Feb 122017
 

The conversation has begun. Are you a part of it? Do you want to be? Mayor Kim Driscoll, in her State of the City address last month, announced a community visioning process known as Imagine Salem. All Salem residents and community members are invited to join the Imagine Salem community conversation to prepare a road map to what they want the community to look like in 2026—the year that Salem celebrates its 400th anniversary.

The dialogue will be framed around housing, jobs, and transportation with themes of equity and inclusiveness woven throughout the topics. The vision will serve as a guide for future decisions.

“Salem has seen tremendous investment and growth over the past ten years,” said Mayor Driscoll. “New residents are joining longtime families in calling Salem home. Brownfields are being transformed, the waterfront is coming alive, and downtown has become a vibrant destination for the region. We’ve made important investments in our infrastructure, and our local economy is robust. Now the question is what kind of city do we want to be in ten years? How do we make sure our city is best positioned to continue our prosperity? From schools to housing and transportation to employment, let’s set some expectations for ourselves and then work to get them done.”

What can you do now?

  • Visit the website (www.imaginesalem.org).
  • Take a brief online survey.
  • Like Imagine Salem on Facebook.
  • Share a photo on Instagram.
  • Attend the citywide meeting on March 8 (6:30 PM Salem High School).
  • Come to a small get-together for coffee and conversation.

Those interested in doing more are invited to host a small group conversation. The conversation could be over a cup of coffee, at a book club, or a Sunday lunch with the family — however you typically meet with your friends, family, or social groups.

The Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) will provide you with the tools you need to facilitate a fun and engaging conversation about the future of Salem. Contact the DPCD (imaginesalem@salem.com, 978-619-5685) for more information.

“The people of Salem are what make this City great,” said Mayor Driscoll. “Our community’s vision should reflect their lives and experiences, and advance our collective hopes and dreams. I urge everyone to join the Imagine Salem conversation. I hope you will participate in as many ways as possible. Your contributions will help shape the vision for Salem’s future.”

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Dec 192016
 

Dressed for the season with trees, wreaths, and ribbons, Salem is ready for the Holiday Season. In fact, over 20 downtown businesses have decorated their windows especially for the holidays as part of our traditional Holiday Window Contest. Judges nominated by Salem Main Streets recently did a little window shopping of their own to vote on the best windows.

“We had some truly fantastic windows this year, as always,” said Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets Executive Director. “We gave the judges extra freedom to create new award categories based on what they saw this particular year.”

Some award categories highlight good retail design – use of product or use of light – while others highlighted types of participation or partnerships.

For example, the Contest Legacy award was given to businesses who have demonstrated high quality windows across consecutive years, while the Contest Newcomer recognized businesses with high quality displays who have not regularly participated in the contest.

And, the new Salem Spirit award recognized those who exemplified the true spirit of community in the design of their windows.

Without further ado, here are the winners:

Best Overall: The Happy Sunflower

Best Use of Product: Curtsy
Honorable Mention –  Partridge in the Bear Tree

Best Use of Lighting: Emporium 32
Honorable Mention – Hair Express

Contest Legacy (demonstrating high quality year after year): ReFind Men’s
Honorable Mention – Pamplemousse

Contest Newcomer: Aroma Sanctum
Honorable Mention – Witch Pix

Salem Spirit: The Coven’s Cottage, nAGLY

If you haven’t looked at the windows yet, we recommend going this week, especially during Festive Fridays, when numerous businesses around the downtown have committed to staying open until 8 pm to aid in your holiday shopping. More information about Festive Fridays and participating businesses can be found at this location.

In addition, this year, you get a chance to win! Salem Main Streets is holding two social media competitions on Facebook and Instagram right now.  Post a picture of your favorite #salemholidaywindows, or take a #selfiewithashopkeeper on Festive Friday nights, and you could win a prize from a local business.

For more information about the Holiday Window Contest, contact Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets Executive Director, at (978)744-0004 or kylie@salemmainstreets.org,  and follow Salem Main Streets on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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Nov 262016
 

ss_clean_15degr_blueAs different as night and day, so too are the approaches to the stressful intensity of Black Friday and the laid-back pick & choose aspect of Small Business Saturday (which takes place, Nov 26, this year.)

A large number of Salem businesses await you with specials and good deals, plus giveaways and refreshments as a way of saying thank you for patronage all year long to regular customers— and a way of greeting new customers with open arms in hopes of facilitating customer engagement.

Did you drag yourself away from Thanksgiving Dinner or from a pleasant full- stomach midnight sleep to stand in line in hopes of being among the lucky few to nab a door-buster of a deal? Feeling tired about now? Get some rest and walk– not elbow– your way into many, many stores in Salem on Saturday as they participate in Small Business Saturday.

shop-smallWhat was created in 2010 by American Express to give a kick in the pants to a recession-suffering economy has grown into a “big deal” day with shoppers last year spending $16.2 billion at small retailers, up from $5.5 billion just three years earlier.

Reportedly, 95 million shoppers and 1.3 million retailers participated in 2015!

By supporting small business retailers on Small Business Saturday you will be participating in a local event that is at the same time being enacted in every community across America.

As they say on a TV game show, “come on down” and as an extra incentive, there is free parking at all Salem city garages, parking lots and meters today.

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Nov 142016
 

From freaky fun destination to fabulous foodie stop, Salem Ma converts itself in November from what you saw in October. Gone are the ghouls. Enter the entrees as Salem Fall Restaurant & Wine Week launches Sunday, November 13 – Thursday, November 17.

salem-rest-weekFor these 5 days only, participating Salem Ma. restaurants will offer either a two-course prix-fixe dinner menu for $19, or a three-course prix-fixe dinner menu for $29, or a three-course, prix fixe dinner and wine flight for $49 (note these prices – except for the wine selection – do not include drinks, taxes, or gratuities).

Salem has, over the last few years, established itself on the North Shore as an entertaining culinary destination and people really look forward to our Fall Restaurant Week event. And why not? From one dining locale to another, you will be treated to a wide variety of delicious foods – from steak to seafood, American to ethnic, there is something for everyone. Restaurants offer multiple choices for appetizers, entrees as well as desserts.

Salem Fall Restaurant & Wine Week is sponsored by the Salem Chamber of Commerce.

Reservations are encouraged; contact the restaurants directly. Please mention “Restaurant Week” when making your reservations.

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Sep 072016
 

salem-spirits-trolleyThe booming craft maker scene in Salem is getting its own tour! Salem Spirits Trolley launches a new excursion focusing on locally made cider, spirits, and beer beginning Friday, Sept. 9th.

“We are thrilled to offer this fantastic new tour to both locals and visitors,” says Salem Spirits Trolley founder and owner Karen Scalia.  “Salem’s renowned and award-winning food scene now has a great companion with its outstanding craft beer, cider and spirits scene.”

The tour will include stops at Far From the Tree Cider, Deacon Giles Distillery and Notch Brewing.

Hosted by emcee comedian Mark Scalia, the Salem Spirits Trolley offers an entertaining and unique look at Salem, from the waterfront to the historic McIntire District. The 3-hour tour includes a special spice tasting, which showcases what spices are used in the making and distillation or brewing process, followed by tastings at each tour location.

Transported by the Salem Trolley, guests have the opportunity to talk with the local crafters about their process and passion, and get a behind-the-scenes perspective on the distilling and brewing process, as well as its relevance to the story of Salem.

Like Scalia’s Salem Food Tours, the experience is not just about the local samples, but about the connections between the spirits, the spice trade, and Salem’s history.

Additional tour partners include Salem Spice and the Cheese Shop of Salem, sharing more of Salem’s rich retail and culinary scene with participants.

The concept came to Scalia, who founded Salem Food Tours in 2010, after two of the local makers, Far From the Tree Cider and Deacon Giles Distillery, impressed her with their extraordinary products and special locations.

“Like our terrific Salem chefs, I wanted to shine a light on what they were doing,” says Scalia, “Since the locations of the tasting room and distillery were not in close proximity, the concept of a trolley tour was born.  The addition of Notch Brewing to downtown Salem rounded out a fantastic experience.”

The Salem Spirits Trolley will offer regularly scheduled public tours beginning Friday, Sept. 9th, and private tours are available for groups. All ticket-holders must be 21+ and must sign a waiver before embarking on the tour. For more information, visit salemspiritstrolley.com.

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