THE GREASY POLE

A long-standing Gloucester, Massachusetts tradition that is exactly what it sounds like
  1. So I hail from a little town called Rockport, MA
  2. Next to a slightly larger town/city called Gloucester
    You may know it from such cinematic depictions as The Perfect Storm and The Pregnancy Pact
  3. Every year Gloucester holds the St. Peter's Fiesta
    Aka a drunken carnival that also has some sort of Italian/religious significance???
  4. Gloucester has a very large and very enthusiastic Italian fishing community (one I am no where near a part of)
    St. Peter is the patron saint of fishermen🐟
  5. A vital part of this 4 day extravaganza is the infamous (around here) greasy pole contest
    The aroma is a combination of fish, beer, and French fries incase you were wondering
  6. Do you love watching grown men try to run down a telephone pole covered in grease only to slip and fall off into freezing cold water?
    Come on down to Gloucester! We can also go on rides if you're interested in seeing me cry
  7. The very first Gloucester greasy pole contest took place in 1931
    Apparently it was brought over from Sicily by an Italian immigrant.. Now it happens every year on the last weekend of June
  8. Here's how it goes:
  9. A 40 ft telephone pole is attached to a platform over the water and covered in grease
    There is a flag nailed to the very end
  10. Contestants have to try and get this flag without slipping and falling off the pole
    Not just anyone can walk, you have to be a connected member of the community usually.. Lots of Sanfilippos
  11. Anyone who is able to get the flag (plus past years' champions and protégées of former winners) then moves on to the final Sunday contest
  12. When someone gets the flag they get paraded around on people's shoulders
    True heroes
  13. The whole thing is kind of inane
    Participants are usually hammered
  14. But there is something so funny about watching people fly off the pole and plummet into the ocean
  15. I'm almost ashamed of how amusing I find this
    But I'm not alone, every year the beach is full to the brim with spectators and there's also a live stream on a local channel
  16. It lasts for hours and hours
  17. Until someone gets the flag on the final day of the contest
    I don't think you win anything tangible, but the bragging rights are weighted pretty heavily around here
  18. For days after the greasy pole kids swim out to the pole and try it out
    Usually there's a bit of grease left over
  19. It's all relatively pointless, but lots of fun
    And maybe only interesting to me lol
  20. If you're in the area, like to drink heavily, enjoy fried food, don't fear for your life on carnival rides, and find amusement in watching people fall into the ocean, St. Peter's Fiesta is definitely for you
    🍻🏊🏻🇮🇹