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More than 150 shops, restaurants, galleries, and museums throughout Essex, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-Sea, and Rockport are decked out in holiday lights and window décor as part of the second annual Cape Ann Winter Lights Display Celebration. Every night from now until Jan. 2, these local institutions will be aglow with holiday spirit.

Lighted wreaths, nostalgic window displays, fully trimmed trees, and a bounty of wreaths and greens are all on offer for visitors who want to drive or stroll by for a dose of holiday cheer. Linger for a moment in front of 1623 Studios in Gloucester and you might even see Santa Claus scurrying through the studio.

Discover Gloucester, the organization behind the event, created a custom Google map that highlights the locations of all participants; a printable brochure is also available. Participating businesses are gathered in five general areas: Manchester-by-the-Sea, downtown Essex, downtown and waterfront Gloucester, Magnolia, and downtown Rockport and Bearskin Neck.

“We are so thrilled with the energy and enthusiasm of our many partners to support this time-honored tradition of using light to celebrate the magic of the season. Simply illuminating our businesses and special places with lights helps us all find and share joy during these unusual times, ” says Elizabeth Carey, executive director of Discover Gloucester.

The highlights of the event include lights strung atop the schooners Adventure and Ardelle at the Gloucester waterfront; the iconic, towering lobster trap tree on Gloucester’s Main Street; and the inviting coziness of lit up shops along Rockport’s historic and quaint Bearskin Neck.

For more details visit Discover Gloucester online at