GLOUCESTER , MASS. (WHDH) - A beloved annual tradition returned in Gloucester Friday in the form of the city’s annual greasy pole competition. 

Part of Gloucester’s St. Peter’s Fiesta, the competition each year involves people slipping and sliding across a greased up 45-foot telephone pole in Gloucester Harbor while trying to grab a flag mounted at the end of the pole. 

7NEWS spoke with this year’s competition winner who said the accomplishment is meaningful to him and his family. 

“The week before, you can’t even sleep,” said winner Colin Sweet. “You’re thinking about it. You have dreams of it, and they came true.”

The St. Peter’s feast in Gloucester started in 1927 and is sponsored by the city’s Italian-American fishing community. 

“It’s been a tradition for a long, long time. It brings the people of Gloucester together,” said Tom Rich, who participated in the greasy pole contest in 1974.

Rich said he tried the contest on a dare.

“They grease the whole pole and you got to really have your balance,” he said. “It’s slippery.”

Sweet, 27, made his way across the pole Friday, capturing the flag, diving into the water and swimming to shore. 

The Gloucester native was then lifted onto the shoulders of his fellow contestants to be paraded around town. 

Sweet said his brother already won the contest three times.

“Coming here and winning it as his brother feels great, but this whole tradition is so meaningful to all of us,” Sweet said. 

Sweet’s name will now go onto a shrine of past winners. 

Nearby, a picture of Paul Misuraca’s father hangs on a wall. Misuraca’s father won the contest in 1953 and 1954. Years later, Paul gave it another shot. 

While he couldn’t claim victory, Misuraca said he was proud to take part. 

“This is what it’s all about for this town and I hope it can continue,” he said.

The greasy pole competition will also take place on Saturday and Sunday this weekend.

Past champions will be celebrated on Sunday.

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