This Weekend’s Distractions: February 7 to 10

By Mary Kate DePamphilis

While it looks like NoBo is about to get slammed with a serious blizzard, there are still some fantastic events going on in the region. Sure, you’ll be spending part of your time digging out, but try to check out a few before or after you get snowed in!

If all else fails, bundle up, build a snowman, and enjoy the great outdoor resources your communities and the entire region have to offer.

Stay safe out there!


Gun ViolenceDiscussion on Gun Control

In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, The Cultural Center at Rocky Neck will be holding a relevant discussion on common sense and gun control.  John Rosenthal, founder of Stop Handgun Violence, will be the welcomed speaker.  You know the bill handgun awareness billboard near Fenway Park overlooking the Mass Pike?  That’s John’s doing.

The billboard campaign has dramatically communicated the extent of the national gun violence problem as well as practical solutions and need for effective state and uniform national gun laws. Stop Handgun Violence helped enact the Massachusetts Gun Control Act of 1998 and the first in the nation consumer protection and marketing regulations for gun manufacturers and dealers, all of which are the most comprehensive and effective set of gun laws and regulations in the country. Urban industrial Massachusetts now has the lowest firearm fatality rate per 100,000 people, in the nation. In 2000 John and Victoria Reggie Kennedy co-founded Common Sense About Kids and Guns and in 2005, John and former NFL player Ray Schoenke co-founded a new national membership organization called American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA). AHSA is an alternative to the NRA for moderate gun owners who care about gun rights as well as gun safety, conservation and wildlife habitat and support for law enforcement.

With an impressive resume like this, John will have some interesting points to make on this hot and important topic.  Be a part of the discussion.

When?  Thursday, February 7th, 7pm.

Where?  The Cultural Center at Rocky Neck, 6 Wonson Street, Gloucester

Cost?  FREE


Chinese New YearCelebrate the Year of the Snake!

Join the Peabody Essex Museum as they celebrate the Year of the Snake, the most cunning and sly of all the zodiac creatures.  Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. In China, it is also known as the “Spring Festival, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name.

Customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the Chinese new year vary widely. People will pour out their money to buy presents, decoration, material, food, and clothing. It is also traditional for every family to thoroughly cleanse the house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red paper cut outs with popular themes of “good fortune”, “happiness”, “wealth”, and “longevity.”

The PEM is celebrating with various family-friendly events throughout the day on Saturday.  In addition to galley explorations, there will be drop-in art activities, traditional dance and music performances in the atrium, storytelling, and demonstrations.  For a full list of fun and fascinating events, click here.  This 2013 year of Snake is meant for steady progress and attention to detail.  Learn how to evoke these disciplines at PEM’s Lunar New Year Celebration!

When?  Saturday, February 9th, 10am-4pm

Where?  Peabody Essex Museum, East India Square, Salem

Cost?  FREE with museum admission


Mardi GrasMcIntire & Mardi Gras

Get your beads ready!  Join Historic Salem and the Salem Common Neighborhood Association for a winter festival to support the preservation of the Washington Arch.  It will be a festive night featuring a night of Cajun fun, food, libation, and southern music!  Ticket price includes the entertainment, a Fat Tuesday appetizer and dessert buffet, as well as a chance to win some great door prizes.

Proceeds from the event will support the preservation work of Historic Salem, Inc. and the pending restoration project for the Washington Arch in Salem Common.  Come out and get FAT!

When?  Saturday, January 9th, 7-10pm

Where?  Knights of Columbus Hall, Salem Common, Salem

Cost?  $25.00 in advance, $30.00 at the door.  To purchase tickets online, click here.


Seaglass Restaurant & LoungeDance Away the Winter Blues

Stop up to the Seaglass Restaurant to dance the winter blues away!  On Saturday nights, the NoBo’s best top 40 will be spinning each and every weekend.  With the week over, let off some steam, get on the dance floor, and enjoy some delicious food and superb cocktails all in the same place.

When?  Saturday, February 2nd, 8pm Comedy Show.  Dancing until 11pm.

Where?  Blue Ocean Music Hall, 4 Oceanfront North, Salisbury

Cost?  FREE


Salem's So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival11th Annual Salem So Sweet Festival

Kick off a week of love and chocolate with this fabulous festival in downtown Salem.  From Friday until Valentine’s Day, enjoy the decadent tradition of delectable sweets, sparkling ice sculptures and shopping deals for your loved one.  The event kicks off with a Chocolate and Wine Tasting on Friday, February 8th.  The delicious event will be held from 6:30-8:30pm at Colonial Hall at Rockafella’s, and will feature wine and chocolate samplings from premier Salem restaurants, stores and sweet shops.   As a 2012 attendee, I can personally attest that this event is a “must-do” for Valentine’s Day weekend in NoBo!  The chocolate creations are out of this world and the wine pairings make them that much better.  The ticket price is worth every penny and you will definitely get your fill, and then some!  (Think leftover treats tucked into your purse!)  Tickets are $25 and can be purchased in advance at the Salem Chamber of Commerce, 265 Essex Street Suite 101.  Get them ASAP!

In addition to the tasting, the week-long festival will feature shopping promotions at local shops, chocolate-infused menus at local restaurants, and the annual Golden Ticket drawing for a fabulous Salem So Sweet gift basket.  More than 16 large ice sculptures will be installed around downtown and restaurants and retailers will be offering chocolate samplings and great discounts throughout the weekend, with some promotions continuing until February 14th. Ice sculptures will include an engagement ring, the Taj Mahal, The Salem State University logo, an octopus, and a Valentine Teddy.

The Salem Trolley will offer trolley rides around the festival route, weather permitting, on February 9 & 10 from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM. Adult rides will cost $1, and children are free. Pick up locations include the Salem Visitor Center, Pickering Wharf and Washington Street near Eastern Bank.

With more than 60 places to eat downtown Salem is the perfect place to plan a romantic dinner or casual lunch with a little chocolate on the side.  This is the perfect and most delicious way to celebrate your loved ones this Valentine’s Day!  (Men, don’t screw it up!  This is your chance to get out of the dog house!)

When?  Friday, February 8th-Thursday, February 14th

Where?  Downtown Salem

Cost?  Varies; Click here for a full schedule of events and participating businesses.


EmotionallyEngaged.comWorkshop for Brides: Emotional Prep for Your Wedding Day

Many of you have gotten engaged over the holidays, or may be getting engaged this very week on another certain romantic holiday!  You are a lucky lady; you’ve fallen in love with the guy of your dreams.  You’re in the midst of searching for that perfect dress, venue and cake.  You’re looking to the future, and things are looking bright for you.  However, engagement can be an overwhelming time too.  There is stuff going on that most don’t talk about, as this is supposed to be a happy time in your life.

But truthfully, you are dealing with ending your single life, becoming a wife, becoming a daughter-in-law, moving in together, changing your name, merging two lives, and all around just “growing up!”  There is a lot going on during this time.  Be emotionally prepared for your wedding day with this engaging, informative mix of lecture, discussion and exercises.  In this workshop, you will talk about the 3 stages of being engaged, Relationship changes in your life, 10 wedding day tips to get you in the right mindset, and a lot more, so that you’re not a Bridezilla on your big and beautiful day!

When?  Sunday, February 10th, 1pm-4:30pm

Where?  Manchester Community Center, 40 Harbor Point, Manchester-by-the-Sea

Cost? $99 per bride, refreshments included.  To purchase tickets, click here.


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