Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Free Family Fun!

The 20th Annual Salem Maritime Festival kicks off the annual Salem Heritage Days this weekend.

The Maritime Festival will kick off on historic Derby Wharf at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site on Friday, August 1, 2008 with a free concert featuring Entrain, the eclectic Martha’s Vineyard-based six-piece band. Entrain will bring their unique combination of rock, blues, calypso, zydeco, jazz and funk to Derby Wharf from 7-9 PM.
The free Maritime Festival will present its usual mixture of traditional craft demonstrations, children’s activities, and demonstrations aboard the National Park Service’s tall ship Friendship on Saturday, August 2, 2008 from 10 AM to 6 PM and from noon to 5 PM on Sunday, August 3.

The musical line-up will include maritime music groups like Atwater& Donnelly and the New Bedford Sea Chantey Chorus that are maintaining traditional forms, as well as groups like Sharks Come Cruisin’, who are reinterpreting traditional sea chanteys with a rock and blues sound. The Maritime Festival will also showcase the best local talent along with groups from around New England, including Buddy Walker and his band, the New Hampshire-based rock, funk, and reggae Casual Labor Band, and Rhode-Island based maritime singer-songwriter Jon Campbell.

The Salem Maritime Festival is free and open to the public. It will take place on Derby Wharf at Salem Maritime National Historic Site on Saturday August 2 from 10-6 and Sunday, August 3 from 12-5. For more information and directions to the venue, please visit the Salem Maritime National Historic Site web site at

Music Schedule for the 20th Annual Salem Maritime Festival
Friday, August 1st

7-9pm: Evening concert by Entrain, the eclectic Martha’s Vineyard-based six-piece band playing rock, blues, calypso, zydeco, jazz and funk.

Saturday, August 2nd
10 am taped music
11 am-1 pm: Orville Giddings Band—rock and blues
1 pm-2pm: Jon Campbell—contemporary maritime music
2 pm-3pm: Casual Labor Band—rock, classic rock, southern rock, pop, funk and reggae,
3 pm-4pm: Warszawiaki Orchestra—traditional Polish music
4 pm-6 pm: Shark’s Come Cruisin’—punk rock maritime music
6 pm-9 pm: Evening Concert by Squeeze Box Stompers—cajun, zydeco, and country blues

Sunday, August 3rd
12 noon-2 pm: New Bedford Harbor Sea Chantey Chorus
2 pm-3pm: Michael O’Leary and the Stroms - sea chanteys and Celtic music
3 pm-5pm: Atwater & Donnelly - traditional American folk music

For more information, visit the Salem Maritime National Historic Site web site at and the Maritime Festival Site at

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Lace Reader launches...

The buzz has been building around The Lace Reader for months, and it's here! It's here! It's here. Today is the day that this great novel, set in Salem hits bookshelves nationwide. Have you gotten your copy yet?

The book is the People Magazine pick of the week. The New York Times and The Washington Post both reviewed the book this past weekend, The Salem Gazette ran a piece on the book and author Brunonia Barry on July 18, and The Salem News and The Boston Globe have featured the The Lace Reader, Brunonia Barry, and Salem in today's editions.

There are two videos featured on The "theatrical" trailer for the book, and an interview with Brunonia Barry about The Lace Reader, its characters, and Salem. You will also find information about and a link to The Lace Reader sweepstakes - you can enter to win a weekend in Salem!

I hope this novel inspires you to visit Salem, to revisit some of your favorite sites that Towner and Rafferty mention or patronize, to perhaps seek out Ann Chase's shop - which is fictitious, but you will find elements in Artemesia Botanicals, Pyramid Books, Nu Aeon, and others - on Pickering Wharf. Follow the walking map through Towner's Salem and enjoy this very real city that is home to Brunonia Barry's most interesting characters!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Today's Sunday Globe features The Peabody Essex Museum

What a treat to be able to report yet another feature in The Boston Globe about a Salem destination. Today's Sunday Globe featured an article about the incredible Peabody Essex Museum.

I highly recommend a visit to the PEM - whether it will be your first or fiftieth. You may be intrigued by the special exhibits, which currently include Wedded Bliss, The Marriage of Art and Ceremony; Body Politics, Maori Tattoo Today; Stage Idols, Japanese Kabuki Theater; and Gateway Bombay. These exhibits will take you on an exploration of art and cultures around the globe as you wander between galleries.

Or, perhaps you are interested in the incredible Yin Yu Tang house. The house was originally a late Qing Dynasty merchants' house located in southeastern China. It was moved - piece by piece -and assembled at PEM where it is now open to visitors.
You may be captivated by the Asian Export Art, the Maritime Art Collections, the galleries of American Decorative Arts, and the Native American Collections (to name just a few - the museum is truly extensive in its collections).
And perhaps you are like my family, which visits the PEM with no intention to stick together - each heading off to the galleries that interest us individually, and planning to rendezvous in the Atrium for lunch at a specified time. If you are visiting with children, fear not - PEM was voted one of the Best Art Museums for Children by Child Magazine. The Art & Nature Center has interactive activities for kids, and the museum regularly schedules events and programs for families.

Finally, PEM is the oldest continually operating museum in the United States. Its collections, which include 854,000 works of art, architecture, and culture, are singular among American museums. Many of the museum’s collections are considered to be among the finest in the nation, yet several have never been publicly displayed at any time since the Museum’s founding in 1799. (This data is taken from the PEM's Collections page on the web site.)

It is not possible to discover all of the magic in Salem without visiting the PEM, an institution and destination that has been at the core of Salem for more than 200 years.

Here is the link to the article that appeared in The Boston Globe:
Five years after expansion, PEM hasn't slowed down
By Geoff Edgers, Globe Staff July 27, 2008

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Salem CultureFest this Weekend

This weekend Salem will be the site of the third annual Salem CultureFest: Travel the World without the Airfare!

The Salem Culturefest is a two-day event (Saturday 10am-8pm; Sunday 10am-6pm) that showcases many cultures and styles through live music, community organizations, unique arts, crafts, and culinary foods. Everyone is welcomed to attend this fun family-friendly event.

In addition to two days of fantastic music, there's lots for kids and families to do throughout the day, including cultural games, crafts including drum and mask making provided by Salem schools, Origami with the Peabody Essex Museum, karate demonstrations, scavenger hunt, pony rides and a moonbounce.

On Saturday evening from 4pm-8pm Salem CultureFest will convert the Common into an International Food Court. Take a culinary trip from the Americas to India to Ireland to Asia and back again, courtesy of more than a dozen North Shore restaurants. Live free entertainment provided by Mystafine, Joh Carma and the Mamadou Band.

Visit Salem CultureFest on line for more information and the incredible schedule of events.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Lace Reader Book trailer

Here is the new trailer for The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry! If you have not yet entered the incredible sweepstakes for a weekend in Salem, you can find information on the sweeps on both The Lace Reader web site and

Fireman Creative shot for this video in Salem back in April. You can see the other video they created on the page. The novel, set in Salem, hits bookshelves on Tuesday, June 29th. You can see Brunonia Barry tonight on Chronicle on WCVB-TV (Channel 5 in Boston) at 7:30 pm tonight.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Make Salem your vacation hub

How many days should we plan to stay in Salem?

I hear that a lot. And I can honestly tell you: As many as you have! If you have the time to spend four or five days in Salem, there are an awful lot of options for how to spend your time. Here's how you might fill the hours...

Find your accommodations and check in to Salem on day one. If you check in at 3pm, you have time for one attraction or museum (but do save the Peabody Essex Museum for day two when you have a few hours to spend). Grab a bite to eat at a local restaurant - if you have come from inland, search for terrific seafood on Pickering Wharf. After dinner, muster up your energy for a walking tour of Salem - Salem has tour companies that will share history or haunts, it's up to you! (If your energy is truly waning, grab an historic tour with Historic Salem Pedicab Tours - and leave the exercise to your guide!)

On day two grab one of the trolleys and take their one-hour tour of Salem and then you can use your ticket for an on-again-off-again shuttle service throughout the day. Explore Salem's museums and attractions, take a sail aboard Schooner Fame, stop by one of our confectioners for a treat, and save a bit of time for shopping. After dinner, sample some local music at Rockafellas, The Lobster Shanty, or Gulu Gulu Cafe.

This brings us to day three - the day you head out of Salem. I would spend day three in Boston. Hop on The Salem Ferry in the morning and enjoy the 45-minute ride to Central Wharf in Boston. Make sure to pick up Cruise-and-Dine information and have your ticket stamped so you can save some money on lunch or dinner - in Boston or Salem! If you are traveling with kids, the New England Aquarium is adjacent to the Ferry landing in Boston. Faneuil Hall and Quincy (remember - it's pronounced "Quin-Zee") are across the street and will entertain all ages. Visit the National Park Service visitor center on State Street, and grab a Freedom Trail tour. Boston is a very walkable city with incredible museums, distinctive neighborhoods, theatre, restaurants, and great shopping. If you don't want to walk, hop on the T - Boston's subway system. You'll have no problem filling your day, and you can snooze on the Ferry ride back to Salem. You won't miss your stop, it's the only one!

On day four, after a very good night's sleep, you have the region north of Salem to explore! Head up to Gloucester - the MBTA Commuter Rail can take you there, or you can drive via scenic Rte. 127 or the slightly faster Rte. 128 - and head out on a whale watch with Capt. Bill & Sons. The whale watching is incredible this year, and all of the trips have naturalists on board. Arts enthusiasts will love the art colonies in Gloucester in Rockport, and architectural buffs will be in seventh heavan in Ipswich and Newburyport. Those traveling wiht kids should check out CoCoKey in Danvers. It's an indoor water park, and the kids will love you for adding it to your experience. If you're goal is to add to the shopping you started in Salem, head toward Marblehead, Newburyport, and Rockport. For more information on the region, visit the North of Boston CVB and the Essex National Heritage Area web sites.

I didn't get into the region's beaches - and we have stunning, sandy beaches in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Ipswich, Marblehead, Gloucester, and Rockport. Your innkeepers will certainly be able to point you to the beach that fits your needs.
Salem is a fantastic, unique, historic destination, and it is fortunate to be located in an incredible region of Massachusetts and New England. Enjoy your exploration!

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Lace Reader Sweepstakes

Here we are at The Lace Reader: Blog Post II. (I told you there would be a few... I'm really excited about this book, and therefor think you should be, too.)

Here's the buzz for this week - The Sweepstakes is Live! You and your friends, neighbors and acquaintances can enter a fantastic sweepstakes for a weekend in bewitching Salem, Massachusetts. The prize packages (there are two - twice the chance of winning!) were compiled by Destination Salem and our participating sites and businesses. Visit the sweepstakes page to find links to all of the participating businesses, museums, and sites.

Don't forget to buy the book when it is released on July 29th. Cornerstone Books will have it, as will every other bookseller in the nation.

The Lace Reader will be featured on Chronicle on Friday, July 25, so set your recorders!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Morning Glory B&B Featured in today's Sunday Globe!

There is a very nice review of the Morning Glory Bed & Breakfast in the Travel section of today's Boston Globe.

Here is the article:

By Sacha Pfeiffer, Globe Correspondent July 13, 2008

SALEM - Oh, the joy of being car-free! Never mind the atrocious price of gas; for a recent trip to Salem, we simply wanted to avoid the meandering drive from Boston, a 25-mile trip that can take nearly a tedious hour. So we chose a water route instead.

Picture this: For $24 each round-trip, we boarded the Salem Ferry at the New England Aquarium and, 45 pleasant minutes later, disembarked from the high-speed catamaran in this North Shore city. We then walked only five minutes from the ferry dock to the Morning Glory Bed & Breakfast, which - by my assessment - has the best location of any of Salem's many B&Bs.

On a short, dead-end street across from the historic House of the Seven Gables, the Morning Glory is also steps from the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, the Salem Heritage Trail, and Pickering Wharf, with its numerous shops and restaurants. It's also within easy walking distance of quaint downtown Salem, but in a quieter neighborhood that's nicely removed from the tourist hubbub.

We didn't miss our car once during our weekend stay. We traveled everywhere by foot, and if we had tired of walking we could have hailed a taxi - or even a pedicab or rickshaw.

But we found the Morning Glory's lovely roof deck, with its reclining chairs, harbor view, ocean breeze, and hanging flowers, as much a draw as the historical sites. An afternoon on that deck with a book and sunscreen is a perfect antidote to an overly busy week at work.

We did leave it from time to time - for a seafood dinner at Finz restaurant, lunch at Capt.'s Waterfront Grill, a stroll to Harbor Sweets chocolate factory, and dessert at Captain Dusty's Ice Cream - but the deck is so heavenly that it's tough to tear yourself away.

The Morning Glory is a former two-family house that was bought and renovated 13 years ago by Salem native Bob Shea. He has operated it as a charming, meticulous, casually beautiful bed-and-breakfast since 1996. The clapboard house is painted a bold brick red made even more striking by gorgeous flower beds and landscaping. Its four spic-and-span guest rooms have a tasteful, country-comfortable New England feel that combines classic (hardwood floors, handsome wood bed frames, old-fashioned cross-stitchings) with contemporary (flat-screen TVs, DVD players, free Wi-Fi).

The fanciest is the Sarah Good Suite, which occupies the whole third floor, and the smallest and cheapest, where we stayed, is the Bridget Bishop Room, which isn't listed on the inn's website - perhaps because it's a bit snug and doesn't have room for much more than a bed, small desk, and armoire. It does have a modern private bathroom, though, and overall we were content there, probably because immediately outside the room is a pretty sitting area open to all guests. It's stocked with books, a computer with printer and Internet access, stereo, wine glasses, fridge, microwave, coffeemaker, chess board, binder of local menus, and tourist brochures. Had we not had access to that common area and the roof deck, our room might have felt a touch claustrophobic - but the inn's other guest rooms are more spacious.

Downstairs, the kitchen and eating area are open to guests mainly during breakfast; the rest of the time, they're part of Shea's private quarters. Breakfast is a mix of yogurt, dry cereals, fruit, baked goods typically made by Shea's mother (Irish soda bread, cheese bread, blueberry muffins, raisin bran muffins, and more), and occasional extras like raisin-stuffed baked apples. It's usually served at an indoor group table, but during nice weather guests can eat on the patio in the inn's backyard. We wished the meal were slightly more substantial, but Morning Glory is licensed to serve only a continental breakfast, which means potentially hazardous foods like eggs aren't allowed.

Shea and his partner, Marcel Dufour, are warm, welcoming, and attentive - they made a special trip to the store for skim milk - and Shea is chatty without being intrusive. At breakfast one morning, he sat down at the group table for some friendly small talk, but seemed to know exactly when to leave his guests to themselves. That's an important skill for an innkeeper. In fact, after more than a decade in the business, Shea seems to have mastered innkeeping in every way.

If You Go
Morning Glory Bed and Breakfast 22 Hardy St.,
What we liked most: The inn's roof deck and its location within walking distance of most of Salem's tourist sites.

What we liked least: The snugness of our room (the Bridget Bishop, the smallest in the house), although the inn's sitting area and roof deck gave us room to stretch out.
What surprised us: Foods such as eggs aren't allowed because the inn is licensed to serve only continental breakfast.
You know you're at the Morning Glory B&B when ... you spot its handsome red clapboard exterior just a short walk from the Salem Ferry.

Rates: $135-$200 in season May-October, $125-$160 off season November-April.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Salem is Art-rageous!

Has anyone noticed all of the incredible art "stuff" going on in Salem lately? I was just on the calendar on and am amazed by how many of the events are arts-oriented. It is very cool.

Here are three to consider for this weekend...

These are the last few days of ART IN ACTION at the Kensington Stobart Gallery. Julia O'Malley-Keyes’ affinity for the ocean is reflected in her luminous coastal landscapes, seascapes, and paintings of classic yachts. In the historically dominated field of Marine Art, she is recognized as the premiere female marine artist in the United States. Ms. O'Malley-Keyes has continued her studies of traditional painting techniques and travels yearly to Europe and Asia to perfect her craft. Her work is often found in many of the most respected galleries and private collections in the United States. Ongoing exhibit through July 14th.

The Salem Arts Association is featuring a show at on Artist Row, 24 New Derby Street, called Selections - an eclectic exhibit featuring one selection from each participating artist. This exhibit runs through July 27.

(If you haven't been to Artists Row, it's a funky neighborhood between Front Street and New Derby Street - shop the galleries and grab a bite at The Lobster Shanty, where I had what may have been the largest lobster roll of my life last week. But I digress...)
The Salem Arts Association is also staging an exhibit called Mementos of Celebration, which opens today (July 12) at Old Town Hall - conveniently located adjacent to the aforementioned Artists Row. Mementos of Celebration is a great way to compliment your Wedded Bliss experience at the Peabody Essex Museum. It features decorative arts, mixed media, painting, and photography.
Also on Artists Row today: Donna Albino will be giving a demonstration of paper making from 10AM to noon.
Discover the magic of creativity in Salem!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Grease is the Word!

Summer Theatre at Salem State College continues its 14th season with Grease directed by Peter Zachari and choreographed by Joey Mirabile. If you are looking for a little nostalgia, memorable tunes, fabulous dancing – or want to see if you remember how to hand jive – you’ll want to check out this production!

The cast performed Summer Lovin' and You're the One that I Want during intermission on the 4th of July, and they were awesome. If that little taste of Grease, combined with the terrific performances by many of the same actors during A FunnyThing Happened on the Way to the Forum last month, are any indication of how great Grease is going to be... it's a must see! I know I can't wait to revisit Sandy and Danny and all the joys of Rydell High.

Performances are: July 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m., July 13 at 2:00 p.m., and then the same schedule the following week: July 18and 19 at 7:30 p.m. and July 20 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $20.00 general admission and $15.00 for seniors and students. Group discounts available for groups of 10 or more. To purchase tickets call 978-542-6290 or visit

If you need more convincing, you can watch a video of rehearsals and hear from the cast on the Salem State College Center for the Arts Facebook page.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Lace Reader

This is, I will warn you, the first of a few posts about The Lace Reader. It's just too exciting to talk about it only once.

Here's the skinny: Salem native Brunonia Barry has written a wonderful novel called The Lace Reader. William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers is publishing the book this summer - it hits book stores on July 29th. Brunonia will launch her national book tour in Salem at The House of the Seven Gables at an event presented by Cornerstone Books (get your tickets now through Cornerstone Books! All proceeds will benefit HAWC - Help for Abused Women & Children - in Salem).

Why all the "Bru-ha-ha," you ask? Well... the book happens to be set in Salem. And it visits some of our favorite places! The Salem Ferry, the Friendship, Chestnut Street, The First Church in Salem, Reds, the Roger Conant Statue (He's not a witch, by the way, but that's another post altogether.) , and on and on. It is a love story to Salem! And it has been a lot of fun for me to collaborate with William Morrow on the promotion of The Lace Reader and Salem.

So, mark your calendars to pick up The Lace Reader on July 29th, and check out for information on a fantastic sweepstakes that William Morrow is offering for a trip for two (there are two prizes!) to Salem! The sweepstakes launches next week, and I'll post a link at that time.

In the meantime, watch a video of The Lace Reader's Salem, listen to Brunonia talk about Salem, and join in the excitement about The Lace Reader!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Bike Rentals

The Best Cycling North of Boston can be found in the small coastal towns all around Salem. Bicycle rentals are available from Salem Cycle July through September. Rentals are available on a first come, first serve basis. Salem Cycle is conveniently located on Washington Street in downtown Salem, a short walk from most of Salem’s inns and hotels.

You can explore the region, or ride the Salem bike path.

Rent a
Folding Bike
for $7.00/hr; $35.00/day; $55.00/weekend (Fri-Mon); $150.00/week

Rent a Tandem Bike for $60.00/day

Here’s the fine print: Credit Card and Valid Driver's License required. Helmets and locks are included with all rentals. Helmet and lock rentals alone are $5 each per day. Rentals must be returned clean and in the same condition as when rented. Please call for reservations and availability. If you would like a bike to use for a local race or triathlon, please call for availability and pricing!

Witch City sees first step in attracting cruise ships

By Chris CassidyStaff writer

SALEM — Eva Coffey is the kind of tourist that local merchants and city officials want to see more of.

She and her friend hopped on a trolley yesterday, toured The House of the Seven Gables, explored the Peabody Essex Museum, and downed a sandwich and a frothy beverage at Salem Beer Works.

"Then we came back — exhausted," said the Riverside, R.I., native.

Coffey and 47 other passengers aboard a cruise ship docked at the Blaney Street pier yesterday morning, the second stop on a five-city tour of New England.

The arrival of the 183-foot Grande Caribe was a milestone in the Witch City's grand plan to become a bustling hub for cruise ships.

Shortly after 9 a.m., trolleys and pedicabs hovered near the pier, ready to greet passengers and guide them through the downtown.

CityView put an additional trolley on the road to meet the demand. "It certainly helped us," said Eric Fraize, the assistant vice president of CityView trolleys. "Hopefully, it helped the local merchants, too."

Some cruise passengers came from the South Shore and Cape Cod, while others live as far away as Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina and Illinois. Most were retirees able to afford the rates of between $1,315 and $1,595 per person.

Dick and Beverly Kiernan of Mashpee spent the day exploring wedding and maritime exhibits at the Peabody Essex. Beverly bought a plate and an eyeglass case at the museum gift shop, and both returned to the dock by trolley. They estimate they spent between $60 and $80.
"We'll be back again," Dick Kiernan said. "It's been a few years since we've been here. It's more tourist-oriented now."

Tom and Carol O'Donnell of Hingham spent about $60 visiting The House of the Seven Gables and the Peabody Essex Museum's 200-year-old Chinese house. They also ate lunch at the museum and rode a trolley.

"The downtown is certainly more lively and colorful," said Tom O'Donnell, whose last Witch City visit came about six years ago. "It looks like the city has done a good job promoting itself in a tasteful way."

About a fifth of the passengers bought a Discover Salem passport, a city-run program that offers admission to The House of the Seven Gables, the Peabody Essex Museum, the Salem Witch Museum, the Salem Trolley and 15 percent off local restaurants for $46.

With 48 passengers, the ship was at slightly less than half-capacity — not the 100 visitors local merchants had been hoping for. Hotels didn't see a boost because the passengers have cabins on board.

Salem's evening hot spots likely missed out, as well. The cruise ship serves its own family-style meals three times a day. Many passengers who ordered lunch in downtown Salem yesterday afternoon said they planned to eat and drink on board at a captain's "welcome aboard" party instead of hitting the town.

"They have great food here," said Barbara Gallo of New Rochelle, N.Y. "Everything's homemade."

Still, city officials realize it's just a start. The city plans to expand the Blaney Street dock to accommodate vessels larger than 200 feet.

Already, the city has come a long way, said John Hunnewell, the ship's captain. In the past, American Canadian Caribbean Line had to moor in the harbor and ferry passengers to shore, a difficult task for the ship's mostly older crowd. Then passengers had to navigate a rickety dock.
Yesterday, the ship pulled right up to the pier, which was redesigned a few years ago to accommodate the Salem ferry, and disembarked.

Because the cruise line sets its schedule a year in advance, a Salem stop isn't planned for 2009, but the company hopes to return in 2010.
Many, like Coffey, would welcome a return trip. Although the German-born tourist was turned off by the PEM's $4 surcharge to view the Chinese house, she said the ale at Beer Works is just as good as Germany's and that the views from Winter Island are picture-perfect.

"I kind of liked it all," she said.

Staff writer Chris Cassidy can be reached at

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Grande Caribe in Salem

We have a cruise ship in Salem! This is very exciting for the dock on Blaney Street. And for Salem as a destination.

The American Canadian Caribbean Line, Inc. (ACCL), has brought her vessel The Grande Caribe into Salem for a 24-hour port of call visit. The passengers - about 70 of them - are spending the day shopping, dining, and visiting Salem's museums and attractions.

I got to go aboard this morning to talk with the passengers a bit about Salem, and they are very excited to be here. Almost as excited, I think, as we are to be hosting them! About 20% of the passengers had purchased the Discover Salem Passport, and the rest were going to explore our bewitching seaport on their own.

ACCL will return in August with a vessel that is a private charter. If you want to see the Grande Caribe, she is berthed on the dock at Blaney Street, adjacent to The Salem Ferry landing.
The City of Salem is in the process of expanding the Blaney Street dock and port area. You can see the new CruisePort Salem details online at We hope to welcome many more vessels like the Grande Caribe in the future!
Welcome, ACCL - enjoy your visit!

July 4th

Photographer Scott Lanes captured the July 4th Spectacular in Salem with this stunning photograph of fireworks over Friendship. I had to share it immediately!

The 4th was another incredible event, from the free Kid Space area with crafts, face painting, patriotic (temporary) tattoos, the DJ, and games, to the opening performance by Sandra Lee right on through the fabulous Hillyer Festival Orchestra. The soloists were wonderful, and the intermission performance by the Salem State College Summer Theatre cast of Grease made everyone want to get up and dance on our picnic blankets.

It was a perfect New England 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

July 4th in Salem

Salem does great things to celebrate Independence Day. And every year it seems to get better!

This year, the celebration begins at 9:00 AM on Salem Common when the Salem Common Neighborhood Association will host a public reading of the Declaration of Independence. The public is invited to attend and celebrate the 232nd birthday of this document that changed the history of the world!

Salem Celebrates the Fourth in the evening beginning at 4:00 PM at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site. Here's the schedule:

4:00 PM - Kids' Space opens with free activities including a DJ, games, crafts, and face painting. (Did I mention free?) Mix 98.5 will be giving away free ice cream - while supplies last -at 5:00 PM.

5:00 PM - Sandra Lee Live in Concert at the Main Stage.

7:15 PM - POPS! Concert featuring The Hillyer Festival Orchestra.

8:10 PM - Military flyover by the Barnes Air National Guard 104th Fighter Wing Unit.

8:15 PM - Intermission performance from Grease by Salem State College Summer Theatre.

9:15 PM - Fireworks Extravaganza! over Salem Harbor accompanied by the Hillyer Festival Orchestra.

Pack a picnic and bring your blankets and chairs - or buy your meal at the site. Food vendors will be on hand selling crowd-pleasers like hot dogs, popcorn, cold drinks, and desserts.

(It's a true family event - hence my pictures of Conductor Dirk Hillyer interacting with some of the children from the audience!)

These events are made possible by contributions from the Greater Salem community, especially Skyrocket Sponsors Dominion Salem Harbor Station and Target. Thanks to the sponsors who allow for this incredible annual event to continue each year.

The First Bentley Visit

Salem welcomed eight 2009 Bentley Continental Flying Spurs on Tuesday, July 1st. The luxurious cars were driven by journalists from the US, United Kingdom, and Korea. The cars parked on Central Wharf at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site for about an hour while the journalists took a brief tour of our Bewitching Seaport.

The visit to Salem is part of a five-week media promotion being conducted by Bentley Motors USA, which just moved to Boston.

If you want to see about a dozen more of the Continental Flying Spurs, Bentley is returning on Thursday, July 3rd. They will be parked on Central Wharf again (approximately 160 Derby Street) from about 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm.

(We're glad the Bentley crew from England was able to enjoy a bit of ice cream on the wharf while the journalists took their tour!)