Tag Archives: Massachusetts

Christmas By Candlelight 2022 (Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, MA)

Date Of Event: December 17, 2022

Location: Old Sturbridge Village, 29 Stallion Hill Road, Sturbridge, MA

Hours: Held annually, November 25, 26, 27, and December 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 27, 28, 29, and 30. Christmas by Candlelight runs from 2:00 – 8:00 pm.

Cost: $32 for adults and $16 for youth (4-17)

Parking: Free ample parking is available on site

Summary Houses are decorated in traditional style while period style actors bake, make ornaments, play musical instruments of the day and tell stories of days of yore.

Website: https://www.osv.org/event/christmas-by-candlelight-2022/

Have you ever wondered how some of the earlier settlers of New England celebrated the holidays? Then Old Sturbridge Village has just the thing for you.

Luckily, you can see see an accurate display of how New Englanders celebrated Christmas during the 1830s, 1850s and 1870s (except for bonuses like having indoor plumbing and electricity in homes and other modern day comforts) at their Christmas By Candlelight event. One of the biggest attractions is the Center Meeting House, especially during the evening.

The Center Meeting house was used for meetings, elections and sermons. During my visit they were playing music at the Meeting House.

Many other homes were also decorated for the event.

Everything from the furniture and the way the curtains were hung was true to that era, Even the character actors were dressed in clothing of that time.

This worker at Sturbridge was making stockings

As the light was waning and I didn’t want to use a flash in this environment, even though it would have helped bring out some of the features of the people and the settings, I used a prime lens with a low aperture so I could photograph in the low light conditions.

There were also people making decorations, knitting hats and baking holiday treats

There were also musicians performing traditional holiday music

As the sun set on Sturbridge Village, I was able to capture

In case you got cold, there were open fires for people to warm up

Sturbridge Village also showcased acres of lights and decorations

But not all of the lights were on trees and houses. Visitors also wore festive lights to get in the spirit of the event!

Each year Sturbridge Village holds a gingerbread home contest. They have showcased some incredible works in the past and this year was no different. It was a nice way to end the visit


Creepy Clown & Devil’s Chase Race 2022

Date Of Event: October 22, 2022

Location: Salem, MA

Clowns, devils and zombies oh my! These were just a few of the costumes people wore to the annual Creepy Clown and Devil’s Chase road race at Salem Willows last weekend.

Over 1,000 runners participated in the annual race. All participants were given these cool medals while the top performers were given additional awards,

The clowns started their 3.33 mile race first. While costumes were not required, they were encouraged.

One of the things I noticed is how many runners were smiling and having fun while they were running. As a runner I can say I don’t recall smiling or enjoying myself while running. Who knew running could be so much fun

Living up to the name of the race, some of the devils were dressed to scare for their 6.66 mile race!

Not all of the costumes were scary though. For instance, there were these cute participants

The spectators also dressed up and rooted for their favorite runners.

There were also some inspiring participants in the race this year.

Team Hoyt ran in the event

And a visually impaired runner also completed the race


Stanley Park Braille Trail (Stanley Park, Westfield, MA)

Date Of Visit: July 4, 2021

Location: Stanley Park, 400 Western Ave, Westfield, MA (about 2 hours west of Boston, MA and 1 hour northwest of Hartford, CT)

Hours:

Official Season: Stanley Park is open to the public (7 days a week) from 7:00 am until dusk daily (1/2 hour before sunset) until the last Sunday in November. Upon entrance, please note gate closing times.

Off-Season: Gate 1, across from Westfield State University’s Woodward Center, is open year-round from 7:00 am until dusk daily, weather permitting. Upon entrance, please note gate closing times.

Cost: Free

Parking: There are several free parking lots at Stanley Park, The main parking lots are located off Western Ave

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Summary: A braille trail has been installed at Stanley Park

Many of us have heard of “rail trails” (formerly use railroad tracks transformed into hiking trails). But, few of us may have heard of a Braille Trail.

As we progress and develop a more universally accessible society, most parks and attractions are making efforts to ensure their trails and buildings are more accessible for all. Stanley Park is no different, Enter the Braille Trail at Stanley Park.

The Braille Trail at Stanley Park in Westfield, MA, was built and designed by Scout Jeremy T Trottier of Troop 821 as part of his Eagle Scout project. Jeremy, 15 at the time he began this project, has always wanted to become an Eagle Scout and he had been working hard to reach that goal. Besides, it’s in his blood. Jeremy’s father and uncle are both Eagle Scouts.

The trail, which is meant to give the visually impaired an enhanced experience at the trail, is located at a serene, shaded, usually quiet area of the park where a lot of the wildlife is active. The sounds of nature and wildlife are meant to enhance the experience for the visually impaired.

The 300 foot path is connected by a series of 3 wooden stations attached by a rope with placards containing information about the trail and park in braille and print.

There is also a bench at the end (or beginning) of the trail.

Jeremy fund raised to generate the $1,700 to pay for the plaques and other materials to create the trail; It was completed and officially dedicated September 9, 2017

In case you’re wondering, yes, Jeremy realized his dream when he was officially awarded Eagle Scout on January 13, 2018.


El Corazón/The Heart of Holyoke (Holyoke, MA)

Date Of Visit: August 13, 2022

Location: Holyoke, MA

Hours: The murals are accessible everyday

Cost: Free

Parking: Street parking is available throughout the city (mostly on Main St, High St, Clemente St and Hamilton St)

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Summary: 10 murals and a variety of other art displays are located throughout the Holyoke area

Website: https://www.exploreholyoke.com/guide/beyond-walls-tour-holyoke-2022/

El corazón de Holyoke está vivo con murales. The heart of Holyoke is alive with murals.

Sponsored by the Nueva Esperanza, Inc in cooperation with Beyond Walls, the new murals in Holyoke, MA, named “El Corazon are meant to both give a voice to the artists in the neighborhood as well as give a glimpse into the culture of the community.

While most of the murals are clustered together on or near Main St, Clemente St and Hamilton St you will have to either walk quite a ways or drive to a few of the far flung destinations on High St. I wanted to take in the environment and experience the area. So I parked on Main St and walked to all of the murals. They were pretty easy to find.

All of the murals posted below are on the website attached above. I am including the murals in the order I visited them.

Collaborative Mural by Repoe 9 + Teck 3%

 341 Main St

“Iguana Boina” (Iguana Beret) by Rafique

363 Main St

“Ojitos Lindos” (Cute Little Eyes) by Bikismo 

387 Main St

“Yagrumo” by Vero Rivera

398 Main St

Transition of the Ancestors by Frankie Borrero

401 Main St

“La Danza” by David Zayas

57 Hamilton St

“Father And Baby Moose” by Bordalo II

44 Clemente St

If you look closely, you may notice the mixed media used to make this mural

“Seguimos Tostando” by Golden305, Bikismo + 305Ange

453 High St

“Tun Cutum PÁ” by Don Rimx

147 High St

I also found some other art in my travels around Holyoke


Scallop Roll (Plymouth, MA)

Dates of Visit: August 25, 2021 and August 21, 2022

Locations: Throughout Plymouth, MA (45 minutes southeast of Boston, MA or 1 hour east of Providence, RI)

Hours: Accessible 24 hours a day

Cost: Free

Parking: There is metered street parking and parking lots located throughout the city

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: https://plymouthchamber.com/calendar-events/public-art-display/

Summary: 29 Painted scallop shaped works of art are located throughout the city of Plymouth, MA

Plymouth is well known for their scallops. But, not the ones you’re thinking of.

No, these 4 foot tall fiberglass scallops are not edible. The scallops in Plymouth aren’t that big!

These appetizing works of art can be found throughout the city of Plymouth, MA. But, the majority of them are located on Water St or in the nearby side streets of Water St

You may notice 1620 written prominently on some of the scallops. This represents both the year Plymouth was settled as a colony and, of course, the 400 year anniversary of the settling which the city celebrated 2 years ago.

The scallops are not numbered and there is no suggested order to view them. So, I will post the photos in the order they are listed on the map in the attached website (they are listed in alphabetical order and not by location). However, I would not look for them in that order. In fact, I did not. I began my search with the scallop at the Gallop The Scallop scallop located at the Plimoth Grist Mill which is last on the list. You will also have to drive to get to some of these scallops.

The Scallop Roll should not be confused with the Lobster Roll which I posted about a few years ago (https://newenglandnomad2015.com/2016/10/18/plymouth-lobster-crawl-plymouth-ma/). Is it just me or is anyone else getting hungry? So, before you all get a snack and stop reading this, let’s get started on the search for scallops.

#takepride

A Community Inspired By Nature

By Land Sea And Air

Captain Scally K Shellington

Destination Plymouth!

Gishelle

Great White

Hawk’s Nest

Hope

It Takes A Village

Look & Sea What Develops

New World Bounty

Perserverance

Plymouth Harbor

Protect-US

Quadricentenni-shell

Rockshelle

Saquish Days

Scallop Johanansson

Scallopini

Seas & Greetings

Seamore

Sea Shell

Shelldon

Shellebrate Life

Shirley Shell Of Shirley Square

Star Maize

The World Is Your Scallop Enjoy Life

Gallop Scallop


Breathe Life Together (Boston, MA)

Date Of Visit: July 16, 2022

Location: Dewey Square, Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston, MA (1 hour and 10 mins southeast of Concord, NH and 1 hour northeast of Providence, RI)

Cost: Free

Parking: Metered street parking is available. There are also several parking garages in the area. Visitors can also access the mural by taking the redline or commuter rail to the South Station train stop.

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: https://www.rosekennedygreenway.org/problak

Summary: A new mural, “Breathe Life Together”, adorns a building at the Dewey Square section of the Rose Kennedy Greenway

Boom boxes and track suits have made a come back. At least they have at the mural at Dewey Square on the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

The mural, made with acrylic and aerosolized paints, the mural is meant to “honor and ask you to join the conversation about the past, present, and future of our communities in Boston, reminding us what we can do together” according to artist Rob “Problak” Gibbs.

A native of Roxbury, MA (Boston, MA), Gibbs uses graffiti to chronicle and immortalize the culture and history of the “Golden Age of hip hop.” Rob considers graffiti to be a form of hieroglyphs as well as a way to document and pay homage to underserved, underheard communities in the city.

Literally and figuratively rising from the grass, the young girl in the mural is a reminder of the past and our future.

The mural is located across from the South Station MBTA train stop on the red line. It is expected to remain there until the spring of 2023 when a new mural will be painted.


The Blue Trees (Salem, MA)

Date Of Visit: August 23, 2022

Location: Salem, MA

Cost: Free

Parking: street parking and garage parking is available near the exhibit

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Summary: The Blue Trees, an outdoor art exhibit, is adding some color to the streets of Salem, MA

If you have been seeing blue trees in the Salem (MA) area, don’t buy new glasses or make an appointment to see your eye doctor. You’re not seeing things. The trees in Salem have turned blue. At least some of them have.

The Blue Trees exhibit is the brainchild of Konstantin Dimopoulos, a conceptual and social artist originally from Port Said, Egypt. The Blue Trees are meant to draw attention to the deforestation happening around the globe. The environmentally safe watercolor used on the trees is temporary and is harmless to the trees, surrounding environment, people, waterways and wildlife. It will be washed away with the rain and other weather conditions. There are currently 27 places to see these blue trees including Houston, Sacramento, Vancouver, Singapore, Germany, Australia and, of course, Salem.

The trees were painted in time for Earth Day of this year and I was fortunate enough to see one of the painters at work.

The trees, which are part of the Peabody Essex Museum’s exhibit, can be found by the museum on Essex St.


2021 Devil’s Dash/Creepy Clown Race (Salem, MA)

Date Of Event: October 23, 2021

Location: Fort Ave, Salem, MA

Summary: Runners from all over the region competed in the 6.66 mile Devil’s Dash or the 3.33 mile Creepy Clown race.

It’s that time of the year again in Salem, MA.

Devils, clowns and other scary characters came together in Salem MA last weekend to compete in the Devil’s Dash/Creepy Clown race.

The race started with the Creepy Clown 3.33 mile race. The Devil’s Dash race started shortly after the clowns race began. The Devil’s Dash was a hellish 6.66 miles. Although it wasn’t required, participants were, of course, encouraged to wear a costume. And many of the runners got into the spirit of the event!

I’m still confounded how people can smile while they’re running. That, to me, is the truly creepy part of the race.

People of all ages could participate in the race. But, the little runners are always the most fun to photograph

It’s also fun to see families or groups of people running together. I was lucky to see some

The race wasn’t just for people. Pets could also participate in the race. Or, they could root on their favorite runners.

Although the race was a rimed event with standings, all of the participants were winners in my book. In fact, all of the participants walked (or ran) away with a medal for their efforts.


2021 Salem Zombie Walk (Salem, MA)

Date Of Event: October 2, 2021 (held annually the first weekend of October)

Location: Salem, MA (about 45 mins northeast of Boston, MA and 1 hour southeast of Concord, NH)

Summary: An assortment of zombies, mad scientists and other costumed revelers roamed the streets of Salem, MA in the annual Salem Zombie Walk

The annual Salem Zombie Walk in Salem, MA, has quickly become one of the most popular events in October.

There were young zombies, which are both the creepiest and cutest for me to see!

Zombie families (one of my favorites)

A zombie dog

and whatever this lady is holding

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Although the event is called the “zombie walk”, there weren’t just zombies at the event. There were werewolves and mad doctors among other spooky characters

The zombies began their walk at Salem Commons in Washington Square. They continued throughout the heart of downtown Salem, shrieking, gyrating and moaning the entire way.

It’s always nice to see familiar, friendly faces at these events. Throughout the years, I have attended and posted blogs about the past few zombie walks and I often see familiar faces there. This zombie is a regular at the yearly events and he always has a monster with him. I hope to see him and all the other zombies next year!


Daffodils At Tower Hill (Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston, MA)

Date Of Visit: April 25, 2021

Location: Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston, MA (about an hour northwest of Boston, MA or 1 hour north of Providence, RI)

Hours: Open Daily, 10am–5pm (Tower Hill is closed on Thanksgiving, December 24, December 25, December 31, and January 1)

Cost: (all tickets must be purchased online at their website for a specific timed entry but visitors can stay as late as they wish)

Members: FREE (must reserve ticket)
Adults: $16
Seniors (65+): $11
Youth (6-18): $6
Children 5 and under: Free (must reserve ticket)

Dogs $7 (dogs are not allowed in the Yarnstorm grounds but there are trails they are allowed on)

Parking: there are about 100 plus free parking spots

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes (dogs are not at Yarnstorm, but dogs are only allowed on the trails outside of the garden)

Summary: 40 artists knitted a variety of designs in the garden areas of Tower Hill Botanic Garden

Website: https://www.towerhillbg.org/

Every year, daffodils become the centerpiece of the gardens at the Tower Hill Botanic Garden as well as the rest of New England,. And this year was no different. According to their website, the peak time of the daffodils is the 3rs week of April until the first week of May. So, I chose the last week of April to visit.

Unfortunately, it was raining during my visit. The rain did let up a bit during my visit. But it did rain during my entire visit. And the rain did make for some pretty photo opportunities with the droplets on the flowers.

Ironically, it wasn’t the daffodils that stood out the most. It was the tulips that really caught my eye.

The decor of the gardens at Tower Hill Help to accentuate the beauty of the flowers.

Unfortunately, I could not stay long due to the rain and the difficulty taking photos while I tried to keep my camera dry. But I did my best to capture the beauty there as best I could. But daffodils will be there again next year and so will i!