Kick off 2017 at Launch! and Launch… Light It Up!

Celebrate the New Year with The City of Salem, Salem Main Streets, and Creative Salem, with two events on December 31st! Beginning at 4pm, bring the whole family down to Old Town Hall for Launch! featuring interactive activities and an early countdown just before 6pm. Later, return to Old Town Hall for Launch… Light it Up!, an all-new event just for the 21+ crowd.

jandrews-soc-palates-balloon-drop-768x512Returning for its 4th year, Launch allows families to ring in the New Year early while enjoying hat making, a photo booth, face painting, and an interactive art exhibit by Phil Wyman. Activities new for this year’s event will include a silent kids’ disco and arcade games courtesy of Bit Bar.

While not a ticketed event, a $5 donation to Salem Main Streets is suggested. Collected funds will go towards Holiday Happenings programming for events like the Holiday Tree and other decorations we enjoy downtown.

At 9pm Old Town Hall with the assist by lighting specialists Retonica, the historic room (upstairs) will be transformed into a 21+ Black Light dance party featuring local band Dandrew with professional sound engineer Seth Albaum from Upside Media LLC.

Downstairs guests can chill out in the Bit Bar lounge with classic arcade games, enjoy fire and ice inspired nibbles from Bambolina, make adult party hats with Grace & Diggs, capture the memories in a PhotoBooth and more. There will also be cash bars on both floors expertly manned by North Shore Bartenders and they will be bringing some glow-tastic special beverage creations!15327394_1453549711323608_1158971660898151082_n

At midnight the party heats up with a light and laser presentation by Retonica, champagne toast AND a special late night treat delivery by Goodnight Fatty! For people wandering by the stretch between Essex St and Old Town Hall there will be a lighting of the NYE ball and lighting presentation outside too!

Tickets ($20 per person) for Launch… Light it Up! are on sale now, and may be purchased through Creative Salem’s website. Event is 21+ and will go from 9pm to 1am.

For more information on these events, visit SalemMainStreets.org or CreativeSalem.com, or find the events on Facebook.

Happy Holidays from Destination Salem

Salem MA Holiday Card Salem MA Holiday Card

We extend our gratitude to the people, places, and events that make Salem a unique and wonderful place to visit  throughout the year, and to everyone who chose Salem as their destination in 2016.  We hope you have a magical holiday season and safe travels in 2017, wherever your adventure takes you.

Thanks to @bellabellesworld for the beautiful image of the Christmas tree in Juniper Cove!

 

Literary Salem

Salem, MA, House of the Seven Gables

Salem is an inspiring town! Perhaps there is something in the water or maybe it’s Salem’s turbulent history. Whatever it is, Salem has inspired many to write and share their sense of this place with the world. Here is a short list of some of Salem’s most notable fiction.

The Scarlett Letter (1850) was Nathaniel Hawthorne’s first critical and popular success. The novel continues to be included in high school English and college literature curricula today. The romance of Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale has been interpreted in film multiple times, including the major motion picture starring Demi Moore as Hester in 1995. Today you can visit the Custom House, where Hawthorne worked as a surveyor for the port of Salem from 1846 to 1849 at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site at 160 Derby Street.

Salem, MA, House of the Seven GablesHawthorne’s second novel, The House of the Seven Gables (1851) tells the legend of a curse pronounced on the Pyncheon family during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, and how the curse is manifested through the decay of the Pycheons’ seven-gabled mansion. You can explore the Turner-Ingersoll mansion that inspired the book at The House of the Seven Gables Historic Site at 115 Derby Street. In October, the characters from the novel come alive during dramatic performances of “Spirits at the Gables.”

Carry On Mr. Bowditch by Jen Lee Latham was published for younger readers (9-12 year olds) in 1955. Latham tells the story of Nathaniel Bowditch, who grew up to be one of the greatest navigators in history. The novel is a looking glass into Salem’s maritime heritage that is fascinating for all ages. The Salem Maritime National Historic Site has a walking tour of Nathaniel Bowditch’s Salem available at both the Visitor Center and the Orientation Center.

The Lace Reader (2008) by Brunonia Barry is a contemporary novel set in Salem that follows protagonist Towner Whitney on her journey home, through the streets of Salem and around the harbor islands. The novel is a journey through decades of Salem society, maritime history, and the modern witch community. A map of Towner’s Salem is available on Salem.org.

The Heretic’s Daughter (2008) was written by Kathleen Kent, a tenth generation descendant of Martha Carrier, who was accused and ultimately hanged as a witch during the Salem Witch Trials. The story is told from the point of view of Martha’s young daughter, Sarah, who survived the witchcraft hysteria that was overtaking her community and immediate family. Kent’s work of historical fiction not only describes how the witch trials took place, but also how powerful familial bonds can be even at the most destructive times in our history.

51hgv0gih5lThe Physic Book of Deliverance Dane (2009) by Katherine Howe is historical fiction with a new perspective on the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Deliverance Dane was an accused witch, and her descendant Connie Goodwin is sorting out the story of her life while living in Marblehead in the early 1900s. This novel asks the question – what if the accused were really practicing witchcraft?

Map of True Places (2011) by Brunonia Barry follows Zee Finch, a psychotherapist from Boston, on a journey to rediscover herself when the life of one her patients puts things into a different perspective, and brings back memories of her family’s tragic past. Her search for answers brings her back to Salem, where she finds her father’s health failing and the need to create a new map for the next chapter in her life.

The Traitor’s Wife (2011), also by Kathleen Kent is a prequel to her earlier book, The Heretic’s Daughter. This story takes place before the Salem Witch trials, and rather focuses on the relationship and courtship of Martha Allen and Thomas Carrier. According to Kent’s family tradition’s Thomas was believed to have fought in the English Civil War, and may have been one of the executioners of King Charles I.

51x77p2ltqlConversion (2015) by Katherine Howe modernizes the Salem Witch Hysteria through an all-girls school in Danvers, Massachusetts. Girls in Howe’s story are overtaken by conditions similar to those experienced in 1692, and the story is told simultaneously through the points of view of Coleen, a modern student, and Ann Putnam in 1706.

How to Hang a Witch (2016) was written by Adriana Mather, a 12th-generation descendant of Cotton Mather, infamous for his role in the Salem Witch Trials. How to Hang a Witch follows the story of Samantha Mather, a descendant of Cotton Mather who is forced to move to Salem when her father falls into a coma and is treated in a Boston area hospital. Samantha endures bullying and abandonment by her classmates, some of which being descendants of the victims of the witch trials, while finding herself wrapped up in a centuries old curse that surrounds living descendants in Salem.

The Fifth Petal  (2017) is the latest work by Brunonia Barry. Following The Lace Reader, The Fifth Petal focuses on the mystery surrounding a suspicious death taking place in Salem on Halloween night. The death appears oddly similar to a string of past murders, and the chief of police believes they may be connected, perhaps even by a curse that may be haunting Salem residents with familial ties to the Salem Witch Trials.

November Photo Contest Winner

Pickering Light Salem MA Photo by Amanda Beattie

Congratulations to Amanda Beattie, whose photograph of the Super Moon and Pickering Light has been selected as the November “Pick of the Month” in the Destination Salem photo contest!

Pickering Light Salem MA Photo by Amanda Beattie

Salem.org