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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Dec 262016
 

What is better than one great New Year’s Eve party? Two!!! In conjunction with the City of Salem and Creative Salem that is what you are going to get to bid farewell to 2016 and say a big hello to 2017 with LAUNCH! and LAUNCH… Light It Up!

“When we organized LAUNCH! for the first time a few years ago, it was immediately clear that there was a strong community desire to come together on New Year’s Eve,” states Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets’ Executive Director.

“This event has always been family-focused and kid-friendly, which is fantastic, but there was an opportunity to do more to serve the adults in our community. The City approached Creative Salem to develop a concept, and we’ve been working closely together to program and connect the two events.”

“We were very excited to create a new concept event featuring local creative organizations coming together to create a truly unique and wholly Salem happening that could also support the amazing family event that Kylie and Salem Main Streets have run and we have supported since its inception” states John Andrews, owner of Creative Salem.

Launch!

The early portion of the evening (4-6pm, Old Town Hall) will be the traditional LAUNCH! event. This event is free to all and family-friendly, with a $5 suggested donation to help support Salem Main Streets’ “Holiday Happenings” initiatives, including the Holiday Tree and the wreaths and ribbons around the downtown. Family programming will include hat making, photo booth, kids’ silent disco, interactive art exhibit with Phil Wyman, and more! There will be an early countdown just before 6 pm.

Volunteers are needed for a variety of jobs:

  • Set up (2 to 4pm): Volunteers should ideally be able to lift up to 25 pounds.
  • Greeters (4 to 6 pm): Greet people at the door and collect optional donations.
  • Craft activity support (4 to 6 pm): Help activity leaders as needed.
  • Face painters (4 to 6 pm): We’re not looking for high levels of artistic talent – ability to paint hearts, stars, and “Happy 2017!” is sufficient.  We’ll provide the paint and brushes.
  • Break down (5:45 to 7pm): Volunteers should ideally be able to lift up to 25 pounds.

Launch… Light It Up

Come back at 9 pm for LAUNCH…LIGHT IT UP, new this year, as Creative Salem and Retonica transform Old Town Hall into a Black Light Dance Hall! This 21+ event will be $20 per person with a cash bar, live performance by local group Dandrew, sounds by DJ Seth, arcade games courtesy of Bit Bar, hat making with Grace & Diggs, plus a photo booth, food by Bambolina, interactive pop up art exhibit, and a special countdown at midnight. Tickets are available at https://creative-salem.ticketleap.com/launch-light-it-up-nye-salem/

About Salem Main Streets

Salem Main Streets’ mission is the continued revitalization of downtown Salem as a vibrant, year-round, retail, dining and cultural destination through business retention, recruitment, and the promotion of the downtown district.  SMS produces and supports numerous community events and initiatives throughout the year, including the Salem Farmers’ Market, Salem Arts Festival, Salem’s So Sweet, and the October Information Booth.  SMS operates thanks to the generosity and partnership of the City of Salem and Mayor Kimberley Driscoll, the Salem Chamber of Commerce, Destination Salem, and many other local business sponsors and community volunteers.

About Creative Salem

Creative Salem is an organization of like-minded creative individuals with the mission of ensuring creativity and the arts are a relevant part of daily community and small business life, and operates through the support of its partners and members. Creative Salem celebrates the city of Salem as a hub of creativity, and is dedicated to promoting collaboration, facilitating quality artistic events, and providing contemporary tools for local creative professionals to find and connect with new audiences while encouraging them to apply their skills to help solve challenges facing the community.

For more information about these events, contact Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets Executive Director, at (978)744-0004 or kylie@salemmainstreets.org, or visit http://salemmainstreets.org/

 

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Nov 252016
 

Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night will keep hundreds of Salem kids from waiting at the foot of the Hawthorne Hotel tonight for the Arrival of Santa. A much-beloved tradition to kick off the Holiday season in our community, it takes place rain or shine with the assistance of the Salem Fire Dept.

Santa arrivesSanta Claus will arrive at the top of the Hawthorne Hotel at 18 Washington Square promptly at 6pm but we recommend getting there by 5:45pm at the latest. It is always a crowd filled with “kids of all ages!”

A procession will then continue down the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall for the Holiday Tree Lighting at Lappin Park. This is also a great gathering of community members and merchants.

Participants are encouraged to bring lanterns (store-bought or homemade) to carry in the procession. Safety first, though – electric candles, please!

Lights and decorations for the Holiday Tree were made possible by individual contributions and donations from a number of local businesses, including significant donations from Salem’s October visitors.

Salem Main Streets would also like to thank the City of Salem, the Hawthorne Hotel, MeetingHouse Church, North Shore Marine, All Star Collision & Towing, Gigi Gill, and the many other community partners who make these special events possible.

Now, c’mon down and join us if you can.

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Nov 102016
 

Interactive theatre is the calling card of History Alive, Inc. productions, most notably Cry Innocent which you may have seen during Halloween in Salem, but also with a relatively newer production called Goodnight, Captain White. This comedy murder mystery will have its final performances of the winter season Nov. 18-20 at the historical Hawthorne Hotel.

gncw-castIt’s 1830. “All friends and well wishers are invited to attend” the retirement party of Captain Joseph White’s favorite ship, the Caroline. But this magnanimous invitation lures a host of enemies and ill-wishers into the perfect opportunity to murder the rich, old captain.  Allegiances twist and turn. Foibles are exposed, depravities revealed.

Then it is up to the audience (that means YOU) and an under cover Daniel Webster to figure out who-dunnit and how. The creators of Cry Innocent give Salem— as odd as this sounds, but you have to be there— a crime to laugh about.

Those who love Salem history and also a good laugh will have this one more weekend to take in Goodnight, Captain White before History Alive, Inc. puts the play to bed for a long winter’s nap.

That’s correct. We said history. This tale is based upon the real-life murder of Capt. Joseph White, a 19th century shipmaster and trader from Salem, MA,

Performances of the interactive who-dunit will be in the library of the historic Hawthorne Hotel, November 18th, 19th and 20th . Shows are at 7:30pm on Friday and Saturday and 5:30pm on Sunday.

“We’ve had so much fun with a great, sold-out run this year, including a fund raiser for the Saltonstall School’s play ground and an immersive weekend at the gorgeous Jeremiah Lee Mansion in Marblehead,” Kristina Wacome Stevick, History Alive, Inc’s artistic director reflected. “But we’re developing a new piece, a world premier, and we want to turn our attention there for the winter.”

But what would hibernation be without a big meal beforehand? Therefore, from this late November run, $10 from each ticket will be donated to the Salem Pantry, which serves Salem’s children who struggle with food insecurity.

The November shows of Goodnight, Captain White will also feature a new performer in the ensemble, improv. comedian Zach Reynolds from Portsmouth, NH.

“Preparing for Captain White has been a high-energy, collaborative process,” he explains. “The whole cast is hilarious, and with Sarah Mann’s direction we’ve been able to make the ingenious script come to life in surprising and side-splitting ways. I’ve loved getting to know my character, Frank, and discovering how such an apparently dimwitted guy can have a duplicitous, conniving dark side.”

The play will resurface once in late June as part of Cry Innocent’s 25th anniversary celebration, a festival which will highlight the spin-off projects and new work forged by Cry Innocent ensemble members past and present. It will then travel to Edinburgh, Scotland and the South Shore where there are additional historical connections to the story.

Tickets for the shows of Goodnight, Captain White, by Mark Stevick can be purchased at goodnightcaptainwhitehh.bpt.me.

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Oct 272016
 

be-safeHalloween is no longer just for kids and adults with kids. October 31st in Salem Ma has had a tradition of proving just that. This year, even being on a Monday night, we expect record crowds of adults to converge on Washington Street like a horde of zombies for completion of our month-long Haunted Happenings celebration.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF) “Millennial consumers (ages 18-34) are now the most likely of all adult generations to participate in Halloween. They’re also one of the top spenders on Halloween costumes, spending an average $42.39 compared with $31.03 for all adults.”

This youthful population segment has big plans for those costumes too: their intent to attend parties is up 10.9% from 2006, reports the NRF.

Winifred Sanderson: Sisters, All Hallow’s Eve has become a night of frolic, where children wear costumes and run amok!

Sarah: Amok! [dances around]  Amok, amok, amok, amok, amok.

And… that brings us back to Salem Ma. We are having a party. Millennials and every other older generation are invited but we want this night of fun and frolic to be a safe one.

This is a link to Halloween Night’s Be Smart, Be Safe, Have Fun suggestions flyer that we urge you to read and make use of. Simple advice is offered, such as if you have to drive here, park someplace else, like Beverly or Danvers. Don’t bring liquor. Don’t bring real swords. Don’t bring fake swords or anything that looks like a weapon. They WILL BE confiscated.

The second part of the flyer has the day & evening festivities schedule, from Shock Top Beer Garden, ( 21+) on Federal St. at Washington Street, to all the different bands at various locations in the Downtown District, to the 10:15pm Halloween Finale Fireworks at Washington Street & Bridge Street.

After the closing fireworks show, please be respectful as you leave town. You may not know this but many parts of the Downtown District are residential. There are people trying to get some sleep because they ARE going to work Tuesday. That brick structure you are leaning up against may look like an empty office building, but it is really a refurbished apartment complex.

And if you are using social media to share with all your friends not lucky enough to be here, consider using the tags #SalemMA and @hauntdhappnings in your pictures & tweets.

Have a great time, we made this party for you!

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