SALEM — Art is the word in Salem this weekend.
The Salem Arts Festival kicks off Friday with a 5 p.m. reception at Old Town Hall and stretches through the weekend.
Now in its fifth year, the weekend festival will feature art displays, vendors, live music, dance, theater, poetry and interactive art. More than 60 artists are involved, organizers, say.
All events are free. Last year’s festival drew more than 4,000 people.
“There’s a really broad range of performers, more than we’ve ever had,” said Karen Gahagan, a member of the festival’s steering committee. “We really make an effort that it’s a family-friendly event, to the nth degree.”
Festival events will be held rain or shine; updates will be posted at www.salemartsfestival.com, said Matt Caruso, acting manager of Salem Main Streets.
New this year is a Community Art Space in the Museum Place Mall, with interactive activities to have attendees making some art of their own.
Live music, dance and theater performances will take place Saturday and Sunday at two locations: Derby Square and at the East India fountain on Essex Street, near the Peabody Essex Museum. Also, art vendors will set up along the Essex Street pedestrian mall and Old Town Hall will host a juried art show.
“(The festival) has a true Salem vibe,” said Gahagan, director of Salem State University’s Center for Creative and Performing Arts. “It’s a really good family day, a nice way to get outside and check out downtown.”
The festival is organized by a team of volunteers, including representatives from Salem State University, the Peabody Essex Museum and the Salem Arts Association.
2013 Salem Arts Festival
- Friday, June 7: Kick-off reception, art display and live music at Old Town Hall, Essex Street, 5 p.m.
- Saturday, June 8: Events at the Essex Street fountain, near the Peabody Essex Museum, noon to 5 p.m. and at Derby Square, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Sunday, June 9: Events at the Essex Street fountain, near the Peabody Essex Museum, noon to 5 p.m. and at Derby Square, noon to 4 p.m.
- Admission: Free to all events Details: The festival will be held rain or shine; in case of rain, performances will be held on the second floor of Old Town Hall and at The Gathering, 217 Essex St.
- Information: For full details and schedules, visit www.salemartsfestival.com