May 052016

Haunted HappeningsWhile the calendar says it is only May and summer is not far away, for many businesses in our Downtown District it signals that Halloween in the form of Haunted Happenings is less than six months away! Believe it or not, phone calls are beginning to come in to hotels and attractions seeking information.

In response, D2015_Coverestination Salem has wisely decided to move their deadline for the Salem Haunted Happenings Guide WAY UP this year. The deadline for submissions is THIS FRIDAY!

If you operate a business in Salem that participates in the Haunted Happenings extravaganza and are planning an October event or want to advertise to these inquiring visitors, do not miss out!!!

To find out more about Destination Salem’s integrated Haunted Happenings print and digital marketing campaign go to their website. Questions? Call 978-741-3252. Fax 978-741-7539. Email


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 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.

Dec 272015

Where else but Salem MA could you welcome the New Year while at the same time celebrate the past? And still have time to welcome the New Year again! No, we haven’t started sampling the bubbly stuff yet.

LAUNCH+SALEM+MA+_3289The City of Salem and Salem Main Streets are teaming up to throw LAUNCH!, our third annual New Year’s Eve party, this Thursday, Dec. 31 from 4 pm to 6 pm at historic Old Town Hall, Derby Square. Let’s repeat the times, 4-6pm. Bring the entire family – yes the kids too, it’s early enough!

“When we organized LAUNCH! for the first time, it was immediately clear that this needed to be an annual tradition where the community could truly come together,” states Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets Executive Director. “Plus, there’s still plenty of time after our early countdown to get to your own party, or catch one of the many other great events happening all over town on New Year’s Eve!”

Attendees can ‘rock the night away’ with local musical favorites including The Dejas, BlacKat, and Kevin William, as well as a number of “rising star” teen musicians. There will be New Year’s Eve related activities and crafts for kids of all ages, thanks to event partners The Gathering, The Phoenix School, and Creative Salem.

Kylie adds, “I’ll be honest, this is truly one of my favorite events of the year. We conduct many events which might arguably have a greater impact, but I love that this event is simply about celebrating together as a community. We’re also so lucky to partner with the City of Salem in using Old Town Hall – there’s something lovely and symbolic to me about getting to use this beautiful public building that celebrates the past, and then throw the doors open to the community to welcome the year to come.”lAUNCH

Speaking of Old Town Hall, we’re also still looking for a few helping hands to join us this Thursday, especially for:

  • Set up (2 to 4pm): Volunteers should ideally be able to lift up to 25 pounds.
  • Craft activity support (4 to 6 pm): Help activity leaders as needed.
  • FACE PAINTERS (4 to 6 pm): We’re not looking for high levels of artistic talent – ability to paint hearts, stars, and “Happy 2016!” is sufficient. We’ll provide the paint and brushes.
  • Break down (5:45 to 7pm): Volunteers should ideally be able to lift up to 25 pounds.

This event is free to all and family-friendly, with a $5 suggested donation to help support the Salem Main Streets “Holiday Happenings” initiatives, including the wreaths and ribbons around the downtown, the Holiday Tree, and LAUNCH!

There will be an early countdown promptly at 6 pm.

For more info about New Year’s Eve Salem, contact Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets Manager, at (978)744-0004 or, or visit and follow Salem Main Streets on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

And have a Happy New Year!

Dec 212015

Many things do we look forward to during the holiday season, and here at Salem Main Streets we are particularly fond of the Holiday Windows promotion we conduct with the cooperation of the merchants in the Downtown District.

Yes, the holidays are here, and Salem is dressed for the season with trees, wreaths, and ribbons. But to top it off, over 35 downtown businesses joined in by decorating their windows especially for the holidays. Judges nominated by Salem Main Streets recently made the rounds to vote on the best windows.

“We had some truly fantastic windows this year, and there was much friendly disagreement and fighting for favorites between the judges,” said Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets Executive Director. “Of particular note, we added a category this year for ‘Best Use of Product’ and were happily surprised to see that this became a very competitive category.”

window Pamplemousse - Best OverallOverall: Pamplemousse

window ReFind Men's - Most TraditionalMost Traditional: Re-Find Men’s
Honorable Mention – The House of the Seven Gables Gift Shop

window salem Collective of Artists and Musicians - Most OriginalMost Original: SCAM (Salem Collective of Artists and Musicians)
Honorable Mention – Fringe Salon

window The Coven's Cottage - Best Use of ProductBest Use of Product: The Coven’s Cottage
Honorable Mention – LightShed Photography

Windows For Kids Only 1 X Factorwindow Gulu Gulu Cafe - X FactorX Factor Awards ( for windows that “defy categorization”) there was a tie : For Kids Only Afterschool (on left), Gulu Gulu Cafe (on right).

Kylie sums it up by saying, “All around, we wish we could have given at least twice as many awards!”

Come to Salem MA, where “window shopping” is an art form!

Dec 112015

Looking for alternatives and options in gifts for aunt Amber, cousin Dirk, or your new special someone? No need to look high and low; come to Salem Ma this weekend for the 1st Annual Witch City DIY Holiday Market. The event will feature local artisanal vendors, indie record labels, and other DIY vendors with products ranging from vegan soap to custom baby tents to punk flags and more.

Witch City DIYThat’s right. Indie record labels and punk flags. This sounds different & interesting. Almost like a punk rock flea market.

Hosted by Creative Salem and Bridge Nine Records, this event will take place from 11am – 6pm, Saturday, Dec. 12th at The Vault, 217 Essex Street on the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall. It is a large but intimate setting that is conducive to walking, handling the items for sale and conversing with the creators/vendors.

“We are so happy to bring this alternative market to Downtown Salem this year,” said John Andrews of Creative Salem. “Supporting and providing opportunities to all manners of makers is one of our key missions.”

And this event not only supports the work of local artists, 1st Annual Witch City DIY Holiday Market also inspires people to shop local.

A partial list of vendors (always subject to change…) includes:

Tor Johnson Records
Triple B Records
Better Days Recovery Press
Brandon Gorski Illustration
Arrest Records
Deathwish Inc.
Cave Dweller
Hervor Soaps
Amaranth & Rue
Prospect Records
Timber + Twine
Bridge Nine Records
Sully’s Brand
Bats in the Belfry Crafts
Nightwatch Studio
Beantown Collectibles
Witch City Wicks
Tryptic Press
Witch DR.

For more info on the Witch City DIY Holiday Market go to the Creative Salem website or Facebook page. It is suggested you use hashtag #WitchCityDIY when sharing info or pictures on favorite finds or any positive interactions at the event.

Could this alternative market become THE North of Boston must-attend annual punk rock holiday event, thus adding to the growing reputation of Salem as a winter holiday shopping destination? You’re invited to make it happen.