things to do in salem, holiday events in salem ma 2020

Updated on 12/10/2020 at 11:49 AM – Alyse

Hi everyone, welcome back to the blog! Today I wanted to create a quick round up style post of information regarding this year’s holiday events in Salem, MA. A lot has changed and been adjusted considering the state of the world and I have collected all of that information into one spot. Here we go!

Holiday tree, holiday tree lighting, Santa’s arrival in Salem

“Bad news first – due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions, we will not be holding our usual tree lighting event or Santa’s Arrival at the Hawthorne this year.

The good news – the spirit of the holidays remains alive and well in Salem! We will still have the Holiday Tree in Lappin Park (arriving next week, courtesy of Salem residents Paul and Laura O’Brien), the Menorah will be joining it not long after, the wreaths and ribbons will still be all around town (some of them with super fancy new lights!), and we have a load of other festive design ideas up our sleeves (stay tuned).

Instead of focusing on Small Business Saturday, we are partnering on a #StayLocalSalem campaign that will celebrate local shopping and dining all season long. We will continue to promote opportunities to enjoy some of your favorite holiday events virtually. Our downtown businesses are working harder than ever to provide you with the best products and services that they can, all while keeping you and their employees safe as possible. Our events are certainly central to our downtown identity, but Salem is so much more than that. While we cannot celebrate all in one place together this year, we still look forward to seeing you downtown or online safely celebrating our community and the people who make it so special.” [Source]

Tree update as of 11/24/2020 per Salem Main Streets “A 40 foot blue spruce just arrived at Lappin Park, courtesy of the local O’Brien family. Thanks to the City of Salem for coordinating, and for @irontreeservice and Spencer Contracting for delivery. The tree will be installed today and decorated next week.”

Salem Winterlude

“Salem Main Streets and Creative Collective, in partnership with the City of Salem, are pleased to announce the new Salem Winterlude initiative to bring light and creativity to downtown Salem this winter. The partnership received a Winter Placemaking grant through Bench Consulting’s “Winter Places” program with funding support from the Barr Foundation.

This collaborative project is intended to activate and enhance the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall and adjacent public spaces, encouraging safe outdoor and physically distant opportunities for residents to explore and engage with each other throughout the downtown district. Salem Winterlude celebrates our downtown during the holiday season, and will contribute to small business support initiatives as well as community wellness. This initiative will run in tandem with the Stay Local Salem campaign created by Creative Collective and currently being promoted through Destination Salem, the Salem Chamber of Commerce, and Salem Main Streets. The Salem Winterlude project will continue and adapt all winter long, including through the Salem’s So Sweet Festival in February, and involves the different components listed below.

Programmable Lights The Winter Places grant has allowed us to upgrade our usual holiday wreaths and ribbons on the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall with new programmable LED lights. After the holidays, the lights will remain on the poles and continue to light our darkest season. You can also see the programmable lights in the tree topper for the Holiday Tree on Lappin Park, designed by Joey Nicotera of Retonica.

Mural Backdrops – temporary mural panels painted by local artists have been commissioned and installed around downtown in the following locations:

Salem Common – Hailey Bonia @flourishartistic
Artists Row/Front Street entrance – Meg Nichols
Charlotte Forten Park – Emily Larsen and Paige Besse
East India Fountain – Groveland artist and crafter Tokala Sage Close has been commissioned to create a winter wonderland scene to enliven the East India Fountain. Using mostly found materials, Close has crafted trees, stars, hearts and more to brighten up the winter season.

Charlotte Forten Park – Salem’s newest park is getting a festive upgrade for the season, including decorated evergreens, seasonal lights, and two temporary mural backdrops.

To get the latest updates follow the hashtags #staylocalsalem and #salemwinterlude” [Source]

9th Annual Salem Community Menorah Lighting

“Saturday, December 12, 7:00PM — This year the City of Salem will be live streaming the Lappin Park Menorah Lighting and Musical Program so that all can enjoy in the safest possible way. Enjoy music, entertainment, and greetings from Rabbi Yossi Lipsker, Mayor Kim Driscoll, Senator Joan Lovely and Representative Paul Tucker in the comfort of your home. There will be no in-person attendance. Enjoy this inspirational evening of light from home. You may register through the link here, or follow @NSJewish so you can see it on Facebook Live.” [Source: Salem Chamber of Commerce newsletter]

Christmas in Salem house tour

“This holiday you will have the amazing opportunity to tour around Salem without leaving the comfort of your own home! For forty years, Historic Salem’s traditional Christmas in Salem has opened beautiful, historic homes and civic spaces to visitors during the first weekend in December. In this unique 41st year, we have changed our traditional, in-person walking tour, to an online, virtual tour. This holiday season you will have the amazing opportunity to tour Salem from anywhere in the world. Tour content will be released December 4 and you can watch anytime through the month of December. Buy your ticket today!” [Source]

Holiday window contest

“We will not be holding our Holiday Window Contest in 2020. Instead, we will be encouraging businesses to use their windows as a showcase for online or distanced shopping options. Stay tuned for more details about shopping local this holiday season!” [Source]

Christmas Carol Trolley tour

“Due to the Covid-19 virus and regulations with the state of Massachusetts, we have regretfully decided to cancel the Christmas Carol for the 2020 season. In the interest of the health and safety of our guests and employees we felt this was the right decision to make at this time.” [Source]

I hope this helped answer any question you might have. If you’re seeking information regarding a certain event, I encourage you to reach out to the business or organization behind that event for specifics. Stay safe everyone!

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