Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ooh, a contest!

The historic Hawthorne Hotel has already started thinking about Halloween 2012 - What can I say? We're always thinking about Halloween in Salem! - and they have launched a "Name the Ball" contest!

Name submissions need to be inspired by or related to the ball's theme.  The person who submits the winning name for the ball will receive an overnight in a suite, with breakfast, for two people (based on availability)! 

They have already chosen the theme, which is:
Explore lost worlds, ancient civilizations, mysticism, rites and ritual of early societies and cultures, the dark and mysterious Halloween gods and goddesses, a feast of souls, an exploration of lost empires. . . a realization of the deep roots of the Halloween mystique.

And they have a few rules:
  1. You may only enter once
  2. Please no graphic or suggestive names.
  3. Contest will end on December 31, 2011
  4. Winners will be notified over Facebook and asked to email the Hawthorne Hotel for confirmation
  5. The management of the Hawthorne Hotel has the right to use any or none of the suggested names for the Ball.
  6. In case of a tie, a drawing will be held to determine the winner.
Visit the Hawthorne Hotel on Facebook to enter and learn more.  Good luck! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Join us during Salem Holiday Happenings

Holiday Happenings Brochure
Thanksgiving marks a day of gratitude.  The day after Thanksgiving is the beginning of a season of cheer. 

Celebrate, shop and dine in Salem during Salem Holiday Happenings this year.  There are dozens of events - if you were a fan of the Tales & Tombstones Trolley Tour in October, you'll love the Trolley Christmas Carol in December.  If you got one of the sold-out seats to the Woman in Black at Salem Theatre Company in October, you'll love An Empty Plate in the Cafe du Grand Boeuf during the holidays.

If you swoon over Salem's stunning architecture, be sure to check out the Christmas in Salem Historic House Tour on December 3-4.  And if you loved Spirits of the Gables, they have a Christmas program perfect for you, A Classic Christmas at the Gables

And don't forget the shopping and dining (without the 90-minute waits for a table!).  Join us December 16 for the Salem Shopping Open House Night, when businesses will be open late and serving up cheer and promotions. 

Visit for the full list of events, and join us this December.  It is a magical season for one and all.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Celebrate the Craft of Cooking at Salem Restaurant Week

Rediscover dining in Salem and celebrate the craft of cooking during Fall Restaurant Week in Salem, November 6-10 and 13-17, 2011. Twenty-one restaurants are participating with affordably-priced Prix-fixed meals, so you can revisit a favorite, and try something new.  Participating restaurants will offer a two-course prix-fix dinner menu for $15, and/or a three-course, prix-fixe dinner menu for $25.

Restaurant Week is produced by the Salem Chamber of Commerce.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pictures from the weekend

Dress for the occasion with Witch Tee's
Loved this family walking to the train.

You may need some ear flaps with your witch hat today (brrr).

Hats of all shapes and sizes for sale on Essex Street.

One of our many buskers.

You may run into these lovely ladies on the Pedestrian Mall.

Friday night on the Radio 92.9 Stage

The crowds on Sunday.

The Whiskey Brothers on the Fountain Stage on Sunday.

"You can go with this, or you can go with that."

Evan Goodrow Band on Sunday.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

You know you want a Witch Hat

Witch hats and Witch balls... the two most popular souvenirs in Salem.  I love seeing all of the visitors in their new hats exploring Salem.  There is a huge variety and price range for Witch Hats - you can get colorful hats and matching aprons at Pamplemousse, authentic hats at Hex, or elegant hats at Sophia's.

I stopped into Sophia's, where Maria decorates the hats herself.  I especially liked the ties...  it's always good to have something for the gentlemen!

Sophia's is a fantastic store at 105 Essex Street across from the Hawthorne Hotel.  It may be the most romantic store in Salem.

Weather Cancellations and Updates

Oh, this is so depressing.  I can't believe I'm beginning a blog post for weather cancellations because of a potential SNOW storm.

That said, we are still optimistic that we will get mostly rain and a wintery mix in Salem, and that it won't come in until this evening.  We are hoping that all daytime events will go off without a hitch, and most nighttime events (because they are inside) will also be unaffected.

Please drive safely tonight if there is a wintery mix falling in Salem.


Radio 929 Stage on Washington Street - Music has been cancelled for Saturday night (due more to the anticipated winds than to the precipitation).  The Shock Top Beer Garden will be OPEN from 4pm-11pm (with heaters).

The Haunted Film Series on Salem Common, featuring Beetlejuice tonight, has been cancelled.

The Salem Ferry shut down for the day after the 1pm departure from Salem.  For alternate transportation, please use the MBTA Commuter Rail Newburyport/Rockport line.  Schedules are available at

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Guidelines

The City of Salem anticipates tens of thousands of revelers to visit this weekend for the annual celebration of Halloween, and the culmination of the City’s month-long Haunted Happenings Festival.  Dozens of costume balls and parties hosted by Salem’s restaurants and hotels will be supplemented by a street party atmosphere that attracts visitors from around the world.

With Halloween falling on a Monday, both Saturday, October 29, and Monday, October 31 are expected to draw the most visitors.  Friday, October 28 and Sunday, October 30, will also be busy.  While the questionable weather forecast may keep some people away, many of the balls and parties on Saturday night are sold-out, so those revelers are expected to visit Salem regardless of weather. 

In preparation for the busy weekend, City Officials encourage visitors to:

  • Take public transportation.  The MBTA and Salem Ferry have expanded service for the weekend.  Taking public transportation is the best way to avoid traffic snarls coming into Salem.  Expanded MBTA service schedules are available online at Salem Ferry schedules are available at
  • Be prepared to pay for parking.  Parking in downtown Salem is a premium, and visitors who do drive should plan to pay $20 cash per day for parking.  MBTA lots in Beverly and Lynn have ample parking, and are less than a 10 minute train ride from the Salem depot.  Salem’s walkable downtown makes personal vehicles unnecessary once visitors have arrived.
  • Be aware of street closures.  Downtown street closures are planned for Monday after 5:00 PM, and closures will be executed on Saturday if deemed necessary for public safety.  Street closure and parking ban information is available at

Once in Salem, visitors are urged to bring their common sense, and be aware of the following rules and regulations that will be enforced during Halloween weekend:

  • Disorderly conduct will not be tolerated. Salem has tougher sanctions and will be issuing tripled fines, up to $300 per violation, for infractions including public drinking, vandalism, littering, and disorderly behavior.
  • Leave weapons – real or fake – at home.  They will be confiscated by police.
  • Public drinking will not be tolerated. Public consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited in Salem.
  • Know when the party’s over. The event ends at 11:00 PM on Saturday night and 10:00 PM on Monday night.  Visitors who are not inside restaurants or private parties will be asked to depart Salem following the fireworks on Monday night.  Police and Public Works Department staff will begin clearing the streets at 10:30 pm.
There will be more than 200 police on the ground this weekend, including the Essex County Tactical Unit and the Plymouth County Mounted Unit.  Surveillance cameras are installed throughout the downtown and will be monitored by police officials throughout the weekend. 

Salem is a historic, residential community, and city officials are working diligently to mitigate visitor impacts to residents, provide effective crowd control, and encourage an orderly exit out of the City when festivities conclude.  Visitors to Salem who respect the City of Salem, its residents, businesses, and law enforcement officials will have a great time celebrating Halloween and Haunted Happenings.

Free public entertainment will be provided on the Haunted Happenings Main Stage, presented by Radio 92.9, on Washington Street at Federal Street from 5pm – 10:00pm on Friday, 5pm – 11pm on Saturday, 4pm – 10pm on Sunday, and 4pm – 10pm on Monday.   On Monday night, bands and DJs will provide free music on Salem Common, Hawthorne Boulevard, Front Street, and Derby Street.  The month-long Haunted Happenings celebration will conclude with a brilliant fireworks display over the North River at 10:00 pm on Monday.

Radio 929 is in the house!

The stage and tents are going up on Washington Street!  The Radio 92.9 Street Team is decorating their hearts out, and the music begins at 6:00 PM.

The weekend has officially begun!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Top Five Costume Balls in Salem this weekend

Are you ready?  Is your costume ready?  Here's the short list of the TOP FIVE Costume Balls in Salem.  They vary in price and intensity, so one of them is sure to fit your Halloween expectations.  Wherever you go, take pictures... and send them to me at  I just might share them on the blog next week!

5The Zombie Prom at Vic's Boathouse on Pickering Wharf.  Any party that merges zombies with high school prom dresses and ruffled tuxes has a bright future in my book.  9:30 PM on Friday, no cover,

4.    Bridget Bishop Costume Ball at 43 Church.  43 Church, located in the former Lyceum, is located on the land that belonged to Bridget Bishop, who was condemned during the Salem Witch Trials. This was her apple orchard, and some say they can smell apples... when there are none being cooked.  Toast Bridget's spirit with some hard cider on Saturday night.  8pm - 12am.

3.  Wicked Night on the Wharf at the Salem Waterfront Hotel boasts a costume competition, awesome music, and TV Diner host and Kiss 108 personality Billy Costa.  What more could you ask for? Saturday night, 6pm - 12am.

2.  The Official Salem Witches' Halloween Ball, the edgiest of the balls, this year the Witches' ball has a  Lords of the Underworld, theme.  The costumes for this ball are always fantastic, as is the entertainment.  Friday night, 7:30pm - 12:30am.

1.  The Hawthorne Hotel's Costume Ball has a Saturday Fright Fever theme this year, which leads me to believe there will be zombies doing the hustle. John Travolta should be watching his back, because I suspect his white leisure suit is going to be in high demand.  Three floors of music and entertainment await at this, the grandest ball of them all.  8pm - Midnight on Saturday.

There are other balls, parties, and live music events throughout the weekend.  Visit for all of the details.  So much fun, so hard to choose.  Which ball will you choose?!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Music Line-up for this weekend

Radio 92.9 has announced the band schedule for this weekend.  We have some terrific local talent coming to perform this weekend.  In addition to the music, Radio 92.9 will be running themed costume contests in the Shock Top Beer Garden all weekend.  

Here's the schedule: 

Sinners & Saints Night - $250 for the best costume!
6pm-7:15pm . . . Kitchen Jams
7:45pm- 9:00pm . . . Silhouette Rising
9:30-11:00pm . . . Life Electric

Monster Ball - $250 for the best costume!
4:00-5:15pm . . . 51 Shortfalls
5:45-6:45pm . . . Will Dailey and the Rivals
7:15- 8:45pm . . .Girls, Guns and Glory
9:15pm -10:00pm . . . The Replicas

Football Funday - Wear your best sports costume. $250 prize if it's really THE best! 
4:00pm-4:45pm . . . Luke Mulholland 
5:15pm-6:30pm . . . Jackson Wetherbee
7:00pm-8:15pm . . . Evan Goodrow Band
9:00pm -10:30pm . . . Drop Zone

It's a Halloween BASH! $250 prize for the best costume!
5:00-6:15pm . . . Jeff Conley Band
6:45-8:10pm . . . Adam Ezra Group
8:40-9:50pm . . . Drop Zone

10:00pm . . . FIREWORKS!

And don't forget about the final Family Film Night on Salem Common - This Saturday at 6:30 PM we will be watching Beetlejuice (Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice). It looks like it's going to be chilly, so bring a blanket and gloves! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Magic on Stage at Salem Theatre Company

Salem Theatre Company has opened  their stage to a bit of magic for October.  The show, "Tricks and Treats," is a grin-from-ear-to-ear kind of performance that includes sleight of hand, escapism, levitation, and a whole lot of laughter. 

Magician Evan Northrup poseses a perfect mix of actor and comedian, and his presentation and tricks are perfect for all ages.  He integrates the audience into several tricks, so if you don't want to end up on stage you may not want to sit in the front row.  

Tricks and Treats is running through Saturday, October 29.  Shows are on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at 6pm, 7pm and 8pm.  Shows sold out last week, so buy tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. Tickets are $10 each for all ages.   Visit for more information.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Midweek Burlesque at The Witches Cottage

We have a late addition to the Haunted Happenings schedule!  This week, Tuesday and Wednesday nights only, you can catch The Betsi Feathers Halloween Burlesque Special on stage at The Witches Cottage

Terrorize and tantalize your senses as these spooky seducers scare their own pants off!  This is a classic-style burlesque with a creepy twist! Get up close and personal in this interactive scare show of stunning beauties!!

Tuesday October 25 at 9pm
Wednesday October 26 at 9pm

As if the Betsi Feathers wasn't enough, the bill includes spook-tacular guest performers: Jimi Half-Dead and the Die Alongs, The Boston Babydolls, Pandora Fox, and Bryson Lang.

And, it's for a good cause! 20% of all proceeds benefiting the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem. All tickets $15. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

What do you mean you haven't been working on your costume for weeks?!

The countdown is on!  There is one week remaining until the Hawthorne Hotel's annual Halloween Costume Ball.  Three floors of entertainment and jaw-dropping costumes add up to a night to remember at the "Saturday Fright Fever" themed event on Saturday, October 29. 

Tickets are still available, but they are going fast.  Don't be left out in the cold on Salem's biggest weekend!  
Live music in the ballroom by HUSH, DJs in Sophia's and The Library (these are rooms, by the way), and Halloween decor to knock your socks off.  If you wear socks, that is.  Get out your best Disco zombie, your Studio 54 Frankenstein, your Discotheque Morticia.  Let's see those costumes do the Electric Slide! 

Here are a few pictures from past Hawthorne Hotel Halloween Balls to get you in the mood and spark your creative juices. 
Do not pass GO! Go directly to Jail.
Amazing effects.

Oooh, creepy. But can she do the Hustle?

The Hotel misses no opportunity for awesome decor!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pumpkins on Parade

If you find yourself visiting Salem Common over the next two weeks, be sure to pay a visit to the Painted Pumpkin contest. The pumpkins, submitted by school children, offer a delightful display of mixed media approaches to gourd decoration!

Competition was fierce (especially for the pirate on the bottom row)
We are suckers for the Muppets, so Miss Piggy gets high marks.

The Haunted Happenings Parade theme was "Honoring those who serve," which has been well-carried over to pumpkin decorating.