Close this search box.

well established and here for you

independently owned and operated since 1977

Q&A with Town Crier Daniel Gómez Llata

Top Image: Daniel Gómez Llata Photo: Steve Desrocches

The historical record shows that Provincetown has had a Town Crier, off and on, for over 170 years. While no longer relied on as a source for breaking news, the Provincetown Town Crier nevertheless has survived the advent of radio, television, the Internet, and the ubiquitous cell phone. It’s part of the charm and local color of Provincetown.

Last fall Kenneth Lonergan retired as Town Crier after 13 years of declaring “All is well in Provincetown because you’re here!” Now, with the season upon us and dare we say an increasing sense of normalcy the Provincetown Chamber of Commerce announced that they have hired Daniel Gómez Llata to be the new Town Crier. Llata took a few moments, resting after receiving his second jab of the COVID-19 vaccine, to talk about plans for how he’ll make the persona of Town Crier his own, a bit of the history of Criers before him, and what his initial pronouncement will be when he hits Commercial Street for the first time this week.

Provincetown’s new Town Crier, Daniel Gomez Llata. Photo: Steve Desroches

Provincetown Magazine: Congratulations on your new role as Town Crier. What made you want to take on this historic and beloved job in town?

Daniel Gomez Llata: The job kind of fell into my lap. When it was first suggested to me that I apply, my initial reaction was ‘I don’t do show tunes!’ With time, however, the idea settled upon me and I decided maybe I could pull it off. By what I’ve been told by folks on the street, I might be a good fit.

PM: How have you been preparing for the role?

DGL: These are big buckled shoes to fill! I began reading up on local history as soon as I was appointed in early March. I joined the American Guild of Town Criers (yes, there is such a thing!) and studied up on what a traditional Town Crier is actually supposed to do.  Getting my uniform together, procuring a proper bell and other accessories, and building up a social media presence for the Crier. My goal is to combine the traditional role with my own personal style, to present a mixture of age-old tradition with the modern reality of Provincetown today.

Provincetown Town Crier’s of the past.

PM: You’ve clearly done an impressive amount of research, which you’ve posted on your Facebook page “Provincetown Crier.” What have you learned about the history of the Town Crier in Provincetown?

DGL: I learned that Provincetown is one of the very few places in the United States that still carries on this colorful tradition. Most other towns ended the practice around the turn of the 20th Century when the advent of modern communication made the job obsolete. Walter ‘Hoppy’ Smith, who laid down his bell in 1930, was Provincetown’s last ‘real’ Town Crier, whose job it was to disseminate information in a pre-radio age. The position went vacant for a few years after that, until the owner of the Provincetown Inn hired Amos Emanuel Kubik to do some ‘Town Crier’ advertising stunts around town. In the early 1930s, when the dispute between Plymouth and Provincetown intensified over the first landing place of the Mayflower, the institution was permanently revived by the Select Board to ‘Defend the Town’. I could go on and on about this—and I certainly will!

PM: How many have you discovered?

DGL: I think there have been about 22 Town Criers of Provincetown, including myself. The earliest I could find on record was a Mr. Ambrose Hill, who served from 1854 into the 1860’s—but not much more is known about him as these early records were destroyed in the fire of Town Hall on the evening of February 16, 1877. I also have a handful of names without any information on years served or anything—Frankie Atwood, Barney Briggs, Billy Clark, Frank Howard, Archie McCurdy, and Barry Turner.

Provincetown Town Crier’s of the past.

PM: Do you have a favorite from over the years?

DGL: My favorite would be George Washington Ready, who had an exceptional talent for the over-embellishment of already-tall apocryphal tales. He was Town Crier from 1885 to 1912, and in 1886, one year into his 27-year term he brought us the legend of the Sea Serpent. Ready would assure his listeners that he had not been unduly disguised by the effects of alcohol at this encounter, but I have my doubts. Local Provincetown artist Bill Evaul painted a mural of ‘His Majesty the Sea Serpent’ in the dining area of the old Mojo’s, now the Lobster Pot Express.

PM: What are you looking forward to the most about being Town Crier? And the least?

DGL: For years it’s been my self-imposed duty to welcome visitors into our town, to point out my favorite spots for dining or entertainment, hiking, or relaxation. I’m looking forward to this aspect of my job, in particular, having fun while working to support the Provincetown Chamber of Commerce and its members. So in many ways, I’m just doing the same thing as before, only now in more fashionable duds. My least favorite? I have yet to guess what might constitute a ‘bad day’ as Town Crier. All jobs have their pros and cons, of course, I’m sure I’ll be surprised. You can ask again once I’ve had a couple of weeks under my belt!

Provincetown Town Crier’s of the past.

PM: What kind of schedule will you be on? How many days and hours a week will you be ringing the bell around town?

DGL: My hours will vary depending on the season and the inclemencies of the weather, but I’ll typically be out there for five days a week, working anywhere between four and six hours per shift.

PM: What will be the first announcement from you when you hit Commercial Street this week?

DGL: I’ve put a lot of thought into this. A stickler for tradition, my first announcement will probably be to declare that ‘All is well in Provincetown!’

PM: What do you hope your legacy as Town Crier will be?

DGL: My immediate predecessor, Kenneth Lonergan, was well-loved for making visitors feel good about themselves, to feel welcome on our shores, and to want to come back again to this magical place. My goal is to keep up this legacy, to help make people feel good about themselves, to remind the world that Provincetown continues to be a safe and welcoming place for all.

Recent Posts

Sign up for our Newsletter

Scroll to Top

Sign up for our Newsletter

Graphic Artist

Ginger Mountain

Ginger Mountain (MS Communications Media, BA Fine Arts/Teaching Certification K-12) has been part of the graphic design team at Provincetown Magazine since 2008. Ginger has worked as a creative director, individual contractor, and freelance designer with clients representing many areas —business software, consumer products, professional services, entertainment, and network hardware to name just a few — providing creative layout and development of a wide range of print media content. Her clients ranged from small local businesses to large corporations and Fortune 500 companies, from New Hampshire to Georgia

Keep in touch

Fill in your details and I will get back to you in no time.

Phone: + 1 508-487-1000 ext 6
[email protected] 14 Center St. Provincetown MA, 02657