Nov 092018
 

It is no secret that October in Salem is commonly referred to as our “fifth season” – it’s just drastically different than any other month of the year. The weeks leading up in September can feel equally intense at times, and even the first week of November is often still buzzing. Add Election Day to that, and it usually takes over a week after Halloween for the downtown energy to feel back to “normal.”

That’s when the real local love kicks in. There is just something special about November in Salem. We asked around a bit, and here are just a few reasons why #localslovenovember!

Getting back to your favorite local businesses – sometimes, with the high foot traffic in October, it can be hard to get into your favorite restaurant, or grab that quick cup of coffee you’re used to, or check in with your favorite shopowner. November means being able to catch your favorite table that’s always available at 11 am, or having time to chat with a salesperson about new products they got in.

Pro tip: October is a great time for our businesses, but it can be tough on their social media reviews. Our downtown businesses traditionally get lower ratings in October than any time of year, due to long lines, tired servers, and an increase in visitors who may have unrealistic expectations (this is true for many communities during their busiest times, not taking a dig at our October visitors here!). Take a tip from Octocog’s Five Star Fridays and fight back by leaving positive reviews on social media for your favorite businesses. 

Time to reflect – a number of locals noted how much they love having the time to slow down and truly enjoy the beauty of Salem during November. Beautiful foliage frames the harbor, the parks, and the streets. Take time out in the morning on the Custom House steps with a cup of coffee to soak it all in.

Traffic and parking – this almost goes without saying, and it’s not like every traffic or parking problem is solved the second the Halloween fireworks end. But things become infinitely more predictable, and your usual shortcuts and secret parking spots are there waiting for you.

Sales galore – a lot of our retailers are swiftly trying to off-load their Halloween merchandise to make more room for their holiday merchandise. This is great news for you! Visit any of our local shops this time of year and you’re likely to find lots of great deals, AND maybe get a scoop on the new holiday goods. And speaking of…

The holidays are here! – November also means that we start hauling out the holly and the good cheer. Some residents told us that they love watching the winter greenery pop up on historic homes, others love the big community events like Santas Arrival and the Holiday Tree Lighting,  and others love smaller less-official community traditions, like grabbing a drink with friends at The Lobster Shanty on Thanksgiving Day. Which leads us to…

– Community spirit – consistently, the thing Salemites seem to love the most about November is the chance to spend time with each other.  From bumping into each other on the street, to making time to catch a movie, to showing up to light the tree on Lappin Park with your neighbors, on of the very best things about downtown Salem in November and all year round are the people who call it home.

To celebrate November, we are bringing back our #localslovenovember social media challenge for this long weekend. Between Friday, Nov. 9 and Monday, Nov. 12th, just post a pic of yourself, a storeowner, or an item you are purchasing while at a downtown shop or service (dentist, salon, etc.) with the tag #localslovenovember. Two lucky winners will be selected to win a whole roll of quarters to help with that still-existing parking 😉

Oct 062018
 

 

REGISTER ONLINE HERE

Salem is going to the dogs (and cats, and lizards, and pigs, and…)! Salem Main Streets is very pleased to produce the fourth annual Howl-o-ween Pet Parade, to be held on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 1 pm on Derby Wharf, Salem Maritime National Historic Site.

The event will include an area with information about the National Park Service Bark Ranger Program, local rescues and pet-focused downtown businesses, and most importantly, a parade and costume contest with prizes. Pets of all species are welcome, but should be well-behaved and comfortable at a busy event where there are likely to be many dogs. The parade is rain or shine.

This year, Salem Main Streets is asking all parade participants to register online in advance and have added a small donation of $5. All proceeds go directly to Salem Main Streets in support of special community programs all year round.

“This started as a very casual little event, and every year we grow more and more,” says Kylie Sullivan, Executive Director of Salem Main Streets. “I am so excited to move down to the Wharf this year, where we will have more room to spread out and the great backdrop of Salem Harbor. Salem is such a pet-friendly city; it seemed like a no-brainer that we needed a community pet parade during Haunted Happenings. It’s such a special way to engage our residents, appeal to our visitors, and celebrate our local business community.”

Spectators are encouraged to join us on Derby Wharf or along the loop on Pickering Wharf, perhaps even “tail”-gaiting on Longboards’ dog-friendly patio.

Aug 142018
 

In case you missed it, the annual Best of the North Shore (BONS) awards have been announced by North Shore Magazine for 2018! As usual, Salem businesses gave a strong showing among the awardees – listed below are all the winners located in Salem. Are your favorites included? Maybe a few that you’d never considered trying? Congratulations to all the 2018 winners!

DINE

Bacon – Back Alley Bacon (Readers’ Choice)

Bakery/Bread – A&J King (Editors’ and Readers’ Choice)

Brunch – Ledger

Fish & Chips – Turners Seafood at Lyceum Hall (Readers’)

Gluten-Free – Jodi Bee Bakes (Readers’)

Indian – Passage to India (Editors’ and Readers’)

Mexican – Howling Wolf Taqueria (Editors’ and Readers’)

Mussels – Sea Level Oyster Bar, Salem

Pizza – Bambolina

Ramen – Kokeshi (Editors’ and Readers’)

Raw Bar – Sea Level Oyster Bar, Salem

Seafood – Turners Seafood at Lyceum Hall (Readers’)

Sushi – Koto (Readers’, tie)

Tacos – Howling Wolf (Readers’)

Vegetarian – Life Alive (Editors’ and Readers’)

 

DRINK

Bar – Opus (Readers’)

Beer Garden – Notch (Readers’)

Beer Menu – Gulu Gulu Café (Readers’)

Cocktail – Opus (Readers’)

Distillery – Rumson’s Rum

Hard Cider – Far From the Tree (Editors’ and Readers’)

Juice Bar – Life Alive (Readers’)

Tap Room – Notch (Readers’)

Winery – Mill River Winery (Editors’ and Readers’) – Rowley business, sells at Salem Farmers’ Market

 

INDULGE

Bake Shop – Caramel Patisserie (Editors’, tie), A&J King (Readers’)

Candies – Ye Olde Pepper Companie (Editors’), Harbor Sweets (Readers’, tie)

Chocolate – Harbor Sweets

Cookies – Goodnight Fatty

Dessert – Counter at Hotel Salem

Ice Cream – Melt (tie)

 

RENEW

Yoga – Yoga Sakti

 

PLAY

Dance Studio – Dance Enthusiasm (Readers’)

Family Hangout, Indoor – Peabody Essex Museum (Editors’ and Readers’)

Festival (Fall) – Haunted Happenings (Editors’ and Readers’)

Festival (Spring) – Salem Film Fest

Museum – Peabody Essex Museum (Editors’ and Readers’)

Tourist Attraction – House of the Seven Gables (Readers’)

 

SHOP

Books – Wicked Good Books (Readers’)

Cheese Shop – Cheese Shop of Salem (Editors’ and Readers’)

Clothing, Women’s Upscale – J. Mode (Readers’)

Makeup Selection – Rouge (tie)

Yoga Apparel – Yoga Sakti (Readers’)

 

LIVE

Gourmet Market – The Cheese Shop of Salem (plus tie for Readers’)

Personal Chef Service – Fine Food and Cooking by J. Ricardo Sanchez

 

MINGLE

Billiards – Village Tavern (Readers’)

Date Night – Opus (Readers’)

First Date – Bit Bar (Readers’)

Girls’ Night Out – Sea Level Oyster Bar, Salem

Guys’ Night Out – Bit Bar

 

 

Aug 082018
 

Are you ready for a really cool event this summer? It’s set for Wednesday, August 8 on the Salem Common from 6:00-7:30 p.m., rain or shine. Yes, it’s time for the Salem Ice Scream Bowl when residents (and visitors) have the opportunity to sample some of the best ice cream on the North Shore from popular area ice cream shops.

Did you know that the U.S. ice cream industry, from neighborhood shops to national brands, contributes more than $39-billion to the national economy and creates more than 188,000 jobs nationally? Or that the average American consumes more than 23 pounds of ice cream per year. Wow!

Among the local businesses serving classic flavors and new combinations Wednesday night will be Melt Ice Cream, Maria’s Sweet Somethings, Captain Dusty’s, E.W. Hobbs Ice Cream, Cherry Farm Creamery, and more. The Salem Ice Scream Bowl is a fun event for both children and adults to cool down from the heat and enjoy tasty ice cream.

Always a favorite part of Salem’s two-week long Heritage Days celebration, this year’s Ice Scream Bowl will be followed directly by the Salem Common Neighborhood Association’s Movie Night! This Wednesday’s movie will be A Wrinkle in Time, starting at 8 pm. Bring a blanket and camp chairs so you can settle in after your ice cream to catch an outdoor movie with your neighbors.

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

The Ice Scream Bowl is still going green! All of our materials are recyclable or compostable in an effort to reduce the impact of this popular event.

Proceeds support Salem Main Streets, the downtown revitalization nonprofit that organizes the Salem Farmers’ Market and many other events in downtown Salem, as well as offering direct 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.

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 kylie@salemmainstreets.org.

Bring the kids, bring the in-laws. Salem Ice Scream Bowl is a cool family event.

 

Aug 042018
 

Forty events. Thirteen Days & Nights. Salem’s celebration of our past, present and future, known as Heritage Days, has something for kids, senior citizens and everybody in between. It runs from August 1-13 and it takes place all over Salem. Bring comfortable walking shoes.

New events this year include public performances in Derby Square and Gables Fest, the House of the 7 Gables’ 350th anniversary celebration with a special day of stories, song and dance. Also new this year, the Salem YMCA is joining forces with the Salem Education Foundation to enhance Kids Night on Common with many new crafts and special live performances.

And, that’s just what’s new!!!

The week begins with some very special events just for our seniors, and the first weekend of Heritage Days is highlighted by the 30th Annual Maritime Festival offering maritime exhibitors and demonstrators, free harbor cruises, a magic show and ten different music, dance and entertainment acts scheduled throughout the weekend. The Salem Common will be hopping Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday with Pizza Night, National Night Out, the Ice Scream Bowl followed by the SCNA’s weekly movie,  and Kids Night.

The Salem Police Department has been hard at working organizing National Night Out, this nationwide initiative designed to promote positive police-community relationships. This year promises to be bigger and better than ever. Event highlights include all types of public safety vehicles on display, a K-9 demonstration, and Salem Police/Fire vs. Boys & Girls Club basketball game. There will be over 60 tables and tents setup by different organizations, social service agencies and local businesses offering information and free give-a-ways, along with free raffle opportunities to win bicycles and gift cards.  Kids’ activities include inflatables, games, and arts & crafts. There will also be free pizzas, drinks, and snacks donated by Salem businesses.

Of course, your favorite Salem Main Streets fundraiser, the Salem Ice Scream Bowl, is back again this year with six awesome local vendors providing an array of delicious flavors! The 2018 Ice Scream Bowl will be held Wednesday, August 8 on the Salem Common from 6-7:30 p.m. rain or shine.  Please note the change to Wednesday this year from our traditional Tuesday night.

In addition, Salem Main Streets’ Salem Farmers’ Market is celebrating 10 seasons this year! We will be adding a few extra treats for this week’s market, Thursday, August 9, in celebration of our 10th season, Heritage Days, AND National Farmers Market Week. Customers can look forward to some sweet new Farmers’ Market merchandise, extra special live music, interpretive dance-on-demand by Betsy Miller, and of course, some of the best local farms and vendors to be found on the North Shore. The Market will run as it does every week from 3 pm t0 7 pm on Derby Square.

Check out the full schedule.

It is packed with free opportunities for Salem residents to visit many of our downtown museums and attractions and receive discounts on the Salem Ferry and tours to Bakers Island Light Station. Pick a day or two during the week and plan a stay-cation, be a tourist and visit the Ropes Mansion or take a Cry Innocent walking tour or be part of the Salem Wax Museum’s 25 anniversary with its 25-cent admission for Salem residents or ride the Salem Trolley and visit the Witch House for free.

It’s your community. Enjoy it!