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.

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.

Aug 232016

Sam invitesReflections are how we “see” ourselves. A mirror, a pool of water, the eyes of a loved one. But how does a city such as Salem see its reflection? In the comments of visitors.

To test this point, we found this favorable review of Salem, as seen through the eyes of an Australian traveler. (Thanks to a posting on Destination Salem’s Facebook page back in June).

Linda Bentley from Sydney, Australia is a well-known traveler/reviewer with her own website The Packed Bag and it was interesting to observe the things she wanted to see and did see. Was it the historical, the hysteria, or the hysterical items that called to her?

The blog was simply called USA – Massachusetts: Salem

Potential long stay and short term day trip visitors can look at her blog as a summation of things to do and see in Salem the year round.

But we can use it as a mirror to determine if we are communicating what we want to the outside world. What do you think? Did she share an engaging, inviting, diverse “message”  about Salem, MA?

Aug 042016

Maritime_Festival_Logo_NLShips, sawdust, sailors and song all in Salem this weekend as the National Park Service celebrates the 28th year of the Salem Maritime Festival.

The Salem Maritime Festival will run August 5th, 6th and 7th, featuring live music, historical reenactors, harbor cruises, demonstrations, interactive programs, arts, crafts, and more! The Salem Maritime Festival is hosted by Salem Maritime National Historic Site in cooperation with the Essex National Heritage Commission.

But, take note, this is not your typical ocean-themed event with one or two seafaring craft docked in the harbor for walk-aboard tours. Visiting & Participating Vessels include:

  • Lobster Boats
  • Schooner Adventure
  • Schooner Ardelle
  • Sea Shuttle’s Endeavour
  • Schooner Fame, Full-scale replica of a War of 1812 Privateer
  • Sloop Friendship
  • United States Coast Guard Patrol Boat

Not surprising then that one of the most popular features of the Salem Maritime Festival will be the free 90-minute boat rides around Salem Harbor. In fact, on Saturday, festival goers will be given the opportunity to enter a series of raffles for chances to set sail in Salem harbor on some of the above-mentioned craft. Lottery entries begin 10:30am

Music is also a big part of this festival.

Friday, August 5th:

6-8pm, Squeezebox Stompers – Cajun/Zydeco

Saturday, August 6th (MC Merrill Kohlhofer):

10am, Wolf Music – Sea Chantey

11am, Ye Mariners All

12pm, Warszawiaki Orchestra – Polka Music

2pm, Campbell Music – Folk

3pm, New Bedford Harbor Sea Chantey Chorus

4pm, Mamadou –West African World-Fusion

6-7pm, Salem Philharmonic Orchestra

Sunday, August 7th (MC Tony Toledo):

11am, Wolf Music – Sea Chantey

12pm, Ron Reid Music – Steel Drum/Caribbean

1pm,Tony Toledo (MC) – Story Telling

2pm, Marina Evans – Folk

3-5pm, Atwater-Donnelly – Folk

And beyond this being a 3-day festival, beyond this being part of the Salem Heritage Days festival, it is also in honor of the National Park Service’s Centennial year.

On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service, a new federal bureau in the Department of the Interior responsible for protecting the 35 national parks and monuments then managed by the department and those yet to be established.

“The Centennial will celebrate the achievements of the past 100 years, but it is really about the future. It’s about kicking off a second century of stewardship for America’s national parks and for communities across the nation.  Most importantly, it’s about inviting you to join us.” — NPS

History. Adventure. Fun and games. And a lot more await you Aug. 5-7 in Salem Ma. Bring sunglasses. Bring your boat shoes. For full schedule of events, go to the Salem Maritime National Historic Site website.

May 112016

confused computer Disco TechTechnology can be different things to different people. It is wondrous but it can also be frightening. Your comfort factor all depends on how knowledgeable you are about various forms of technology. To that end, Salem residents of all ages are invited to Salem’s first DiscoTech, May 14th from 10am – 3pm as part of Education Day activities at the YMCA.

DiscoTech (Discovering Technology shortened) is a multimedia workshop and fair for people of all ages and skill levels to learn and share information about tech.

Cindy S. Vincent, Ph. D., a co-facilitator of the event, and Assistant Professor of Communications at Salem State University explains:

cvincent2“We’re really hoping to attract people of all ages. We will have free childcare where younger children will be involved in supervised art/media activities. Older children can learn about fun things like digital storytelling and video production. Teens can learn about practical and socially responsible social media usage. Adults can learn how to harness technologies like online publishing and graphic design for personal or business applications. And older residents can learn how to keep in touch with friends and family through digital communication like social media.”


Welcome & Introductions, 10:15-10:45am
Small group icebreaker: share a story in a small group and describe your experiences with and knowledge of technology.

Overview and Lightning Talks, 10:45-11:30am
Speakers/activities from different community tech organizations in Salem

Lunch break and networking/collaboration opportunities, 11:30 – 12:00 p.m

Workshop Prep, 12 – 12:30 p.m.
Name That Tech workshop
Workshop Proposals/Summaries

Hands-On Workshops—TBA, 12:30 – 2pm

Project/Workshop Sprints, 2 – 2:30pm

Short presentations of local technology projects—TBA, 2:30 – 3pm

Report backs
2 minute highlights; what did you learn today?

Quick go-round: one thing that was awesome / one thing to change / what are your next steps?Salem+Education+Day+Flyer

Where did the idea came from? She reveals:

“We have some pretty great non-profit organizations like Leap4Education that have a strong focus on technology, but I haven’t heard of many tech-oriented events in the area. That being said, the idea of a DiscoTech is fairly new outside the Detroit area in general. MIT has hosted only a couple of events in the Cambridge/Boston area, and I hadn’t heard of any related tech events in my hometown of Sacramento, CA.

So I don’t think Salem is behind the times, but, it is definitely time that our community harnesses the knowledge and energy we already have around technology and invite everyone in our town to embrace the possibilities for Salem. This event really could have started from anyone, but the idea is coming from Salem State because of my membership in the Boston Civic Media Consortium, my relationship with faculty at MIT, and the Salem State University Center for Civic Engagement’s dedication to building strong community ties by sharing university knowledge and resources with the community.”

What do you hope they take away from the event:

“I hope attendees learn something new about technology that they didn’t know before by either building on knowledge they had prior to coming to the event or learning a completely new skill set they have an interest in. Also, I really hope this event sparks an interest or passion in technology across the community that encourages people to continue pursuing it.”

To assist there will be several community organizations represented at the event to provide further access and resources.

“In proposing this idea to a planning group consisting of community partners across Salem, my intent was that no one entity would be the focal point for the event, but instead that the event could be a shared investment and benefit for the entire community. I’ve been lucky enough to find community partners who share that idea and who have been very dedicated in seeing this event come to life.”

This DiscoTech is made possible by the collaborative efforts of Salem organizations such as the Salem Education Foundation, Salem State University, the Salem YMCA, the Salem State University Center for Civic Engagement, the Salem Public School District, the North Shore Community Development Coalition, the City of Salem, Creative Salem, and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem.

For more info, go to the ticket site or the event website .

(Image courtesy of TAW4 at