January 8, 2020

2020 festivals in Salem, MA to include Ancestry Days

by joeyphoenix

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There are dozens of ways to celebrate the “Five Seasons” of Salem, Massachusetts 

Salem, MA – A rich and dynamic city for all seasons, Salem, Massachusetts is adding a celebration of ancestral connections to its robust calendar of 2020 events in May. Several years ago Salem began considering its calendar one of five seasons: winter, spring, summer, fall, and October’s Salem Haunted Happenings, proving there is never a bad time to explore Salem.

For a complete list of events, festivals, exhibits, and programs, please visit the calendar on Salem.org or contact Destination Salem for additional information.

Salem Comedy & Spirits Festival

January 16 – 18

Lift your spirits and laugh the cold away with this three-day celebration of comedy and spirits in historic Salem, Massachusetts. Featuring top local and national performing comedians, locally crafted spirits and beer, and related special events at a variety of renowned Salem venues. Now in its 5th year!


18th Annual Salem’s So Sweet

February 7 – 9

Salem’s sweetest event of the year, Salem’s So Sweet is a decadent tradition of delectable chocolate, sparkling ice sculptures, and Valentine’s Day shopping. The annual Chocolate & Wine Tasting on Friday, February 7 (which will sell out!) kicks off the weekend of ice sculptures, chocolate sampling, and the ice sculpture illumination of Saturday night. SalemSoSweet.com

Salem Restaurant Week

March 15 – 19, 22 – 26

Salem Restaurant Week is the perfect time to dine out at the dozens of excellent eateries. Featuring 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 Film Fest

March 20 – March 29

The largest all-documentary film festival in Massachusetts returns to Salem for its 13th season. For seven days, attendees can view more than 30 films from around the world and engage with visiting filmmakers at screenings, parties, and forums. Each year, Salem Film Fest also showcases a variety of local musicians and bands. Come to Salem to see the world! SalemFilmFest.com

Women’s History Day

March 29

Celebrate the work of remarkable women in Salem’s history. The House of the Seven Gables, Salem Maritime National Historic Site, History Alive!, Salem Witch Museum, the Witch House, and the Phillips House Museum will host programs that share four hundred years of stories. salem.org

Salem Ancestry Days

May 1- 4

Residents and visitors are invited to celebrate their ancestral and immigrant connections to Salem, Massachusetts during the first annual Salem Ancestry Days celebration, May 1-4, 2020. The weekend will feature lectures, tours, research opportunities, and information on the people who connect us all to Salem. SalemAncestry.org

Salem Arts Festival

June 5 – 7

The Salem Arts Festival celebrates the arts in all its forms: painting, photography, sculpture, installation, dance, music, writing, film, new media, performance, theater, poetry, culinary, visual art and more. The 2020 festival will consist of a gallery of juried artists’ work in Old Town Hall, performance in an outdoor stage venue, indoor performances, a street fair, and opportunities for the community to actively participate in the arts. Individuals are welcome to contribute at multiple venues and events. SalemArtsFestival.com

Salem Farmers’ Market

June 11 – October 15

The Salem Farmers’ Market is a tradition that dates back to 1634. At its peak around 1930 more than 40 vendors sold goods in collapsible wooden stalls and an estimated 10,000 people visited the market on a single Saturday. In the early 1970s, the market ended, and the Salem Redevelopment Authority redesigned the square into what we now know as Derby Square. The Salem Farmers Market features local farms every Thursday from 3 pm to 7 pm. SalemFarmersMarket.org

North Shore Pride Parade & Festival

June 27

Celebrate Pride with local businesses, faith groups, and community organizations at the fifth 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!

July 4

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.org

Salem Heritage Days

August 1 – 9

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 1 – 2

The Salem Maritime Festival features live music and dance, harbor cruises, interactive programs, arts, crafts, and more! The free family fun is hosted by Salem Maritime National Historic Site in cooperation with Essex Heritage and Eastern National. nps.gov/sama

Antique & Classic Boat Festival

August 29 – 30

See a wonderful variety of rare vintage motor yachts and sailboats from 1900-1960s. Meet skippers and crews and vote for your favorite boats. Children get to make their own wee boat, and all can board real ones! Boat rides, crafts market, artists, old-time band music, the Blessing of the Fleet and more! BoatFestival.org

Salem Spice Festival

September 12

Celebrate Salem’s four centuries of history with herbs, tea and spices. There will be vendors, exhibits, colonial music and song, open hearth cooking, herbal remedies demonstrations, games, storytelling, spiced cider and other autumnal treats! SalemSpiceFestival.com

Salem Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival

September 26 -27

Food Truck Festivals of America is bringing the ultimate food truck experience to Salem for a two-day festival that will feature some of the area’s most popular food trucks dishing out fan favorites as well as dozens of regional and national craft breweries. FoodTruckFestivalsofAmerica.com

Salem Haunted Happenings

October 1 – 31

A festive celebration of Halloween and fall in New England, an estimated half-million visitors come to Salem Haunted Happenings each year. What started as a Saturday in 1982 has grown to become the largest celebration of Halloween in the world. 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. HauntedHappenings.org

Salem Holiday Happenings

November 29 – 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. And don’t miss the annual Launch! on New Year’s Eve, featuring an early family-friendly event. Salem.org

This is a sampling of the 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, the House of the Seven Gables, Historic New England’s Phillips House, and the many restaurants and bars guarantee a different experience for every visit. Visit Salem.org any time to find more information on everything happening in Salem, Massachusetts.

Join the conversation with Destination Salem on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.  Follow @destsalem and use hashtags #DestSalem and #SalemMA.

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