2019 Black-and-Gold Halloween Ball

2019 Black-and-Gold Halloween Ball
When they opened their hotel in Asbury Park, New Jersey, Salt Hotel founders and owners Kevin O’Shea and David Bowd threw a black-and-gold party, and in the middle of it they looked at each other and said, “Why aren’t we doing this in Provincetown?”

It made sense. Provincetown is where the chain first began with two establishments—The Salt Inn and, later, Eben House. But unlike some of their other properties, there just wasn’t space to throw the kind of party they were thinking of in either Provincetown site. So last year, for the first time, they took over Town Hall with the Black-and-Gold Halloween Ball. “It was a huge success,” says O’Shea. “We’d always wanted to do something for this town. The community is a big part of our ethos. And it was a blast! There were lots of locals, lots of friends, everyone had a good time and we raised a lot of money for the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod. It’s an event that’s fun, that brings people together, and is also for a great cause.”

So they’re doing it again this year. On Saturday, November 2nd, from 8pm to midnight, it’s the second annual Black-and-Gold Halloween Ball at Town Hall in Provincetown, with a cash bar and all proceeds going to the ASGCC. And once again, DJ Lina will be on hand. “She’s extraordinary,” says O’Shea. “The energy is something you have to feel to believe.”

2019 Black-and-Gold Halloween Ball
2019 Black-and-Gold Halloween Ball

People who attended last year’s ball will recall the weather. “Here it was Halloween weekend—and a nor’easter hit!” says O’Shea. “We’d hoped to have some outdoor stuff going on around Town Hall, but that wasn’t possible. But here’s the thing: even with the bad weather, people showed up.” Show up they did, over 600 of them, and filled the ballroom. “It was one of the most fantastic nights,” remembers O’Shea. “It was that quintessential fall New England moment. The energy in that room was intoxicating. People are still saying how much fun they had.”

Why black and gold? “We want to give people a little direction in terms of theme and costumes—but not be too confining,” says O’Shea. “This was a nice in-between kind of thing. And people really took it and ran with it. Some of the costumes were outrageous!”

Well, yeah. It’s Ptown.

“It feels like a good way to round out the year,” says O’Shea. “People work really hard all season, and this is an opportunity for them to relax. For some people, they’re about to part ways until next year. Halloween weekend is the July 4th weekend of the deep-shoulder season. It’s the last-hurrah weekend.”

2019 Black-and-Gold Halloween Ball

It’s also one of the few events that’s attended by both visitors and locals. “This party is for everybody, it’s a come-one, come-all sort of thing,” says O’Shea. “I’m so pleased that as a town, we still attract so many people for Halloween. As the town continues to study how to drive business in the shoulder seasons, it’s become a really important weekend. So we’re hoping people will come Thursday for Halloween night and stay for the whole weekend. That’s Spooky Bear, too. The town is getting this extra weekend at the end of the season that we usually don’t have.”

O’Shea and Bowd both came from hotel management backgrounds, so it was an easy decision to start a chain of beautiful hotels. O’Shea is careful to emphasize, however, their special commitment to Provincetown. “Salt was born in Ptown, and we keep our office here and offer year-round employment here,” he says. There are the two Provincetown properties, one on Shelter Island, two in Asbury Park ,and one opening in London next year. “It’s possible to make the year-round thing work here,” affirms O’Shea. “There are ways of doing it. We want to be part of that.”

The Halloween Ball is certainly a great place to start. “It was honestly super-fun,” says O’Shea. “The vibe was wonderful. Someone came up to me and said, this is like a Halloween party you see in the movies.”

All they need now is Fred Astaire.

Tickets for the 2019 Black-and-Gold Halloween Ball will go on sale in September at Salthotels.com/Halloween and at Salt Supply on Commercial Street. Discounted townie tickets will be available, but only at Salt Supply, not online.

For more information on news, events, people and places in town this year, be sure to check out the ptownie 2019 Fall/Holiday Guide to Provincetown!