterside restaurants a free twilight nautical floor show before heading into Smith Cove and back into the harbor.
“We usually get back into the harbor just before the fireworks start,” Dominick said. “And that’s where it ends.”
Saturday’s parade will be a fitting end to wholly nautical day around America’s oldest seaport, with the Schooner Festival events that include the Working Waterfront Walking Tour starting at 10 a.m. at the Fisherman’s Memorial; the daylong Maritime Gloucester Heritage Day; an open house at the Coast Guard Station on the Harbor Loop from noon until 4 p.m.; the rollout of the Public Lobster Bake from 4 to 7 p.m.; and the Concert on the Boulevard at 7 p.m. featuring Full Circle.
The fireworks display will shoot over Gloucester Harbor beginning around 9:15 p.m.
And of course, there will be the ever-present natural spectacle of the almost two dozen schooners as they serve as a backdrop to all the day’s events.