Aug 072016


Short of going to a Museum of Ice Cream, the next best thing is going to the Salem Main Streets Ice Scream Bowl this Tuesday from 6-7:30pm where, for a small fee, you will sample a variety of ice cream from multiple local vendors. As in past years, the event will take place on the Salem Common.

This Heritage Days Festival favorite gives “kids of all ages” a chance to taste some classic flavors as well as some exciting new combinations from the area’s premier ice cream shops.

Window Contest 041A few of the businesses serving samples at the event include Captain Dusty’s, Cherry Farm Creamery, Maria’s Sweet Somethings, and Melt Ice Cream.

Kylie Sullivan, SMS Executive Director says, “North Shore 104.9 will also be in attendance with fun games and takeaways. New this year, we will be featuring a ‘community fair’ of sorts, where a number of kid-focused community groups and organizations (such as Salem Youth Soccer, Girl Scouts, Mass in Motion, and the SPUR Backpack Drive) will be present.”

The cost is $6 for adults and $4 for children. Tickets for the Ice Scream Bowl are purchased on site at the event. A spoon and napkins will be supplied with the purchase of a ticket.

Proceeds go to Salem Main Streets; we are a nonprofit organization with the goal of revitalizing downtown Salem as a vibrant year-round retail, dining, and cultural destination. Salem Main Streets organizes the Salem Farmers’ Market, Salem Arts Festival, and many other events in downtown Salem.

The Ice Scream Bowl is coordinated in partnership between Salem Main Streets and the City of Salem as part of Salem Heritage Days, a 10 day event to celebrate the people of Salem.

For any other questions or comments regarding this event, please contact Kylie Sullivan at Salem Main Streets, (978) 744-0004 x15 or email at

Kylie adds, “Salem’s Ice Scream Bowl is a fun event for both children and adults to cool down from the heat and enjoy tasty ice cream. Current weather forecast calls for sunny skies and a high of 82 degrees. Ice cream sure sounds like a good idea!”

Apr 102016

Success in business or in community support is something to be praised. The Salem Chamber of Commerce will be doing just that with the Celebrate Salem Awards Dinner this coming April 27th at the Peabody Essex Museum.

This will be the 94salem awards 2th Annual Celebrate Salem Awards.

The program this year features 36 nominees in 6 award categories. Individual winners will be decided by a general vote of the community at large— that means you! One vote per person (either by email, fax, mail or on-line vote). Deadline to vote is April 12th, 2016.

Full disclosure, we are nominated in one of the categorizes.

2015 Businessman of the Year: Businessman of the year is awarded to a Chamber member who has demonstrated excellence in business practices throughout the year and has demonstrated a sincere commitment to Salem.

2015 Businesswoman of the Year: Businesswoman of the year is awarded to a Chamber member who has demonstrated excellence in business practices throughout the year and has demonstrated a sincere commitment to Salem.

2015 New Business of the Year: Awarded to the best new business that opened in Salem in 2015.

Long-term Achievement Award: Given to a business that has achieved 10 or more years of success in the community.

2015 Community Service Award: Awarded to a member or organization with an outstanding record of community service and volunteer participation.

2015 Excellence in Retailing Award: The Excellence in Retailing Award showcases the outstanding achievements of Salem retailers and will be awarded to the retailer that applies superior knowledge, creativity and industry know-how to develop innovative strategies, and contributes to the growth of the Salem retail sector.

Take the time to not only look over this list for any personal favorites, but also the actual Salem Chamber of Commerce form which provides a brief synopsis of each nominee.

Feb 022016

Secret Rooms Project continues to gather momentum at the House of Seven Gables. Thus far, $120,000 of the projected $200,000 needed to make the project a reality has been raised. What project? What secret?

The House of the Seven Gables has apparently guarded a long-held secret that is now ready to be shared with the world:

“The storied past of The House of the Seven Gables has something more to reveal within the original four walls of this venerable 1668 mansion. Two second-floor chambers (rooms) were partitioned off decades ago and later used for utilitarian purposes. Recent careful removal of the partitions and 18th-century flooring have revealed a large chamber and adjacent living space with original 17th-century wide pine floors, hand-forged nails and an exposed gunstock post.”

Secret RoomsIf you’ve visited the House several times for the various tours, lectures and events and thought you knew it inside and out… surprise!

The goal is to restore these previously private and largely unknown spaces and open them to the public. These newly restored rooms are expected to impart greater scope and meaning to the stories The House of the Seven Gables tells.

For as old as the building is, for as many people that have walked through it, you can well imagine the excitement that is surrounding this project from the Gable staff”s point of view.

From the Gables website:

“To turn this opportunity into a reality we need your help. Restoring these hidden-from-view spaces will involve a lot of tender loving care and require structural reinforcement of a summer beam (the main weight-bearing beam). The project is expected to cost $200,000. The good news is we have already raised over $120,000. We are looking to you to help us raise the balance and launch this exciting new chapter in our nation’s literary and cultural heritage.”

If you are on their email list, then keep an eye on your inbox for details about a crowdfunding campaign, which will soon go live.

Otherwise, to learn more, visit the Gables website.

(Photo courtesy of John Andrews of Social Palates Photography )

Jan 242016


For those new to Salem and the work of Salem Main Streets, there’s a frequent misconception that life must get quieter for us after October. We do our best to laugh politely when we hear this from friends and family, as nothing could be further than the truth!  Little do they know that we have been planning for months for Holiday Happenings, a collection of events and initiatives celebrating downtown Salem that keep us going non-stop from mid-November through New Year’s Eve.

We’re often so busy looking forward to the next season that we often neglect to celebrate what we’ve just accomplished.  As we prepare for our Annual Meeting on Tuesday night, we wanted to take a quick chance to recap all the different pieces that made up Holiday Happenings 2015 for Salem Main Streets – you’ll see what we mean about going non-stop:


  • Wreaths and Ribbons – to add to the festive atmosphere, we hung over 100 wreaths around the downtown (this year with lovely white lights, thanks to the City of Salem’s Electrical Department!), and a squad of 25+ volunteers spent a beautiful November morning lugging ladders around and covering the downtown in red ribbon.
  • The Holiday Tree – our holiday tree on Lappin Park is always a perfect example of the collaborative spirit of Salem, and this year was no exception. From the hours the City’s Department of Public Works donates in helping to decorate, to the community partners who help with selection, delivery, and donations for the tree, to the hundreds of tourists who give donations to Duchess Gigi in October specifically for the tree, and of course, one beautiful, locally-grown and donated tree!
  • Santa’s Arrival and Tree Lighting – due to a logistical snag, we re-combined these two popular events on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and we are so glad we did!  We have never had such a crowd (see picture at the top of this post), and it was truly an incredible way to welcome in the season.
  • Small Business Saturday – Main Streets teamed up with the Salem Chamber and 40 downtown businesses this year to help promote shopping small and local the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and despite the less than ideal weather, the city was packed with happy shoppers all day long. It also marked the beginning of a month-long partnership with the Boy Scouts, who sold wreaths and wrapped gifts out of the Info Booth as a fundraiser.
  • Salem Winter Market – we tried something new this year, and decided to move our winter extension of the Salem Farmers’ Market to one weekend day a month, rather than a weekly weeknight through November and December. It seems like you all approved – we saw over twice as many people in those two days than we did for the entire winter market season last year!
  • Holiday Window Contest – our annual holiday window contest between downtown businesses returned with a vengeance, this year with a social media component where shoppers posted pictures of their favorites.
  • Festive Friday Nights – we are constantly trying new ways to encourage downtown shopping, and this year we encouraged over 30 downtown retailers to commit to staying open until 8 pm every Friday in December. We gave it kind of a trial run this year, but we are looking forward to hearing from businesses whether we should expand on this in future years.
  • New Year’s Eve – and last but certainly not least, our New Year’s Eve LAUNCH! event was bigger and better than ever, with over 700 attendees during the two hour event and a “greener” countdown this year with beachballs and paper whirligigs and airplanes to replace the less environmentally-friendly balloons we’d used in the past.

Phew!  No wonder we’re just getting around to recapping it now!  But what was it all for? Why does Salem Main Streets DO all these things in the first place? Join us for our Annual Meeting on Tuesday night at Ames Hall at the YMCA at 5:30 p.m. and find out!



Jan 162016

What is ahead for Salem Main Streets and 2016? Please join us for a night of celebration and information Tuesday, January 26th as we conduct the Salem Main Streets Annual Meeting.

SAF VolsKylie Sullivan, SMS Executive Director says, “Come cheer with us over last year’s accomplishments and look ahead to see what’s coming in 2016. Learn more about Salem Main Streets’ mission and purpose, and how you can benefit and get more involved.”

This gathering is free and open to all who live, work, or play in downtown Salem – residents, volunteers, business owners, community partners, and government officials.

Stephanie at boothIn other words, we want you there if you have anything to say about how the Downtown District was promoted by us in the past and —

Kylie emphasizes, “We are especially looking for feedback to help improve our work going forward.”

The meeting will run from 5:30 – 7:30pm at Ames Hall in the Salem YMCA, 1 Sewall Street (enter from the Essex Street entrance).

Free appetizers and cash bar!

Please invite your neighbors, associates, and friends! This is you chance to have an impact on how Salem is seen by the local community and the world.

Please RSVP to Kylie at or 978-744-0004 x15.

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 promotion of the Downtown District.