Feb 212015

There are many exciting things happening behind the scenes at Salem Main Streets, and we want to bring them to light. So——

You are invited!

Please join us for Salem Main Streets’ Annual Meeting

Tuesday, February 24, 2015
5:30 pm to 7 pm
at the Salem Five Community Room, 210 Essex Street

- Celebrate Salem Main Streets’ (SMS) achievements over the past year
- Learn more about SMS mission and goals for the coming year
- Enjoy an evening with SMS supporters, volunteers, committee members, and constituents

Cash bar and light refreshments
Open to all who live, work, and play in downtown Salem

HulaArt going upExplains Kylie Sullivan, SMS Manager, “For many nonprofits, ‘annual meetings’ are primarily a function of the board and those concerned with the administration and governance of the organization. We are throwing the doors wide open for this meeting – inviting all our board and committee members, volunteers, downtown businesses, partners, sponsors, residents, municipal officials and employees, you name it. The message we want to send is that this is YOUR Main Streets and that everyone who cares about the downtown community should feel invested in the operation of Main Streets.”

Frankly no one can remember the last time Main Streets held an annual meeting. It’s time! We have so many great achievements to celebrate and recognize. Yes, we are talking about the Volunteer Booth, and the Farmers’ Market and the Holiday Tree— and so many more. And we are talking about you!

“We have so many great partners involved with Main Streets,” continues Kylie, “and we want them to be able to understand how their contribution fits into the larger Main Streets picture. Many of our partners and volunteers may only be involved with just one part of Main Streets (the info booth, the Farmers’ Market, Salem’s So Sweet) and they don’t really know how it connects to the larger mission and goals for SMS.”

To that end, while there will be a “speaking” portion of the meeting, it will be noticeably short; greater focus will be devoted on mingling with each other and visiting “stations” manned by committee members around the room to learn more about the different aspects of Main Streets and give feedback.

Consider this is to be more an interactive ongoing conversation, rather than a passive presentation.

We look forward to seeing you and listening to your input, and hopefully your participation sometime during the next year with one (or more) of our projects.

(Photo courtesy of Social Palates is of the Hula Art Project, an example of “board and committee members, volunteers, downtown businesses, partners, sponsors, residents, municipal officials and employees,” working together)

Feb 192015

SnowmageddonAlthough Winter is far from over and we can expect more depressing bouts with snow, something positive has emerged. We have seen a number of good Samaritans come out of the woodwork— or rather snow banks to help fellow Salem residents get through this record-setting season. And Mayor Kimberly Driscoll has an idea on how to thank them.

‘Salem Snowmaritans’ will be honored with limited edition ‘I Survived Salem Snowmageddon 2015’ t-shirts.

You’ve seen them. Strangers shoveling someone else’s sidewalk. Motorists stopping to help push a stalled car or jumping a battery. Teens going shopping for the elderly. Snow plowers working into the late hours of the night or early morning.

Residents can nominate ‘Salem Snowmaritans’ by sending an email to Mayor@Salem.com with their name and phone number, name of the nominee, reason for their nomination, and the nominee’s recommended t-shirt size. Mayor Driscoll plans on sharing stories of ‘Salem Snowmaritanism’ on social media throughout the next few weeks.

“Nasty weather can’t beat Salem’s sense of community,” points out Mayor Driscoll. “The storms have actually created shining examples of neighborly love throughout our city and we want to hear all about them. We’ll share these stories and help turn cold frowns into warm smiles by remembering what a great City we live in, even when the wind chill is 20 below! We hope folks will spread the good word through social media and help us beat back the blizzard blues by celebrating our undaunted community spirit.”

Additionally, the Mayor’s Office will be selling these limited edition t-shirts for $15 per shirt for those who would like to purchase a Snowmageddon t-shirt as a keepsake. And the best part of that is all proceeds from the sales will go directly to the winter fuel assistance program for needy Salem residents administered through North Shore Community Action Programs. Residents can also submit their orders to Mayor@Salem.com until March 1st.

Local designer Brent Leland of Leland Creative, along with Gorilla Printing, both of Salem, helped design and print the t-shirts, with the assistance of Kate Fox, Executive Director of Destination Salem.

“This ridiculous amount of snow has given us good reasons to be grumpy, but it has also brought out the best in Salem as we’ve witnessed folks going above and beyond to help others during this unprecedented cold, hard winter,” states Mayor Driscoll.

Surviving Salem Snowmageddon 2015 has not been easy. But we will get through it together.

Feb 052015

Snowstorms to the left; snowstorms to the right. And the Seattle Seahawks in between. Salem sure has had a lot in the news to contend with over the past week. But we weathered the weather and the Patriots took the air out of the Seahawks to win the Super Bowl. Now it’s….. chocolate time! Our annual Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival (Feb. 6 – 15, 2015) is about to get underway and what a way to celebrate the Super Bowl victory, spoil your loved one and forget about the weather than with some wine, chocolate and fun events to warm the heart.

Our week-long celebration leading up to Valentine’s Day kicks off Friday, Feb. 6, 6:30 to 8:30 pm in Colonial Hall at Rockafellas with a chocolate extravaganza. If it’s chocolatey and a restaurant or store sells it in the city, then it will most likely be represented at one of the sampling tables. For the price of admission, one glass is given to each ticket holder to fill and refill all evening, tasting wines that go with chocolate.

And then there is the chocolate. And not just chocolate (we love saying that). There have been in the past chocolate-covered pretzels & cherries, mousse, a chocolate wine, chocolate ice cream, cakes, cookies, etc. etc. etc. It’s ok. Indulge. We won’t tell.

20140207_1801072015 Participating Merchants

62 Restaurant and Wine Bar
Adriatic Restaurant and Bar
Artemisia Botanicals
Caffé Graziani
Coffee Time Bake Shop
Far From the Tree Hard Cider
Gulu-Gulu Café
Harbor Sweets
Jodi Bee Bakes
Melita Fiore Patisserie
Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt
Salem Waterfront Hotel
Salem Wine Imports
Turtle Alley Chocolates
Victoria Station & Vic’s Boathouse
Village Tavern
Ye Olde Pepper Companie

There is of course more to the Festival, such as our popular Ice Sculptures, and promotions offered by individual merchants. More on these in our next blog.

Reminder, tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased over the phone at 978-744-0004, online here, or in person at the Salem Chamber of Commerce, 265 Essex Street, Suite 101. Don’t delay, they usually sell out very quickly.

Sep 292014

It waitsHauntingly standing in and out of the shadows, the Salem Main Streets Haunted Happenings Information Booth waits patiently on the corner of Essex and Washington Streets. It waits for you.

For resident and tourist alike, young and old, American and foreign traveler, it does not discriminate in its need to feed— you information. Now that it has been dropped into place, the booth sits day and night awaiting the launch of our season of service. Volunteers will start staffing Thursday from 4:30 – 6:30 pm to coincide with the Haunted Happenings kick-off Grand Parade.

Stephanie Hagyard, a volunteer since 2008, and coordinator of this year’s SMS info team says “Our shift schedule will be 2 – 6 pm on Fridays (noon – 8 pm on Halloween), 10 am – 6 pm on Saturdays and noon – 5 pm on Sundays (might vary to 11 am on Sundays depending on staffing). The only holiday is Columbus day which will be a 10 am- 4 pm effort.”

She adds, “Most shifts are filled but there are a few dates/shifts that I would like to get a third/fourth person on- and November 1st is a new addition this year that needs people.” If you would like to volunteer, contact Stephanie at shagyard@yahoo.com.

Stephanie at boothYou would become part of a community of ‘community volunteers’ who have provided direction and support to nearly 140,000 visitors since 2008. And this year with Halloween on a Friday, we can expect record numbers to cross Washington Street at Essex Street (which is the location of our booth).

Asked for advance advice to offer 10/31 visitors, Stephanie offered “Park once, wear comfy shoes, walk around, dress in layers, pay attention to your surroundings; if you are at an establishment getting lunch/dinner/coffee use the bathroom even if you don’t think you need to because who knows how long lines will be at other restrooms that are public.”

That’s the kind of straightforward, we believe useful info, you need from the booth volunteers, along with where the “witch this” and “witch that” are located.

The Info Booth beckons you….

Dec 152012

Happy Holidays from Salem Main Streets Director, Jennifer Bell

Thank you to the many volunteers and members of the Salem Community who have been so supportive of the Salem Main Streets program and my efforts for the last five plus years. Together we took a dormant Main Streets program and seasonal town and developed thriving programs which are enjoyed by thousands; the Salem Farmers’ Market, Salem Arts Festival,Visitor Ambassador Program in October, Salem First Fridays and more. Salem has become the Dining Destination on the North Shore and over 80 new businesses have opened in the downtown in those five years. Main Streets took over the management of the Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate and Ice Sculpture Festival, Salem’s Ice Scream Bowl, Mayor’s Night Out, Holiday Happenings and we supported the efforts of new events such as the Salem Film Festival, Salem Literary Festival, Mass Poetry Festival, and Living Green and Renewable Energy Fair which have grown into popular events. We started the reusable tote bag program “In Salem, Green is the New Black” and helped make Salem a greener city with the support of the Downtown Business community.

These programs were only possible through thousands of hours of volunteer time each year donated to Salem Main Streets by hundreds of volunteers and support by the City of Salem, and community partners like the Salem Chamber of Commerce. Salem should be proud of the spirit of volunteerism and can do attitude that prevails. No project is too big, too new to begin. Salem is a unique place which celebrates its history while embracing the present and looking towards the future.

My family and I have enjoyed living in Salem and being able to contribute to the Salem Community. Thank you to the many people who have shared their time and talents to make a difference especially: Matt Caruso, Gary Gill, Judy Kearney, Jeanne Scott, Ben Bouchard, Anthony Scialis, Wendy Davidson, Tom Daniel, Ellen Talkowsky, Ron Malionek, Ann Massey, Cheryl Michaels, Marlene Faust, Alex Southerland, Beth Paquin, Kristin Rogers, Jim Vaughey, Aaron Martin, Christian Haselgrove, Cheryl Michaels, Kelly O’Connor, Dan Faust, Dan Rogers, Gina Flynn, Phil Dwight, Stacey Pappas and too many others to name. 

I wish you all success and great happiness!