Feb 282016
 

Define a Film Festival? Pictures, performers, people and passion. Now in its 9th year, the Salem Film Fest presents all that and more, running March 3-10. The “and more?” As in previous years, filmmakers are expected to be present for more than half of the screenings, providing audiences with a unique opportunity to learn more about the documentary filmmaking process.

 

Here is a full list of the films along with trailers.

What more could founders filmmaker Joe Cultrera (Hand of God), local businessman Paul Van Ness (CinemaSalem, Van Ness Creative), Executive Director of the Salem Chamber of Commerce Rinus Oosthoek and others from the community ask for? How about a growth rate of 15-25% each year?

SFFLogo_2016BIGRun and operated entirely by volunteers, the week-long festival has become not only a community-wide event, but also one of New England’s largest documentary film festivals, with screenings at CinemaSalem, the Peabody Essex Museum and the National Park Service Salem Visitor Center. Plus, there are filmmaker parties and music events held at venues throughout downtown.

Well-told stories with strong technical elements and interesting visual approaches are what you will find at the 2016 Salem Film Fest. Yes, you could say it is a big deal. We think so. Check out the entire schedule, then mark your calendars. And definitely come to Salem, see the world.

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Jan 162016
 

What is ahead for Salem Main Streets and 2016? Please join us for a night of celebration and information Tuesday, January 26th as we conduct the Salem Main Streets Annual Meeting.

SAF VolsKylie Sullivan, SMS Executive Director says, “Come cheer with us over last year’s accomplishments and look ahead to see what’s coming in 2016. Learn more about Salem Main Streets’ mission and purpose, and how you can benefit and get more involved.”

This gathering is free and open to all who live, work, or play in downtown Salem – residents, volunteers, business owners, community partners, and government officials.

Stephanie at boothIn other words, we want you there if you have anything to say about how the Downtown District was promoted by us in the past and —

Kylie emphasizes, “We are especially looking for feedback to help improve our work going forward.”

The meeting will run from 5:30 – 7:30pm at Ames Hall in the Salem YMCA, 1 Sewall Street (enter from the Essex Street entrance).

Free appetizers and cash bar!

Please invite your neighbors, associates, and friends! This is you chance to have an impact on how Salem is seen by the local community and the world.

Please RSVP to Kylie at kylie@salemmainstreets.org or 978-744-0004 x15.

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.

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Dec 302015
 

First DayThe City of Salem is telling residents to “take a hike” — literally, as in urging participation in First Day Hike, a national initiative established by America’s State Parks. Salem’s First Day Hike runs (walks) from noon to 2pm Friday, January 1, 2016, offering several courses with varying degrees of difficulty.

As Salem is already quite a walkable town, we’re sure that many residents and visitors have easily “hiked” along Washington Street, and across Essex or Derby as they shopped our Downtown District. This extra walk to experience the Salem Maritime National Historic Site should be no sweat!

For example, hikers may choose to walk around the Salem Common, and then walk from the Common to Derby Wharf Light House. Or they may just walk from the beginning of Derby Wharf to the Light House. Check out the map for more details on the hike’s course.

“Many of us use New Year’s as an opportunity to make a resolution and set goals for the upcoming year,” points out Salem Mayor Kimberly Driscoll. “First Day Hike offers residents an opportunity to start the New Year with some exercise or just a chance to get out and celebrate the holiday with other members of the community.”

Last year nearly 28,000 people across America participated in First Day Hikes to kick off the New Year, collectively hiking over 66,000 miles throughout the country!

You obviously would not be alone.

And, if you aren’t much of a cold weather hiker but this event whets your appetite to do more, here are a few tips, courtesy of the American Hiking Society.

  • First WalkDress in layers. While it is perhaps nice to have a huge, fluffy parka on the ski slopes, it really isn’t practical for the trail. Instead, take several layers you can peel off or put on when you stop and go on the trail. Your base layer should be a wicking fabric that will pull your sweat away from the skin.
  • Overheating is a dangerous threat since excessive moisture that isn’t allowed to escape can freeze and cause hypothermia. If you ever wondered why some of your jackets have zippers under the armpits, it’s to keep air circulating and prevent your clothes from getting wet.
  • Wear a hat! Our heads are filled with oxygen-carrying capillaries which fuel our brains and consume one third of the body’s energy. During the colder months it is important to keep your head covered to maintain function and not lose precious body heat. You may want to bring a warmer/heavier hat for rest periods.
  • Keep your water bottle warm. Whether you are at the campsite or on the trail, a foam sleeve like a koozie will help prevent the water from freezing in a bottle. Nothing warms your body or your spirits like warm liquid by a campfire. Boil water to take with you as you hike. Also, to keep water from freezing, keep your water bottle on the inside of your jacket – properly sealed, of course.

National Parks Superintendent Paul DuPrey adds, “Salem’s outstanding quality of life is built around its history, its open spaces and its people. Come out on New Year’s Day to enjoy all three and put your best foot forward.”

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Nov 172015
 

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As many of you know — or may not know — Salem Main Streets is responsible for a fair share of the holiday fun and cheer to be found/experienced in downtown Salem in November & December. But, as you can well imagine, it is far too much for one person to orchestrate, and way more fun to do with friends! Therefore, here are just a few (seriously) of our upcoming volunteer needs.

Ribbon Wrapping around downtown – this Saturday, Nov. 21
9 am – Ribbon pre-measuring and cutting – Salem Main Streets office, 265 Essex Street
10 am to 12 pm – Meet at East India Fountain on Essex Street Mall
Needed – as many as possible!
Kylie Sullivan, Executive Director of Salem Main Streets reveals, “This is one of my favorite volunteer days of the year – it’s always cold and blustery, but we always have the best group of people, and the more people, the faster we go!  Volunteers should be able to handle the cold for 2 hours (while moving around); ability to climb ladders comfortably is a plus, and ‘ability’ to bring your own ladder is even better!”

Salem Winter Market – November – this Sunday, Nov 22.
1:30 to 3 pm and 6:30 to 8 pm
217 Essex Street
Needed – 4 to 6 people
We need help unloading and setting up vendors for our indoor winter market, in addition to breaking down and loading out at the end of the evening. Volunteers should ideally be able to lift up to 25 pounds.

Santa’s Arrival at Hawthorne and Holiday Tree Lighting at Lappin Park, Friday, Nov. 27
5 pm to 7 pm
Needed – 2 or 3 volunteers
We’re combining two beloved annual events into one night this year – and that means it will be even harder for Kylie to be everywhere at once!  We could use a couple extra hands to help carry and set up/break down tables and sound systems at the different sites. Again, volunteers should be relatively able to handle the cold for 2 hours, and need to be able to lift and carry tables, sound equipment, etc.

Salem Winter Market – December, Saturday, Dec. 19
11:30 to 1 pm and 4:30 to 6 pm
217 Essex Street
Needed – 4 to 6 volunteers
We need help unloading and setting up vendors for our indoor winter market, in addition to breaking down and loading out at the end of the evening. Volunteers should ideally be able to lift up to 25 pounds.

New Year’s Eve LAUNCH! Thursday, Dec. 31
2:30 pm to 7
Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square
Needed – As many as possible!
Kyle requests, “Help us ring in the New Year at Old Town Hall!  The City of Salem and Salem Main Streets are teaming up to throw a New Year’s Eve party at Old Town Hall, with live music and family-friendly activities.  There will be an early countdown promptly at 6 pm.”

Volunteers are needed for a variety of jobs:

  • Set up (2 to 4pm): Volunteers should be able to lift up to 25 pounds.
  • Greeters (4 to 6 pm): Greet people at the door and collect optional donations.
  • Craft activity support (4 to 6 pm): Help activity leaders as needed.
  • Break down (5:45 to 7pm): Volunteers should ideally be able to lift up to 25 pounds.

One other thing, Kyle adds, “Have an idea for a fun (and inexpensive) NYE activity that you would like to lead? Even better – just let me know.”

If you are interested in filling any of these needs, please contact her by email at kylie@salemmainstreets.org, or by phone at 978-744-0004, or in person at 265 Essex Street.

Just think of all those happy faces on kids & adults at events where you gave a little of your time.

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Jul 302015
 

Blending the past, present and future, our Heritage Days celebration spans Aug. 1-9 with events featuring food, fun, and activities for all ages. There are nearly 40 different events throughout the festival, some on different days, some at the same time. You really do need to keep the URL of the Calendar of Events for Heritage Days bookmarked on your home computer, tablet or cell phone.

Natl parkThere is no better example to prove this point than the kick-off event: The 2015 Salem Maritime Festival will be held on the historic wharves at Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Saturday, August 1st from 10am – 4pm.

In its 27th year, the Salem Maritime Festival offers an exciting array of free family fun, including live music, free harbor cruises, craft demonstrations, costumed re-enactors and much more! Kids will enjoy a variety of fun activities including radio-controlled boats, a “Muck Walk” and touch tanks with their favorite marine critters.

A flotilla of visiting vessels including a U.S. Coast Guard 47′ Motor Life Boat, the Schooner Fame, the Schooner Ardelle and the motorized vessel Endeavor will all be participating in the festival. A fleet of kayaks from Salem Kayak will provide attendees with the opportunity to paddle and row Salem Harbor. Friendship of Salem, Salem’s own replica of a 1797 merchant vessel, will be open to the public and will offer a National Park Service Junior Ranger Program for children.

Free 90-minute harbor cruises aboard Fame, Ardelle and Endeavor will be offered throughout the afternoon by lottery. The cruises are scheduled for 12:00, 12:15, 12:30, 1:45, 2:00, 2:15pm.

  • Exhibitors and demonstrators at this year’s event include:
    Salem Kayaks
    Norumbega Canoe Club
    USS Constitution & US Navy
    Marlinspike Sailor of Marblehead
    Musician Larry Young
    R.P Raiseles Cooperage
    Essex Shipbuilding Museum
    Marine Modelers Club of New England
    Salem Sound Coastwatch
    Historic New England
    Cat Cove Marine Labs
    Division of Marine Fisheries
    U.S. Coast Guard & U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
    Peabody Essex Museum
    House of the Seven Gables
    Witch House / Corwin House
    Salem Beautification Committee
    Salem Zouaves
    Shipwrecks of New England
    And more…

Recall what we wrote at the outset, that at times during the Festival some events would be running concurrently? While the wharf area will witness all things maritime, farther down the road, the Salem Willows will play host to not one, not two, but three other events on Saturday!

A Bridgin G.A.P.S. concert will present performances ranging from local and non-local recording artists, live bands, dance groups, poets and others from noon until 6pm. The Bridgin G.A.P.S. goal is to provide a festive, entertaining and educational platform for the local community to gather and celebrate in a safe and positive environment.

At the same time you can attend The Firemen’s Muster  at 12:30 pm where crews will compete to throw the longest stream of water with an antique hand pumped fire engine. Come and see a 19th century sport that is being kept alive in the 21st century by a bunch of historic preservationists who obviously like to get wet!

And Clown Day will be also be happening, Saturday 11am – 3pm where clowns will be on hand all day to make balloon figures for your children, do some creative face painting using your kids as the canvas and then give a special performance at 2:30pm.

As stated in the headline, the Heritage Days Festival is a variety show— and we only told you about the FIRST day. More in upcoming blogs, and don’t forget to bookmark the calendar URL.

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