21st Annual Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival
Feb. 10 through Feb. 12, 2023
Salem, MA . . . Salem Main Streets and the Salem Chamber of Commerce invite you to participate in the annual Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival – a decadent tradition of delectable chocolate, sparkling ice sculptures, and Valentine’s Day shopping! Now in its 21st year, the signature elements of the festival include 25+ ice sculptures sprinkled around the downtown, two nights of illuminated sculptures, a new kickoff party, a “Chocolate Hearts” game with prizes, live music, and sweet specials and promotions at local shops and restaurants throughout the city. It is Salem’s sweetest time of year!
NEW THIS YEAR! Salem’s So Sweet starts with a new Kickoff Event fundraiser on Friday, February 10. Ticket holders will begin the evening at the Peabody Essex Museum’s Connect Space (135 Essex Street) with timed entries beginning at 4:50 pm. Guests will receive a commemorative glass, a complimentary pour of wine, and a goodie bag of sweet treats before heading out to explore. Multiple shops nearby join the fun by providing wine tastings for ticket holders, plus participants can enjoy the illuminated ice sculptures and live music on the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall. Additional downtown retailers will be staying open until 8 pm that evening for shopping, treats, and/or tastings. Many downtown restaurants will feature unique specials and tastings. Tickets to this fundraiser are $40 and may be purchased online at salemsosweet.com.
The popular ice sculpture presentation is back this year with 28 ice sculptures by Ice Effects and TWO nights of illumination. A sneak peek with a limited number of sculptures will be illuminated on Friday night on the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall and Lappin Park only, and on Saturday night all of the sculptures will be lit. Sculptures will be illuminated by Retonica from 5:00 p.m. to 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. A map of all ice sculptures and more information will be available on the website closer to the event.
Many local businesses will offer their own chocolate and love-inspired specials for the duration of Salem’s So Sweet in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Visitors can also play the “Chocolate Hearts Challenge” by snapping pictures of special Salem’s So Sweet signage at participating businesses to be entered for prizes. A purchase by the customer is not required but is highly encouraged. A full list of participating businesses and information about how to play will be available on the website closer to the event.
Musicians will be strolling and treating attendees to tunes at peak sculpture viewing times, adding some extra warmth to the festivities.
Salem’s So Sweet is organized by Salem Main Streets and the Salem Chamber of Commerce. The 2023 festival is made possible by support from local businesses, including Blackcraft, Peabody Essex Museum, the Anti-Valentine’s Tour by Salem Night Tours, and Witch City Walking Tours, in part by a grant through the City of Salem and U.S. Economic Development Administration, and is supported by tourism dollars through Destination Salem. Visit salemsosweet.com for more events and details as they become available and follow the Facebook page for all the latest updates at facebook.com/salemsosweet. Use the Destination Salem App for the best information about exploring Salem.