Film, food, chocolate, comedy, poetry, Pride, Halloween, spices and boats–these are just a few festivals you can find here in Salem, MA. We have festivals for all five seasons (we consider October its own). What will be happening when you visit? Visit the Events Calendar or read below to learn more about these special events.

Salem Comedy & Spirits Festival

January 12 – 14, 2017
Warm up winter with laughter and spirits at the first annual Salem Comedy & Spirits Festival. Top area comedians and delicious locally-made spirits highlight this weekend celebration.

Salem So Sweet

February 10 – 12, 2017
Chocolate, ice sculptures, and a Golden Ticket take center stage at Salem’s annual Valentine celebration in February. Always a sell-out, the Chocolate & Wine Tasting at Colonial Hall opens the festival on February 10 at Colonial Hall. Ice sculptures – at least a dozen of them – will be installed around Salem on February 11, and the Golden Ticket Raffle will run February 11 – February 12. Downtown businesses will offer promotions, events, tastings, and great shopping throughout the festival.,,

Salem Film Fest

March 2 – 9, 2017
Come to Salem, see the world during the largest all-documentary festival in New England. Film screenings and talk-backs with the directors are the highlights of the week-long film fest.

Salem Restaurant Week

March 12 – 16, 19 – 23, 2017
Salem Restaurant Week is the perfect time to dine out at the dozens of excellent eateries. There will be a wide variety of delicious foods, including steak, seafood, Italian classics, contemporary cuisine, American favorites and exotic ethnic treats. Restaurants will offer multiple choices for appetizers, entrees, and desserts.

Massachusetts Poetry Festival

May 5 – 7, 2017
During the first weekend of May, Salem becomes the epicenter of contemporary American poetry, offering rare opportunities to hear the nation’s best poets read and discuss their work in intimate and engaging forums. The Massachusetts Poetry Festival showcases nearly 100 poetry readings and workshops, a small press and literary fair, panels, poetry slams, visual arts, and open-air performances. Panel topics range broadly from the state of poetry, poetry and gender, book publishing, and modernism in contemporary art, to the Common Threads Reading, where contemporary poets with Massachusetts ties discuss their literary connections.

Salem Arts Festival

June 2 – 4, 2017
For three days each summer, this free festival transforms downtown Salem into an opportunity for the local arts community to showcase their talents. The 2011 festival was attended by more than 5,000 people, featured more than 80 artists, a juried art show, outdoor performance at the East India Square Stage, interactive art presentations, and artists located in 20 downtown businesses. People of all ages and backgrounds enjoyed viewing art, participating in art making and purchasing art.

Salem Farmers’ Market

June 8 – October 12, 2017
Every Thursday, Derby Square turns into a convenient means to purchase locally grown or prepared food products and support local agriculture and producers. With new vendors every year, the Salem Farmers’ Market always has something new to offer.

North Shore Pride Parade

June 24, 2017
Join dozens of local businesses, faith groups, and community organizations for the fourth annual North Shore Pride Parade and Festival. All are welcome to attend this day-long event celebrating unity in the community.

Salem Celebrates the 4th

July 4, 2017
Bring your beach blankets and folding chairs to enjoy the 42-piece Hillyer Festival Orchestra on Derby Wharf at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site for a grand celebration of our nation’s Independence Day. Featuring a Pops concert, a Kid Space play area, and fireworks launched over Salem Harbor, this is a quintessential celebration of the 4th of July.

Salem Heritage Days

August 4 – 13, 2017
Celebrate the past and the present during the annual Salem Heritage Days. Featuring food, fun, and activities for all ages, highlights include the Essex Street Fair, the Ice Cream Bowl, and the Car Show on Chestnut Street.

Salem Maritime Festival

August 4 – 6, 2017
Celebrate ships, sailors, sawdust and song at this annual free family festival. Hosted by the National Park Service, the festival features live music, historical re-enactors, tall ships, demonstrations, and interactive programs and crafts for families.

Salem Jazz & Soul Festival

August 19 – 20, 2017
The Salem Jazz and Soul Festival recreates and renews the vibrant jazz scene that began at the Salem Willows in the 1920s, when Duke Ellington and other musicians from the Big Band era played at the seaside park in Massachusetts. The festival builds on this rich jazz history — adding soul, blues and funk to the mix – and shining the spotlight on talented musicians from Boston’s North Shore and beyond.

Antique & Classic Boat Festival

August 26 – 27, 2017
A rare chance to see vintage motor yachts and sailboats, board vessels, meet skippers and crews and vote for your favorite boat! A crafts market, artists, old-time band music, children’s activities, the Blessing of the Fleet and more! The vessels will be on display to the public over the weekend at Brewer Hawthorne Cove Marina.

Fourth Annual Salem Spice Festival

September 9 – 10, 2017
Celebrate Salem’s long and fascinating history with exotic exports from around the world at Salem’s third annual Spice Festival. Spices, herbs and teas in food, drink, medicines, and arts and crafts will be explored. Crafts, food samples and demonstrations, live music and fascinating lectures, workshops and storytelling will all be featured. At Salem 1630: Pioneer Village.

35th Annual Salem Haunted Happenings

October 1 – 31, 2017
A festive celebration of Halloween and fall in New England, more than 250,000 people come to Salem Haunted Happenings each year. Events include a Grand Parade, the Haunted Biz Baz Street Fair, Family Film Nights on Salem Common, costume balls, ghost tours, haunted houses, live music, and chilling theatrical presentations. An ABA Top 100 Event.

Salem Restaurant Week

November 5 – 9, 12 – 16, 2017
Salem Restaurant Week is the perfect time to dine out at the dozens of excellent eateries. There will be a wide variety of delicious foods, including steak, seafood, Italian classics, contemporary cuisine, American favorites and exotic ethnic treats. Restaurants will offer multiple choices for appetizers, entrees, and desserts.

Salem Holiday Happenings

November 25 – January 1, 2018
Celebrate, shop, and dine in Salem during the holiday season. Festival highlights include Historic Salem, Inc.’s annual Christmas in Salem Historic House Tour and Santa’s arrival atop the Hawthorne Hotel. Don’t miss the third annual Launch! celebration on New Year’s Eve.

We hope to see you there! Post your photos online at @destsalem and using hashtag #SalemMA.