With rides spinning some brave folks in the air, and other festival-goers savoring carnival food delicacies with both feet firmly planted on the ground, the 87th St. Peter’s Fiesta swung into high gear Wednesday, setting the stage for four more days of fun, games, pomp and circumstance to come.
Within minutes after Fiesta’s 5 p.m. opening, people of all ages were winding through the paths around rides, food carts and games — some waiting in line for the wristbands to get them on the rides of their choice as many times as they wished, others just sitting down to enjoy some early Fiesta treats, from Italian sausages and french fries to the ever-popular cotton candy.
The night was pleasantly warm, the early summer sun showing its strength. But a slight breeze from the nearby ocean circulated the air, combating the heat.
In the large seating area in front of the stage/altar sat 16-month-old Lilah Doherty, accompanied by her father, George, and stepmother, Raquelle Agostini, all of Gloucester.
It’s Lilah’s first Fiesta, according to her father.
“She’s liking it so far,” Doherty said.
That was obvious. Little Lilah eagerly sampled some fried chicken and french fries as she sat in her stroller. She also took in her surroundings, casting her eyes on the rides and other Fiesta sights from behind her brightly colored eyeglasses.
Agostini said she and Doherty were hoping to take Lilah on one of Fiesta Shows’ gentler rides before heading over to nearby Pavilion Beach for a walk.
“We’re easing on into it,” Agostini said.
Lilah was one of many young Fiesta-goers enjoying their first taste of a Gloucester tradition.
Neil Houde, 2, looked with wonder around Fiesta from the safety of the arms of his grandmother, Sandra Demetri, who held him as the pair waited for Neil’s aunt and cousins to join them.