Gloucester’s 91st Annual Greasy Pole Contest Brings Epic Wipeouts

The annual Italian fisherman tradition in Massachusetts brings major falls, spills.

Gloucester’s Greasy Pole tradition began in 1927 as a way for fisherman to celebrate a successful year at sea.

Ninety-one years later, the tradition still lives on in this Italian-American fishing community. People boldly test their balance by sprinting along a greased up pole with the goal of seizing an Italian flag at its end.

According to Atlas Obscura, the pole, 25 feet above the water line, is lubed with “everything slippery known to mankind, ranging from axle grease to tabasco sauce, banana peels to straight oil.”

The 2018 contest took place Friday, June 29 through Sunday, July 1, with winners crowned on each day. Continue reading at

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