Jan 172018
 

Hard to believe that such a simple idea 16 years ago, to have a gathering in Salem in the cold of winter that would warm the hearts of residents, friends, and local merchants, has blossomed into a major North Shore event. It is with a happy heart that Salem Main Streets, along with the Salem Chamber of Commerce, Destination Salem, and local businesses invite you to attend the 16th annual Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival, Feb. 9-11, 2018.

It is indeed a decadent tradition of delectable chocolate, sparkling ice sculptures, and Valentine’s Day shopping… you won’t want to miss Salem’s sweetest event of the year! It is a great date option!

The Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival officially kicks off with a Chocolate and Wine Tasting, on Friday, February 9th from 6:30 – 8:30 pm, at Colonial Hall at Rockafellas, 231 Essex Street.

Did you know that:

  • Americans consume 8 billion pounds of chocolate each year, or over 11 pounds per person. (FranchiseHelp.com)
  • The United States drinks more wine than any other nation on earth. Americans consumed 329 million cases in 2013 (Impact Databank)

Our luscious tasting event features wine and chocolate samplings from premier Salem restaurants, stores, and sweet shops.  Music by local favorite Molly Pinto Madigan will set a sweet mood. This event is the highlight of the season and sells out quickly!

(Tickets 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.)

Starting the morning of Saturday, February 10th, ice sculptures will begin appearing all around downtown Salem. It has become a tradition that some locals will run around the downtown district to be the first to post sculpture pictures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Last year, we had a record-breaking 25 beautiful ice sculptures, including the Queen of Hearts, Cinderella’s Carriage, a goat named Bella, and more – including actual ice bars at Rockafellas’ and the Regatta Pub. Be sure to make pre-Valentine Day plans for a special evening stroll on Saturday, Feb. 10, when the sculptures will be illuminated by Retonica! More information about this year’s sculptures will be available online at www.salemsosweet.com as we get closer to the event.

The Salem Trolley will offer trolley rides around the festival route (weather permitting) on February 10 & 11 from 12 pm to 4 pm for only $2 an adult (free for children).

Many downtown businesses will offer chocolate samplings and sweet discounts all weekend in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Check to see who is participating in the “Golden Ticket” – 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. 10 and 11 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.

Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival is organized by Salem Main Streets and the Salem Chamber of Commerce, and supported by Creative Salem, Destination Salem, Retonica, Scarlet Letter Press, 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.

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Aug 172017
 

Summer is almost over. Fun stuff done. No need to visit Salem until October. Right? WRONG!!! Here are just three things set for the next few days.

Farmers’ Market

Our successfully diverse Farmers’ Market continues its 2017 run (every Thursday now through Oct 12) with a host of regular vendors and a rotating batch as well.

For 8/17/17 come check out:

Cauldron Fermented Foods
Pour Man’s Coffee
1634 Meadery
Bare Cheek Beauty

Who is providing entertainment this week? From 5-7pm, Radio Scotvoid will be spinning vinyl jams. So, bring your dancing shoes. Or just a chair to set a spell and tap your toes!

Also, as an FYI… The Salem Farmers’ Market accepts the SNAP/EBT card. Just head for the Farmers’ Market table, located off Front St, on the Lobster Shanty side, and ask for the Market Manager. Use your SNAP/EBT card to “purchase” $1, $2, and $5 tokens. For more info on this program, go to http://salemfarmersmarket.org/ebt-info/

Salem Farmers’ Market operates Thursdays from 3-7pm in Derby Sq.

End of Summer Blues at PEM/PM

Does the thought of days getting shorter and darker earlier, and temperatures dipping bring out the end of summer blues in you? Put aside your trepidations. The Peabody Essex Museum has a festive alternative. This month’s PEM/PM late night party (also on 8/17/17) from 6-9pm will indeed be a party.

Enjoy local blues bands, lawn games and backyard BBQ food while enjoying a selection of beer. Be a part of the music with instrument making and blue jean art workshops to end the summer with a bash.

All that at a Museum? Yes, if it is the world-famous Peabody Essex Museum, located at East India Square, 161 Essex Street, Salem, MA. For more info on this month’s PEM/PM event, please call 978-745-9500.

The Salem Flea

Regional and local artisans/vendors will again be on hand from 10am-5pm on Aug. 19  to showcase and sell their work this third Saturday of the month as they have all season (May-September) in historic downtown Salem at Derby Square on Front Street. This area of the city was originally built as a market place and continues to be an important public plaza and pedestrian walkway.

The Salem Flea features a juried selection of vendors of vintage and up-cycled furniture, vintage clothing, collectibles, antiques, architectural salvage as well as a select number of jewelry, art, and handmade goods by local artisans.

Just three events with more than enough activity to keep you busy as the days of summer gently breeze away.

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Aug 022017
 

While most communities have a festival honoring their past, Salem actually has two running concurrently. Our Salem Heritage Days Festival runs from Aug. 1-13, celebrating our past and present, while within it, you can also attend the Salem Maritime Festival, Aug. 4-6!

Salem Maritime Festival

A Re-enactor at Salem Maritime FestivalIf you wished to learn some of what passed for life in the days when Salem was a heavily trafficked trading seaport, the Salem Maritime Festival is the place to be. Knot tying, sign making, and boat building demonstrations await you

Hosted by Salem Maritime National Historic Site in cooperation with the Essex National Heritage Commission and Eastern National, the 29th annual Festival also features live music, historical reenactors, demonstrations, interactive programs, arts, crafts, and more!

Plus, there will be lotteries to earn a coveted spot on deck of either the Schooner Fame, the Schooner Ardelle or the motorized Catamaran Endeavour as they take passengers on a delightful tour of the Salem Harbor.

For the full list of scheduled events for the Salem Maritime Festival click on this link.

Heritage Days Festival

There is so much to do and see during the Salem Heritage Days Festival, organizers very smartly planned this event over several days. There are in fact so many things happening (including the a fore-mentioned Maritime Festival) that we are printing the entire scheduled calendar of events.

From ice cream to pizza tasting events, from clowns to firemen, from a street fair to a concert, from a car meet to a truck tour, you will be entertained, educated and excited about the option to do so many things at various locations within walking distance in the Downtown District.

August 4
Salem Maritime Festival Kick-Off Concert

August 5
Salem Maritime Festival
Salem Willows Clown Day
Wild Fish Open Water Swim Festival
Salem Willows Firemen’s Muster
6th Annual Bridgin’ G.A.P.S. Festival

August 6
5th Annual Bridge & Back 10K Road Race
Salem Maritime Festival
Tour-A-Truck
6th Annual Bridgin’ G.A.P.S. Festival
Salsa Sundays at Peabody St. Park

August 7
Salem Pizza Tasting
Salem Community Concert Band & Community Jazz Band
The Paul Madore Chorale Summersing

August 8
Shelter to Showpiece House Tour
Story Time at the Witch House
Ice Scream Bowl

August 11
Kids Night at Salem Common

August 12
Essex Street Fair
Ice Cream Social with Woman’s Friend Society
Berklee Summer Series Concert

August 13
Essex Street Fair
16th Annual Phillips House Car Meet
S.C.E.N.E.’S Sunset Hang
Salsa Sundays at Peabody Street Park

Bring a family member. Bring a friend. Bring yourself. A great day of fun and food (did we forget to mention there will be food everywhere?) await you.

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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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May 292017
 

Art is good. Art is what you have at an arts fest. But the 9th annual Salem Arts Festival (to be held June 2-4th) is art and much, much more. This popular free family-friendly event will feature over 100 artists and performers, and includes a variety of art, music, dance, and theatre performances. Public activities include onsite art-making for all ages, local artisan vendors selling their creations, and a community-built public art installation.

One of the most anticipated events this year is “Tidal Shift,” a collaborative public art project led by artist and architect Claudia Paraschiv of Salem Public Space Project, featuring an installation of plastic bag jellyfish over Front Street. During the past few months, community groups and locals of all ages have created hundreds of jellyfish as part of an initiative to help educate the community about the negative impacts of plastic bag usage and the City of Salem’s upcoming plastic bag reduction. A brief celebration and presentation of the “Tidal Shift” project will be included in the Friday night reception at 6:35 p.m.

This year, the Salem Arts Festival also celebrates the second “Mural Slam” on Artists’ Row, organized by the City of Salem’s Public Art Commission and Public Art Planner Deborah Greel. Murals will be painted throughout the weekend by 10 selected artists and will be completed by the end of the festival.

In addition, the Festival marks the return of vendors to Artists’ Row, with both new and returning tenants for the 2017 season.

Festival Specifics

The Salem Arts Festival kicks off with an opening reception at Salem’s Old Town Hall on Friday, June 2nd at 6 p.m.  The free event allows visitors to enjoy beautiful art work while being entertained by renowned local and regional performers Lindsay Straw, Dingonek Street Band, and headliners Grupo Fantasia.

The Festival takes place at a variety of indoor and outdoor venues in downtown Salem. Primary locations include Old Town Hall, Derby Square, Front Street, and Artists’ Row.  A Juried Art Show will be held in Old Town Hall throughout the Festival, with an artisan street fair in the area around the building on Saturday and Sunday.  Live performances will take place on Derby Square, Artists’ Row, and Front Street.

The Salem Arts Festival is rain or shine event; in case of inclement weather, performances will be moved into Old Town Hall.  Full schedule and programs will be available on site during the Festival, as well as the Festival website (www.salemartsfestival.com).

“There’s been a tremendous amount of collaboration between so many local groups and individuals to continue to improve and expand the Festival every year.  I can’t wait to share the phenomenal energy and talent that will be on display this year,” says Kylie Sullivan, Executive Director of Salem Main Streets (SMS), the community non-profit organization coordinating the Festival.

The goal of the Salem Arts Festival is to promote all the arts in Salem and to provide the entire North Shore arts community with an opportunity to showcase their talents. The Festival is run in collaboration with Salem Main Streets by a team of dedicated volunteers, including media partner Creative Salem and representatives from the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem YMCA, Salem State University, The Phoenix School, Salem Food Tours, Salem Arts Association, and many more.

Speaking of dedicated volunteers, we are still looking for volunteers for the Salem Arts Festival!  If you would like to join our merry band during this year’s Festival, or if you’ve signed up for one slot but might be available for more, please sign up online at http://signup.com/go/lccZdGg. Even if you’re away the weekend of the Festival, we have some volunteer needs on the days leading up to the event!

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