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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Jun 292017
 

Independence Day 2017 is almost upon us and you are thinking about driving into Boston to sit on the Esplanade for the festivities. Or taking the train into Boston. Or taking the bus into Boston. And then the long ride home again. So many people; takes forever. Hmmm. Maybe this year you will sit it out? Wait, we have a very patriotic alternative. Do the 4th in style in Salem!!!

“There’s no better place to celebrate Independence Day than in historic Salem,” proclaims Mayor Kimberley Driscoll. Our July 4th Independence Day celebration takes place at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site on Derby Wharf.

We have our own connections to the beginnings of our nation. Besides all that we are known for in history, Salem is also the birthplace of the National Guard and the Salem Common itself was the site of the first muster in 1637 and continues to host the annual National Guard muster to this day.

Driscoll points out that “This year we are very excited to once again have a flyover by the 104th Fighter Wing from Barnes Air National Guard Unit.” That Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, located in Westfield, Massachusetts, proudly claims the honor of being one of the oldest flying units within the Commonwealth.

“As the birthplace of the National Guard, it is especially meaningful for Salem to have a flyover by the 104th,” explains Mayor Driscoll.

The Day’s Events

Driscoll outline’s the events of the day, “Start off bright and early at Salem Common for the annual reading of the Declaration of Independence, spend the day visiting the City’s numerous historic sites and attractions, dine at one of dozens of remarkable restaurants, and end your day at historic Derby Wharf for all of the festivities.”

Plus, there will be numerous on site food tents selling hot dogs, French fries, fried dough, kettle corn, and other fair favorites.

But, there’s more

There will be free children’s activities beginning at 5pm. with the opening of the Kids’ Space, where kids can play games, win prizes and get their faces painted. Also, stop by the MAGIC 106.7 tent for a chance to win great station prizes and get your picture taken with Garrot the Parrot from Canobie Lake Park! And don’t forget to pick up your free samples of Perfectly Free bite-sized non-dairy frozen treats too!

What about live entertainment? It all begins also at 5pm. This year Annie Brobst, who has been voted the 2016 & 2017 New England Country Music Award’s Female Artist of the Year, will be performing today’s country hits with her band on main stage.

Opening Ceremonies begin at 7:15pm when Mayor Driscoll and other local dignitaries will lead a parade down the wharf accompanied by the Salem Veterans Honor Guard and Salem Boy Scout troops. The National Anthem will be sung by members of the Salem High School’s a capella group Witch Pitch?.

Immediately following opening ceremonies Maestro Dirk Hillyer and the Hillyer Festival Orchestra (HFO) will take center stage and perform a program packed with Broadway show tunes and patriotic music featuring soprano Jacyn Tremblay and tenor Thomas Smoker.

This year, also plan to be entertained and amazed by a violin concerto to be performed by Emily Gasparyan, a 14-year old violinist who has won numerous violin competitions and has played with symphony orchestras around the globe.

For intermission entertainment, we also have some talented musicians from Salem’s Collins Middle School.

At 9:15pm, Salem ends its Independence Day celebration with a fireworks extravaganza, accompanied live by the Hillyer Festival Orchestra playing the 1812 Overture and other patriotic tunes throughout the entire fireworks display.

It is a rousing end to a day when we all come together to promote what is great about America.

“I’d also like to express a special thank you to our Skyrocket Sponsors: Footprint Power – Salem Harbor Station, Salem Five and Tropical Products, along with our Star-Spangled Sponsors: Aggregate Industries, Tache Real Estate, Market Basket, Eastern Bank, and KV Associates, and new this year, Thermal Circuits,” concludes Mayor Driscoll. “This event does not happen without their and many others support.”

Support is the key word. We are having a big birthday bash for the USA on July 4th here in Salem. Join us at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site on Derby Wharf.

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Mar 252017
 

Mayor Kimberly Driscoll of Salem MA has proclaimed March 26, 2017 as Salem Women’s History Day to go along with other nationwide events this month to honor the achievements of women, past, present and future. In keeping with that proclamation, there are events to inform, educate and entertain the community and visitors. Among them on Sunday are:

House of Seven Gables

The House of the Seven Gables will commemorate Salem Women’s History Day with a special women’s history tour and two lectures with speakers from the Partnership of Historic Bostons.

Women’s History Tour of The Gables—Free for Salem residents and members; regular admission applies to all others. (12:30 – 1:15 pm)

The Hidden Domestic Lives of Puritan Women: When you read the spiritual narratives of 17th-century Puritan women, it’s remarkable to realize that they are very like men’s narratives: completely focused on the search for grace. Women’s narratives mention family as rarely and perfunctorily as men’s narratives do. These were women raising children and creating homesteads in new colonial settlements, where the domestic labor was unceasing. How did these women live both as independent spiritual seekers–the first American individuals–and as wives and mothers? Free. (1:30 – 2:30 pm)

Katharine Gibbs: Trailblazing Woman in Business: Katharine Gibbs’ secretarial schools provided educational opportunities for women beginning in the early twentieth century and helped to change the face of the American office. Learn about this fascinating woman and the changing roles of women and work. (2:30 – 3:30 pm)

Women’s History Tour of The Gables—Free for Salem residents and members; Regular admission applies to all others. (3:30 – 3:45pm)

All events are available on a first come, first served basis. Registration is not required. Space is limited. For more information email groups@7gables.org, or call 978-744-0991 ext. 152.

Phillips House

You are invited to be the guests of Phillips House staff for a day of special guided tours focusing on the role of women who specifically lived at 34 Chestnut Street through the years. How their lives differed and had similarities is a fascinating time travel trip.

The tour is free of charge for Historic New England members and Salem residents.There is a nominal fee of $5 for nonmembers.

Tours are available on the half-hour. Registration is not required. Please call 978-744-0440 for more information.

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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!

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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.

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