There is always something great happening in Salem.
Massachusetts Poetry Festival
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. More than 150 local and nationally known poets engage with thousands of New Englanders each year.
Salem Arts Festival
For three days each June, this FREE family-friendly festival transforms downtown Salem, MA, into an opportunity for the arts community to showcase their talents. Now in its seventh year, the festival boasts attendance numbers in the thousands and celebrates all the arts: painting, photography, sculpture, dance, music, writing, film, new media, performance, theatre, poetry, culinary, and more!
North Shore Pride Parade
Join dozens of local businesses, faith groups, and community organizations for the North Shore Pride Parade and Festival. All are welcome to attend this day-long event celebrating unity in the community.
Salem Celebrates the 4th!
Bring your beach blankets and d 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 Willows Seafood Festival
July 10 – 12
Indulge yourself at the Salem Willows Seafood Festival! The North Shore’s top restaurants will be serving-up their famous seafood specialties. Lobster galore, fried clams, and all the New England Favorites! On-going entertainment, Culinary Chef Demonstrations, KiddieLand, Beverage Court and Fireworks!
Salem Heritage Days
August 1 – 10
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
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 15 – 16
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 22 – 24
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.
August 28 – 30
Head to Salem Willows for three days of live Country Music and line dancing, BBQ, mechanical bull riding, racing pigs, kiddieland, a beer and wine garden, and fireworks. It promises a weekend of family-friendly, finger-lickin’ fun!
Salem Spice Festival
September 12 – 13
Celebrate Salem’s long and fascinating history with exotic exports from around the world at the Salem 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.
Salem Haunted Happenings
October 1 – 31
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 Literary Festival
November 6 – 7
For readers, for writers, for lovers of books: Salem Lit Fest is a weekend of opportunity for readers and writers to connect in historic venues throughout downtown Salem.
Salem Restaurant Week
November 8 – 12, 15 – 19
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 27 – January 1, 2015
Celebrate, shop, and dine in Salem during the holiday season. Festival highlights include Historic Salem, Inc.’s annual Christmas in Salem Historic House Tour a Holiday Stroll, and New Year’s Eve Launch!
This is a sampling of the diverse programming found in Salem, Massachusetts each year. In addition to these annual events and incredible exhibitions, programming at the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem State University, Salem Theatre, the House of the Seven Gables, and the many restaurants and bars guarantee a different experience for every visit. Visit Salem.org any time to find more information on all of the programs, events and festivals in Salem, Massachusetts.