Category Archives: Uncategorized

2018 Pumpkin Patch Decorating Contest (Salem, MA)

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What would Halloween be like without decorated pumpkins?  That is a question I ask myself each Halloween.

 

Every Halloween I make sure to view and photograph the Pumpkin Patch.  It’s a Halloween tradition.  Yet, every year I go I am always expecting that it will not be there.  And I am sure that will be the case one year.  But, for now, the pumpkins are on display every year at Salem Common during the Halloween season.

 

Over 100 local Salem students, including some from Carlton School, Bates School, and YMCA, participate in the contest.  They are grouped by age group

Pictured below are some of my favorites.

 

The pumpkins are usually on display until Halloween.

Not only were pumpkins were dressed up for Halloween.  People and their pets were also dressed up as their favorite characters.

It turns out she really did miss the scarecrow most!  I’m glad they’re back together again. 

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I wasn’t sure who these people were dressed up as.  But, I thought they had cool costumes.  It turns out they are dressed up as characters from the television show, Dr. Who.

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Skeletor and He-Man mixed it up on the streets of Salem!

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“I’m David Pumpkins, man!”

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There were a lot of cute couples dressed to kill!

 

Sometimes the best costumes are the ones that include a group of people or family.

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I loved the face painting and hats on these costumed revelers.

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Even though this may look like a statue or decoration it is an actual person or hay person.

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These people look like they put a lot of time working on their costumes. 

 

Elvis has left Salem.

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This Lady bug is Holly, a 3year old pitbull lab mix, all the way from Nashville.

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Jerry’s Fright Fairs (Witch City Consignment, Salem, MA)

Date Of Events: October 13 and 28, 2018

Location: Witch City Consignment, 302 Essex St, Salem, MA

Highlights: art, memorabilia and other horror related items for sale

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The Witch City Consignment shop had two fairs: Freaks, Antiques And Uniques which was held October 13 and 14 and Jerry’s Fright Fairs which were held the last two weekends of the month.

The “boo-tique” specialized in art, dolls and masks among other types of horror related products.  There were two levels of vendors with dozens of artists at the shop.

Toni Gangi’s The Monkey Biz specializes in art with a twist.

Move over American Girl, Kat sells cute little dolls at Kats Creepy Creations.

There was lots of art by a variety of artists at the fair.

Oneail FX sells masks and effects for all of your Halloween needs.

The Witch City Consignment store also sold their own wares.  Everything from figurines and old magazines to holiday decorations (with a heavy emphasis on Halloween decorations of course).

The shop featured not only horror themed products.  There were also artifacts of a bygone era.

Sometimes you come across items that peak your interest, even if you wouldn’t want to buy them for your own use.  I always find things like these old photos to be so interesting.  I wonder where are these people now?  What were they really like and what is their story?

I had to take a close up of this Halloween decoration since my we had the very same decoration while I was growing up.  I wonder if it’s the same one.  It’s wonderful to think of how one random decoration can make you flush with nostalgia.

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Of course, during my visit to the fair there were lots of people and dogs in costume for Halloween.

Dogs were dressed up for the holiday as well!

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Sawyer, Super dog on the left, is an 11 year old Beagle.  Jack, dressed as Batman on the right, is a 10 year old Cavalier.

The appropriately named Lucifer is a 10 month old Siberian Husky.

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Astra is a 8 month old Samoyed.

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I met Faith, an 8 year old, Pitt Bull and American Bulldog mixed breed dog.

 


Crow Haven Corner (Salem, MA)

Date Of Visit: October 31, 2018

Location: 125 Essex St, Salem, MA

Hours: Hours may vary.  The shop opened at 10 during the week of Halloween

Parking: Street parking may be available during the “off season” (when it isn’t Halloween) and there are several parking garages in Salem

Handicapped Accessible: No

Website: Crow Haven Corner

Highlights: Salem’s (MA) oldest witch shop

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One of the most photographed and visited shops in Salem, MA is also one of the oldest shops in Salem.

The oldest witch shop in Salem, MA, Crow Haven Corner has a storied history.  The shop opened in 1971 by the official witch of Salem, Laurie Cabot. Throughout the years the shop grew in popularity and may very well be instrumental in making Salem the tourist attraction it is today.

On busy days, particularly during the busy Halloween season, a long line can be found outside the store and sometimes snaking around the corner.  And, during the busy season, the street outside of the store gets so crowded, they often have to draw arrows to let people know where to line up.

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Laurie Cabot remained at the shop during its hay day until the reader Lorelei took over the shop.  Crow Haven Corner has remained a staple of Essex Street ever since.

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Not one to get a reading (who knows what they would find out and tell me), I had walked by the shop many times.  In fact, in all of the years and various trips I may have made there, I had not decide to go into the shop until this Halloween.

The shop specializes in potions, spices, figurines and aromas.  They also have works of art and dolls (for various uses I suppose).

Someone bought this Ouija Board after I photographed it.

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The store also sells witch balls.  Witch balls are said to trap evil spirits by enticing them with bright colors and prevent the spirits from escaping, although there are other suggested uses for them such as attracting the “evil eye” of some visitors.  The evil eye would be attracted to the bright color of the witch ball which would prevent the evil eye from looking at the inhabitants of the house.

The shop is surprisingly small inside.  At least the shopping area is small.  There is a more spacious back side to the shop where you can have a reading done.

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Next to the shop is an private way with a mural and statues.  While I was photographing it, Lorellei asked me if I wanted to take a look at it all and she gave me a guided tour.

Laurie Cabot made the mural.  Corvix , the red dragon, is a new addition to the backyard.  You may also notice the witch balls in the first photo.

The workers at Crow Corner are very friendly.  Pixie let me take her photo while she was checking out some customers.  You can find Pixie on Instagram at witchypoo_pixie.

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While I was waiting in line to enter the store, Chucky was lurking around.

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Chucky wasn’t the only character at Crow Haven Corner this Halloween.  I found these two shopping inside the store.

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There were also these face painters and their marionette.

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Penny Wise was there with his friend Charlie.

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And, of course, the Sanderson sisters were there!  I had a lot of fun photographing them.

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Of course, the cutest subjects to photographs are the kids and families who dressed up for Halloween.

As a side note, I noticed something funny and cute when I ask these children’s parents if I can photograph their children in their costumes  Very often, the parent is more excited about the photo op than the child is!  In fact, on more than one occasion the parent excitedly gave me permission and the child declined!  It is cute to see these parents so proud of their kids.

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Dogs love Salem during the Halloween season as well.

From left to right are Sebastian and his little friends Zoey and Bella

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Lucy is a Goldendoodle.

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Boston Christmas Festival (Seaport World Trade Center, Boston, MA)

Date Of Event: November 2-4, 2018

Location: Seaport World Trade Center, 1 Seaport Lane, Boston, MA

Hours: Friday: Noon-7pm, Saturday: 10 am-6 pm, Sunday: 10 am-5 pm

Cost: $14 per person, kids under 14 get in for free

Parking/Public Transportation:

  • Seaport Hotel Parking Lot – Sat/Sun = $22 special event parking (flat fee). 200 Seaport Blvd – 4 entrances one on each side of the block across the street from the Boston Christmas Festival. Friday hourly rates apply
  • 391 Congress St – Friday = $24 Saturday and Sunday = $15 per space
  • SBWTC (South Boston Waterfront Transportation Center) brand new garage – $38 max. Use World Trade Center ramp to walk to Festival

You can also get there by taking the Red Line on the MBTA to South Station and taking the SL 3 (Chelsea) train on the Silver Line to the World Trade Center stop.  The World Trade Center is across the street from the train station on WTC Ave

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Service dogs may be allowed

Website: Boston Christmas Festival

Highlights: gingerbread houses, over 350 vendors, cafe, family friendly activities

Tips: you can buy tickets in advance of the  website, Fridays are usually the least crowded days to visit, there is a coat check available at the event

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After so many Halloween celebrations, the Christmas spirit is in the air.  To kick off the official holiday spirit, the Seaport World Trade Center held their 32nd annual Boston Christmas Festival.

The festival is usually held annually the first weekend of November.  Besides the various vendors, the festival also features a Gingerbread house contest.

This Gingerbread Ship won Most Creative.

This house won the Kid’s Choice award.

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I liked this one best.  It won “Most Tasty.”  You can’t go wrong with that!

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This house won for best decoration.

And, this wintry display won Best In Show.

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Of course, the biggest part of the festival are the shops.  With over 350 vendors, there was something for everyone.

There’s nothing like colorful wreaths and trees to get you into the spirit.

The best time to visit the event, in terms of crowds, is Friday (preferable when it begins at noon time on Friday) or early on Saturday and Sunday, although I have remembered walking past the World Trade Center last year during this festival and seeing people waiting outside to get in before the doors opened.  Many people were either still at work or more interested in getting home on a Friday night.  The festival was actually pretty quiet and I did not have to wait in line to get in.  There was lots of room to roam around during my visit.  These aisles were surely more packed on Saturday and Sunday.

I particularly liked the wooden decorative displays at Wired Primitives.  Based out of Auburn, MA, Wired Primitives uses pine to make these displays.  They are all hand made and each piece is hand drawn and made by Beth, the owner of the company.

Another cute shop was this vendor who makes all of the outer shells of her ornaments out of egg shells.

The ladies at One Simple Chick have some home made wreaths and other holiday items.

We’ll be needing these soon enough.  In fact, I’m pretty sure some of us New Englanders have already used them.

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Kathleen at Holiday House Treasures makes seasonal figurines,

Lynne at  Garden Treasures Designs  makes floral arrangements for weddings as well as arrangements and decorative items for the holidays.

Pauline at Country Snowmen and Friends makes all of her holiday decorations by hand.  Her shop is located in Portsmouth, NH.

These holiday goods are made out of re-purposed or “up purposed” items.

Some of the vendors and shoppers got in the holiday spirit.

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Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like illuminated hats!  I purposefully underexposed this photo (yeah, I did it on purpose, sure let’s go with that) to show off the lights on these hats.

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This vendor was dressed for the season.  He told me he was planning on wearing a different holiday themed suit for each day of the festival.

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I saw so many people dressed with antler headwear and other holiday headwear.  I love the snowman hat in this photo!

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Although it may be too late to attend the festival this year, this annual event occurs every year at the World Trade Center in Boston.  See you there next year!


Dark Arts (Salem, MA)

Dates of Exhibit: Oct. 5-Nov. 4, 2018 (photos taken Oct. 13)

Location: Salem Arts Association, The Bridge at 211: 211 Bridge Street, Salem MA

Cost: Free, donations are appreciated

Hours:

  • Only open during the weekends
  • November / December hours 12:00 – 5:00 PM Saturdays and Sundays

Parking: plentiful after Halloween.  Visitors are encouraged to take public transportation during Halloween.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes, the gallery is handicapped accessible.

Website: Dark Arts At Salem Arts Association

Salem Arts Association

Highlights: art with a “dark theme”

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First, let me wish you all a very Happy Halloween!  To celebrate this special day I thought I would post photos from my recent visit to the “Dark Art” exhibit in, where else, Salem, MA.

Halloween meets art at the aptly named, “Dark Arts” exhibit at the Salem Arts Association building in Salem, MA.

Several artists, chiefly from Salem and other North Shore (the coastal area between Boston and New Hampshire) have their work displayed at the Salem Arts Association 211 Building.

The Salem Arts Association building is tucked away off Bridge St.  So you do have to keep your eyes open for it if you’re passing by.  In fact, I missed it a few times myself before I found the walkway located on the opposite side of the MBTA station.

The works of art vary widely from photographs, watercolors and mixed media among other types of art.  I have not posted them on any order other than the order they were posted in the building.

If you haven’t seen these treasures, you have until Sunday, November 4 to see them!  You can find the hours and directions to the Salem Arts Association in the details above.

At the time that I took these photographs all of the works of art were for sale if you’re interested.

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Daniel Breslin of Salem, MA, earned second place with his work III.  He used encaustic media (a hot wax painting, involves using heated beeswax to which colored pigments are added) and objects on wood to make this art.

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Katherine Miura used oil to paint Ugly Jack.

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Copper Beech is a pastel painting by Janet Schwartz, originally from Westborough, MA.

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Steve Negron, of Lynn, MA, used acrylic to make “Lupe No Longer Enjoyed Hector’s Undivided Attention.”

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RIP Maybe  is a digital photograph by Patricia Dunbar.

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Zenovia Limberakis made Sanctified Ouija Board II.  It is an assemblage.

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Daniel Bresin made Electrux Rectifier (Beast) from encaustic and objects on wood.

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Struck A Nerve  is an encaustic and mixed media work made by Rebecca deVries.

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Rebecca also made Metamorphosis  out of encaustic and mixed media materials.

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You’re Future Told is a paper and wood work of art by Cynthia Mikula Smiszek.

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From left to right are Paul, Merry  and Peter.  They are all mixed media works of art by Lisa Folger.  This work won an Honorable Mention recognition.

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Raven Skullis a piece of jewelry by Kiki Taron Kinney.

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Silent Vigil is a painting by Michelle Briggs.
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Barry Spatz won Honorable Mention for his graphite pencil drawing called Salem Nocturne.

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This photograph of the famous Laurie Cabot was taken by another famous person, David La Chapelle

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Brian Best won an Honorable Mention for his work American Ghoul Doll out of mixed media.

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Halloween Junque Journal is a work of paper by Cynthia Mikula Smiszek. Cynthia won first place for this piece.

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The Treasure Of A Mind is a found assemblage by Martha Bergeron.

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Robert Kolsky made Gothic Sailboat out of mixed media.

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Frank Nagorka used mixed media and assemblage to make Marie Antoinette Barbie.  Frank is originally from Westfield, MA, and currently resides in Lynn, MA.

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The multi talented Lee Ann Rubin created Aftermath out of acrylic and latex on wood.

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Maris Prost created Pyramid out of mixed media.

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Sunrise Shadows is a photograph by Peter Grimshaw.

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The Warning is an acrylic painting by Emily Kwong.

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Emily also painted this watercolor painting, These Violent Delights.

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Jack Walsh of Salem, MA, made October Moon out of glass.

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Lee Ann Rubin also made this acrylic painting called They Come When I Call.

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Sacred Tools III is an acrylic painting by Heather Meri Stewart.

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This tribute to the accused Salem witch Sarah Good who was hanged in 1692 is a pastel painting called You Deserved Better by Janet Schwartz.  Janet placed third with this work of art.

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Another work by Lee Ann Rubin, Everybody Wants To Rule The World is an acrylic painting.

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Robert Kolsky’s Dark Art is an acrylic painting.

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Closer To God is a mixed media and assemblage work of art by deVries.

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Nightmare is an acrylic painting by Maria Prost.

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Mandragora officinalis (diptych) is an acrylic painting by Heather Meri Stewart.

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Dale Lewinski made this print called “Chakra Tree.

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This digital photograph by Patricia Dunbar is called Night Lights.

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Welcome Great Pumpkin is a digital photograph by Patricia Dunbar.

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Pat Chase made this encaustic work called Dark Beauties.

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Karen Hosking won an Honorable Mention recognition for her photograph Midnight At The Gazebo.

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The Green Door is a mixed media work of art by Mary Taddie.

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Heather Meri Stewart made this acrylic painting called Monsanto.

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Celtic Cats is a pen and ink work of art by Sheila Farren Billings.

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Emily Kwong made this watercolor painting called I Had A Dream You Were King In Another Life.

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Wendy Snow-Lang made this work of art Salem’s Black Cat And His Little Red Friend from prismacolor pencil.

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Chris J Lang made the Gourd Goblin out of mixed media on wood.

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Burial Hill is a photograph by James Bostick.

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Death  is another photograph by James Bostick.

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Memento Mori For Edgar Allen Poe (sic) is another photograph by James Bostick.

IMG_0784-2Splitting Headache  is a mixed media work of art by Erin Survalis.

Which work of art is your favorite?  I loved them all.  But, I voted for The Gourd Goblin. I loved the color scheme and the theme of the work.

I did it again.  After vowing to not take too many photos of the costumed visitors in Salem this year, well, that promise lasted about half an hour.   There were just too many cool costumes this year in Salem.

Rather than  posting all of the people in their creative and amazing Halloween costumes in one blog post, I am going to try to post a few of them at the end of my Halloween themed posts.  This means you may have some Halloween themes “left over” posts into November.  I will also probably have to post one with all of the costumed visitors in one post as well.  There are just too many to post in one blog post.  Here are a few of the more cool costumes I have seen in my visits to Salem this month.  And a few dogs too, of course.

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Alvinnn!  And the rest of the chipmunks made it out to Salem.  Look at those tails!

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What a super cute family!

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He didn’t talk much.  But she said it was okay to take their photo.

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Another great looking couple.  I hear he can be a real pain in the neck, though.

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Another cute family!

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Brandon The Shape Shifter always comes up with such cool costumes on Halloween.  I can’t wait to see what he wears today!

While I was looking for cool stuff to photograph, I saw a bunch of police and other law enforcement teams with their dogs.  Claude, a 5 year old Black Lab really stood out to me.

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Look at those big brown eyes on Millie, a 5 year old Chihuahua!

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I will be posting many more photos of Salem during the Halloween season in the upcoming week or weeks.  I hope you all read along!

Just a reminder that you can follow me @new.england.nomad_ on Instagram and New England Nomad on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 


Scarecrow In The Park (Cushman Park, Bernardston, MA)

Dates Of Event: October 19 – 21, 2018 (I attended Oct. 20)

Location: Cushman Park, 19 South St, Bernardston, MA

Cost: Free

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: Scarecrows, parade, vendors

Website: Scarecrow In The Park (Facebook Page)

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Boo!

Now that I have your attention, Salem isn’t the only part of New England that celebrates the Halloween and Fall season.

Last weekend, the Bernardston Kiwanis sponsored the annual Scarecrow In The Park event to raise funds for the scholarship fund.

Among the three day event, the festival included an exhibition of classic cars, a tractor parade and a wood carving demonstration. But, the main attraction for most of the visitors are the scarecrows.

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The scarecrows were made by individual artists or a group of artists. The scarecrow below, which is a tribute to Dr Suess (Theodor Seuss Geisel), a native of nearby Springfield, MA, and thing number 1 and 2 from one of his stories, was created by a local elementary school.

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Another artist with ties to the area, Eric Carle, had a scarecrow dedicated to him. Holding one of his picture books (The Very Hungry Caterpillar), Carle is shown sitting on the ground with other symbols from his book. Although he is not from New England (he is a native of Syracuse, NY and has also lived in Florida among other places), he lived in Northampton, MA, for some time and there is a museum dedicated to him in Amherst, MA.

No, this isn’t your ex or your in-law.

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The scarecrows ran the gamut from the scary (and that could refer to the witch or the objects in the background in the photo above – I find them both to be very frightening)…

..to the humorous like this funny pirate.

But, most of the scarecrows were made for fun and they were all family friendly.

In addition to the scarecrows, there was a Halloween-themed graveyard display with phrases many of us from New England and anywhere else can relate to.

There were lots of vendors at the festival as well. A news article stated they were hoping to attract 60 vendors to the festival. It seemed like there were many more though.

This vendor make their own wares. The gentleman pictured below carves shapes and figures out of wood he finds. He does not plan the shapes ahead of time. He tole me he goes with the shape and feel that it gives him.

Another more popular vendor was the witch hat shop.

This cute wood carving shop was also a popular shop.

Speaking of wood carvings, wood carving exhibits and demonstrations were provided by Laker’s Acres from Orange, MA.

Some of the visitors came in costume. These visitors are actually parade marchers who participated in the tractor parade.

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If you did not wear a costume to the event, there were face painters there to help you get made up for the event.

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The make up artists did a great job on all of the people they worked on.

A parade of tractors (new and older models) drove down South St with parade marchers in tow.

A mad scramble ensued as some of the drivers threw candy to the onlookers. Note to festival planners: try throwing some Starburst next year.

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Across the street from the park, the fire department had some huge pumpkins that seemed to fit into the fall theme of the festival.

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The festival is a dog friendly event and we saw lots of cute dogs.

Pumblechook (named after Mr. Pumblechook from Great Expectations) is a 19 week old Boston Terrier. He is sporting a stylish skull and cross bones sweater.

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Nami is a 3 year old, Redbone Coon Hound and black Lab mix.

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Harley is a 3 year old Puggle.

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The video below shows some of the tractor parade.


2018 Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade

pet Date Of Event: October 13, 2018

Location: Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Derby Wharf, 160 Derby Street, Salem, MA

Highlights: dogs dressed in their “Howl-O-Ween” costumes

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Over 100 pets and their parents made their way to the Salem Maritime National Historic Site at Derby Wharf to show off their Halloween spirit!

The day started off rainy and a little raw.  But, after a half hour or so, the clouds began to diminish and the rain stopped and the weather was perfect for a pet parade.

Since there was such a large turnout, I was not able to get the names and breeds of all of the dogs.  But, I was able to get the names of the cute dogs below.

Tilda, a 14 year old Chihuahua from Salem, was dressed as Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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River is a dog from Boston.

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Eugene from Winthrop is the perfect Bat Dog!

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Look at those guns on Cooper from Malden, MA!

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Sweat Pea from Salem rocked an aviator’s costume.  Eat your heart out, Maverick.

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Oliver, the “Olliesaurus, is a (almost) 2 year old Great Pyrenees, Labrador, American Staffordshire mix.  You can find him on Instagram @ oliverbestdog

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It’s great to see pet parents get into the spirit of things and put on a costume as well. Maura Murphy, of Salem, MA, wore a flamingo costume while her puppy Cody wore a Jimmy Buffet costume.

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Sophia, a 1 and a half year old Australian Shepherd mix, and her dad dressed up as a rocket and astronaut.

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Teddy, in the box and his sibling, both from Chelmsford, MA, dressed up as Fenway Franks.

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Even though I was unable to get their names, I was able to photograph some of the other participants in the parade.  There were over 100 participants.  I did my best to photograph some of them and a few of their parents.

These two looked super!

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In a galaxy far, far away…on second thought it was in Salem, MA…

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They better “catch up” to that dog.

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Frankenstein brought his bride to the contest

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This dog is a natural Chewbacca look alike!

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I never knew Tom was such good friends with referees!

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Dogs weren’t the only pets at the pet parade.

Nova (on the left) is 2.5 years old.  Cosmo (the black rabbit on the right) is a 5 year old rabbit.  They are both Lionhead rabbits.  You can follow them on Instagram @boston_buns (be careful when you’re searching for that name!)

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Fuzzball is a 7 year old rabbit.

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Below is a video of the pet parade that went along Derby St, to the wharf and back to the park at the Maritime historical site.