Feb 182018
 

While there are a lot of Do-It-Yourself books, videos and TV shows today to help you build your house, back in 1668 when sea captain John Turner was having the Turner Mansion constructed in Salem Ma, there was a lot of trial and error. With limited material resources at hand and no power tools, building a house in Colonial Massachusetts required skill, ingenuity and a lot more. Luckily, Turner’s team would even make the hosts of PBS’ “This Old House” happy, as the structure still stands. Today it is known as The House of Seven Gables. And you are invited to tour it during February School Vacation Week, Feb. 17-25.

Designated a National Historic Landmark District in 2007, The House of the Seven Gables is best known today as the setting of world-renowned American author Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1851 novel.

But, before that, it was to be a home and the question is what tools and designs worked best in 1668?  What failed? How did they learn from their mistakes?

Children and their families will find out. Tools, as you can well imagine, are part of the intrigue — some will look familiar 350 years later. Some won’t. Those attending will learn about the tools of the trade and which materials were used most often in Colonial Salem.

It gets even better. This is an interactive event. All in attendance will also get the chance to experiment with different construction techniques at each of The Gables’ workshop stations.

Plus, as an extra special treat for the kids (and perhaps adults) you’ll be able to fold and decorate your own paper house to take home!

Special interactive presentations— Why Do We Have Gables? — are scheduled at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. when Museum staff explore the construction of historic buildings and which parts of these structures are strongest.

School vacation programming is included with admission from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Check 7gables.org for hours, and rates. The program is free for Salem residents with valid identification and Museum members.

The House of Seven Gables is located at 115 Derby St., Salem. For more information, call 978-744-0991 or check out the Museum website.

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Nov 262017
 

Everybody has an opinion although sometimes people don’t want to hear yours. But we do when it comes to reactions, comments, criticism, and suggestions about Haunted Happenings in Salem Ma.

Gone but not forgotten, our month-long celebration of Halloween (and all things spooky) doesn’t just happen by itself. It takes a lot of planning by a lot of people, groups, merchants and attractions.

To that end, the city of Salem has scheduled an “after action” review of Halloween 2017 for this Thursday, Nov. 30 from 5-6pm at the Salem Five Community Room, 210 Essex Street.

Everyone is welcome: tourists, business owners and most especially residents! We want you to share feedback with Mayor Kim Driscoll, and city officials in the public safety, traffic & parking, and public works departments.

What did you like, what worked well, and what did not work well for you this past October? Parking? Traffic patterns? Noise?

If you are unable to attend, the Mayor’s team still wants to hear from you. Submit feedback to mayor@salem.com or write to Office of Mayor Kimberly Driscoll, Salem City Hall, 93 Washington Street, Salem Ma 01970.

Thousands of people flood our community every weekend during October. They generate a significant amount of revenue for merchants and attractions. But unintentionally visitors also impact the lives of residents. This is your chance to help Haunted Happenings continue to be an event that serves the needs of all of Salem.

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Nov 242017
 

Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is the day that small businesses in Salem and all along Main Street USA really look forward to: Small Business Saturday. First observed in the United States on November 27, 2010, it is a day when communities of shoppers are urged to support the convenience of driving or even walking to their local brick & mortar businesses, instead of fighting the crowds at faraway over-crowded malls.

That kick-off Small Business Saturday was sponsored by American Express, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, and Roslindale Village Main Street. Since then it has grown into a nationwide event, with an estimated 112 million consumers reported to have shopped at small businesses on Small Business Saturday in 2016.

Shopping Local Is An Experience

Small Business Saturday is so great,” explains Kylie Sullivan, Executive Director of Salem Main Streets, “because it’s not just about the shopping or the things – though with over 200 locally-operated storefronts in downtown Salem, there’s certainly no shortage of gifts and treats to be found! Instead it’s more about the experience of being part of a community, the feeling you get when you’re in a locally-owned business that simply can’t be replicated in a box store or online.”

You can walk into a locally-owned Salem store and actually speak to a clerk with product knowledge of items in the store. Or just as likely, you can chat with the store owner! Ever talk to the owner or even manager of a big box store (unless to complain)?

Adds Elizabeth Rutledge, EVP of Global Advertising and Media at American Express, “People across the country are aware of the benefits that small businesses can bring to the community, and the momentum that was started with the first Small Business Saturday continues to build.”

That is backed up by the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, released by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express. Among U.S. consumers who went out and shopped in-store, total reported spending reached an estimated $15.4 billion at independent retailers and restaurants in 2016.

You will be in good company.

So, a word to the wise, relax on Friday and Monday. And make Saturday your day for walking out of Salem stores with good deals for your holiday and other gift giving needs!

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Oct 032017
 

Photo Credit – Social Palates/Creative Salem via Salem Chamber

Movie Monsters will flood the streets of Salem this Thursday, Oct. 5th as the 22nd annual Haunted Happenings Grand Parade officially kicks off THE Halloween season for tourists and residents alike.

Twenty-two years. If you were a 10-year-old kid dressed in costume for any of the first few, quite possibly you have a son or daughter participating this year. Tradition is a big deal for this parade.

Another tradition involves picking a theme to help participants get creative in their costuming and float themes. Movie Monsters opens a vast panorama from which to dig deep the creative juices. We look forward to the sights and sounds.

According to the Salem Chamber of Commerce, which produces the Haunted Happenings Grand Parade, “The choice of costumes for this year’s parade is endless, based on all the classic and beloved monster themed movies parents and kids love. The parade audience will see a lot of characters from Monsters Inc., Beauty and the Beast, Harry Potter, and The Addams Family, to name a few. Thriller might make a comeback and one or two horror movie characters might join the Salem Chamber Haunted Happenings Parade as well!”

Who participates?

Children & teens from Salem schools along with adults from schools, businesses, city offices, fire & police departments and other organizations participate as volunteers, organizers, planners, walkers and cleanup crews. It really is a group effort.

What’s the Route?

Haunted Happenings Grand Parade begins at Shetland properties on Congress street, precisely at 6:30pm. Marchers turn left onto Derby Street, right onto Central Street, left onto Front Street, right onto Washington Street, right onto the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall and finish at the Salem common.

Friends and family cheer them on along the way, and at the Common they will be entertained by local favorite DJ Doug.

If you would like to volunteer to help with aspects of the Parade, contact the Chamber at 978-744-0004.

Mark your calendar to remind you to visit us this Thursday to see the spirit of Halloween on the faces of kids as the spotlight is all theirs.

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Aug 202017
 

Do you wish to do some good for others in the community? If so, then you are part of the 62.8 million Americans who annually give of their time & skills volunteering. In our case, the community is Salem and we are Salem Main Streets in need of volunteers to help us staff the Visitors’ Info Booth during the upcoming Haunted Happenings Halloween season, which begins October 1st.

Yes, we know, it is still mid-August and summer is not over. But look at the calendar again from a staffing/training point of view. To be ready to go with scheduled volunteers by October 1st, we need to send out an invitation now.

“It’s hard to believe, but it’s already time to start planning for Haunted Happenings and the October Information Booth,” says Kylie Sullivan, executive director of Salem Main Streets.

A welcoming orientation will take place on Saturday, September 16 at 9:30 a.m. at the National Park Service Regional Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty Street, Salem, MA. Volunteers will be updated on new October events and there will be time for returning volunteers to share insights and information with those new to the program.

Kylie adds, “Our annual orientation will cover all the basics for new volunteers, and important updates and reminders for our returning ambassadors. Even if you have volunteered in the past, it is important to try to make this training!”

Registration will begin at 9:30 am, with the orientation starting promptly at 10 am. Please remember to bring your ID for the CORI process.

What if you’re neither a native nor a long term transplanted resident and don’t know exactly “where everything is?” You will. Between support from the people in the booth with you during your shifts, to the repeated questions (where are public bathrooms, where can I see something really scary, where did they burn the witches, where can I get a good burger or fish meal), you will.

Purely as a side note, volunteering has been known to help new people in a community make new friends who share common interests & values.

And if you speak more than one language, we clearly could use your help, as many Haunted Happenings attendees are from foreign lands.

For more information, contact Kylie Sullivan, Executive Director, Salem Main Streets at 978/744-0004 x115 or email at www.salemmainstreets.org

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