July 27 ~ August 3, 2014Newburyport's charm and character are on display year-round, but if you want to be here when the city really comes alive, you'll want to visit during "Yankee Homecoming" week. The second oldest homecoming festival in the United States, this 8-day event, July 27-August 3, hosts endless activities to take part in throughout the city. Free Waterfront Concerts take place nightly in Waterfront Park behind the Firehouse Center for the Arts. A craft fair and highly anticipated sidewalk sales offer lots of great bargains from Newburyport's many unique shops. And, a plethora of other activities fill the days including a road race, bed race, Art on Bartlett Mall, Family Day at Maudslay State Park, Kid's Talent Show, Greek Food Festival and more!
This year brings back the popular Lighted Boat Parade down the Merrimack River on Friday, August 1, and, as always, the celebration culminates with a grand parade down High Street on Sunday, August 3 beginning at 12:30pm. Be sure to bring the kids and grab a spot along the parade route and take in this spirited event complete with floats, fire engines and lots of fun!
Something fun for everyone! Here's a sampling:
Saturday, July 26: Brewfest
For more information and a detailed calendar of events, visit the Yankee Homecoming website at www.yankeehomecoming.com.
Sunday, July 27: Olde Fashioned Sunday
Tuesday, July 29: Craft Show in Market Square
Thursday, July 31: Sidewalk Sales
Friday, August 1: Lighted Boat Parade
Saturday, August 2: Family Day at Maudslay State Park
Sunday, August 3: Yankee Homecoming Parade
Contact the Essex Street Inn today for reservations:
A Little Bit of Yankee Homecoming History
The brainchild of New England artist, Jack Frost, the Yankee Homecoming celebration of New England heritage got off the ground in earnest in 1958 when more than 30 communities planned homecoming celebrations.
Newburyport residents and members of the city's Economic Development Commission, George Cashman and Nappy Vigeant, petitioned Mayor "Bossy" Gillis for money to fund a homecoming celebration who, in turn, famously responded that they would receive "not one damn cent."
Not to be deterred, Cashman, who became Yankee Homecoming’s first chairman, pressed on. He garnered editorial support at the Newburyport Daily News from Editor Bill Plante and he raised $1,000 from the Newburyport Businessman’s Association, the precursor to the Chamber of Commerce.
Cashman found his "hook" when he discovered that Newburyport had a claim as the birthplace of the Coast Guard. In 1791 the United States Revenue Cutter Massachusetts was built and launched the banks of the Merrimac River.
Cashman planned a dedication ceremony where a monument would be erected proclaiming Newburyport as the birthplace of the Coast Guard. Towle Silver donated the monument, Bill Plante wrote the inscription, and on August 4, 1958 Assistant Secretary A. Gilmore Flues dedicated the monument. Newburyport continued to celebrate Coast Guard Day during its Yankee Homecoming celebration for many years.
Newburyport is the only community out of the original 30 to continue the Yankee Homecoming celebration and make an annual tradition. Doing so laid some of the groundwork for the city’s revitalization in the 1970s.
More than fifty years after its inception, Yankee Homecoming is part of the fabric of the city. It has fulfilled Jack Frost’s promise of showcasing all that is good in New England.