Olde Salem Days will be Saturday
SALEM – Hundreds of art and craft vendors and thousands of shoppers are expected in downtown Salem on Saturday, Sept. 8, for Olde Salem Days.
The event officially starts at 10 a.m. and runs to 5 p.m., but some faithful shoppers will show up as early as 8 a.m. to get to their favorite crafters. About 400 vendors are expected. The annual headcount of shoppers and lookers is “anywhere between 30,000 and 60,000 people,” said E.W. “Skip” Lautenschlager, Olde Salem Days Chairman. The event is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Salem.
There will be free music, kids’ activities next to the Salem Public Library, and a show of antique and classic cars on East Main Street near Thompson Memorial Drive. A variety of food will be available for purchase in a food court located at the Salem Farmers’ Market lot. The market will be open as usual that morning, starting about 6:30 a.m., with home-baked goods, vegetable and fruit vendors.
Main Street will be closed to traffic starting at 7 a.m. from First United Methodist Church to Thompson Memorial. There will be free parking at the Salem Civic Center, with shuttle buses available. Some paid parking at $5 per vehicle (and an additional $5 for a trailer) will be available, said Lautenschlager.
Other fee parking will be in lots at Salem Baptist Church, R.M. Johnson and Sons, StellarOne, which is the lot behind Lautenschlager’s law office building and Eugene Bane’s lot on Burwell.
All the proceeds from the parking goes for charitable causes, Lautenschlager said.
The free shuttles from the civic center are handicapped accessible, said Salem Rotary Club member Barney Horrell, who is Olde Salem Days Vice Chairman.
Parking for the car show will be at Business Solutions.
“Mooky and the Stray Dogs” and “Rich and Andy” will play music in the Salem Farmers’ Market.
Olde Salem Days is a true arts and crafts festival with a strong emphasis placed on handmade and one-of-a-kind items, Salem Rotary Club members emphasized.
“All crafters for this year’s event have been pre-screened and selected to ensure their wares meet this criteria and that the integrity of the festival will be upheld,” said Horrell. “Many local artists and craftsmen will bring items such as pottery, woodworking, handmade jewelry, candles, needlecraft, and home-baked treats. In addition to the beautiful crafts, there will be a large food court with a great variety of delicious cuisine, refreshing beverages, and sweet desserts.”
There will be generous seating areas for patrons to enjoy their fare or rest their feet while listening to the soft melodies of two local bands. Horrell said the Kids’ Fair next to the library will inflatable moonbounce houses and face painting. A car show at the east end of the festival will serve as a reminder of days gone by, as well as showcase the beauty of more current automotive designs. For more information go to http://www.oldesalemdays.org”.
Olde Salem Days is organized and hosted by the Rotary Club of Salem. Over the last three years since the club took over the festival from the Salem Jaycees, Olde Salem Days has grown to become the largest fund raising event for the club, members said.
Proceeds are distributed to local and international organizations who do good throughout the community and the world, Horrell said.