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    Town opens cultural district, walking tour

    More than 100 people turned out Sept. 28 at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum on Main Street for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Essex River Cultural District and the Historic Essex Walking Tour, The area was recognized as a cultural district in 2012 by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The walk, which passes through the 1-mile cultural district with forays onto Martin Street and Eastern Avenue, features interpretive signs that mark historic sites covering 300 years of town history, including the Old Burying Ground and First Congregational Church, which houses an original Paul Revere bell cast in 1797. Among the local and state officials attending were: state Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante, a Gloucester Democrat; state Senator Bruce Tarr, a Republican from Gloucester; Essex Selectwomen Susan Coviello and Lisa O’Donnell; and Massachusetts Cultural Council deputy director David Slattery. Speakers also included Essex Merchants Group president Bob Coviello.