Festivals

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 17-19, 2019
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.
SalemComedyAndSpiritsFestival.com

Salem’s So Sweet

John Andrews Photography

February 8-10,  2019
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 8. Ice sculptures – at least a dozen of them – will be installed around Salem on February 9, and the Golden Ticket Raffle will run February 9-10. Downtown businesses will offer promotions, events, tastings, and great shopping throughout the festival. 
SalemMainStreets.org, Salem-Chamber.org, Facebook.com/SalemSoSweet

Salem Film Fest

March 29-April 4, 2019
Come to Salem, see the world during the largest all-documentary festival in New England. Film screenings and talkbacks with the directors are the highlights of the week-long film fest.
SalemFilmFest.com

Salem Restaurant Week

Photo by Jared Charney

Spring 2019
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-Chamber.org

Salem Arts Festival

Photo by John Andrews

June 2019
For three days each summer, this free festival transforms downtown Salem into an opportunity for the local arts community to showcase their talents. The 2017 festival was attended by more than 5,000 people, featured scores of artists, a juried art show, outdoor performance, 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.
SalemArtsFestival.com

Salem Farmers’ Market

June 6 – October 10, 2019
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.
SalemFarmersMarket.org

North Shore Pride Parade

June 22, 2019
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.
NorthShorePride.org

Salem Celebrates the 4th

Photo by Scott Lanes

July 4, 2019
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.com

Salem Heritage Days

August 2-11, 2019
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.com

Salem Maritime Festival

August 3-4, 2019
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.
nps.gov/sama

Salem Jazz & Soul Festival

August 17-18, 2019
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.
SalemJazzSoul.org

Antique & Classic Boat Festival

August 24 – 25, 2019
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.
BoatFestival.org

37th Annual Salem Haunted Happenings

October 1 – 31, 2019
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.
HauntedHappenings.org

Salem Restaurant Week

December 2019
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-Chamber.org

Salem Holiday Happenings

November 23 – January 1, 2020
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.
Salem.org

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