Nov 252016

Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night will keep hundreds of Salem kids from waiting at the foot of the Hawthorne Hotel tonight for the Arrival of Santa. A much-beloved tradition to kick off the Holiday season in our community, it takes place rain or shine with the assistance of the Salem Fire Dept.

Santa arrivesSanta Claus will arrive at the top of the Hawthorne Hotel at 18 Washington Square promptly at 6pm but we recommend getting there by 5:45pm at the latest. It is always a crowd filled with “kids of all ages!”

A procession will then continue down the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall for the Holiday Tree Lighting at Lappin Park. This is also a great gathering of community members and merchants.

Participants are encouraged to bring lanterns (store-bought or homemade) to carry in the procession. Safety first, though – electric candles, please!

Lights and decorations for the Holiday Tree were made possible by individual contributions and donations from a number of local businesses, including significant donations from Salem’s October visitors.

Salem Main Streets would also like to thank the City of Salem, the Hawthorne Hotel, MeetingHouse Church, North Shore Marine, All Star Collision & Towing, Gigi Gill, and the many other community partners who make these special events possible.

Now, c’mon down and join us if you can.

Apr 032016

Wine  SpiritsInteract with wine & spirits in a different way this week, April 3rd – 8th, courtesy of the Hawthorne Hotel. More than classes, these are full course “meals” in the art of sipping, listening, learning and being entertained by connoisseurs to become one yourself.

Speaking of entertainment, there will be tasty music to drink in afterwards from 6:30 to 8:30pm at Nat’s  which serves a modern European flair cuisine in a historic setting.

Wines can be intimidating, but you’ll cover the basics in a fun class that gets you to sip, slurp, swoosh and spit (if you wish). How do you best order wine in a restaurant? What does that gibberish on the label mean? Learn how to pair wine with food and walk away with renewed confidence in your wine skills!

Then listen to Molly Pinto-Madigan. Hailed for her angelic voice and haunting compositions, Molly won first place in WUMB’s Boston Folk Festival Songwriting Contest and was named “Artist of the Year” at Salem State University, her alma mater. She has submerged herself in the dark, luscious world of ballads, with the whisperings of the American and European traditional music.

Awaken the pirate in yourself! Salem’s very best Rum distilleries have it all; no rum-running here, but just a good old clash of two top local spirits. Let’s see who can impress you the most with their cocktail skills and vote on your favorite rum-style while learning about how distilleries work.

Afterwards, as the perfect Monday accompaniment, Kristen and Seth – a current Salem State University student and alumni – form a dynamic jazz duo that plays the upright bass and guitar, performing jazz standards and other music in a jazz style. .

From soccer to fashion to fast cars; Italians do it with passion. Come and educate yourself about Italian wines imported directly from the owner’s vineyard. And with that let’s get jazzy as The Cheese Shop of Salem owner Peter Endicott will pair up some smelly cheeses that will astound you in texture and flavors. Go on…you can do it!

Then stay for a live performance by Nick Consone, a singer/songwriter in the Boston area since 2004. His style ranges from blues to rock, from the 70’s all the way to top 40 of today. Nick is an active member in several different bands, all of which range in style.

If you already visited the Asia in Amsterdam exhibit at the PEM, you know that luxury is of all times, and nothing encompasses that more than sparkling wines. Cava, Prosecco and Champagne houses offer the more refined bubbles to enhance your palate. And what better combination than to share this with the top quality of Belgian chocolates?

Afterwards listen to Salem State University alumni Betty Bounce’s Gypsy Jazz Trio, performing music in the style of legendary Belgian-born jazz guitarist and composer Django Reinhardt.

The liquid gold of the south has gained much popularity in recent years. Whether you are a neat or on the rocks guy or gal, come taste the various styles of bourbon. And while you are at it, pair them up with some odd bacon bites to round up the night.

Then join Andrew DiMarzo, a local solo-acoustic act with influences from Andy Mckee to Martin Sexton, from Bernhoft to Glen Hansard. His sound can be said to be a mix of percussive-acoustic, funk, soul and folk music.

Come and listen to the brew masters of Salem’s Notch Brewery and Far From The Tree Cider on starting and improve your own home brew and get an insight into their stories. Obviously a few samples will be on hand to put the theory into practice or philosophically the practice back into theory, if that is even possible.

And stay in Nat’s for an evening with The Nick G Project, featuring Salem State University faculty member Nick Giarratani. Playing vocals and guitars Nick is joined at various times by some of Salem’s best musicians including Zach Bridges on upright bass, Seitu on steel guitar, guitar and vocals and Paul Dumas on percussion and vocals.

Salem may be known for spooky things like unseen ghosts, but each night this week, you will experience contact with real spirits (& wines). Tickets are only $15 per person, please order online. Local musical entertainment curated by Creative Salem. The Hawthorne hotel is located at 18 Washington Square W, Salem, MA. Call 978-744-4080 or 800-SAY-STAY .

Nov 232015

There's SantaTake a break from your holiday shopping this Friday to join friends & neighbors in the community of Salem as we celebrate two traditions: Santa’s Arrival and the lighting of Salem’s Holiday Tree.

This year, though, Salem Main Streets and the City of Salem have combined these two separate activities into one flowing event to maximize the fun factor for children and adults.

And with the projected weather forecast calling for partly cloudy skies with a high of 60 and a low of 47, we expect a good sized crowd!

Santa Claus will arrive on the roof of the Hawthorne Hotel (located at 18 Washington Square W) promptly at 6pm, then with assistance from the Salem Fire Department will be brought to street level where he will lead a procession down the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall to Lappin Park (next to the Bewitched Statue at the intersection of Essex & Washington streets).

Holiday Tree 031From there we invite you to join Santa and Mayor Kimberley Driscoll for the Holiday Tree Lighting.

Bring the entire family out for carols, festivities, and fun!

Salem Main Streets would like to thank the City of Salem, the Hawthorne Hotel, MeetingHouse Church, North Shore Marine, All Star Collision & Towing, the Salem Common Neighborhood Association, and the many other community partners who make these special events possible.

Lights and decorations for the Holiday Tree were made possible by individual contributions and donations from a number of local businesses, including significant donations from Salem’s October visitors.

For more information about any of these events, contact Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets Executive Director, at 978-744-0004 or, or visit and follow Salem Main Streets on Facebook and Twitter.

Jul 212015

“Salem would be a very different community without an asset like the Hawthorne,” responds Kylie Sullivan, Executive Director, Salem Main Streets when asked to describe the Hawthorne Hotel in 25 words or less. No doubt those words & feelings will be echoed a lot this Thursday evening when the Hotel celebrates 90 years of service with a party overflowing with live ragtime music (it was after all built in 1925) in the Grand Ballroom, professional dancers in period dress, free hors d’oeurves, raffle items, and more.

The public had been invited; reservations went quickly. It is sold out. But there is still a way to attend, which we will get to later.

In a Creative Salem post, Alyssa Grace AlKhowaiter for the Salem Historical Society recounted the history of the Hawthorne quite succinctly:

  • In 1923, Hygrade/Sylvania Lighting Company founder Frank Poor decided that Salem needed a high-end hotel to accommodate visitinHawthorne Hotel by dayg businessmen. With support from the Salem Rotary Club and the Salem Chamber of Commerce, Poor helped create the Salem Hotel Company to sell stock in the creation of a new hotel. 230 volunteers recruited by the Company sold $750,000 in stock to over a thousand area residents and businessmen, while daily sales were posted on a billboard in Town House Square. A celebratory parade was held in Salem on July 21, 1925, and on July 23rd, the Hawthorne Hotel opened for business.

And the Hotel has never forgotten where it came from: the neighborhoods and people of Salem.

Kylie Sullivan points out, “The really phenomenal thing about the Hawthorne is that it’s more than just a hotel; it’s not just offering a service for our visitors. It’s an integral part of our community for local businesses and residents. It’s where we host fundraisers, celebrations, and board meetings. We hang around outside hoping to catch a glimpse of a new bride and groom, or check out the incredible costumes for the Halloween ball, or wait for Santa to descend from the roof. It’s always the first to offer a donation for an event, or a space for a festival, or a discount for locals during a snow emergency.”

In fact, a portion of the proceeds of the evening will go to benefit the Salem Education Foundation (limited edition commemorative items will be available for purchase, a cash bar will be on hand, and of course donations would be appreciated).

Hawthorne Hotel by NightAs for how you can see the festivities, no matter whether you are in the USA, Europe or anywhere else in the world, we are going to do another Periscope live streaming broadcast. Simply sign up for the free Periscope app for Android or iOS devices and follow @SalemAMB on Twitter for the automatic notification of the camera going live.

Otherwise, after the streaming ends, we will upload the URL to both the @SalemAMB and @SalemMainStreet Twitter accounts so you can watch it on any device connected to the Internet. (It will be available for 24 hours.)

Send your personal congratulations to the Hawthorne’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Happy Birthday Hawthorne Hotel. And, many, many more!

(Pictures courtesy of John Andrews of Social Palates Photography)

Apr 082015

Do you sense something in the air? Some level of seismic activity of a paranormal nature? You would be tuning in to Salem Con, the first ever celebrity-filled paranormal convention, to be held in Salem Ma, April 10-12 at the Hawthorne Hotel.

Mass Ghost Hunters Paranormal Society, a Gloucester-based historical preservation and paranormal event group has established the weekend. Salem Con will be filled with celebrities, lectures and vendors. Paranormal and historical enthusiasts are welcomed.

Marc Arvilla, Founder/Lead Investigator explains “We decided to call it Salem Con because that’s exactly what it is. Yes it’s a paranormal conference, yes most folks involved are in the paranormal field, but this is also about Salem’s history, culture, and the true stories of the people that shaped this area.”

For example, among the speakers, Jeff Belanger hosts the New England Legends series on PBS and John Zaffis is the director of the Paranormal Research Society of New England.

Arvilla continues “Our goal for this conference is to teach people about the history of Salem, the history of paranormal investigating, and that they can have fun while doing it. If someone can walk away from this event learning something new it will be a success.”

The weekend begins with a “Celebrity VIP Party” on Friday April 10th from 8 pm to midnight at Nathaniel’s in the Hawthorne. Guests will mingle with their favorite celebrities and hear some of their “behind the scenes” stories.

And, who will be there on April 11th?

  • 9 am JOHN TOBIN -“Exploring the Psychology of the Paranormal” with Chris DiCesare & Joe Chin
  • 10 am JEFF BELANGER– “The Witches Warty Nose”
  • 11 am BRIAN CANO – “‪#‎Paralosophy‬”
  • 12 pm DUSTIN PARI – “The Bigger Questions”
  • 1 pm JOHN ZAFFIS – “Q & A with John Zaffis”
  • 2 pm TIM WEISBERG – “Maybe Ghosts WEREN’T People Too…Alternate Theories of the Paranormal”
  • 3 pm SCOTT GRUENWALD – “God Ate My Lunch”
  • 3:45pm MICHAEL DIAMOND – “Moving Forward

All lectures will take place in the Hawthorne’s Library Room.

“The Hawthorne Hotel seemed like the best choice for this event,” reveals Avilla. “The hotel has such a rich history and is central to everything there is to explore in Salem. When we approached Thomas MacDonald, the sales director at the Hawthorne, with the idea of a paranormal conference he offered his full support. Plus there is that ‘rumor’ that the hotel is haunted…”

Speaking of haunted, Gone Haunting will sponsor a “Celebrity Ghost Hunt” Saturday at 8pm. Location not yet revealed.

And what is a convention without vendors? The Hawthorne Ballroom will house the vendor area:

Official Banner Salem Con 2015Deadly Grounds Coffee
Gone Haunting Apparel
The Generic Black Shirt Paranormal Group
Paranormal Warehouse
Brian J. Cano
John Zaffis
Dustin Pari
Jeff Belanger
Tim Weisberg
Scott Gruenwald
Christopher DiCesare
DTM Wicked Radio
Frank Cinelli
Paranormal For Paws
Gettysburg Ghost Gals
Rosalyn Bown
Salt City Paranormal
East Ghost Paranormal
S.T.U.R.S/Rise Up New Hampshire
Spirits of New England
White Light Research
Rome Investigators of the Paranormal
The Mechanical Meow
Paranormal Reactions
Author Joni Mayhan & Paranormal Xpeditions
The Mountain Gypsies
Rise Up Paranormal
Mirror Magazine
Dark Side Ink
Psychic Medium Coryelle Kramer
Raven Shoppe/Gotham Paranormal
Brooke’s Nook
Dawn Slocum
Black Cat Tours
Witch Tees

The weekend concludes with a Sunday morning breakfast at the Hawthorne where Mass Ghost Hunters Paranormal Society invites people to share some stories, revelations, even a “sighting” or two if anything happened from the previous night.

Sounds like an interesting effort to connect the dots between the paranormal and the history of Salem, while at the same time giving you the opportunity to have an entertaining & educational experience. For ticket and other information, go to or write to