Jul 252015

Let’s repeat three words. LARGEST. SAILING. SALEM. Our seaport community was a key player in the early days of this country’s maritime exploration and trading. And it’s nice to see that our connection to the water continues as more than 400 junior sailors from around the country are expected to participate in the 2015 United States Optimist Dinghy Association (USODA) Optimist Dinghy New England Championship in Salem, Aug. 4-6 from Winter Island.

SailingThis is the largest junior sailing regatta in the United States, with sailors between the ages of 9 – 14. You noticed we didn’t say “sailors” to qualify the reference. These young people are every part of the word.

As an example just look at Sail Salem, which is the local host. It offers an educational program for children that promotes positive life skills and values through the sport of sailing. Founded in 2008, Sail Salem has introduced sailing to over 1,000 children from Salem and surrounding towns.

And it’s not just a one-time summer thing. Children have grown up through the program, from beginner, to intermediate sailor, to counselor in training, to sailing coach. The majority of a junior instructors are former students of Sail Salem.

According to Sail Salem, “Lessons are conducted in Salem Harbor off Winter Island to bring the love of sailing to many children who would not have had the opportunity to be on a boat.”

Adults are also encouraged to sail and evening lessons for all levels are available throughout the summer.

No wonder the 2015 Regatta is being held here. Previous competitions have been held in Newport, Rhode Island, and Portland, Maine

What does this have to do with the Downtown District, which is what we usually talk about? We expect a sizable percentage of those 400 sailors and families to explore Salem either before or after the regatta. We would like them to feel welcome. Spectators interested in watching the races from the water will find regatta tours at Sea Shuttle and Mahi Mahi Harbor Cruises.  Charter boats are available through McLaughlin Boat Works and Zim Sailing. Regatta accommodations options can be found at Salem.org.

One other thing. Sail Salem is still looking for volunteers to help with some of the on-land activities. Contact Pat Connolly-Atkins at pat@sailsalem.org if you would be interested in helping.

Sail Salem and the 2015 USODA New England Championship Regatta are sponsored by Cabot Wealth Management.

Complete regatta information can be found at SailSalem.org.

Apr 232015

You don’t have to be a member to join the fun for Healthy Kids Day on April 25th, states Kevin Washington president and CEO of YMCA of the USA. It’s all part of the Y’s commitment of outreach to the communities served and the children that live there. The seven branches of the YMCA of the North Shore will be among over 1300 Y’s across the country taking part in the Healthy Kids Day national initiative to improve the health and well-being of kids.

Events are open to all children and families; they are filled with fun, active play and educational opportunities. For the full scope of Healthy Kids Day, check out this link and the embedded video.

Healthy kids dayIn other words get your kids and yourself off the couch, away from the TV, computer, video games and mingle with others in a lively atmosphere where running and jumping are healthy alternatives.

In Salem, special events from noon – 2pm will include

Little Ninja Warrior obstacle challenge

Fun Camp Activities

Balloons, Facepainting

Family Membership Raffle and more!

The Y is all about more. The more support, guidance and opportunities it provides community youth…the more amazing qualities they’ll get out. The more your kids get out, the more they can achieve growing up. That’s why the YMCA provides kids a healthy, caring environment of fun, learning and belonging to help them reach their fullest potential. Reason enough to celebrate Healthy Kids Day — and for you and your children to join in.

The Salem YMCA is located at One Sewall Street. For more info, call 978.740.9622 .

Mar 312015

Community is a key element both on-stage and off in the current production of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night  by the Salem Theatre. Running now through April 12th, it is a story of a community upended by a shipwreck and how those involved take to comedy and music to solve their dilemmas. And as a city almost entirely surrounded by the sea, Salem provides extra backdrop. But the Salem Theatre is also providing a community initiative: for every sold out performance (as last Saturday’s was) it will provide a performance to a local school, free of charge.

12th  NightWho says Shakespeare can’t be relevant in the 21st century?

If you are not familiar with the play, it focuses on the hilarious and wild chaos caused by twins, Viola and Sebastian, displaced by the shipwreck. Salem Theatre’s production is directed by Artistic Director Matthew Gray who has stated that while parts of songs are used in many of Shakespeare’s other plays, those in Twelfth Night  are sung in their entirety, thus contributing to the story.

The set is sparse, a few benches, a few props, a piano. There is sadness, comedy, and Shakespearean characters defined by their circumstances, all confined to a space that might seem like the hull of a 17th century ship.

Cast members include Salem residents and returning to the Salem Theatre stage Caroline Watson-Felt, Chris Martel and Ariane Grosse; members of Salem’s classical theatre troupe, Upstart Crows Diana Dunlap and Keith Trickett; and Rachel MacAskill, Zachary Reardon, Francis Norton and Christopher Noran.

Performances are on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, and Saturdays and Sundays at 3 pm. Key dates to note:

  • Thursday, April 2: Student Night – $5 tickets available for all students
  • Thursday, April 9: LGTB Night – Discount Tickets offered.

Salem Theatre will also update daily the seating capacity for each show; if you want to see Twelfth Night and are open on the date, you might consider booking a near sell-out night to help activate the community initiative for school children.

Additional details are available at www.salemtheatre.com. Performances are held at 90 Lafayette Street.

(Photo courtesy CMB Photography)

Dec 022014

People always ask us what we think is the most popular costume seen in Salem Ma. Witch? Ghostbuster? Vampire? We like to say that it depends on the time of year. And for the winter season, without a doubt it is the bright red outfit worn by a certain Kris Kringle during his annual landing atop the Hawthorne Hotel on the first Friday of December.

This year at 6 pm on Dec. 5th, hundreds of on-lookers, children and adults, will be stationed around the Hawthorne on Washington Sq., looking up, up, up to the roof to await Santa’s arrival.

Assisted by the Salem Fire Department, the jolly one will climb down the side of the hotel on a ladder to meet/greet his fans. There will be a procession to the Salem Gazebo for cocoa and caroling, then the parade heads over to the Museum Place Mall for pictures with Santa.

Weather forecast as of today calls for partly cloudy skies on Friday, with temperatures in the mid to low 30s. Perfect weather for reindeer. And kids too, of all ages.

For those of you who have never seen this: here is a Vine video we ran last year (thank you Salem News & Hawthorne Hotel).

Oct 062014

Haunted Happenings Parade 2014 Creative Salem by Social Palates-7848Marching orders came down last Friday and we all had a great time participating in the Salem Chamber of Commerce 19th Annual Haunted Happenings Grand Parade. Whether in costume or not (the theme this year was “Fantasy” characters), the kids had a great time either in the parade or standing on the sidelines and watching.

For those of you not in attendance, here, courtesy of John Andrews at Social Palates from the Creative Salem website, is a visual slide-show tour of the event.

Look closely to catch a few shots of our own Kylie.