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

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!

Aug 222012

Volunteers Needed as Visitor Ambassadors

Salem Main Streets is looking for volunteers with enthusiasm for Salem to help greet visitors at the Downtown Salem Information Booth in October.  Volunteers will staff the booth at the start of the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall handing out maps and giving out information about Salem’s wide variety of attractions, events and businesses.  Last year volunteers assisted over 25,000 visitors during the weekends and holidays. Volunteers will be trained.

All volunteers are asked to be available for a minimum of two shifts for two hours each and will be required to complete a one hour training session.  The training will take place on Saturday, September 22 at 9:30 a.m. at the National Park Service Regional Visitor Center.  If you enjoy helping visitors by showing them your enthusiasm for our cultured and historic city and want to make it fun and easy for visitors to explore all of Salem’s sites and attractions, please join us. 

For more information or to become a volunteer please email Volunteer Coordinators, Judy Kearney at or Mira Riggin at or call Salem Main Streets at (978)744-0004. This program, which assists visitors to Salem in October, is a partnership between Salem Main Streets, the National Park Service, the City of Salem, Destination Salem and the Salem Chamber of Commerce.

Jun 042012

We hope you enjoyed the 4th annual Salem Arts Festival! Whether you came for the music or dance, art exhibit or shopping, Salem was the place to be for inspiration this past weekend. This year boasted over 80 artists showcasing an array of talents and mediums and we are happy to say that our goal of promoting the arts in downtown Salem was well received. This year for the first time the art in the Juried Art Show was available for purchase and artists sold over $3,600 in art this past weekend. During the weekend there was painting, photography, sculpture, dance, live music, readings, film, mixed media, live theater and more. We also hope you took this opportunity to enjoy the Lady of Salem Figureheads brought to you by Salem’s Beautification Committee. Thanks to all the artists, performers, volunteers, jurors and committee members who donated their time and talents to make this all possible. The Arts Festival is just another example of what it means to be a part of the vibrant Downtown Salem community. We would also like to thank our donors: the Salem Cultural Council, Salem State University, the Peabody Essex Museum and Eastern Bank. To get involved planning the 2013 festival or to give feedback on the festival contact organizer Jennifer Bell at

May 062012

The 4th annual Salem Main Streets Salem Arts Festival will be held June 1st – 3rd. The popular and ever- growing event will feature over 80 artists including local bands, painters, photographers, poets, belly dancers, to name a few.  The Festival is a family friendly event with free performances, free art making activities and a fantastic range of art on display. The festival website is and is in the process of being updated.

The Festival is spread out at a variety of venues in downtown Salem, anchored at the Essex Street Walking Mall. A Juried Art Show will be held in Old Town Hall. This year live performances and demonstrations will be held outside, at the Museum Place Mall Fountain (weather permitting).  Last year Festival attendance numbers were over 4,000 people and we expect an even larger crowd this year. Rain location for the performances is upstairs Old Town Hall.

To volunteer contact