Monday, October 31, 2011

Giant Pumpkins of River Street

Every year our neighbor, John Carr, somehow manages to obtain some HUGE pumpkins, which he carves into giant jack-o-lanterns.  This event is such a popular one that the city of Salem closes off River St. to automobile traffic because so many people come to gawk at this awesome sight.

This is the largest ever, at 1,200 pounds, that has ever graced River St.  It is, in addition to being so very large, also quite handsome.

Everyone thinks John would use some kind of high-tech tools, but here you see him with his big spoon (for scooping out seeds and goop) and his knife -- the sum total of his tools for making this delightful creations.

John sits before his pumpkins seeking inspiration, but here it looks like he is getting some telephone advice as well.

John and his wife Carol have a beautiful city-style garden.  I love how he has used flower pots to surround the carvings.

I hope you enjoy this look at the in-progress Giant Jack-o-Lanterns of River Street, and that you have the chance to walk by tonight or tomorrow night to see them for yourself.  River St. is off Beckford St., which crosses Federal Street in the McIntire District of #SalemMa.


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Winners of the Hawthorne Hotel Annual Halloween Costume Ball

Every year my most-awaited blog post is this one -- the one with all of the winners of our annual costume ball.  So, without further delay, here it is:

Best Individual or Couple

First Place:  Demented Doll Maker and His Doll

Second Place:  Phoenician Couple

Third Place:  The Fairy and the Gnome

Best Individual Finalists:

Edward Scissorhands
Tooth Fairy
Marie Antoinette
Queen of Hearts
Charmin Paper Roll
Colonial Ghosts

Best Theme of the Ball -- Decades of Dance/Saturday Fright Fever

First Place:  Disco Ball

 Second Place:  Carrie and Her Prom Date

Third Place:  Black and White Swans

Disco Chicken and Muscle
Swinging Corpses

Best Group:
 First Place: Johnny Depp Group -- Jack Sparrow,  Sweeny Todd, Edward Scissorhands and The Mad Hatter

Second Place:  Rocky Horror Picture Show

Third Place: Back to the Wizard of Oz (we never had a tornado as part of that group before!)


Titanic Ghosts
Peanuts Gang
Jack and Sally Skeleton
Dead Disco
Zorro and his Senorita
Wood Fairies

Here are some more random photos that I really liked:

 Really disgusting
 Just creepy
 Ghosts of Soldiers
 Colonial Ghosts
 Dr. Who
 . . .uhhh. . . if we weren't so dense we would have recognized the BeeGee's!
Boston Bruins player with the "Stanley Cup Manager"

I hope you enjoy this look at the costumes from some of our excellent guests at the annual Halloween costume ball.

Most of all, I hope you plan to come to the Ball next year!  I can assure you, you will have a great time.


More Photos of the Hawthorne Hotel Halloween Ball

These photos were taken by our good friend and fellow blogger, Linda Orlomoski.who also writes the travel blog, The Distracted Wanderer.  Linda was one of our celebrity judges at the costume ball on Saturday night, and in addition to fulfilling her judging duties admirably, she also managed to take a lot of great photos.  Thanks so much, Linda!

I know Linda plans to write a full blog post about her experience, but I just had to share her great photos with our blog followers and friends too, so here they are:

I hope to see you here.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hawthorne Hotel Halloween Ball Candid Photos

Here is a link to the web album done by our roving photographer at the annual Hawthorne Hotel costume ball last night.  Thanks so much to Patrick Cornellisen who took all of these photos for us.  There are photos not only of the guests in costume, but also many "behind the scenes" shots of the staff of the Hawthorne Hotel working during the ball.

I hope you enjoy this terrific in-depth look at us and many of our guests last night.

If you cannot just click on the link, copy and paste it into your browser window.  If you wish to use any of the photos for your own personal use (non-commercial) please feel free to copy and download them onto your computer.

I hope to see you here, throughout the year, and definitely NEXT year at our annual Halloween Ball.


Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~October 30 through November 6, 2011

Here are our flags of the week.  Please note the flags that are flying by special request are market with an *:

Monday , October 31 Singapore and Virgin Islands
Tuesday , November 1 Slovakia and Washington
Wednesday , November 2 Slovenia and West Virginia
Thursday , November  3 France* and Wisconsin
Friday , November  4 Somalia and Massachusetts*
Saturday , November 5 South Africa and Massachusetts*
Sunday , November  6 South Sudan and Wyoming *

If you have a special request, please let us know by calling 978-825-4444 or 978-825-4322.

I hope to see you here.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween is Happening at the Hawthorne Hotel

Right now we are getting ready for the annual Halloween Costume Ball here at the Hawthorne Hotel. Our Ball was definitely one of the first in Salem, and is certainly the largest, and best (in our opinion and the opinion of our guests). Each year a different department is assigned an area of the hotel to decorate, given a nice cash stipend to use for decorations, and access to the storehouse of prior years' decor. Then their creative abilities take over, and they vie for the price of best-decorated room -- another nice cash prize. Here are some photos I snapped as I walked through the different areas of the hotel about an hour ago.

This year the theme of the ball is "Saturday Fright Fever", and it plays out in the different areas as:

Bride and Groom's "Last" Dance
The Dead Wedding Guests

Prom Gone Wrong

Saturday Night Fever

Techno Cemetery

Dancing with the Grateful Dead

Last Days of Disco

Random decorations also show up here and there, as is the case of the entrance to the Tavern.

I hope to see you here.


Friday, October 28, 2011

The "Official Witches Ball" is Tonight

These amazing balloon creatures are the work of a balloon artist.  Their company (Balloon Designs) has been working with Christian Day (who runs the Festival of the Dead) for years.  For more information on Balloon Designs go to .  For more information on the Witches Ball go to .

Every year we cannot wait to see what new fantastic creatures will be coming to the Official Witches Ball.

These are the creations for this year, and if you want to see them yourself, there might be a way -- we understand that there will be a few tickets available at the door tonight.

The Ball is an extravaganza, and it kicks off at 7:30 pm.

So, if you are looking for an interesting party to attend tonight (and a wonderful way to come in out of the unseasonal cold weather) this might be just the ticket for you.  Admission is $150 per person.  At the door.  Here at the Hawthorne Hotel.

I hope you enjoy this look at tonight's event.


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Getting Ready for Our Halloween Guests

Cool flashing sunglasses set the mood for "Saturday Fright Fever" -- just one of the gifts for our overnight guests staying for the Halloween package weekend.

 The team members, left to right:  Thomas, Richard, TipTop Marketing rep Brenda Truehaft, and more team members:  Claire, Patrice, and Tina.worked assembly line style to get the gift bags stuffed with the swag.
A flurry of activity to get 250 insulated bags filled with tee shirts, hats, sunglasses, mugs, magnets and of course, Halloween candy.  All of the items were logo'd for the occasion with the one-time special logo for this particular ball, and Brenda's company was the one who assisted us in getting that all done.  Brenda is a true partner with us, even coming over to help us stuff the bags!
The hats.
A close up of the mugs.
This video also shows their work in action, and the flashing sunglasses show up even better in video.

I hope you enjoy this behind the scenes look at what we do here at the Hawthorne Hotel to get ready for our biggest event of the year.