Aug 132015

A food pod is circling the wagons at Courthouse Square on the last weekend of August to celebrate the Big Ballyhoo, Cruise Salem and Salem Sunday Streets. Two days of music, food, art and transportation option activities occur at the transit center and radiate throughout city, county and state property around downtown. Multiple stages, Millennium Market, walking tours, foot races, fire spinning, a car cruise and sidewalk sales are a few of the events planned for the weekend. Saturday will focus on motorized transportation and Sunday is devoted to bicycle and pedestrian activities.

Salem Creative Network worked with Marion County and Salem-Keizer Transit District to create the event permitting process for Courthouse Square and Marion County Courthouse. The process was lengthy and is being finalized this week, so the complete schedule will be released August 24. Make plans to visit downtown during the last weekend in August and use your public space to build community.

There’s still room for vendors at Millennium Market (Courthouse Square 12p-10p Sat and 10am-4pm Sun) Cruise Salem Market (Capitol Mall 8am- 2pm Saturday) and Makers Art Fair (Capitol Mall 10am to 4pm Sunday).

Two races are planned for the weekend:
MIDCENTURY MILE $15 Run around a mile of midcentury cars among the midcentury architecture of nine Pietro Belluschi buildings.
BALLYHOO 5K $15 Run among nine Pietro Belluschi buildings downtown and on the Willamette University campus.

WALK/BIKE RALLY SIGN UP Come together with your neighbors to rally for bike, pedestrian and public transportation.

Here’s the draft layout for Salem Sunday Streets:




 August 13, 2015  Posted by at 1:24 pm events, update No Responses »
Jun 162015


Cruise Salem, Big Ballyhoo and Salem Sunday Streets converge downtown for the biggest street festival of the summer. Two main stages at the Capitol Steps and Courthouse Square anchor the celebration, connecting downtown to the Capitol with non-stop music, food, drink and activities. Saturday, Cruise Salem features a car show, Midcentury Mile foot race and evening cruise route. Salem Sunday Streets brings healthy and active living to the streets with a bike parade, decentralized dance party, races and walking tours. The Big Ballyhoo happens both days and features buskers, street performers, music and makers markets.

Do you want to be involved?
Your energy makes this successful.

This is the last week for early-bird registration – $75 per day for food vendors, $25 per day for art vendors. Rates increase $50 after Friday, June 19. Spaces are limited. Your registration will be confirmed upon receipt of vendor fee.
Sign up and pay:

Market Schedules:
Saturday August 29 – Big Ballyhoo and Cruise Salem
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Mid-Valley Makers on the Capitol Mall
12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Millennium Makers on Courthouse Square

Sunday August 30 – Big Ballyhoo and Salem Sunday Streets
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m Mid-Valley Makers on the Capitol Mall
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Millennium Makers on Courthouse Square

 June 16, 2015  Posted by at 10:48 am events, update No Responses »
Jan 302015

“The addition to the Ladd and Bush Bank in Salem is as simple as the original building, by its side, is ornate.”


So wrote one reviewer when describing the 1941 building designed by Mid-Century Modern architect, Pietro Belluschi. One of his earlier commercial projects in downtown Salem, the Ladd and Bush Bank addition was remodeled in 60s to resemble the original, with new cast iron acquired in Portland.



Learn more about Pietro Belluschi during the free tour 6:00 p.m. First Wednesday February 4 starting at Kraftworks Taphouse, 241 Liberty St NE. The tour visits 10 buildings designed by Pietro Belluschi in downtown Salem. Part of Mid-Valley Makers on First Wednesday, the all-ages event features the entire 2014 cider library from 2 Towns Ciderhouse on tap at Kraftworks.

Updates about the event are on Facebook:

 January 30, 2015  Posted by at 1:49 pm events, update No Responses »
Dec 032014


Five days of Holiday Cheer are coming your way at Pop Up in Salem Center, December 10-14 next to Ross Dress for Less on Center St NE. Our favorite Mid-Valley Makers will be serving up local art, music, food and drink from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily. Plenty of holiday gift ideas and libations will be on tap to make your shopping easier and more fun. Santiam Brewing, Salem Ale Works, Vivacity Spirits, 2 Towns Cider House, Lewman Vineyards and surprise guests are pouring.


We’re visiting new watering holes during Winter Cheer – Creative Pub Crawl on Friday December 12 from 6:00 p.m. to midnight. We’ll gather form 6-9 pm at Holiday Cheer Pop Up in Salem center, then visit Kraftworks, Union Barrel and Archive, plus the regulars.


Designer Oscar Lopez created a spectacular high fashion holiday window display at Pop Up Art Gallery, 260 Liberty NE. With his background in fashion and experience installing displays on ritzy Rodeo Drive, it’s no wonder this is a winner. Please download a ballot from, vote for Pop Up and slip the ballot through the crack in the door at 260 Liberty.

 December 3, 2014  Posted by at 3:04 pm events No Responses »
Nov 182014


Salem event makers are often encouraged by those claiming that they could produce a better or more exciting event.  There always seems to be something holding them back, however. Lacking a plan, money or time, the ideas stay on the shelf and we all miss out on something great.

Now, the City of Salem stepping forward with $2000 to produce any event that WILL MAKE SALEM AWESOME.  But the only way to get in on the process is to attend a mandatory meeting Wednesday, November 19, 2014 (1:00 p.m. at Pringle Hall or 5:30 p.m. at City Hall Room 305).


Holiday Cheer awaits you in the Pop Up at Salem Center, December 10-14, 2015. Art, food, drink and music will be offered by Mid-Valley Makers in the space next to Ross Dress for Less. Want to get a booth? Sign up online and get more vendor info.


 November 18, 2014  Posted by at 4:29 pm events No Responses »
Nov 142014

downtown events

We had an encouraging response to our question about events in downtown Salem at the Salem Downtown Organization meeting and online. We’re still compiling results and will offer a focused survey next week to refine the data. So far, it looks like placemaking in alleys is the most popular. Don’t forget the mandatory meeting November 19th for the $2000 city grant!

 November 14, 2014  Posted by at 4:41 pm update No Responses »
Nov 122014

Salem businesses need one voice
The more things change, the more they stay the same. That’s seems true for downtown Salem, too. Here’s a chance to create a better outcome.

This 1974 editorial captures the challenge facing building community in downtown today. Forty years later, we find ourselves without a unified voice for attracting visitors downtown. Over the past decade, four separate groups have attempted to represent downtown interests; Salem Downtown Association (see article), Go Downtown Salem, Salem Downtown Partnership and the City of Salem. Each suffered the same fate: loss of funding by the check-writers.

Meanwhile, promotion of downtown withers and market failures increase.

Salem Downtown, a project by Salem Creative Network, has addressed lack of downtown programming since 2009, starting with Creative Pub Crawl, a monthly event exposing visitors to nightlife downtown. These efforts have grown to include Pop Up art gallery, UpSalem Social Innovation Center, Mid-Valley Makers, Cherry City Music Festival, Mix-n-Mash and First Wednesday Pop Up in the Alleys.

Now, we’ve taken on our biggest challenge – applying five years of social innovation research directly to the market. Salem Downtown Organization (SDO), a mutually beneficial 501(c)(6) business trade organization, focuses on improving community through promotion and event production in the Central Business District and surrounding areas. SDO aims to represent businesses, organizations and individuals interested in building community downtown.

The first meeting is Thursday, November 13, 2:30 p.m. at 260 Liberty St NE. Agenda items include event planning, mobile app development and shared calendars. The group seeks fresh blood and ideas for attracting visitors and improving the economy.

Are you up for the challenge? Let’s get innovative!

 November 12, 2014  Posted by at 1:58 pm events, update Tagged with: , , , , ,  No Responses »
Oct 062014


Two events bring together film, fashion, art, music and performance downtown Friday and Saturday for 3 days of innovation during Mix-n-Mash 2014.


The Valleylicious Style Show (Friday at the Grand Theater) brings together local fashion designers, models, musicians, performers and filmmakers for a unique experience for all your senses.


Hopsmash, a celebration of Mid-Valley Makers, occurs 3:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Saturday, October 11, in the alley next to Salem Summit Co at 246 State St. Live music, art vendors, food and fresh-hopped beer will be on tap.

 October 6, 2014  Posted by at 8:02 am events No Responses »