Salem’s So Sweet Festival 2023

Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival returns to welcome Valentine’s Day

The festivity of love and light is back in Salem, MA to celebrate love and connection. Now in its 21st year, Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival is a city-wide celebration of delectable chocolate, sparkling and illuminated ice sculptures, and Valentine’s Day shopping.

This year, visitors can play the “Chocolate Hearts Challenge” game that allows participants to earn points and win prizes. In addition, many of Salem’s finest restaurants and retailers will be offering chocolate and love-inspired specials and events. Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival is organized by Salem Main Streets and the Salem Chamber of Commerce.

Image by John Andrews / Creative Collective

Special Events During Salem’s So Sweet

Salem’s So Sweet Kickoff Event Friday, February 10th 4:50pm

NEW THIS YEAR! Salem’s So Sweet gets started with a new Kickoff Event fundraiser on Friday, February 10. Ticket buyers will start at the Peabody Essex Museum’s Connect Space (135 Essex Street) with timed entries beginning at 4:50 pm, where they will receive a commemorative glass, a complementary pour of wine, and a goodie bag of sweet treats before heading out to explore.

Rauchtanzer Launch Party Friday, February 10th 7pm – 9pm
Join us to celebrate the launch of Notch and Die With Your Boots On’s collab beer, “Rauchtänzer” at Notch Salem. Residency Records will be spinning a goth and metal soundtrack. Dance with the demons in the blackest grove of the forest while the scent of cherry smoke hangs in the air.

Image by Destination Salem

Ice Sculptures Installation begins Friday, February 10th 5pm – 9pm
25+ sparkling ice sculptures will be installed around the downtown area of Salem for the festival weekend.

Ice Sculpture Illumination – Friday and Saturday after 5:00 PM 
Sculptures will be illuminated between 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. both nights, weather permitting. SPECIAL this year, traveling installation Brighter Ignited by Tova Speter will be on display during the illumination, brought to us by the Jewish Arts Collaborative and sponsored by Creative Collective. More details about this year’s ice sculptures to come soon!

Chocolate Hearts Challenge – February 11 – 12 
The “Chocolate Hearts Challenge” is back for another year! Participants will take pictures of hearts posted near a business point of sale to be entered for a special prize package. A purchase by the customer is not required but is highly encouraged.

Image by Destination Salem

“Happy Hearts” Valentine Party with the Good Witch of Salem – February 11, 10am to 12pm 
Surround yourself with love this February during Salem’s So Sweet Festival. Join the Good Witch of Salem for a magical family-friendly party at the Historic Hawthorne Hotel in Downtown Salem. Located in the Grand Ballroom, all attending will be captivated by the elegance and charm upon arrival.

Salem’s So Sweet with the House of Seven Gables  – February 11, 1pm to 3pm 

A wonderful, fun family event co-sponsored by the House of the Seven Gables and the City of Salem’s Park, Recreation and Community Services Department.  All children must be accompanied by an adult. Our Valentine event will include,  An outdoor scavenger hunt featuring chocolate facts and historical facts about the House of the Seven Gables.  As this will be outdoors, please dress accordingly. Free ground passes to the historic site. A Valentine’s workshop with local artist Linda Abbene in the Visitor Center. Come make a valentine card for someone special.  Please note that the workshop will be held from 1:00-2:30pm. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served. This is a FREE event.

Image by East Regiment Beer Co.

Chocolate and Beer Pairing at East Regiment Beer Co. – February 11, 3pm to 4pm
Chocolates are a classic Valentines Day gift. What better gift to give than an experience? Over the course of this tasting, learn about different styles of beer as well as different types of chocolate and why they go so well together! Each beer will be paired with a specific chocolate to bring out different notes in each other. Over the course of the tasting guests will sample four chocolates and beers.

Sweet Treats Drag Show – February 11, 4pm to 6pm
We love drag and we love you! Join us at Die With Your Boots On for a drag show hosted by Miz Diamond Wigfall. Featuring PeeWee Vermin, Buster Pants, Gigi Glam, and Lilly Rose. This is a free event, no tickets required, but please tip the performers. This is a great way to enjoy the Salem’s So Sweet festivities while taking a great live drag performance.


Up-to-date information of the event can be found at SalemSoSweet.com and on Facebook.

Additional information on shopping, dining, and accommodations for Valentine’s Day can be found on Salem.org.

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