Editors’ Choice (Tie)
Gloucester Schooner Festival
As summer draws to a close each year, dozens of stately schooners ply the waters off America’s oldest fishing port, making for an impressive and unique spectacle. The boats stream in on Friday, participate in a parade of lights on Saturday, and race on Sunday. Fireworks, a public concert, and a downtown block party round out the festival schedule.
Smolak Farms Peach Festival
What better way to wrap up summer than with a day at the farm picking fresh peaches and plums, enjoying a farm-fresh lunch, and touring the grounds on a hayride? The children’s portion of the festival includes a bounce house, face-painting, games, and crafts. To top it all off, the event features locally made peach ice cream, created with fruit from Smolak Farms.
315 South Bradford St., North Andover, 978-687-4029, smolakfarms.com
When the festival began in 1958, 29 cities held associated homecoming celebrations to welcome back residents who had moved west. Today, Newburyport’s event is the only remaining Yankee Homecoming. The festival includes more than a week of old-fashioned fun, including pet shows, three-legged races, waterfront concerts, a battle of the bands, craft shows, a parade, and fireworks.