May 012013

A new month is upon us and Salem residents know that means first and foremost, First Friday (on May 3rd) when merchants keep their businesses open until 8pm (some even later) to accommodate extra walk-in traffic. But this special weekend also features a Hats Off to Education gala fundraiser and the 2013 Mass Poetry Festival. Can you find the time to squeeze it all in?

First Friday (held on the first Friday of every month) is part of our efforts at Salem MainStreets to help promote not just the shopping potential of our Downtown District but to spotlight the merchants behind the counters. First Friday gives them a chance to be creative in presentation, theme, and goodies to give out.

oystersFor example, Finz restaurant is offering $1 oyster from 5-7pm, while Vic’s Boathouse has $1 shrimp cocktail from 6-8pm and Pamplemouse has a special wine tasting event.

And you, the shopping public are the benefactors.

Also on May 3rd will be Hats Off to Education, a fundraiser for the Salem Education Foundation, whose goal is to provide funding for projects that further students’ educational experiences in science, mathematics, the arts and humanities. This “hat-themed” ticketed event features a live auction, $5,000 reverse raffle, great food and live music, and the new Wall of Wine (WOW!). The event begins at 7:30pm at the Hawthorne Hotel.

Tickets may be purchased: online at or at the door on the evening of the event.

There is also an Online Auction running now through May 5th with over 200 items including sporting and theater tickets, gift certificates to local restaurants and shops, weekend getaways and more.  To participate in the Online Auction, go to

For Friday night, here are just a few of the items up for bid.

  • Salem Lobstering Expedition & Dinner for four, Donated by Melea & Mike Nalli
  • Autographed Patriots Football, Donated by the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation
  • Unique Date Night: Perfume and Corset Evening followed by Dinner at Red Lulus, Donated by J’Adore & Red LuLu’s
  • Salem Sunset Cruise for Six, Donated by Cindy and Peter Theriault

The Massachusetts Poetry Festival is a three-day event (May 3-5) attracting  a variety of local and regional poets, hosting poetry readings, interactive workshops, panel discussions, music, film, visual arts, and performances to various venues in Salem.

For full description of the activities (and there are many),  participants, and most importantly registration to attend, go to their website. This is important.  By signing up for all the events you wish to attend, even if not required, provides the Festival organizers with data to decide if they need to move a smaller event to a larger space.

The festival in the past attracted more than 1,500 poets and followers. So a word to the wise should be sufficient.