Feb 162017

Valentine’s Day may be a once & done holiday elsewhere, but in Salem it can be a year round experience, and that is not just our opinion. The National Main Street organization annually selects the “Most Romantic Main Streets” from among its nationwide membership and for 2017, Salem Ma and Salem Main Streets made the Top Five!

Emily Wallrath Schmidt, Associate Manager of Communication of National Main Street Center explains “Communities submit a questionnaire about their Main Street’s ‘scene’ (architecture/landscape), dining/lodging options, and popular places for dates, along with 5 photos.”

“We always look for Main Streets that have interesting local businesses or special event to highlight! We loved Salem’s So Sweet Festival, as well as the LGBT and age-friendly initiatives—the photos submitted also captured a sense of romance downtown,” she adds.

Not to mention participating merchants offering sweet deals during the festival and of course the option to explore our cool ice sculptures makes for a great second Valentine date!

Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets Manager comments, “I personally think Salem is such a romantic city, and I think a lot of our residents and regular visitors recognize that.”

Why else would so many people look forward to holding and attending weddings throughout the year here?

“From the historic beauty and stroll-ability of the city design, to the natural beauty of our surroundings, the endless community activities every day of the week, to dining options for every palate…it’s really the perfect setting for any love story,” concludes Kylie.

That’s the goal, Schmidt states, “Main Street organizations address all the critical factors that impact quality of life downtown, and align resources to make a difference– enhancing the social, economic, cultural, and environmental sustainability of a community.”

So, February 14th or June 14th or even during October, we, at Salem Main Streets strive to make our city and especially downtown district an anytime destination for fun and romance.

And thanks for the award! We love it!

Feb 122017

The conversation has begun. Are you a part of it? Do you want to be? Mayor Kim Driscoll, in her State of the City address last month, announced a community visioning process known as Imagine Salem. All Salem residents and community members are invited to join the Imagine Salem community conversation to prepare a road map to what they want the community to look like in 2026—the year that Salem celebrates its 400th anniversary.

The dialogue will be framed around housing, jobs, and transportation with themes of equity and inclusiveness woven throughout the topics. The vision will serve as a guide for future decisions.

“Salem has seen tremendous investment and growth over the past ten years,” said Mayor Driscoll. “New residents are joining longtime families in calling Salem home. Brownfields are being transformed, the waterfront is coming alive, and downtown has become a vibrant destination for the region. We’ve made important investments in our infrastructure, and our local economy is robust. Now the question is what kind of city do we want to be in ten years? How do we make sure our city is best positioned to continue our prosperity? From schools to housing and transportation to employment, let’s set some expectations for ourselves and then work to get them done.”

What can you do now?

  • Visit the website (www.imaginesalem.org).
  • Take a brief online survey.
  • Like Imagine Salem on Facebook.
  • Share a photo on Instagram.
  • Attend the citywide meeting on March 8 (6:30 PM Salem High School).
  • Come to a small get-together for coffee and conversation.

Those interested in doing more are invited to host a small group conversation. The conversation could be over a cup of coffee, at a book club, or a Sunday lunch with the family — however you typically meet with your friends, family, or social groups.

The Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) will provide you with the tools you need to facilitate a fun and engaging conversation about the future of Salem. Contact the DPCD (imaginesalem@salem.com, 978-619-5685) for more information.

“The people of Salem are what make this City great,” said Mayor Driscoll. “Our community’s vision should reflect their lives and experiences, and advance our collective hopes and dreams. I urge everyone to join the Imagine Salem conversation. I hope you will participate in as many ways as possible. Your contributions will help shape the vision for Salem’s future.”

Jan 212017

Don’t tell your Valentine where you are going February 10th. Make it a big surprise. And it will be when he or she sees all the chocolates and wine delights within Colonial Hall at Rockefellas as part of the 15th annual Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate and Ice Sculpture Festival kick off party.

This luscious tasting event runs from 6:30-8:30pm; sponsored by St. Jeans, it features wine and chocolate samplings from premier Salem restaurants, stores, and sweet shops, as well as music by Molly Pinto Madigan.

Easily considered the highlight of the early Salem Ma social season, Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate and Ice Sculpture Festival kick off party usually sells out quickly, with tickets priced at only $30 a person.

It is a great romantic event if you wish to keep to yourselves, or a lovely opportunity to mingle with other aficionados of chocolate in its many forms and uses. And don’t forget the opportunity to sample an unlimited variety of wines!

It of course is not the only event for Salem’s So Sweet

This year, we have a record-breaking 25 beautiful ice sculptures that grace downtown Salem starting February 11. Some of the themes for this year’s ice sculptures will include the Queen of Hearts, Cinderella’s Carriage, a goat named Bella and more – plus an actual ice bar on Rockafellas’ patio!

A map can be found in the brochure (available in shops around town) during the festival and online at www.salemsosweet.com. Be sure to make plans for a special evening stroll on Saturday, Feb. 11, from 5 pm to 9 pm, when the sculptures will be illuminated by Retonica!

The Salem Trolley will offer trolley rides around the festival route weather permitting on February 11 & 12 from 12 pm to 4 pm for only $2 an adult (free for children).

Many downtown businesses will offer chocolate samplings and sweet discounts around downtown Salem all weekend in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Check to see who is participating in the “Sweet 10% Promotion” – make a full-price purchase at one participating downtown business and get 10% off your purchase at the next participating business! Offer is good Feb. 11 and 12 only, some restrictions may apply. In addition, many of Salem’s finest restaurants and retailers will be offering their own luscious chocolate and love-inspired specials and events.

Ice Sculptures Promote Fun

A full list of ice sculptures, participating businesses, and promotions is listed below and online, and will be available in brochures around town during the festival. Salem’s So Sweet is organized by Salem Main Streets and the Salem Chamber of Commerce, and supported by Creative Salem, Deschamps Printing Co., Destination Salem, Retonica, and Rockafellas. Visit our website for more events and details as they become available – www.salemsosweet.com – or follow our Facebook page for all the latest updates – https://www.facebook.com/salemsosweet.

Chocolate and Wine Tasting Participants

Adriatic Restaurant & Bar
Bit Bar Salem
Captain Dusty’s Ice Cream
Gulu-Gulu Café
Harbor Sweets
Hawthorne Hotel
Homewood Suites by Hilton Boston/Peabody
KOTO Asian Grill – Sushi & Lounge
Pirate Dog Brand LLC / Rumson’s Rum
Regatta Pub at Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites
Salem Beer Works
Turtle Alley Chocolates
Victoria Station & Vic’s Boathouse
Ye Olde Pepper Companie

Ice Sculptures

· Globe – Sponsored by The Journeymasters
· Han Solo – Sponsored by Gulu-Gulu Café and Flying Saucer Pizza
· Snowflake – Sponsored by Laura Lanes Skin Care
· Opening of Sophia Gordon Center – Sponsored by Salem State University
· Ice Bar – Sponsored by Rockafellas
· Champagne – Sponsored by Adriatic Restaurant & Bar
· Clock – Sponsored by Creative Salem, Hawthorne Hotel, and Retonica
· Cinderella’s Carriage – Sponsored by Maria’s Sweet Somethings
· Fish – Sponsored by Koto
· Green Tara – Sponsored by Coon’s Card and Gift Shop, Penelope’s Pet Boutique, and Tibet Arts
· Bella the Goat – Sponsored by Bella Research Group
· Lobster Love – Sponsored by Turner’s Seafood
· Salem Film Fest 2017 – Sponsored by Salem Film Fest
· Steampunk Heart – Sponsored by Emporium 32, Modern Millie, Pamplemousse, Salem Trolley, and Trolley Depot
· Winnie the Pooh – Sponsored by Museum Place Mall: A Sacred Place Wellness, Bada Bing Barbershop, Bewitched in Salem, Coldwell Banker, Essex’s N.Y. Deli & Pizza, Jodi Bee Bakes, Kan.del, Lotus Gifts, nAGLY, Omen, Pol onus European Deli, Primary Residential Mortgage, Remix Church, Thai Cuisine & Seafood, Village Tavern, Witch Pix, and Witch Tee’s
· Shoe – Sponsored by Peabody Essex Museum
· Arcade – Sponsored by Bit Bar Salem
· Ruby Slippers – Sponsored by Salem Witch Museum
· Bakery – Sponsored by Coffee Time Bake Shop
· St. Jean’s Sweet Savings – Sponsored by St. Jean’s Credit Union
· Queen of Hearts – Sponsored by Joliet Tea Company
· Mug – Sponsored by Notch Brewery & Taproom
· Waterfront Hotel – Sponsored by Regatta Pub at Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites
· Rumson’s Rum – Sponsored by Pirate Dog Brand LLC / Rumson’s Rum
· Candy – Sponsored by The House of Seven Gables and Ye Olde Pepper Companie

Sweet 10% Participants and Promotions

Army Barracks
Come and check out a unique Army/Navy store in Salem!

Bit Bar Salem
Buy one dessert, get another of equal lesser value free. 10% of all other food and non-alcoholic beverages. Offer valid Feb 10 – 12. Come in and play!

Salem’s ONLY Korean restaurant that offers Korean fried chicken as well as Korean entrees. Receive 10% off food with brochure.

Captain Dusty’s Ice Cream
Captain Dusty’s Ice Cream – Open April 1 thru November 1.

Coffee Time Bake Shop
Try our heart shaped triple chocolate cake, mousseberry cake, real hot chocolate and delicious real cream pastry.

Coon’s Card and Gift Shop & Penelope’s Pet Boutique
Visit our Green Tara Ice Sculpture display and stop inside to get a piece of chocolate for you and a treat for your pup!

The Coven’s Cottage
We will be serving hot chocolate and sweet refreshments from local shops!

Receive 10% off any full price purchase February 10th- February 12th. Curtsy features gifts for the home, jewelry, accessories, baby, fine sleepwear, and contemporary women’s fashion.

Finz Seafood & Grill
Come see how sweet Finz can be! Daily chocolate specials on the menu and behind the bar.

Harbor Sweets
10% off your purchase on February 11 with this brochure. (Closed Sunday, Feb. 12.)

Hawthorne Hotel
Enjoy a 10% discount at the Tavern or Nat’s when presenting this brochure.

Homewood Suites by Hilton Boston/Peabody
New and existing Hilton HHonors members receive 10% or more off hotel rates

House of Seven Gables
Visit us for cookie decorating (12pm – 3pm), crafts on Sunday, guided museum tours, and Valentine shopping in our Museum store.

J. Mode
Receive 10% off any purchase February 10th- February 12th. J.Mode receives contemporary sportswear daily from Bailey 44, Three Dots, Ecru, Johnny Was, and Nicole Miller.

Jodi Bee Bakes
Join us on Sunday, Feb 12 from 1pm – 4pm for our 2nd Annual “Bee Indulgent.”

Jolie Tea Company
Free chocolate-dipped madeleine with purchase; Queen of Hearts High Tea by reservation; 10% off on loose-leaf tea.

Keamy Cosmetic Centre
Enjoy 10% off all Botox and fillers to celebrate Valentine’s Day (valid 2/11 only).

KOTO Asian Grill – Sushi & Lounge
Salem’s So Sweet 10% promotion for dinner menu only, includes take-out and dine-in.

Laura Lanes Skin Care
Treat yourself or loved one to a facial or massage, and check out our new certified organic lip balm.

Maria’s Sweet Somethings
Take a dip at our fountain of chocolate, sample sweets, enter to win a Valentine gift basket, jelly bean counting contest, and gummy bear contest. Find us on Facebook!

Notch Brewery & Taproom
It’s the debut launch of our Milk Stout! 10% off all non-beer items.

Chocolate & Wine tasting Saturday & Sunday February 11th & 12th 2pm – 4pm!

Peabody Essex Museum,
The Museum Shop will be sampling chocolates from Harbor Sweets.

Regatta Pub at Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites
Enjoy 10% off all food and stay! Cocoa rubbed baby-back ribs w/chocolate BBQ sauce, peanut butter balls, & bourbon 5 layer chocolate cake specials.

RJ Coins and Jewelry
20% off all fine jewelry including Frederic Duclos, Roman Glass, and our new Dog Fever line!

Salem Witch Museum
Show this ad and receive 10% off our newest t-shirt featuring Rhinestone Ruby Red Slippers and wording “there’s no place like Salem!”

Sea Level Oyster Bar & Kitchen
Make a full-price purchase at one of the participating business and show your receipt to get 10% off at Sea Level!

Tibet Arts & Healing
Visit our Green Tara Ice Sculpture display and stop inside to get the free lesson for self-healing with singing bowl.

Trolley Depot
Gift with purchase of $25 or more, plus our annual indoor sidewalk sales for Sweet Deals!

Victoria Station & Vic’s Boathouse
Mention “Salem’s So Sweet” to server to receive a complimentary Ghirardelli chocolate mousse!

Ye Olde Pepper Companie
Offering coupons for 15% off to all who stop by our table at the Chocolate and Wine event, good February 16th – February 28th.

Tickets to the Salem’s So Sweet kick off party are $30 a person and can now be purchased over the phone by calling 978-744-0004, online at www.salemsosweet.com, or in person at the Salem Chamber of Commerce, 265 Essex Street, Suite 101.

Jan 152017

Finding a secret or hidden room is the stuff of mystery or spy books, but it doesn’t happen in real life… or does it? You are invited to visit the House of Seven Gables in Salem Ma on January 22nd for a symposium and tour of a recently uncovered living space on the second floor.

The Secret Room is in fact one of two “under-utilized 2nd floor rooms. By removing old partitions and 18th century flooring, a large chamber and adjacent living space were uncovered. Also found to add to the historical significance were the original 17th century wide pine floors, hand forged nails and an exposed gunstock post.

Gables executive director Kara McLaughlin has stated that “Rarely does an iconic property with the history and significance of The Gables yield such an opportunity.”

To take advantage of sharing that opportunity for discovery and interpretation, the free symposium will feature staff and some of the region’s restoration specialists recounting what should be most fascinating behind-the-scenes info.

The special tour is set for 9:15-9:45am, followed by a lunch and roundtable session from 1 to 2pm.

Space is limited, advance registration is required, and some on-site parking is available. For more details go to www.7Gables.org/events or call 978-744-0991.

Step back in time and then help not only bring the secret room into the present, but perhaps share an idea or two for its future!

Jan 032017

Understandably, we’ve taken a little break. It’s been a busy last few months in Salem Ma. Halloween season was filled with creatures and creativity. That was followed by the Winter Holiday season, culminating with our double New Year’s Eve party extravaganza of LAUNCH and LAUNCH… Light It Up! And we could not have done any of these projects without a great showing of community support in the form of volunteers.

In February, it will be Salem’s So Sweet. In March, it will be the Salem Film Fest. In June, it will be the Salem Arts Festival. And so on. Whether these are Salem Main Street events or not, volunteers drive the projects from start to finish.

And that’s not just in Salem.

The annual “Volunteering and Civic Life in America” report, released by the Corporation for National & Community Service and the National Conference on Citizenship, substantiates that service to others is a priority for millions of Americans.

In fact for 2013 the report found that 62.6 million adults volunteered through an organization. They put in almost 7.7 billion hours which translated to around $173 billion, based on an estimate of the average value of a volunteer hour.

Time well spent.

And we just wanted to take this moment to thank you all again for giving of your time and experience to projects that benefit the Salem Ma community.