Salem Celebrates the Fourth

Festivities include children’s events, a military flyover, Pops concert, and Fireworks.

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Mayor Kimberley Driscoll is pleased to announce that Salem will hold its Independence Day celebration at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site on Derby Wharf on Monday, July 4th.

“There’s no better place to celebrate Independence Day than in historic Salem,” said Mayor Driscoll. “Start off bright and early at Salem Common for the annual reading of the Declaration of Independence, spend the day visiting the City’s numerous historic sites and attractions, dine at one of dozens of remarkable restaurants, and end your day at historic Derby Wharf for all of the festivities.”

“This year we are very excited to have a flyover by the 104th Fighter Wing from Barnes Air National Guard Unit,” Mayor Driscoll added. The 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard is located in Westfield, Massachusetts and proudly claims the honor of being one of the oldest flying units within the Commonwealth. “As the birthplace of the National Guard, it is especially meaningful for Salem to have a flyover by the 104th.” Salem Common was the site of the first muster in 1637 and continues to host the annual National Guard muster to this day.

“Salem is fortunate to have such a generous business community that continues to support this celebration,” Mayor Driscoll commented. “I’d like to express a special thank you to our Skyrocket Sponsors: Footprint Power – Salem Harbor Station, Salem Five, Tropical Products, and Walmart, along with our Star Spangled Sponsors: Aggregate Industries, Tache Real Estate, Market Basket, Eastern Bank, and KV Associates.”

Free children’s activities begin at 5:00 p.m. with the opening of the Kids’ Space, where young ones can play games, win prizes and get their faces painted, all thanks to the generosity of the Meeting House Church in Salem and Walmart. Also, look for the MAGIC 106.7 street team along with the MGH Pediatrics tent on-site with lots of cool give-a-ways.

Food tents on site also open at 5:00 p.m. with hot dogs, french fries, fried dough, kettle corn, and other fair favorites.

Live entertainment on the Main Stage also begins at 5:00 p.m. Annie Brobst, the 2016 & 2017 New England Country Music Award’s Female Artist of the Year, will be performing with her band on main stage.

Opening Ceremonies begin at 7:15 p.m. when Mayor Driscoll and other local dignitaries will lead a parade down the wharf accompanied by the Salem Veterans Honor Guard and Salem Boy Scout troops. The National Anthem will be sung by Nadine Adisho, Leah Morgenstern, Danielle Gautier and Tyler Leger of Salem High School’s a cappella group Witch Pitch?.
Immediately following opening ceremonies Maestro Dirk Hillyer and his orchestra has another great program in store for us, including classic American folk songs and family-friendly musical numbers from Disney and the Wizard of Oz.

At 9:15 p.m., Salem ends its Independence Day celebration with a fireworks extravaganza, accompanied live by the Hillyer Festival Orchestra playing the 1812 Overture and other patriotic live music throughout the entire fireworks display.24-July_4_062

Part of the allure of this celebration is its setting. The first National Historic Site in the National Park System, Salem Maritime National Historic Site consists of nine acres of waterfront land and houses a dozen historic structures. These include the Custom House, where famed author Nathaniel Hawthorne worked, and Derby Wharf, which was used by America’s first millionaire, Salem merchant Elias Hasket Derby. Independence Day in Salem is filled with the history that helped make American the free nation it is today.

Please note the following information for those planning to attend the July 4th celebrations in Salem this weekend:

Be safe. To ensure a safe and fun celebration, the Salem Police Department will have enhanced security in place on July 4th. Guests are asked to carry any items in clear plastic bags and be prepared for possible bag checks.

Say something. If you see something, say something to uniformed police at the celebration. In addition to officers who will be moving throughout the area all evening, you can also always find officers at the public safety tent, which will be clearly identifiable on site. Concerns can also be called into the Salem Police at (978) 744-1212.

Derby Wharf access. Police will be monitoring access points into the Derby Wharf area throughout the afternoon and evening. Please plan for additional time to arrive at the wharf for the festivities.

Road closures. Derby Street from Herbert Street to Daniels Street, and Orange Street and Curtis Street at Essex Street, will all be closed to traffic on Saturday from 5:00 pm. until 11:00 p.m.

Avoid driving to Derby Wharf. Seek parking downtown in a lot (parkinginsalem.com), or at Museum Place Garage on New Liberty Street or the South Harbor Garage on Congress Street, which are available for parking at $5 for the day, with the proceeds helping to fund the July 4th celebration. There is overflow parking at Shetland Properties on Congress Street, or take the commuter rail or Salem Ferry (salemferry.com) to avoid anticipated traffic congestion. The last MBTA trains depart Salem station at 10:40 p.m. (southbound) and 10:51 p.m. (northbound).

Handicapped parking. There is limited handicap parking at Derby Wharf and in the Immaculate Conception parking lot on Hawthorne Boulevard, which is first-come first-serve, and there is a mobility impaired/wheelchair seating section reserved at the beginning of Derby Wharf, so attendees do not have to traverse the park’s terrain.

Don’t bring fireworks. Salem has adopted the maximum fines allowable for both the sale ($1,000 fine) and use ($200 fine) of fireworks. In addition, a dedicated police unit will be tasked with enforcing the laws prohibiting the private use of fireworks. Please help ensure a safe July 4th for all and leave the fireworks to the professionals.

Harbor access. Recreational boaters and other craft will be restricted from the area around Derby Wharf and the channel in Salem Harbor and the South River for much of the evening. Mariners can call the Harbormaster’s Office at 978-741-0098 or on VHF 16 for emergencies after hours or for more information.

For more information check salem.com or call Salem City Hall at 978-745-9595, ext. 5676.

See the Sights from Salem’s Heritage Trail

Salem Heritage Trail

Salem’s Red Line – or Heritage Trail – exists to guide visitors between historic sites and destinations. Intended to inspire self-guided exploration, there are a few stops along the way that you might not want to miss.

The National Park Service Salem Regional Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty Street, is a perfect place to start. Watch the free 27-minute film, Where Past is Present, which appeals to all ages and provides an overview of Salem’s and Essex County’s history. From here, cross the street…

The Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex Street, is the oldest continually operated museum in the country. The museum features exceptional collections of art and culture as from around the world including Asian art, Asian export art, Maritime art, Native American art, as well as changing exhibits and programming. Continue west on Essex Street…

East India Marine Hall faces the fountain at East India Square and contains the original display cases and some of the very first objects collected by the Salem captains who established the Peabody Essex Museum in 1799. Continue along Essex Street…

You will pass boutiques, shops, cafes, and the Witch History Museum. At the corner of Essex and Washington Streets, pause at the former Daniel Low Building to read the plaque that notes the building as the site of Salem’s first Town Hall, and the location where delegates for the first Continental Congress were chosen in 1774. Turn around and you will see…

The fountain in Town House Square marks the supposed location of Salem’s first fresh water source, which was immortalized by Nathaniel Hawthorne in his short story, A Rill from the Town Pump. The 1970s era fountain was restored in 2014, when a marble base with Hawthorne’s words was installed. Cross Washington Street to…

 

The statue of Samantha Stevens from Bewitched. The television series filmed several episodes in Salem in the early 1970s after fire damaged the studios in California. The statue was erected by TV Land in 2005, and today she is one of the most photographed landmarks. Continue along Essex Street, cross Summer Street and…

You will see the 17th-century Witch House. The only building still standing in Salem with direct ties to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, this was the family home of Judge Jonathan Corwin. Across the street you will see…

 

A monument remembering Salem Captain William Driver, who named the American flag “Old Glory.” Today, that flag, which was given to Driver by his mother as he departed on a trip, is part of the Smithsonian collection.

Adjacent to the Driver plaque is the entrance to the Samuel McIntire Architectural District. Brochures for the self-guided walking tour of this remarkable neighborhood are available at the Visitor Center and online.

Salem, MA, Ropes Mansion

Adjacent to the Witch House is the First Church in Salem, which was the parish of many of the accused during the Salem Witch Trials. This church features stunning Gothic architecture and Tiffany windows.

The Heritage Trail finds its end on Essex Street at the Ropes Mansion, which is part of the Peabody Essex Museum collection. The Ropes Gardens are open and free to the public.

Reversing direction, turn left on North Street and continue to Lynde Street. Turn right on Lynde and walk to the Witch Dungeon Museum, which features a plaque that remembers “The With Gaol.” The original “gaol” (jail) was located on Federal Street, two blocks from the Witch Dungeon Museum (not on the Red Line). Continue along Lynde Street and turn right onto Washington Street…

Salem City Hall at 93 Washington Street was built in 1837-38 from funds dispersed to Salem from a US Treasury Surplus. The Mayor’s office and City Council chambers have remained unchanged since 1838. Continue to Front Street, so named because this was the original Salem Waterfront. Turn left, walking past…

Old Town Hall in Derby Square. The oldest surviving municipal structure in Salem, Old Town Hall dates back to 1816-17. The second floor of the building, Great Hall, has always been used as a public hall, and contained Town offices until 1837. The first floor functioned as a public market and today is home to the Salem Museum. Follow Front Street, which will turn into Charter Street…

The Old Burying Point Cemetery is the second oldest English graveyard in Massachusetts. This Cemetery has a few remarkable residents including one Mayflower passenger, architect Samuel McIntire, and Witch Trials Judge John Hathorne (great grandfather to Nathaniel Hawthorne).

Behind the cemetery on Liberty Street is the Salem Witch Trials Memorial. Dedicated in 1992 by Nobel laureate Eli Wiesel, pause to pay respects to the 20 innocent people executed during the Witch Trials of 1692.

From the Memorial, follow the Heritage Trail down Liberty Street past the Salem Wax Museum and Witch Village, turning left onto Derby Street. You will pass shops, restaurants, and the New England Pirate Museum on your way to the waterfront, where the Red Line turns right and loops through the shops and restaurants of Pickering Wharf.

On the eastern side Pickering Wharf, there is a plaque remembering the Frigate ESSEX, which was constructed on Winter Island. She sailed from Salem in 1799 to serve in the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812. Her story was “epic in Naval history.”

Back on Derby Street, turn right toward the Salem Maritime National Historical Site, where historic buildings, wharves, and the reconstructed tall ship FRIENDSHIP* tell the stories of the sailors, Revolutionary War privateers, and merchants who brought the riches of the world to America.

 

 

Continue down Derby Street to Ye Olde Pepper Companie, a candy store noted for its Gibralters and Blackjacks, two of the first commercially produced candies in America. Across Derby Street you will find…

New England’s oldest wooden mansion, the House of the Seven Gables, which was made famous by the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne it inspired. Today it is part of its own National Historic District, comprised of the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion, Hooper-Hathaway House, Hawthorne’s birthplace, and the seaside gardens.

From here the Heritage Trail continues two blocks to Blaney Street and Salem Wharf, where the Salem Ferry to Boston docks. Reverse direction, and return from the waterfront via the path that cuts through the National Park between the brick Derby House and the yellow Hawkes House, passing the 17th-century Narbonne House onto Essex Street.

Turn left on Essex Street and walk to Hawthorne Boulevard, turning right at the corner by the Hawthorne HotelRecognized as a Historic Hotel of America, the Hawthorne was built by public subscription in 1925.

Adjacent to the Hawthorne Hotel is Salem Common, which was established as a public grazing land in the 17th-century. In the 18th-century it was used as a training ground for the militia, and was the location of the first muster of the American National Guard.

Across from the northwest corner of Salem Common is the statue of Roger Conant. Conant founded Salem in 1626 for the Dorchester Company from England. Behind the Conant statue in an 1845 stone building that was once the Second Church Unitarian, is the Salem Witch Museum.

Turning back toward Essex Street, the Red Line turns right and returns to the tour’s beginning at the Salem Regional Visitor Center. This last block is significant however, as it includes Crow Haven Corner, which is thought to be the first witch shop in America, on the left, and several significant buildings on the Peabody Essex Museum campus on the right.

However you choose to follow Salem’s Heritage Trail, the three loops of Red Line have four centuries of stories to tell and dozens of sites to visit along the way.

*The FRIENDSHIP is currently undergoing a refurbishment in drydock in Gloucester, Massachusetts. She will return to Salem later this year.

City of Salem Marks 325th Anniversary of the Salem Witch Trials

On June 10, 1692, Bridget Bishop became the first of 25 innocent people to lose their life as a result of the Salem witch hysteria. To mark the date, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll has issued a proclamation calling for a Day of Remembrance on June 10, 2017. The text of the proclamation is below.

Speaking at the Salem Witch Trials Memorial as part of a Salem Award Foundation event this morning, Mayor Driscoll also announced the date and time at which the City will formally dedicate the new memorial at Proctor’s Ledge, believed now to be the site at which 19 innocent people were hanged in 1692 for the supposed crime of witchcraft. The dedication event will take place at the new memorial on Pope Street on Wednesday, July 19, at noon.

On July 19, 1692, the first of three mass executions took place at the site, when five innocent individuals were hanged: Sarah Good, Elizabeth Howe, Susannah Martin, Rebecca Nurse, and Sarah Wildes. The dedication ceremony on July 19 is free and open to all who wish to attend and pay their respects.

“Salem is constantly looking to the lessons of its past,” said Mayor Driscoll. “Whether it was through the formation of our No Place for Hate Committee and our landmark non-discrimination ordinance, or through the good work of the Salem Award Foundation, the lessons we learn from our history directly inform the actions we take today. Having this site memorialized, especially as we mark the 325th anniversary of that tragic event, presents an opportunity for us to come together as a community, recognize the injustice and tragedy perpetrated against those innocents in 1692, and recommit ourselves to the values of inclusivity and justice.”

The design and construction of the memorial, as well as improvements to the streetscape and the parcel itself, were funded primarily through a $174,000 Community Preservation Act grant, as well as dozens of small donations, many from descendants of those wrongfully executed at the site. The design of the memorial and landscaping plans for the site were developed by landscape architect Martha Lyon through a participatory public process and multiple meetings on site with abutters. The memorial plans call for a landscaped slope down from the ledge where the executions are believed to have taken place. At the base of the slope, on Pope Street, there will be a semi-circular area surrounded by a stone wall. Stones with the names of the nineteen individuals who were hanged near the site will be set into the wall and lit from the ground below with a single light on each name. While trees will be planted along the perimeter of the parcel itself, at the center of the memorial on Pope Street there will be a single oak tree, as a symbol of endurance and dignity.

7 Tall Ships to See in Salem Before Sail Boston 2017

Seven sailing ships will be in port in Salem before joining the 44 additional tall ships taking part in Sail Boston 2017. From June 13 to 16, visitors exploring Central Wharf and Derby Wharf will be able to view the fleet from land. The ships viewable from Salem include two from Germany (sloop Peter Von Danzig, and schooner Regina Germania), one from the United Kingdom (ketch Rona II), one from Latvia (sloop Spaniel), and one from Finland (ketch Vahine), along with the Pride of Baltimore and Jolie Prise.

The Regina Germania was launched in 1984. She was constructed in 1980 in Hamburg, and received an extensive renovation in 2009 where she was sandblasted and repainted with the white and blue color scheme. Her first tall ship race took place in 2002, and owners Bodo and Uwe Herrmann plan on continuing entering regattas with the Regina Germania.

The Peter Von Danzig is a 55-foot vessel that was constructed in 1992. She is part of Germany’s Academic Sailing Association, and following her launch she replaced a previous vessel by the same name which had sailed under the Association for 50 years.

The United Kingdom’s Rona II was built in 1991 and sails out of her home port of Hamble. At 77 feet, she is one of the larger vessels that will be in port in Salem before Sail Boston.

The Spaniel sails out of Riga, the capital of Latvia. She was constructed in 1979 in Szczecin, a city on the Oder River in Northwestern Poland. This sloop is one of the smaller vessels participating in Sail Boston at 56 feet.

The 65-foot Vahine sails out of Helsinki, Finland, and was built in 1972. The Vahine and the Rona II are two of only four total ketch rig ships participating in this year’s Sail Boston event.

 

For more information about Sail Boston, including a full list of participating ships at the event, please visit SailBoston.com.

Rainy Day Itinerary for Salem, MA

Don’t let the gray skies get you down! There is so much to see and do in Salem, Massachusetts even when the weather isn’t quite sunny and dry. Be sure to dress for the weather during a rainy visit to Salem, especially if you are arriving via the Salem Ferry or taking any harbor cruises as you’ll find that it is much colder on the water than on land.

If you forget your rain gear, or if the unpredictable New England weather decides to rain unexpectedly, you may want to purchase an umbrella or poncho. Pop into a local shop like Coon’s Card & Gift Shop to pick up a last-minute umbrella or poncho, or Avalanche Company Store for a sturdier jacket. Hoodies and sweatshirts are also available around town. Should the rain come with chills, sweatshirts are available at Salemdipity, Trolley Depot, and Witch Tees. You may also want to bring along an extra bag to store your wet umbrella, poncho, or jacket in, so if the rain lets up during your visit you’ll be able to comfortably carry your rain gear without wetting the rest of your belongings.

With any visit to Salem, starting at the Salem Regional Visitor Center will help you get your bearings, and learn a quick overview of what the community has to offer. While at the visitor center, you may opt to see a film screening of Salem Witch Hunt: Examine the Evidence, a 35-minute film on the history of the Salem Witch Trials.

The majority of Salem’s museums and attractions, including walking tours, are open for business rain or shine. If you are looking to minimize the time spent out in the rain, you’ll want to visit the Peabody Essex Museum. One of the nation’s fastest growing art museums, a visit here can easily last for a couple of hours or the entire day.

To learn about the Salem Witch Trials, the Salem Witch Museum, Witch Dungeon Museum, Witch History Museum, and Salem Wax Museum are all within walking distance, and all presentations and exhibits take place indoors. Also a short walk away from the visitor center is Witch Pix. Located in the Museum Place Mall, this costume studio allows you to take on the role of a witch or wizard for a memorable photo shoot experience.

You may feel like avoiding attractions that require a further walk in the rain, but luckily the Salem Trolley continues service, and can help you minimize your walk time while providing an overview of Salem’s history. Hope aboard the Trolley and take it down to the House of the Seven Gables, Ye Olde Pepper Companie, and the Salem Maritime National Historic Site.

 

The tour of the House of the Seven Gables takes place inside, though if you are up for some time outside the homes’ gardens are also a sight to see. Ye Olde Pepper Companie, and the shops on Pickering Wharf are all fully enclosed, with just short walks in between each one. Much of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site is outside however within the site’s shop, Waite and Peirce, you can learn more about site’s history while shopping for unique and authentic goods.

We may not want to believe that that the calendar is calling for soup, but warm comfort food may be on your mind for a rainy day. You may relax with a cup of clam chowder at Finz Seafood and Grill or Sea Level Oyster Bar and Kitchen, or lobster bisque from Turner’s Seafood. If you’re looking for lunch in hopes that by the time you’re finished eating the rain will have stopped, plan for a meal at Bit Bar. Before or after your meal you’ll be able to spend some time playing classic pinball and arcade games indoors. If you really want to warm up on a rainy day, the Tavern in the Hawthorne Hotel offers cozy fireside dining, or you may choose to unwind with a cup of tea at Jolie Tea Company.

However you choose to spend a rainy day in Salem, don’t let the rain ruin your plans. Even outdoor attractions like walking tours and harbor tours can usually run in the rain. By dressing for the weather and bringing along an umbrella you should be all set to enjoy a day touring downtown Salem.

9th Annual Salem Arts Festival

The Salem Arts Festival returns for its ninth year with a weekend full of family-friendly programming devoted to the arts in our community. The event kicks off at 6:00 pm on Friday June 2 with viewings of art in Old Town Hall and live music outside in Derby Square. The rest of the Festival will be located throughout Derby Square, Artists’ Row, Front Street, and within Old Town Hall and will feature live musical performances, belly dancing, public art projects, a vibrant street fair and more.

 

The festival celebrates various art forms and gives attendees of all ages creative ways to create art. Featured art styles will include but are not limited to painting, photography, sculpture, installation, dance, music, writing, film, new media, performance, theater, poetry, culinary, and visual art. Also planned for the event are local food pop-ups, a mural slam, and vendors specializing in handmade, locally sourced, and ethically crafted goods.

The Salem Arts Festival will also celebrate this year’s featured community art project: Tidal Shift. As part of Tidal Shift, the Salem Sound Watershed community created jellyfish made out of recycled plastic bags that have been installed over Front Street. Tidal Shift also serves to increase awareness of how single-use plastic bags can impact marine life, like sea turtles who often mistake floating plastic bags for jellyfish, which make up a significant part of their diets. The project comes with perfect timing as Salem is currently moving away from using single-use plastic bags in instances where reusable bags could be used instead.

The Salem Arts Festival is organized by Salem Main Streets, and would not be possible without the generous support of sponsors and volunteers. The Salem Arts Festival is just one part of Salem Main Street’s effort to promote Salem’s downtown neighborhood as a destination for attractions, community projects, dining, shopping, and cultural events throughout the year. For more information about the Salem Arts Festival visit SalemArtsFestival.com or follow the event on Facebook.

Salem.org