Sep 282021

Salem is going to the dogs (and cats and lizards and bunnies), and we couldn’t be happier about it! Salem Main Streets is very pleased to produce the return of the Howl-o-ween Pet Parade, to be held on Saturday, Oct. 9 at 1 pm on Derby Wharf, Salem Maritime National Historic Site. In addition, we are fortunate to continue our 2020 partnership with Creative Collective to produce a virtual contest for those who are not able to join us on Oct. 9th.

Pets of all species are welcome at the parade, but should be well-behaved and comfortable at a busy event where there are likely to be many dogs. Masks are not required but are highly encouraged. The parade is rain or shine.

Salem Main Streets asks all parade participants to register online in advance if possible, with a small donation of $5 for Salem residents and $10 for nonresidents. All proceeds go directly to Salem Main Streets in support of special community programs all year round.

Submissions for the virtual contest must be received by the end of day on Saturday, October 9. Voting will occur October 10 through October 17, with awards announced on Monday, October 18.  Again, we request a small donation of $5 for Salem residents and $10 for non-residents. Pets may participate in both the parade and online contest, but must register for both separately.

Online registration for both the parade and virtual contest can be found at

The 2021 Howl-o-ween Pet Parade is supported by primary sponsor Wolf Next Door Coffee, as well as a number of downtown businesses, including Coon’s Card & Gift Shop, Koto, the Halloween Museum Salem, Partridge in a Bear Tree, Wicked Good Books, and Black Cat Tours.

Salem Main Streets’ mission is the continued revitalization of downtown Salem as a vibrant, year-round, retail, dining and cultural destination through business retention, recruitment, and promotion of the downtown district.  SMS provides direct support to downtown businesses, and produces numerous community events and initiatives throughout the year, including the Salem Farmers’ Market, Salem Arts Festival, Salem’s So Sweet, and the October Information Booth.  SMS operates thanks to the generosity and partnership of the City of Salem and Mayor Kimberley Driscoll, Destination Salem, Creative Collective, the Salem Chamber of Commerce, and many other local business sponsors and community volunteers.  Contact Salem Main Streets by phone at 978-744-0004, or by email at, or visit the website at for more information.

Aug 072021

It’s that time of year again – the Best of the North Shore‘s annual awards have been announced, and our Salem businesses have risen to the top again! We are especially excited for the recognition of our Salem Farmers’ Market, selected as Best Farmers’ Market by Northshore Magazine’s readers. Thank you for continuing to believe in us during this crazy time!

Check out this awesome list of Salem-based award winners, or check out North Shore Magazine’s website for a full list –

Bakery/Bread– A&J King (Editors’ and Readers’ Choice)
Chinese – Koto (Readers’)
Fish & Chips – Turner’s Seafood (Readers’)
General Excellence – Ledger Restaurant & Bar (Readers’)
Gluten Free – Turner’s Seafood (Editors’)
Pizza – Flying Saucer Pizza (Readers’)
Raw Bar – Turner’s Seafood (Readers’)
Seafood – Turner’s Seafood (Readers’)
Tacos – Howling Wolf (Editors’)
Vegetarian – Life Alive (Editors’)

After Work Drinks –  The Roof (Editors’ for City Views)
Beer Garden – Notch Brewing (Editors’)
Cocktails to Go – Deacon Giles (Readers’)
Distillery – Deacon Giles (Readers’)
Hotel Bar – The Roof (Readers’)
Juice Bar – Life Alive (Editors’

At-Home Dinner Kit – Plat Du Jour (Editors’ and Readers’)
Farmers’ Market – Salem Farmers’ Market (Readers’)
Gourmet Market – The Cheese Shop of Salem (Readers’)

Charter Boat – When and If (Editors’)
Community Walk/Run – North Shore Cancer Walk (Editors’)
Museum– Peabody Essex Museum (Editors’ and Readers’)
Tourist Attraction – Salem Witch Museum (Readers’)

Book Shop ­– Wicked Good Books (Readers’)
Cheese Shop – The Cheese Shop of Salem (Editors’ and Readers’)
Chocolate –  Harbor Sweets (Editors’ and Readers’)
Clothing, Men’s – The Felt Fanatic (Readers’)
Clothing, Women’s  – J. Mode (Readers’)
Cookies – Goodnight Fatty (Editors’ and Readers’)
Fine Jewelry – Jenni Stuart Fine Jewelry (Readers’)
Gifts – Peabody Essex Museum Shop (Editors’
Yoga Apparel – Yoga Sakti (Editors’)

Barber Shop – Badabing Barbershop and Shave Parlor (Editors’ Tie, Readers’)

Jul 312021

Salem’s Ice Scream Bowl is back! It’s time to sample some of the best ice cream in the North Shore from some of the many ice cream shops the area has to offer. Salem’s Ice Scream Bowl event will be held on Wednesday, August 4 on the Salem Common from 6:00-7:30 p.m., rain or shine. A Heritage Days favorite, this annual event is a chance to taste some classic flavors and new combinations from the area’s premier ice cream shops.

A few of the homegrown local businesses serving samples at the event will include Melt Ice Cream, Captain Dusty’s Ice Cream, Cherry Farm Creamery, and Maria’s Sweet Somethings. Salem’s Ice Scream Bowl is a fun event for both children and adults to cool down from the heat and enjoy tasty ice cream.

The cost is $6 for adults and $4 for children. Tickets are purchased on site on the day of the event, cash only.  A spoon and napkins will be supplied with the purchase of a ticket. All of our materials are recyclable or compostable in an effort to reduce the impact of this popular event.

Proceeds go to support Salem Main Streets, a nonprofit organization focusing on the continued revitalization of downtown Salem as a vibrant year-round retail, dining, and cultural destination. Salem Main Streets organizes the Salem Farmers’ Market and many other events in downtown Salem, as well as offering direct business support to downtown businesses. The Ice Scream Bowl is coordinated in partnership between Salem Main Streets and the City of Salem as part of Salem Heritage Days.

This year’s Ice Scream Bowl will be directly followed by the Salem Common Neighborhood Association’s Movie Night! This Wednesday’s movie will be “Captain Marvel,” starting at 8 pm. So bring a blanket and camp chairs so you can settle in after your ice cream to catch an outdoor movie with your neighbors.

The 2021 Ice Scream Bowl is made possible thanks to the support of Broad Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, Modern Millie Shop, and the Creative Collective, as well as the generous donation of product and staff time by the participating ice cream shops!  In addition, this year’s event was funded in part by the City of Salem and U.S. Economic Development Administration.

For any other questions or comments regarding this event, please contact Kylie Sullivan at Salem Main Streets at (978) 744-0004 x115 or email at

Apr 052021

Attention Downtown Salem businesses! The City of Salem is participating in the Massachusetts Local Rapid Recovery Plan (LRRP) Program to help communities develop recovery plans for targeted downtowns and commercial districts. The LRRP Program is designed to support business owners and community members by helping the community develop actionable, project-based recovery plans. These plans will be developed in coordination with the local government, customized to the individual economic challenges and COVID-19 related impacts in Downtown Salem. They will include a data analysis as well as an exploration of challenges, barriers, strategies, and actions – taking any shortcomings COVID has exposed and turn them into lasting strengths. Salem Main Streets is functioning as the primary local partner for this program.

We need the input of Downtown Salem business owners to be a key part of revitalizing downtown. Not sure if your business is considered part of the Downtown Salem district? Check the district map above!

Help us help you by taking the LRRP business survey by April 16!

Jan 312021

A modified Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture celebration will happen in Salem from February 1-14, 2021.  This popular annual event has been updated to adhere to public health guidelines required by the COVID-19 pandemic, and organizers are confident the event will provide opportunities to safely get outside, explore Salem, and support small businesses.  In its 19th year, Salem’s So Sweet is a perennial favorite, celebrating delectable chocolate, sparkling ice sculptures, and Valentine’s Day shopping.  It is Salem’s sweetest time of the year!

Organizers of Salem’s So Sweet are committed to supporting local businesses and encouraging safe ways for residents to remain connected to their downtown. As a result, the initiative has been expanded to run two full weeks, February 1 – 14 and to include two weekends. The program will include more options for attendees to enjoy at their own pace, including a SWEET weekend featuring ice sculptures and chocolate on February 6 and 7, and a new HEAT weekend that will feature warming stations and spicy treats.

Many local businesses will offer chocolate specials and sweet discounts around downtown Salem for the duration of Salem’s So Sweet in celebration of Valentine’s Day. In place of the Golden Ticket and brochure, participating promotions will be listed online at Takeout, curbside pickup, online ordering, and other safely distanced options will be highly encouraged. Business promotions will be good Feb. 1 through Feb. 14 unless otherwise specified.

SWEET: February 6 & 7

The annual ice sculptures and ice sculpture illumination will happen on Saturday, February 6.  More than 15 ice sculptures will be installed around downtown Salem, including an owl, gingerbread house, rocking horse, and a Hello Kitty phone. The sculptures will be illuminated by Retonica between 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Saturday night.  A map and more information will be available online at

HEAT: February 13 & 14

This year things will get hot with warming stations in downtown Salem and a new emphasis on spicy to compliment the Sweet. Love Letters to Salem will pop up around the downtown, including a NEW Love Letter Treasure Hunt! Seek out fragments of a love letter between Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne hidden in windows around the downtown and submit the completed text to be eligible for a prize. More details will be posted online at in February.

The Chocolate & Wine event has been cancelled this year due to the coronavirus restrictions. Instead, takeout options from participating restaurants and food purveyors are strongly encouraged and will be promoted throughout the two weeks.

Salem’s So Sweet is organized by Salem Main Streets and the Salem Chamber of Commerce, and sponsored by Goldberg Properties, Groom Construction, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem Five, St. Jean’s Credit Union, and Winer Bros. Hardware, with support from Destination Salem, Retonica, Scarlet Letter Press, and the Creative Collective. Visit for more events and details as they become available and follow the Facebook page for all the latest updates at Use the Destination Salem App for the best information about navigating Salem.