Aug 292015

Has it been a month already since the last First Friday at Pickering Wharf? If you missed FF last month, this Friday, Sept. 4th is your chance to experience the interaction between your five senses and all that the Wharf stores have to offer.

FF SeptWhat began as a plan to recreate an 18th century shopping village theme at Pickering Wharf has evolved into a visually serene landscape dotted with an eclectic line-up of gift shops and many, many, many places to stop for lunch or dinner.

Then add to it the special touch of a First Friday when merchants stay open later and offer some extra special deals as a way of saying “thank you” to customers, and you have a great day trip / ladies night out / guy’s night out destination this coming Friday Sept.4th

For example, show a receipt from any wharf merchant on this First Friday of the month, and the restaurants will take 10% off of your lunch or dinner that same day or evening (10% discount applies to food at participating merchants 62 Restaurant & Wine Bar, Brodies Seaport, Finz Seafood and Grill, Longboards Restaurant and Bar, Regatta Pub in the Salem Waterfront Hotel, Sea Level Oyster Bar and Kitchen, Vic’s Boathouse & Victoria’s Station.).

Find a good deal and enjoy a good meal. Pickering Wharf is located off Derby Street in Salem MA.

Aug 052015

First FridayBargains will fill the shelves, counters and floors of stores this weekend as Heritage Days closes out the weekend with the Essex Street Fair, and Pickering Wharf presents the next installment of First Friday.

First Friday is a stand-alone monthly activity by the good folks at Pickering Wharf, but this month it happens to fall during Heritage Days, so why not make it part of your Heritage Days celebration when you’re in town that day?

First Frid 8-1-15You will most definitely Shop, Dine and Unwind at Pickering Wharf where you will find exclusive specials, events and treats from over 20 unique shops and six fabulous restaurants.

First Friday festivities begin at 5pm with most stores remaining open until 9pm.

Participating restaurants will offer, at a minimum, 10% off  with a receipt from a Pickering Wharf shop, as well as in-house specials. Some merchants will also have entertainment, refreshments, and some give-aways.

Bargains & free “stuff” make First Fridays at Pickering Wharf a must see event.

Then over the weekend, more than 50 vendors will participate in the Heritage Days festivities at the Salem Chamber of Commerce Essex Street Fair. The Essex Street Fair is an annual two-day event; this year it is to be held on August 8 & 9, 2015 from 10am – 6pm.

Along the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall artisans, craftors, and food vendors from in and around Salem join local merchants to sell their merchandise along the length of Essex St., from the Daniel Low Building to the Hawthorne Hotel.

Bring your friends and family to this street festival to browse through jewelry, crafts, paintings, and other unique items! Face painters and musicians will be strolling around to entertain the crowd.

For more information regarding the Essex Street Fair, contact the Salem Chamber of Commerce at 978-744-0004.

Mar 052015

If you’ve never shopped at Salem’s scenic Pickering Wharf (hard to believe), then make March 6th your First Friday there, as the merchants have gotten together to revive the First Friday concept (and even if you have shopped there, you’ll want to make the trip this week).

First Friday is a “stay open later” theme held on the first Friday of a month to entice shoppers with bargains, entertainment and an opportunity for merchants & shoppers to get better acquainted.

Pickering WharfWhile there was no First Friday last year, in previous years it had encompassed the greater Downtown District. David Bowie of Salem Spice (one of the stores at Pickering Wharf) explains “I thought it seemed like a good vehicle to kick-start the 2015 year; so I sent a note to Pickering Wharf merchants to suggest that we start it up again as a local, rather than city-wide, initiative. It seems to be taking root. ”

Just look at all the participants this month. And note the discounts if you bring a receipt from another store on Pickering Wharf!

Clever Diva: 10% off with receipt from another Pickering Wharf merchant or restaurant!

Crafters Market Candles & Gifts: 10% off, 15% off with receipt from another PW merchant or restaurant!

Edward John Home Decor: 10% off!

Enchanted Shop: 10% off, 15% off with a receipt from another Pickering Wharf merchant or restaurant!

Finz Seafood and Grill: 10% off with a receipt from a PW merchant or restaurant! (excludes alcohol)

The Happy Sunflower: 15% off non-sale items and 50-75% off clearance items!

Hedrington’s: Sales, Snacks & SPIRITS as well as a Spring Preview!

The Joyful Artisans “Supernaturals”: 20% off original price on clothing, 10% off jewelry, a raffle for a pair of custom made earrings and FREE snacks and goodies!

Longboards Restaurant & Bar: 10% off with a receipt from a Pickering Wharf merchant or restaurant! (excludes alcohol)

Ocean Chic Boutique & Waterbar: 10% off any full price item and 20-50% off winter items!

SalemSpice: 10% off all purchases, and FREE cider for the day!

RJ Coins and Jewelry: FREE watch battery installed while you wait with any purchase of $10 or more! (limit one per person)

Adds Bowie, “Most of the merchants will offer, at a minimum, 10% off as well as in-house specials. Some merchants will also have entertainment, refreshments, and some give-aways. The restaurants have graciously offered to provide 10% off meals (no alcohol) if you show a receipt from a PW merchant. Salem Film Fest is also joining in the fun and we are offering that same 10% off if you show a receipt from Salem Film Fest.”

First Friday festivities begin at 5pm with most stores remaining open until 9 pm. Entertainment. Bargains. Actually talk to someone in a store before you purchase an item. Definitely skip driving to the mall on this Friday night.

May 012013

A new month is upon us and Salem residents know that means first and foremost, First Friday (on May 3rd) when merchants keep their businesses open until 8pm (some even later) to accommodate extra walk-in traffic. But this special weekend also features a Hats Off to Education gala fundraiser and the 2013 Mass Poetry Festival. Can you find the time to squeeze it all in?

First Friday (held on the first Friday of every month) is part of our efforts at Salem MainStreets to help promote not just the shopping potential of our Downtown District but to spotlight the merchants behind the counters. First Friday gives them a chance to be creative in presentation, theme, and goodies to give out.

oystersFor example, Finz restaurant is offering $1 oyster from 5-7pm, while Vic’s Boathouse has $1 shrimp cocktail from 6-8pm and Pamplemouse has a special wine tasting event.

And you, the shopping public are the benefactors.

Also on May 3rd will be Hats Off to Education, a fundraiser for the Salem Education Foundation, whose goal is to provide funding for projects that further students’ educational experiences in science, mathematics, the arts and humanities. This “hat-themed” ticketed event features a live auction, $5,000 reverse raffle, great food and live music, and the new Wall of Wine (WOW!). The event begins at 7:30pm at the Hawthorne Hotel.

Tickets may be purchased: online at or at the door on the evening of the event.

There is also an Online Auction running now through May 5th with over 200 items including sporting and theater tickets, gift certificates to local restaurants and shops, weekend getaways and more.  To participate in the Online Auction, go to

For Friday night, here are just a few of the items up for bid.

  • Salem Lobstering Expedition & Dinner for four, Donated by Melea & Mike Nalli
  • Autographed Patriots Football, Donated by the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation
  • Unique Date Night: Perfume and Corset Evening followed by Dinner at Red Lulus, Donated by J’Adore & Red LuLu’s
  • Salem Sunset Cruise for Six, Donated by Cindy and Peter Theriault

The Massachusetts Poetry Festival is a three-day event (May 3-5) attracting  a variety of local and regional poets, hosting poetry readings, interactive workshops, panel discussions, music, film, visual arts, and performances to various venues in Salem.

For full description of the activities (and there are many),  participants, and most importantly registration to attend, go to their website. This is important.  By signing up for all the events you wish to attend, even if not required, provides the Festival organizers with data to decide if they need to move a smaller event to a larger space.

The festival in the past attracted more than 1,500 poets and followers. So a word to the wise should be sufficient.

Mar 292013

Reputation attained, and rightly so, Salem First Friday is all about foods, fun with friends and finds. The upcoming SFF on April 5th will be more of the same. Merchants open later. Bargains available to those who participate!

But what makes SFF especially endearing to many attendees are the extras. For example if you have young children, that is not an obstacle if they don’t “get it” about shopping.  You can leave them (ages 5-12) at the Salem YMCA for $15 anytime from 6-9pm. There will be well supervised gym activities, gymnastics, sports, arts & crafts, swimming, and dancing! Pizza & drinks are included. Mention Salem First Friday and save $5 off the $15 fee. The kids may not want to leave! Space is limited and you must call ahead to save a spot- 978-740-9622.

And then there are the special presentations at the Museum Place Mall. Last month it was a belly dancer; this month Urban Coastal Dance will present excerpts from “Aquatic Parallels” an evening of contemporary dance illustrating the similarities between body systems and aquatic environments.  Choregraphy by company founders: Cecilia Seaward, Jamie Arnold, Sera Smith.Cecilia Seaward

Urban Coastal Dance formed in 2012 out of a desire to link dance with community activism and wellness.  The company’s first performance was last summer, right here in Salem, MA and is currently based in Providence, RI.

According to Cecilia Seaward, “We are coming up to Salem because it is where we had our first performance as a collective.  We received such a positive response and it was a great experience for us.

 “Through our performance we want to build an appreciation for the flow of life and illustrate the similarities between the ocean’s waterways and human body system.  When developing the choreography we discussed this idea that humanity can be a destructive force in the world but being humbled by the vastness of nature, especially by something as powerful and beautiful as the ocean can lead to a peaceful appreciation and acceptance of the flow of life.  That is what we are hoping to convey.”

First Friday, shop ’til you drop, and in between experience some relaxing choreographed aquatic movement. Salem Ma. Something different every time.