Gloucester Daily Times: Around Cape Ann: Winter fun and music all around this weekend

January 18, 2024

This weekend is going to be filled with an assortment of free events with the third annual “So Salty” celebration, which offers everything from music to art and activities that make the winter enjoyable.

Inspired by the annual Salem’s “So Sweet” event, Gloucester’s version of “So Salty” will feature family-friendly programs on Saturday, Jan. 20, and Sunday, Jan. 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Popular events include ice sculptures, treats, children’s art activities and much more around the area of downtown Gloucester.

“This event is special to our city because it celebrates the families and businesses that make up our community,” said Oliver Barker, director of Cape Ann Museum. “Gloucester’s So Salty also captures the museum’s commitment to bring community-based activities and art to everyone. We are honored to participate in this festival.”

In this collaborative event, Cape Ann Museum has partnered with Discover Gloucester and other area cultural institutions and businesses. Last year, more than 1,800 people turned out for the festivities.

For starters, visitors can get a map at Cape Ann Museum to go in search of the ice sculptures around the downtown area. The museum will offer free admission and art activities throughout the weekend. At selected times, Sawyer Free Library at 21 Main St. will offer hot beverages, such as cider, cocoa and even mead. On Saturday morning, the library will offer a children’s make-your-own ice cream event with The Open Door.

For book lovers, there will be “Salty Poetry Snippets” at Dogtown Books; and there will be 10% off select “Salty” books and a “Salty Blind Date with a Book” at the Bookstore of Gloucester.

MAGMA, aka Movement Arts Gloucester MA, offers sea shanties with Three Sheets to the Wind among other offerings during the weekend.

At Cape Ann Museum’s auditorium, Corey Wrinn will perform a program of “Roll and Go Songs” inspired by Gloucester as part of the schedule. and Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives will offer an oyster shell painting activity.

Among the “after hours” offerings, Cape Ann Lanes/Laneside Pub & Brewery will offer 10% percent off.

For the full schedule, timing of specific events and offers from local businesses, visit “events” on Cape Ann Museum’s website at capeannmuseum.org or visit discovergloucester.com.

This year’s ice sculptures are sponsored by Gloucester Accommodations, Cape Ann Olive Oil, Cape Ann Museum, Cape Ann Savings Bank, The Cut and Sawyer Free Library.

Chopped guitars

Rockport Music presents Manchester’s Jeff Conley of Chopped Guitars in a performance on Saturday, Jan. 20, at 7 p.m. at Shalin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main St., Rockport. The singer-songwriter performs on his custom-built “chopped” guitars.

“He plays mellow, yet upbeat folk tunes in the vein of Jack Johnson, G. Love, and The Suitcase Junket. Conley was a touring folk-rock singer and musician for 15 years, always playing on a variety of vintage guitars. An unfortunate event then changed his career trajectory,” according to a press release. “In his own words: I have been collecting guitars since I was 10 years old. Years later, I decided to sell dozens of those guitars in order to buy two 1960s Gibsons. When those Gibsons were stolen from a venue in 2008, I decided to never buy a guitar again. From then on I would only build and play choppers.”

And from these ashes, a business was born when he started “Chopped Guitars.”

A “chopper” refers to a custom-made guitar “chopped up” from factory models into new configurations. His creations are popular with musicians, with several artists using them on stage, including Chadwick Stokes of Dispatch and Grammy Award-winning percussionist Zakir Hussain, according to a press release.

The opening act will be Reed Foehl. For details and tickets, $15, visit rockportmusic.com.

Mark Erelli at Old Sloop Presents

Singer-songwriter-sideman-producer Mark Erelli will return to the Old Sloop this Saturday, Jan. 20, at 7:30 p.m. at the handicap-accessible Fellowship Hall of the First Congregational Church of Rockport, at 12 School St., in the downtown area.

Over the past two decades, Erelli has succeeded in a number of diverse roles: producing albums for artists such as Grammy-winner Lori McKenna; playing as a sideman guitarist for artists Paula Cole, Marc Cohn and Josh Ritter and others; producing his own material, such as 2018’s “By Degrees,” for which he was nominated for Song of the Year at the Americana Honors and Awards; and advocating for low-vision artists.

As for his music, “Erelli’s songwriting explores the unknown glories of this planet and love’s transformational power,” according to a press release.

Advance tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for those 18 and under. Visit oldslooppresents.org, John Tarr Store in Rockport, or The Bookstore of Gloucester. The suggested contribution at the door is $25 for adults, $5 for those 18 and under, and $50 cap for families.

Lockwood Studios Pop Up

Lockwood Studios, a new entity at 2 Eastern Ave., Gloucester, will be open for visitors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday, Jan. 20, and Sunday, Jan. 21, in a pop-up event. The gallery will host visitors with a cozy gathering where there will be a tasting of Juliet Lockwood’s signature Irish soda bread and “Stone Soup,” and viewing of her new work created in the village of Carna, Ireland. The event also features poetry readings, and much more. Lockwood is from a family of artists and poets. After hours, there will be mulled wine and a jam session after dark.

Around Cape Ann is a column devoted to events happening on Cape Ann and artists from Cape Ann performing elsewhere. If you would like to submit an item, contact reporter Gail McCarthy at 978-675-2706 or [email protected] at least two weeks in advance.

Sign up for e-news