Summary: Old Sturbridge Village celebrated St Patrick’s in style with dancers, musicians and a few other special events!
Everyone was Irish at the inaugural Celtic Celebration at Old Sturbridge Village. The Celtic Celebration event celebrated Irish culture and history. The event also also included horse carriage rides and animals on the grounds. The babies were especially popular.
The event also showcased some of the cultural aspects of Celtic tradition. Lee (MA) Irish Dance performed a style of dance called Step Dance. People from a variety of age groups, abilities and experience danced to Celtic music. Step dance is a form of dance that is deeply rooted in Irish tradition. As you can see in the photos below, the dancers incorporate a stiff upper body with fast and precise movements of the feet. The dancers kept their vision at eye level (likely ignoring or trying to not notice their friends and family who were intently watching them) and exhibited a serious manner. The dancers dressed in an array of colorful, glitzy apparel. They even added sparkly accessories to their footwear. Their abilities as well as their poise and concentration were all very impressive
In addition to the dancers there was also Celtic music performed by a skilled harper.
Celtic Harpist Cate Mahoney performed Celtic songs. It was amazing watching her make such beautiful music with such ease. Just to show how difficult and taxing it id on her fingers to make this music, you may notice a white bottle on the ground of the second photo. Between songs, Cate would have to use talc on her fingers. Her music, which you can hear in the video below, was very soothing and pleasing.
There were other family friendly events such as dipping candles, a bagpiper performing and readings from Celtic literature. Or, you could just walk around and take in all of the Irish culture in the air and be Irish for at least one day!
Location: Hampton Beach, 169 Ocean Blvd, Hampton, NH
Parking: Metered parking is available at Hampton Beach. Since this is a popular event, parking is also available at various lots usually for $20 for the day during this event, although prices fluctuate based on the time of day and parking availability
Summary: Sand sculptors from all over the globe competed for the Hampton Beach Sand Sculpting grand prize
It may seem strange to talk to about sand sculptures and the beach during October. But, what better way to feel warm and cozy during these colder days than looking back to this annual summer event.
The theme for this year’s sand sculpture event, which began in 2000, was “The Greatest Show On Earth.” All of the competitors contributed to sculpting the main sculptures for this theme.
I made two visits to the beach to view the sand sculptures which may explain the difference in light and shade in the photos.
I am posting the photos in the order they were located on the beach and including info about each sculpture whenever background details were available..
“Transition” – Rusty Croft (Carmel, CA)
As is evident by the gravestone like sculpture, this sculpture is a tribute to a loved one who has “transitioned.” This sculpture placed 4th in the competition. As I was photographing these works of art I found it
“Primal” – Chris Guinto (Captain Cook, HI)
Chris, originally from Florida but currently residing in Hawaii, is no stranger to the competition or to winning awards. He won the Sculptor’s Choice Award in 2021.
He described his dinosaur skeleton (or as he called it “spineasaurus”) coming to life. As you will see as a common feature of these sculptures, the attention to detail is incredible.
“I Am Life” – Melineige Beauregard (Hawaii)
1st Prize and People’s Choice
Melineige, who won the competition in 2017, repeated her standard of excellence with “I Am Life” bringing home first place.
She said the sculpture was based on the “flower of life” design that is present in all of nature and life. According to Melineige, this pattern connects us all through flowers and nature. The front side represents the “flower of life” while the back side represents the death and destruction that is also present in our lives.
“Knowledge Is Limited. Imagination Encircles The World” – John Gowdy (Italy/New Jersey)
This sculpture, based on a quote by Albert Einstein, uses symbols like books, an owl and pen and paper to show the different ways to express knowledge. Again, the attention to detail is amazing.
“Wyvern Whisperer” – Greg Grady (Derry, NH)
Governor’s Choice Award
Grady, another regular competitor and founder of the sand sculpture event, said the inspiration for the sand sculpture the Wyvern (pronounced (why-vurn) Whisperer was his son. His son asked him to make a dragon and they settled on a two legged dragon (wyverns are 2 legged dinosaurs) and he modeled the smaller figure on his son who likes to play “super hero.”
“Linked” – Bruce Phillips (San Diego, CA)
Bruce, from San Diego, CA, said his sculpture represents people and working together.
“Trolls” – Karen Fralich (Ontario, Canada)
The meaning of this sculpture seems straight forward. Troll-like figures hug, offer treasures and act friendly to the crowned figure while they attempt to stab and mock him to his back
“Entropy” – Carl Jara (Lyndhurst, OH)
“Entropy”, in short a randomness or disorder in the system, certainly does show a disorder and randomness. Jara’s sculpture placed 3rd in the event.
“Let There Be Peace On Earth And Let It Begin With Me” – Justin Gordon (Groveland, MA)
“Hierarchy Of Needs” – Abe Waterman (Prince Edward Island, Canada)
Unfortunately, Abe’s sand sculpture collapsed due to weather conditions. So, a photograph of the sculpture was put in its place.
The sand sculptures are usually kept up for a week (in this case until June 26). The sculptures are also lit up for night viewing.
There are a lot more ladies these days in Salem, MA. Well, at least 26 more.
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the artful Lady Of Salem the 26 ladies, shaped in the design of figureheads are displayed throughout the downtown area, They celebrate the “Golden Age Of Sail.”
So what is a figurehead and what do they symbolize? Figureheads are used to identify the ship in a non-literate society. They are carved from wood and placed at the bow of the ship. Figureheads were often thought to ward off evil spirits and give the crew good fortune. Since they are located at the front of the ship, they were considered the “eyes of the ship” and they were said to guide the captain and crew into safe harbor. Unlike the figureheads you will find on ships, these Ladies are 33’ tall and made out of light weight polyurethane foam molded form
Most of the Ladies can be found on light posts and on storefronts on Essex St. Only 3 of the 26 figureheads are located off Essex St
I am posting the Ladies in the order they are listed on the website listed above with the name of the artist and a little info about each one and information about what the figurehead may represent
Depending on where you are coming from, it may not be the best or easiest way for you to access them. There is no real order to view. View them at your leisure and convenience! One figurehead is located in the Old Salem Town Hall (better known for being one of the filming locations of Hocus Pocus).
At the bottom of the post I have included a map and list of the where the figureheads are located.
1 “DIY Shipbuilding Lady” – Keri May Killam
231 Essex St/Washington St (near Rockafellas)
As you will see in some of the other figureheads, some of the figureheads have themes and names, often based on the sponsor or artist of the figurehead. Since The Home Depot sponsored this figurehead you may noticed hardware related items on the board of the figurehead. The figurehead is also a nod to the “do it yourself” craftsmanship involved in building these vessels the figureheads were attached to. In colonial and post-colonial times, the East Coast had an abundant supply of Eastern Red-cedar, White Pine and a variety of Spruce and Oak trees which were used to build the vessels of Salem and the surrounding areas.
2 “West India Trade Lady” – YMCA Girls Today
228 Essex St
This figurehead is a symbol of the trade which existed in Salem in the Revolutionary and post Revolutionary times. Salem, at the time, was considered a hub for trade. In fact, arguably the first known millionaire in the United States was a merchant named Elias Hasket Derby, a merchant who made much of his money through trade. Ships would travel from Salem to the West Indies (Caribbean Islands), Barbados, and Jamaica with a cargo of dried codfish, haddock, mackerel, lumber, bay berry candles, and occasionally cows. They traded with the islanders for molasses, sugar, cotton, rum and slaves who were bought to work as field hands and domestics.
On a sad note, at least 18 Salem vessels were known to have transported slaves from Africa to America and the Caribbean
3 “Mermaid Lady” – Jeanne Pare Muse
230 Essex St
Evident by the various jewels, grass and the tail shape on the board, this figurehead has both the shape of a mermaid and the jewels you would find at the sponsor of the figurehead (Treasures Over Time). Mermaids were said to snare sailors with their beautiful appearance and even more beautiful voices. They were said to serenade sailors, eventually dragging them down to the bottom of the ocean
4 “Day Of The Dead Lady” Cynthia Mikula Smiszek
213 Essex St (near Wicked Good Books)
A tribute to the Day Of The Dead holiday, this figurehead displays not only the face painting that is associated with the day, it also has related symbols on the board. It is also a stark reminder of the risks of life at sea. In 1738 alone, over 400 people from Salem had died at sea because of disease, drowning, cannibalism and other dangers of life at sea.
5. “West India Trade Lady” – Shelia Farren Billings
215 Essex St
Believe it or not, at one time after the the Revolutionary War, there were almost 50 wharves. While many of the cargo of these vessels included rum, cotton, sugar and fish, some ships also brought slaves from Africa and the Caribbean. In the 1800s, Salem’s population of 10,000 included 200 African descendants.
6 “Philanthropic Lady” – Shelia Farren Billings
216 Essex St
This figurehead is a tribute to Captain John Bertram who was one of Salem’s wealthiest residents and philanthropist. In addition to being involved in the sea trade, he also managed several railroads and made his riches in the California Gold Rush. He helped fund Salem Hospital (1873), the home for Aged Men, the home for Aged Women and the Children’s Friend Society. Some of these organizations are still active today.
7 “Salem Museum Lady” – Mary Ellen Smiley
Inside the Old Town Hall vestibule (32 Derby Square)
Salem is known for its museums and landmarks. So it comes to no surprise there would be a figurehead bearing that name. The Town Hall where this figurehead is located may be best known for being one of the filming locations for the first Hocus Pocus movie. It was designed by the famous architect Charles Bulfinch. It is the earliest surviving municipal structure in Salem, MA, dating back to 1816 or 1817.
Although I could not gain entry to photograph this figurehead, I was able to copy and paste this photo I took of it in 2018
8 “Lady of Means” – Karen La Mesa/Tina Armstrong
210 Essex St
This figurehead has a connection to the sponsor Salem Five. But the coins which are evident along the board are also a reminder of the substantial trade Salem made with other countries and the origin of the sponsor of this figurehead
. As a result of the large sums of money generated from the overseas trade, particularly China, the Federalist Party decided to create banks in order to protect their investments. The original banks were named Salem Bank and Old Essex Bank. Eventually, the Nickel Bank (now named Salem Five) was established in 1855.
9 “Lady Hospitality” – Judith Pabich
209 Essex St
The Salem Inn, the sponsor of this figurehead, was established in 1834. This figurehead is a tribute to the Inn and the hospitality of the area.
10 “Sea Shell Lady” – Mary Ellen Halliwell
195 Essex St (taken down for maintenance)
Sailors were said to send “Sailor’s Valentines” to loved ones. The shells that were used to adorn the octagonal hinged wooden boxes can be seen on the board of this figurehead. In realty, historians now believe these boxes were made by women on the West Indian Island of Barbados and purchased by men while they were in port. Caribbean shells imported from Indonesia were used to make these elaborate heart shaped designs and patterns.
This figurehead exhibits the importance of trade between China and Asia. In 1784 Elias Hasket Derby sent his ship “Grand Turk” to Canton, China with a cargo of tobacco, fish oil, sugar and earthenware. In return, the “Grand Turk” brought back furniture, silk, nankeen cloth and porcelain.
12 Quaker Lady” – Kenneth Glover
190 Essex St
In addition to settling in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Quakers also settled in Salem, MA. The Quakers, who were also known as “The Society of Friends”, controlled shipping and trade on both sides of the Atlantic during the 1770s. There is also a connection to the witch hysteria which would plague Salem years later. One story claims that in 1656, two Quakers were found on a ship landing in Salem. After the town fathers inspected them for “Witch Marks” and none were found they were swiftly deported.
13 “I Am No Witch” – Kenneth Glover
137 Essex St (Armory Park)
This figurehead is a tribute to Lady Bridget Bishop by Kenneth Glover. After being missing for some time, it is now located in front of the Salem Armory Visitor Center on Essex Street. Bridget Bishop was a tavern keeper who was executed in 1692 during the Salem Witch Trials. The name of the figurehead is taken from a direct quote from Bridget Bishop refuting the charges of witchcraft against her.
14 ”Ladies of Good Fortune” – Lady Shalimar
188 Essex St
15 182 Essex St
Located near some of the psychics and palmists, these figureheads are a reminder of the superstitions and predictors of the risks at sea. Sailors avoided sailing on Fridays, they boarded with their right foot and having women on board was considered “bad luck.” This lady in these different different dresses appears to be a “reader” or someone who could predict some of these risks.
16 “Sailor Lady: Life at Sea” – Palmer’s Cove Yacht Club, John Devine
181 Essex St
A sailors job was never done. Traveling along the seas was risky hard work. From raising masts to defending from other sailors or pirates, there were many tasks and risks on the job. The Palmer’s Cove Yacht Club is sure to have experienced some of these tasks and risks, minus the pirates.
17 “Merchant Lady MaryKate” – MaryKate Ross
181 Essex St (Witch Tees storefront window)
This figurehead, appropriately placed inside a storefront, is a tribute to the merchants of Salem, specifically John Cabot and Elias Hasket Derby, who are attributed with launching Salem’s “Golden Age Of Sail” with their vessel “The Buccaneer” in 1783. Cabot and Hasket sailed to several Baltic ports and are said to be the first ship to trade with the Russian empire in St Petersburg. Through this risky trade that others were afraid to make, they made huge profit margins
18 “Lady Wendlyn” – The Torch Club
181 Essex St
This figurehead is meant to show the diversity of both the diversity of the people of the area as well as the diversity of the ancestors of the area. Despite our differences, we are all “Irish, Dominican, Panamanian, Haitian, English and Danish” according to the Torch Club
19 “Deep Blue Mystery Girl” – Bates Elementary School, 5th Grade Art Class
176 Essex St
The Deep Blue Mystery Girl, was made by the Bates Elementary School 5th grade class. I’m sure with a little help from their teacher. The figurehead is an homage to the seas and more accurately the sea monsters that were once thought to inhabit the waters the sailors sailed in. Bass and other fish became a major source of food and trade for these sailors. Not only did sailors see whales, a variety of fish and maybe even a few monsters. Of course some of the monsters they saw were often times just sharks, octopus and other sea critters. Some of them at least.
20 “Lady Liberty” – Nicko Papadimitrion
Witch City Mall entrance (186-3 Essex St)
Fittingly, the figurehead for “Lady Liberty” depicts the Statue Of Liberty with an I love Pizza shirt. If you look closely at the board of the figurehead you may see a popular landmark of NY as well as a plane flying an advertisement for the pizzeria. If you look closely at the building, you may also see a famous movie character near the building. New York was, and still is, an important hub for trade and tourism. And I’m sure many of the ships from the 18th and 19th century had figureheads on them.
21 “Grog Shoppe Lady” – Sheila Farren Billings
Village Tavern (168 Essex St)
Located above the entrance to the Village Tavern the Grog Shoppe Lady figurehead is a reference to the Grog, an alcoholic beverage originally made from water and rum. I know what you’re thinking. “Yum!” Taverns, as you can imagine, were a staple of most ports where Grog was served. The draft taps along the board of the figurehead is a fitting representation of the Village Tavern, the sponsor of the figurehead. And, no, I don’t think they serve Grog.
22 “Banking and Commerce Lady” – Amberlyn Narvie
168 Essex St (near fountain)
The “Banking and Commerce Lady” is representative of the Pierce & Waite Mercantile firm. Aaron Waite and Jerathmiel Peirce were the owners of the original Friendship vessel, a replica of which you can usually find docked at Derby Wharf. The coins placed upon the board are no doubt a tribute to the riches both men made as well as to the Beverly Cooperative Bank, the sponsor of the figurehead.
23 “Naumkeag Woman” – Dori Phillips
168 Essex St
Before it was known as Salem, it was known as “Naumkeag” (“still water dividing the bay” or “the fishing grounds”). Naumkeag also refers to an independent tribe in the Massachusetts confederacy of tribes. There are also some herbs or spices scattered along the board of the figurehead, certainly a tip of the hat to the sponsor of the figurehead (Scratch Kitchen).
This figurehead is a throwback to when figureheads from the early 1800s and earlier were often carved from wood and placed at the bow of the ship. As you may notice, these figureheads, sometimes weighing over several tons, were heavy and would slow down the ships. So ship builders and their crews would opt for smaller, lighter figureheads.
25 East India Peacock Lady – Jeanne Pare Muse
In front of Peabody Essex Museum (161 Essex St)
If you look closely at this figurehead you may notice peacock feathers on the board and jewels on the lady.
Captains of ship boats in the early 1800s were expected to donate curious items they found during their trading expeditions. Some of these “curiosities” were shrunken heads, nose flutes, jewels and exotic shells. While I do see some exotic items on the lady, I think she left her shrunken heads at home.
Peacocks often roamed the country side of India, one of our trade partners at the time. In fact, they were so common and majestic they became the nation’s official bird. The peacock is associated with the Hindu God, Lakshmi, symbolizing patience. kindness, compassion and good luck
26 “Scarlet Letter Lady of Salem” – Jeanne Pare Muse
155 Derby St
One of Salem’s most famous residents was a writer you may have heard of. But, Nathaniel Hawthorne was not only a prolific writer. He was also a surveyor of revenue at the Custom House in Salem. This particular figurehead is a tribute to one of his greatest works.
These figureheads are going to be up until the middle of October. And, don’t forget to vote for your favorite figurehead at their Facebook page
Dogs also like the figureheads. I found this cute dog with some very big ears during my visit to the figureheads.
I would like to thank the Lady Of Salem Maritime Exhibition organizers for all their help, especially by providing photos of a few figureheads I could not find on my own and providing me with answers and info regarding this exhibit.
Salem’s known for a lot of things. But, sweet isn’t usually one of the words that come to mind. However, sweet has become an annual theme in Salem.
The 17th annual Salem’s So Sweet event kicks off with a wine and chocolate tasting gala Friday, Feb. 8. The sculptures were placed at different historical places and businesses throughout the city of Salem.
I figured today would be the perfect day to post about this sweet event, especially since some of the sculptures have a romantic theme.
I am showing the ice sculptures in the event in the same order they are listed on the attached map. I tried to photograph them all when they were lit up. But there were a few I was not able to photograph at night. There is a big difference in the way the sculptures when they are lit up. I plan on photographing them only at night in the future because of this difference.
You might think that since I frequent Salem I have dined at many of their establishments. You’d be wrong. In fact, I have only been to a few restaurants there (I used to like Victoria’s Station). I also liked Murphy’s Pub & Grill which has also closed and is becoming a “tequila bar.” In A Pig’s Eye was a pretty good restaurant too. I’m sensing a trend here. Maybe it’s best I don’t eat at the restaurants there. I may be a curse. But, I’m not much of a “foodie” or eater in general (although when I do eat, I eat my whole plate and then some). I would much rather be taking photographs than eating and I always think I may miss some cool photo opportunities while I’m eating which would really bother me. Besides, I just don’t get very hungry when I’m out in the field. I’m too focused on my job. I rarely eat at all when I go out on shoots. I have heard good things about some of the places in Salem though.
This sculpture of Cupid was located at Adriatic Restaurant and Bar on Washington St (I haven’t eaten there yet so they’re safe from my “curse”). I especially like how the lighting in the city complemented the lighting from the sculpture.
I actually missed two sculptures during my initial visit to Salem. Actually my camera batteries died (the cold weather affects camera batteries dramatically). So, I grabbed this photo the next morning. This sculpture of wine glasses was located at Stella’s Wine And Bar I especially like the subtle little details in the sculptures. Are those fangs or claws in the wine glasses?
This Mary Poppins sculpture had lights that changed colors. This sculpture was located near the Trolley Depot on Essex St.
This dove was located near the entrance to the Witch City Mall on Essex Pedestrian Walkway.
This “I Found My Heart In Salem” sculpture of the Tin Man was located at the Salem Witch Museum. This seems to be a theme with the Witch Museum. Last year they had a sculpture of Dorothy’s shoes with the phrase “There’s No Place Like Salem.”
This sculpture of a baker, which was the only sculpture that didn’t light up, was located at Coffee Time Bake Shop on Bridge St.
This sculpture was located next to Bunghole Liquors. Hey I didn’t name the place. The sign for the store is probably one of the most photographed places in all of Salem. Of course this is actually a term used with wooden barrels. But it has a much different meaning for some other people apparently.
“Candy” which was located across the street from the Ye Olde Pepper Companie. There was actual candy in the dishes to the right and left of the vase.
Dogs loved the ice sculptures also. Sophie, a 5 month old mixed breed dog, had a fun time looking for the sculptures.
You can view the sculptures from the 2018 Salem’s So Sweet celebration here