Jul 202015

Window Box 2015Windows have an artistic value beyond the utilitarian of keeping cold out and letting fresh air in. Walk down any street in Salem and you’ll see windows as the backdrop and support for creative & colorful flowered window boxes. To honor the businesses and homes that go the extra mile to help beautify Salem, the City has been holding an annual Window Box Competition since 1993.

Modesty aside, did you work hard on your window box design and placement? Then you deserve recognition and an award.  The Salem Beautification Committee, along with The Salem Garden Club and Mayor Kimberley Driscoll, have issued an open invitation for submissions.

Or if you are very creative, you’ve got time to make one very quickly for the Window Box Competition.

Wood of course is the traditional material with which to build a window box. But what kind of wood should be used? For example you might want to remove pine, which rots relatively quickly (and we do get a lot of rain & snow) from your options. And add cedar or redwood because of their rot-resistant qualities.

Of course people have gone away from wood totally with fiberglass, brick, metal, vinyl, and cellular PVC!

But time is running out! Registration for the Window Box Competition concludes Wednesday, July 22, 2015. Judging will take place July 25-31. Then the Awards Ceremony & Reception will be held during Heritage Days on Thursday, August 6th at 5:30 pm. in the garden of the Brookhouse, which is located at 180 Derby St.

For more information, rules and to register, call 978-619-5676. Or email: etalkowsky@salem.com with the subject: Window Box Competition registration. Please include your name, street address and telephone number.

The mission of the Salem Beautification Committee is to assist the City in developing and pursuing initiatives that promote the beautification of the City.  The goal of the Committee is to create civic pride and to motivate the City’s diverse population to participate in the beautification process.

(Photo courtesy of the Salem Beautification Committee Facebook page)

Feb 242015

Film Fest WindowWith the Oscars out of the way, you can now focus up close and personal on the Salem Film Fest (March 5-12). Entering its eighth year, Salem Film Fest is one of New England’s largest documentary film festivals; it attracts submissions and attendees from all over the world.

We’ll have more on the SFF in an upcoming blog, but if you want a sampling of SFF, Creative Salem produced an Oscar worthy profile page. But there is a visual problem with being the home of SFF, and we’ve come up with a solution that requires your assistance.

“The only drawback of a festival like Salem Film Fest,” explains Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets Manager, “is that, by necessity, the vast majority of the action happens behind closed doors. The Film Fest gets bigger and better every year, but sometimes it’s hard to see that if you’re just walking down the street.”

She continues, “Therefore, we started the Film Fest window decorations last year because we wanted people to walk into town and KNOW that there was a film festival in town! In addition, we have many filmmakers and guests from out of town who are exploring the city for the first time during the festival. The Salem community gets so excited for this festival, and we wanted to have a visual representation of that excitement to welcome our visitors.”

Merchants, if you’ve got a downtown storefront window, we want to see your best film-inspired window! While the festival focuses on documentaries, your window does not have to be documentary-specific (windows inspired by Casablanca, Gone With the Wind, or The Avengers are absolutely encouraged).

This year, we will have a jury select a winning window. The winner of the competition will become the underwriter of a single film for the 2016 Salem Film Fest ($300 value)!

As a sign that this is indeed a group effort, if you need some inspiration or materials, Paul Van Ness of CinemaSalem will again be donating old celluloid film and film reels (and popcorn!) to anyone who wants to decorate a window. Stop by the Main Streets / Chamber offices at 265 Essex any time after 12:30 pm for film, popcorn, and Salem Film Fest posters (while they last)!

Participating businesses must notify Salem Main Streets of their interest and have window decorations completed by Friday, Feb. 27. So don’t delay. Any questions should be sent to kylie@salemmainstreets.org or go old school and call 978-744-0004.

(Photo courtesy of Social Palates)

Dec 212012

…What do you see? Salem merchants getting into the spirit of the holidays. Nearly 40 members of the downtown shopping district participated in this year’s annual Salem MainStreets Holiday Window Contest. The same creative minds that designed their charming store themes have dressed up their storefronts with snow, sparkle, fun and a lot more.

Each year it becomes a greater challenge for our judging committee to choose the winners; there were so many great displays.We hope residents and visitors will take the time to enjoy and appreciate the hard work that went into creating these wonderful displays. This is also a great excuse to walk around Downtown Salem to check out all the new and existing restaurants and businesses.

Winners for 2012

  • Most Traditional: Roost
  • Most Whimsical: Scrub
  • Most Original: Rouge
  • Honorable Mention: Salem Toy Museum

The following businesses participated: Witch City Thrift & Consignment Shop, Harrison’s Comics,  re-find men, re-find women, Griffen Theater,  Penelope’s Pet Boutique, Scrub, Coon’s, Treasures Over Time, A Beautiful Corset at J’Adore Romantic Gift Shop, Tavern in the Square, and Roost.

Also: Seedstitch Fine Yarn, J. Mode, Boston Bead Company, Rouge Cosmetics, Two Girls Shop, Radiance Aveda, Mighty Aphrodite, Modern Millie, Angelica of the Angels, Trolley Depot, Addicted Fashions and Angels Landing.

Also: For Kids Only Afterschool, Bernard’s Jewelers, Witch’s Tees, Louise Michaud Photography,  Living With Pets, The Picklepot,  The Happy Sunflower, Crafters Market and Salemdipity.