SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

October 5, 2012

Crowds flocking here for Halloween ... and hats

SALEM — Yes, folks are flocking here for the usual fall foolishness, but has anybody taken a gander at the front door of the Peabody Essex Museum?

It’s busier than a Salem cop breaking up bar fights on a Friday night.

More than 100,000 people came through the PEM doors this summer, their second-biggest summer since the 2003 reopening.

The last couple of weekends have been absolutely packed. There were more than 3,500 patrons two weekends ago, and 5,000 last weekend.

The Ansel Adams photo exhibit, which ends Monday, has drawn huge crowds. There are also lots of people coming for the Stephen Jones hat exhibit to gawk at madcap millinery that nobody in their right mind would wear.

Gazing at the fancy folks in sport coats and wire-rimmed glasses, a thought occurs: Is anybody left in the city of Cambridge?

It was interesting to note last weekend that many of the visitors didn’t head straight for the garage when they exited. Instead, they turned left or right, presumably to eat at local restaurants or browse local shops.

You know, there might be something to this “creative economy” mumbo-jumbo preached by Patricia Zaido of The Salem Partnership and Christine Sullivan of Salem State.

Panda parade

Say what you will about Witchcraft Heights Elementary School Principal Mark Higgins, but the man has courage.

It would have been enough for some principals to make sure all the kids were dressed as little pandas for the Haunted Happenings Parade, which adopted the “World Animal Day” theme this year.

Higgins didn’t stop there. He came dressed as a giant panda.

Assuming, of course, he didn’t chicken out in yesterday’s rain.

Golden memories

It’s hard to imagine anyone is following the redevelopment (and demolition) plans of St. Joseph Church more closely than the Class of 1962 at the former St. Joseph’s Academy.

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