Dec 212015

Many things do we look forward to during the holiday season, and here at Salem Main Streets we are particularly fond of the Holiday Windows promotion we conduct with the cooperation of the merchants in the Downtown District.

Yes, the holidays are here, and Salem is dressed for the season with trees, wreaths, and ribbons. But to top it off, over 35 downtown businesses joined in by decorating their windows especially for the holidays. Judges nominated by Salem Main Streets recently made the rounds to vote on the best windows.

“We had some truly fantastic windows this year, and there was much friendly disagreement and fighting for favorites between the judges,” said Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets Executive Director. “Of particular note, we added a category this year for ‘Best Use of Product’ and were happily surprised to see that this became a very competitive category.”

window Pamplemousse - Best OverallOverall: Pamplemousse

window ReFind Men's - Most TraditionalMost Traditional: Re-Find Men’s
Honorable Mention – The House of the Seven Gables Gift Shop

window salem Collective of Artists and Musicians - Most OriginalMost Original: SCAM (Salem Collective of Artists and Musicians)
Honorable Mention – Fringe Salon

window The Coven's Cottage - Best Use of ProductBest Use of Product: The Coven’s Cottage
Honorable Mention – LightShed Photography

Windows For Kids Only 1 X Factorwindow Gulu Gulu Cafe - X FactorX Factor Awards ( for windows that “defy categorization”) there was a tie : For Kids Only Afterschool (on left), Gulu Gulu Cafe (on right).

Kylie sums it up by saying, “All around, we wish we could have given at least twice as many awards!”

Come to Salem MA, where “window shopping” is an art form!

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 or go old school and call 978-744-0004.

(Photo courtesy of Social Palates)