Essex Heritage to Celebrate Its 20th Anniversary & Honor More Than 130 Trailblazers from Essex County

gala save the date

The Essex National Heritage Commission (Essex Heritage), in keeping with its long tradition of supporting the region’s unique cultural heritage, will host a 20th Anniversary Gala: A Toast to the Trailblazers  fundraiser on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem.

To mark this special occasion, Essex Heritage will toast the Trailblazers: the extraordinary organizations and people who make the Essex National Heritage Area (Essex County) so exceptional. The public submitted nominations for 131 Trailblazers.  All will be recognized at the Gala, but only a few will be honored with a special toast!  The public is invited to vote for which Trailblazers receive a toast.  Visit access the list of nominees and to vote.

Trailblazers will be celebrated for their exemplary work in:

  • Preserving this Special Region: Conserving resources.
  • Connecting People to Place: Creating authentic experiences.
  • Advancing Our Educational Mission: Fostering innovative learning experiences.
  • Building & Growing Our Future:  Investing in new opportunities.

“We are happy to celebrate the many accomplishments of our friends and partners over the past 20 years,” commented Annie Harris, Essex Heritage CEO.  “Each nominee contributes to the Essex National Heritage Area’s successes, and we’re thrilled to use this opportunity to create greater awareness of this unique place as we plan for our future.”

In 1996, the United States Congress recognized the national significance of Essex County, Massachusetts – the historic 500 square mile region north of Boston – by establishing the Essex National Heritage Area. Essex Heritage is the non-profit organization that manages the Essex National Heritage Area by developing programs that enhance, preserve and encourage recreation, education, conservation and interpretation projects on Boston’s North Shore and the Lower Merrimack River Valley. 

Essex Heritage’s 20th Anniversary Gala: A Toast to the Trailblazers will be held on the evening of Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. The event will include celebratory cocktails, an exquisite dinner, and an auction full of unique items from local “makers and shakers.” Proceeds from the evening will benefit Essex Heritage programs which support the preservation and enhancement of unique places in the 34 cities and towns of Essex County. Tickets are $150 per person and sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call Essex Heritage at 978-740-0444.