Author Archives: New England Nomad

About New England Nomad

Hi I'm Wayne. Welcome to my blog. I am a true New Englander through and through. I love everything about New England. I especially love discovering new places in New England and sharing my experiences with everyone. I tend to focus on the more unique and lesser known places and things in New England on my blog. Oh yeah, and I love dogs. I always try to include at least one dog in each of my blog posts. I discovered my love of photography a couple of years ago. I know, I got a late start. Now, I photograph anything that seems out of the ordinary, interesting, beautiful and/or unique. And I have noticed how every person, place or thing I photograph has a story behind it or him or her. I don't just photograph things or people or animals. I try to get their background, history or as much information as possible to give the subject more context and meaning. It's interesting how one simple photograph can evoke so much. I am currently using a Nikon D3200 "beginner's camera." Even though there are better cameras on the market, and I will upgrade some time, I love how it functions (usually) and it has served me well. The great thing about my blog is you don't have to be from New England, or even like New England to like my blog (although I've never met anyone who doesn't). All you have to like is to see and read about new or interesting places and things. Hopefully, you'll join me on my many adventures in New England!

Museum Of Dog (North Adams, MA)

Date Of Visit: May 5, 2018

Location: 55 Union Street, North Adams, MA (about an hour and a half northwest of Springfield, MA, and hour and 15 minutes northeast of Albany, NY)

Hours: Mon – Sat : 10am to 7pm, Sun : 12pm – 6pm

Cost: $5 for adults, $1 for children

Parking: There is parking available both across the street from the museum and next to the museum (look for the stretch limos with the long dog painted on its side)

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Of course

Website: Museum Of Dog

Highlights: Art, collectibles and other memorabilia; all dog related!

Tips:

  • The Museum Of Dog offers a “Dancing Dog Evening Tour” performed by “in house talent” with some tours
  • Admission includes an optional guided tour of the museum by a knowledgeable staff member
  • If you have the time, make sure to stop by MASS MOCA which is only a mile or two away from the Museum Of Dog

Fun Facts:

  • Daisy, the dog of the founder and owner of the Museum Of Dog David York, has a exhibit dedicated to her
  • The Museum Of Dog holds the distinction of being the first of its kind in The Bay State

 

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As summer approaches, what better place too whittle away the long dog days of summer than the Museum Of Dog?

The brainchild of dog lover and frequent Massachusetts vacationer David York, The Museum Of Dog has all things dog related that any dog aficionado is sure to appreciate.

The museum, which occupies what was formerly the Quinn’s Paint & Wallpaper Co, has works of art, collectibles and an assortment of other canine related items.

Statues of dogs line the shelves and floor of the museum.

This statue is a replica of Nipper, the dog used for the old logo for RCA.

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But, the museum does not just limit itself to statues of dogs.  There are also  books, paintings,

The prized piece of art must be the portrait of Sophie; David York’s dog who he rescued many years ago.

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In keeping with their roots to the area, there is an exhibit dedicated tot eh former tenants of the building, Quinn’s Paint and Wallpaper Co.

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There is also an annex to the museum.  The Daisy Exhibit features some of Daisy’s “art work.”

Daisy’s work is comically best described as “totale en doge.”  She certainly puts all of herself into her art!

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You can see her work for yourself in the”Sophie Annex.”

The annex houses many items associated with dogs such as tennis balls.  There are also flowers and other types of decor in the rooms.

There are also ads for people looking to adopt dogs and art work from some of the visitors to the museum.

The rest of the annex includes an area for visitors to contribute to an exhibit of their own.  Each visitor is encouraged to write their dog’s name and his or her biggest talent.  The forms are then posted on a wall in the annex.  Eating, sleeping, kissing, snuggling and sleeping are some of the more popular talents posted on the forms.  Hey, I’m pretty good at those things too!

Parking is plentiful at the lot across from the museum, next to the museum and at the lots on Union St.  There are limos located at the two main parking areas.

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Somewhat ironically, there were no dogs present at the Museum Of Dog during my visit.  But, they are welcome at the museum.  So, make sure to take pooch along with you when you do visit!


Heritage State Park (Holyoke, MA)

 

Date Of Visit: March 31, 2017

Location: 221 Appleton St., Holyoke, MA

Cost: Free, although there is a fee to enter or use some of the attractions at the park such as the Children’s Museum, Volleyball Hall Of Fame and the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round

Hours:

Park hours

Sunrise to sunset

Visitors center hours

Sunday:
12:00 pm-4:00 pm

Tuesday – Saturday:
12:00 pm-4:00 pm

Parking: Free onsite parking for about 50 cars is available in Visitors Center lot

Park Size/Difficulty: 7 acres/Easy

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes, leashed dogs are allowed

Highlights: merry-go-round, canal, children’s museum, volleyball hall of fame, easy trail, statue, picnic area, play area, guided tours of the area

Website: Holyoke Heritage State Park

Tip: From May through mid-October, the park offers hour-long narrated train rides on a 1920s vintage railroad on Saturday and Sunday.

Fun Facts:

  • Holyoke is still known as the “paper city” because during the 19th century the city produced an estimated 80% of the writing paper used in the United States and was home to the largest paper and alpaca wool mills in the world
  • Between 85% and 90% of Holyoke’s energy which is powered by the municipally owned canals pictured below was carbon neutral as of 2016
  • Holyoke is also the birthplace of volleyball

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Among the abandoned and dilapidated buildings of a once thriving mill town there is a special park that preserves the history of the area while providing family friendly entertainment and honoring their heroes.

The first building you notice upon entering the park is the Holyoke Merry Go Round.  The affordable merry go round ($2 per ride) is very popular with children celebrating birthdays (perhaps I can have mine there).  The merry go round, which was once part of Mountain Park (an amusement park that used to be located in the area), has been around in one capacity or another since the early 1900s.

 

Railroad tracks remain at the park as a reminder of what was a staple of the area.  The railroad tracks are no longer in use.  Yet they remain a reminder of the railroad system that bisected the area.  The last photo shows the end of the tracks right next to the entrance of the Children’s Museum.

 

The Children’s Museum At Holyoke is located along the path of the canal (444 Dwight St).  Although we didn’t go in, I did take some photos of the some murals on the exterior of the building.

 

Located next to the children’s museum is the Volleyball Hall Of Fame.  Again, due to time constraints, we did not visit the museum.  But, it is certainly on my list!

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I loved walking along the canal.  The views of the old factories and the canal offered some nostalgia and pretty views.  I also appreciated the simple, yet historic, feel of the park.  It is, in a word, charming, despite the many abandoned buildings in disrepair that line the canal.  It felt like a refuge from the busy, crowded streets, although I am sure it is much more crowded during the summer season and when the temperatures rise (if that may ever come).

 

Along the walkway, which is handicapped accessible, there is a small picnic area and play area.  There are also some interesting exhibits.

One of the exhibits is a storm drain art display.  The artful displays encourage people to not pollute.

 

This flywheel stands near what was once the location of Skinner Mill.  The mill was sold in 1961 and burned in 1980.

 

The pearl of the park is the statue dedicated to all of the officers who have lost their lives while on duty as police officers.  The officer’s names are all engraved on the monument.

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There are three police officers’ names listed on the monument.  All three of these officers died while on duty working for the Holyoke police.

Officer John P. Driscoll lost his life on April 25, 1922 when he succumbed to injuries sustained when he fell from the running board of a car that he had commandeered after pursuing a vehicle that was being driven by a drunk driver.  Officer Driscoll had been with the agency for five years and was survived by his wife, five children and parents.

Officer James Gatzounas  died after being assaulted as he and other officers responded to a fight at a New Year’s Eve street party on January 1, 1977. During the altercation, Officer Gatzounas was kicked and punched as he attempted to place one of the suspects under arrest.  He later died after going into cardiac arrest.

Two suspects, ages 19 and 17, were charged with first degree murder. When Officer Gatzounas’ autopsy revealed he died of cardiac arrest instead of injuries from the beating, the charges were reduced to manslaughter.  Officer Gatzounas had been with the agency for 18 months and had previously served with the United States Army during the Vietnam War. He was survived by his wife and child.

The Man displayed in the statue, flanked by two children, is John A. DiNapoli.  Officer DiNapoli was shot and killed i his vehicle while he was following a suspect.  Officer DiNapoli had served for 21 years.  DiNapoli was known for his service to the community.  he and a few other officers started a Christmas tradition of giving toys to the children of Holyoke who lived in high crime neighborhoods. He was survived by two grown children.  His son also became a police officer.

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Below is a short video from the Holyoke Merry Go Round

 


Budweiser Clydesdales (Mystic, CT)

Date Of Event: March 24, 2018

Location: Mystic Seaport, 75 Greenmanville Ave, Mystic, CT (about 1 hour southeast of Hartford, CT and 1 and a half hours southwest of Boston, MA)

Hours: Presently open daily, 9:00 – 5:00 (hours may vary depending on the season)

2018 Hours of Operation

  • January 4 – March 23: Open Thursday-Sunday, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.***
  • February 19: (Presidents Day) Open 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
  • March 24 – October 26: Open Daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • October 27  –  November 25: Open Daily, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
  • November 22: Closed (Thanksgiving Day)
  • November 26 –  December 23: Open Thursday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • December 24-25: Closed.
  • December 26-December 31: Open Daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Cost:

Adult – $28.95
Senior (ages 65+) – $26.95
Youth (ages 4-14) – $18.95
Children (3 and younger) – Free

Parking: there is a free parking lot across the street from the Seaport Museum.  There is also additional parking across the street from the parking lot for overflow

Handicapped Accessible: Yes, but not all of the buildings are accessible to the handicapped.  Approximately one-third of our buildings have wheelchair-accessible entrances; interior access varies. The village’s unpaved roads are generally firm and stable suitable for wheelchairs and strollers. All roads are basically level with a few slight inclines located near the Children’s Museum, Treworgy Planetarium and Membership Building.  (see link below for more info)

Mystic Seaport Accessibility Guide

Dog Friendly: Yes, leashed dogs are allowed.  But they are not allowed in the buildings

Website: Mystic Seaport

Highlights: living museum with character actors, boats, replicas of historic homes, figureheads, lighthouse replica, play area for children

Tips:

  • For an after museum viewing treat, Mystik Village, an open area shopping mall is a mere.9 miles away on Coogan Blvd
  • the museum’s main parking lot can fill up quickly if you don’t get there early.  Additional parking can be found in the lots off Rossie St on the other side of the main parking lot

Websites: Mystic Seaport

Budweiser Clydesdale Hitch Schedule

Fun Fact: The Budweiser Clydesdales were first introduced to the public on April 7, 1933, to celebrate the end of Prohibition

Related Posts:

Mystic Seaport – Part I

Mystic Seaport – Part II

Mystic Seaport – Part III

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The neighs had it in Mystic, CT, last month.

The main attraction of the Mystic Irish Parade which was held on Sunday, March 25, the Busch-Anheuser Clydesdales were on display for visitors to view and photograph before they lead the parade, after paying the paltry entrance fee to the Seaport Museum.

The only downside to the viewing of the horses was they were kept behind bars in their stables for both the safety of the horses as well as the safety of the visitors.  However, if you were lucky and patient, you could get a glimpse of the handlers washing their horses.

Each Clydesdale had their own stall and were kept in a tented area.  The unit of measurement used to determine a horses’ height is called HH or “hands.”  One hand equals about 10 centimeters or 4 inches.

Some of the Clydesdales were either camera shy or more interested in their food. Merlin was one of these horses.

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Merlin is going to be 7 in May.  He weighs 1,950 pounds and his height is 19 HH or 6 feet, 4 inches.

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Rico just turned 9 years old.  Happy birthday, Rico!  He is 18.2 HH (6 feet, 2 inches tall) and he clocked in at 1,972 lbs.

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Phoenix is 8 years old and weighs 1,975 pounds.  Phoenix is 18.1 HH (6 feet, 1 inch tall)

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Lucky is going to be 9 in May.  Lucky weighs in at 1,930 pounds and is listed as being 18.2 HH (6 ft 2 inches).

Larussa is a 1,940 7 year old Clydesdale.  Larussa is 18.1 HH (just over 6 feet)

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Royal is a very hungry 1,800 pound, 7 year old horse.  Royal is 18 HH (6 feet tall).

Yet another May baby, Jack will be 11 next month.  He is 18.1 HH (just over 6 feet tall).

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Master, a 1,825 pound and 18HH (6 feet tall) horse, turned 7 on New Year’s Day.

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Ivan, a 1,775 pound and 17.2 HH (5.8 feet tall) horse, turned 9 on New Year’s Day.

The Budweiser truck that transported the beautiful Clydesdales was parked right outside the tent.

There was also a Budweiser dog named Barley.  While I was unable to photograph Barley, I did photograph a puppy in Barley’s stall.

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Speaking of dogs, since Mystic Seaport is a dog friendly attraction and the weather was, uncharacteristically for New England this time of the year, mild there were numerous dogs attending the event.

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Shantie (“peace” in Sanskrit) is a 7 month old Golden Retriever.  Eventually, Shantie is going to be trained to be a therapy dog.

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Sara, a foster dog, is a 3 year old Border Collie.  What a beautiful coat and ears!

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Matthew is a 6 year old Havanese.  I love the cute smile on Matthew.

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The appropriately named for this venue, Sailor is a 1 year old Lab mix.  I was particularly drawn to Sailor because she bears a striking similarity to my mom’s new adopted dog, Holly, who you may see in future photo shoots.

 


Northeast Reenactors Fair (West Springfield, MA)

Date Of Event: February 24, 2018

Location: Mallary Complex, Eastern States Exposition Center (1305 Memorial Avenue
West Springfield, MA)

Cost: $10 per person (2 day passes are also available for $20)

Parking: $5 to park for the day. Parking is ample.

Website: Northeast Reenactors Fair

Highlights: Items and people in costume from various eras

Hello fellow bloggers and readers, I have been out of commission for a while due to a back injury. But, I am recovering and I should be back to my normal blogging schedule soon. Thank you for your support and I look forward to posting more of my adventures!

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The Eastern State Exposition Center in West Springfield. MA, was in a time warp the last weekend of February.

The Northeast Reenactors (formerly the New England Reenactors) descended upon the Big E to show off their attire, sell their era-appropriate merchandise and celebrate the days of yore.

There were reenactors of every era in costume at the fair.

 

While there were reenactors from every time period, there were quite a lot of Vietnam War era reenactors.

 

The weapon in this photo, an M29 Mortar, is still used today, with some slight modifications. If you never thought you would ever use geometry, think again. The trajectory of the projectiles use a lot of geometry and other mathematical formulas to direct the mortars accurately. Also, it took five people, yes five people, to operator (the squad leader, the gunner, the assistant gunner, first ammunition bear and the second ammunition bearer). One of the projectiles can be seen to the right of the M 29.

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There were also vendors selling their wares. Many of the products being sold were home made replicas of the items of previous eras.

 

There were also various displays of the popular attire, books and other items from the various eras.

 

Check out the cameras used during the Vietnam era. Maybe I should consider trading in for one.

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It was such a big event, even two presidents showed up.

President Madison

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And, of course, President Lincoln.

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If all that wasn’t enough, there was also entertainment at the reenactors fair. Singers performed a variety of songs from the past.

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Below is a video of one of the talented performers.

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New England Nomad


SCAM (Salem, MA)

Date Of Visits: October 21, 2017 & February 10, 2018

Location: Essex St, Salem MA (shares the same entrance as Witch Tee’s at 173 Essex St)

Hours: Closed Mon – Thu, Fri: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Sat & Sun: 12-7 (Hours may vary depending on the season)

Cost: Free

Parking: Street parking is accessible throughout Salem and at the parking garages on Congress St and New Liberty St

Handicapped Accessible: The first floor is handicapped accessible but the only way to the second floor is by using a stairwell

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: SCAM

Highlights: art made by local artists

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Beware! There is a scam in Salem.

But this scam does not involve some shady Nigerian Prince or a bug with your Windows operating system. No, this is an entirely different kind of scam.

SCAM (The Salem Collective of Artists and Musicians) has a wide collection of unique art from artists in Salem and the neighboring areas. I wen there on a whim. It was a busy weekend in Salem just before Halloween. So, I thought I would duck out from the foot traffic and stop in, And, was I glad I did!

I originally visited SCAM in October, 2017. The decor did have a Halloween or spooky theme in some areas and an early Christmas themed work of art.

The entrance way to SCAM is a shared entrance with Witch Tees on the pedestrian walkway on Essex St. Go to the right at the entrance to enter the art museum.

The first floor has a variety of art, novelty items and some merchandise for purchase.

My favorite pieces are the vintage art of celebrities from the past such as the art work with Marlon Brando and Leonard Nimoy. Little known fact: Leonard Nimoy was born in nearby Boston, MA.

I also liked the height chart that corresponded with the height of other celebrities. I was Keanu Reeves! Who knew Lady Gaga was so tiny! I also like how they have Matt Damon’s “crouching height.”

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Most of the art is on the second floor. There is a variety of unique art and innovative items on the second floor of SCAM.

Watch out where you step when you go upstairs!

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That is just one of them more offbeat pieces of art or entertainment at SCAM.

The works of art on the second floor of SCAM are very creative and impressive. Some of the art on display is for sale.

SCAM is not a very big art museum. You can easily go through the building and view all of the art in 20 minutes or so.

From the outside of the building was yet another innovative work of art!

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SCAM changes up their decor and art from time to time. During a recent visit on February 10, I noticed there was a new set up in the front window. I love how they integrate action figures into different locations.

Below is a short video of the display at the front of SCAM.


Talcott Greenhouse At Mount Holyoke College Botanic Garden (South Hadley, MA)

Date Of Visit: January 20, 2018

Location: 50 College St, South Hadley, MA

Hours: Mon-Fri: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m, Sat & Sun 1 p.m. -4 p.m. (hours may vary depending on the season)

Cost: Free

Parking: There is a parking lot for about 40 cars

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Website: Talcott Greenhouse

Related Post: 2017 Spring Bulb Show At Smith College

Highlights: variety of plants in the Talcott Greenhouse at Mount Holyoke College

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It may seem a little early in the year for New Englanders to be talking about our gardens and plants, especially since we just received 3 inches of snow in the Boston area. But, the Talcott Greenhouse is a great place to go for a preview of the spring planting season that will soon be here.

The greenhouse has a wide variety of plants

There were a variety of plants and flowers that caught my attention like this huge cactus!

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The botanical garden is open all year. The plants are cared for by a friendly and knowledgeable staff. In fact, the person working there during my visit helped answer a few questions I had about some of the plants and flowers int eh garden.

This particular flower is an orchard. The banana-looking parts of he flower are actually where the plant stores water.

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Below are a few of the plants and flowers that caught my eye.

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Philodendron Erubescens (“Pink Princess”)

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Begonia Brevirimosa

Microsorum Thailandicum

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Sinning Bullata

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Begonia Silver Jewel Dibleys

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Cirita Keiko

and the rest…

I especially liked how the flowers were displayed throughout the botanical garden. The colors of the plants in each group seemed to blend so well with all of the other plants they were placed with.

The coolest part of the greenhouse was definitely this tree that was growing through a wall!


16th Annual Salem’s So Sweet (Salem, MA)

Date Of Visit: February 10, 2017

Locations: Throughout the city of Salem

Hours:Visible 24 hours a day, until they melt

Cost: Free

Parking:Metered street parking is available and there are two big parking garages on New Liberty St and Congress St

The Downtown Garage (New Liberty St) costs $0.75 per hour.

The Waterfront Garage (Congress St) costs $0.25 per hour.

Both garages operate from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM Sunday through Wednesday and from 7:00 AM to 2:00 AM Thursday through Saturday.

Public Transportation: The MBTA’s Commuter Rail has a stop which deposits its passengers right at Washington St. $15 for a round trip ticket from North Station (fares vary depending upon where you leave from and where you are going)

MBTA Commuter Rail

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Salem’s So Sweet

Related Post: 2017 Salem’s So Sweet

Highlights; 24 Ice Sculptures that have light fixtures attached to them that light up at night

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What says “Happy Valentine’s Day” like chocolates, champagne and chunks of carved ice? That is what Salem served up this past weekend.

The festivities began Friday, February 9 with a special Salem’s So Sweet chocolate and wine tasting event.

Unfortunately for the sculptures, we experienced a spell of warm weather over the weekend. While it gave people a chance to roam around in t-shirts and, yes in some cases shorts, the 40 to 50 degree weather did not bode will for the ice sculptures. Yes, New England weather is so predictable and cooperative.

Although the sculptures are impressive in the daylight, they really come alive during the afternoon and evening after the lights attached to their stands are turned on. The lights were put on a little before 5 and then I hustled to get all of them photographed before it got too dark.

One of the really great things about the sculptures, besides the obvious beauty and intricacy of them, is that it is great platform for businesses in the area to market themselves in a tasteful and fun way. It is also great for the visitors to learn about businesses, particularly smaller businesses, they may not have been aware of before.

I noticed almost all of the sculptures were different but were in some ways similar to the sculptures they had last year (take notice, Journeymasters). I did notice that they had a certain similar theme with the ice sculptures from last year and this year, such as the sculptures located at the Salem Witch Museum, Bit Bar and Rockafellas.

I am posting the photos of the sculptures in the order they appear on the map from 1 to 24. I will also include a photo of the sculptures before and after they were lit. Not only do the sculptures light up, some of them change colors while they’re lit. I have showed different photos displaying the different colors of the sculptures as well as videos at the bottom to show them in all of their brightness.

The first ice sculpture on the map was located on Essex St near Lappen Park (where the Bewitched statue is). This sculpture didn’t make it to end of the day. Whether it was due to a careless spectator or the result of all of the melting that took place, the top part of the sculpture was not on attached when I came back to photograph it after it was lit.

Universe sponsored by The Journeymasters

Han Solo sponsored by Gulu-Gulu Cage. Rumor has it Han was supposed to be on display during last year’s ice sculpture festival but he didn’t make it there in time. I’m glad he could join us this year.

Snowflake sponsored by Laura Lanes Skin Care.

Tank sponsored by Army Barracks.

Kissing Fish sponsored by Adriatic Restaurant And Bar.

Piggy Bank sponsored by People’s United Bank.

Princess And Frog sponsored by Maria’s Sweet Somethings.

This sculpture did not make it too far into the day either.

Dragon sponsored by Coon’s Card And Gift Shop.

Page The Dog sponsored by Bella Research Group.

Lobsterman sponsored by Turner’s Seafood.

Love Potion #9 sponsored by The Coven’s Cottage, Emporium 32, Modern Millie, Pamplemousse, Salem Trolley and The Trolley Depot.

Basset Hound sponsored by a variety of shops that are part of the Witch City Mall

Cactus sponsored by Peabody Essex Museum.

Super Mario Brothers sponsored by Bit Bar.

Cauldron sponsored by The Salem Witch Museum.

Bakery sponsored by Coffee Time Bake Shop.

Financial Wizard sponsored by Saint Jean’s Credit Union.

Lion sponsored by Jolie Tea Company.

Mug sponsored by Notch Brewery & Taproom.

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Waterfront Hotel sponsored by The Regatta Pub Restaurant at the Salem Waterfront Hotel.

This one made me laugh because while I was photographing it, a child who was with her mother, asked her mom, “What is rum?” Her mom was left speechless.

Rumson’s Rum sponsored by Pirate Dog Brand/Rumson’s Rum.

The Friendship sponsored by The Waite & Pierce National Park Service Information Center and Park Service. This is a sculpture of the boat, The Friendship, that is usually docked by the Pedrick House at Derby Wharf.

To celebrate the 350th anniversary of The House of the Seven Gables, 350th Anniversary was sponsored by House Of The Seven Gables and Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie.

Of course, with the warmer weather and the special attractions, there were many people walking their dogs. Whenever I go to Salem, which if you read my blog regularly you must know is often, I always see such a wonderful array of dogs and Saturday was no different.

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Meko is a 2.5 year old Schnauzer/Yorkie rescue from Arkansas.

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Augie is a 2 and a half year old Pug.

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Marley is a 12 week old Lab mix.

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Cookie (yes like the Oreo cookie) is a 12 year old Border Collie.

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Ollie is a mixed breed shelter dog.

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Darwin, who was named after Charles Darwin whose boats was named the DHS Beagle.

Below are two videos of two sculptures that had lights on them that changed colors.

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