The city of Salem kicks off February with its fifth month of Salem First Friday and some new activities to amp up the tradition.
One of those activities includes a bellydancing troupe performance, which will perform between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Museum Place Mall.
“The idea of this first Friday is to make it festive,” said Matt Caruso, acting Salem Main Streets manager. “It’s creating all kinds of events and activities, not just to come and shop alone but to entertain and enjoy the experience. We figure belly dancing is certainly entertaining. It’s a chance for people to get involved, get out there and dance around and take a hand at it.”
Various other businesses will offer refreshments, food tastings, music, activities, specials and sales throughout the downtown area and on Pickering Wharf and stay open until at least 8 p.m..
Other special events include tea and wine tastings, as well as Kids’ Fun Night at the YMCA. For a special discounted fee, parents can leave their children, ages 5 to 12-years-old, at the YMCA for supervised activities while they engage in First Friday events.
Local businesses that are participating in Friday’s festivities include Artemisia Botanicals, Boston Bead Company, Caffe’ Graziani, Salem Theatre Company, Village Tavern Grill and Oyster Bar and Laura Lanes Skin Care, which is a new addition to the First Friday festivities.
Laura Lane, the owner of the spa, is calling her event “merlot and manicures.”
The spa owner and Salem resident said Salem First Fridays are a great way for commuters and residents alike to enjoy what the city has to offer.
“It does seem to me that a lot of retailers aren’t open that late,” Lane said. “It’s frustrating to get back to the town you live in and not be able to enjoy the shopping and services. It’s a good opportunity to serve some of those commuters, which Salem has a lot of.”