25 Things to do in August in Salem | Press Play Salem (2023)

From art all around to concerts under the stars — here’s a look at what’s happening this August in Salem.

1. Go Downtown for the First Friday Art Walk

Browse. Explore. Shop. Sip. Celebrate.The First Friday Art Walk aims to promote local business, emerging artists and engagement with our downtown community. Taking place from 5 to 8 p.m. on the first Friday of every month, it is a free, leisurely opportunity to explore the heart of Salem and discover new shops, artwork, crafters and more. Each month includes a variety of different businesses offering specials, art to view, activities and more. Reinforcing the encouragement of participation, each month also includes a raffle. To take part, pick up a passport from any of the participating businesses. Collect stamps from 12 of the businesses/locations. Then turn in your completed passport to be entered in a raffle for a chance to win a prize (usually a basket overflowing with items from all the participating businesses). Find all the details at facebook.com/SalemArtWalk

2.Do a Jig

Put on your dancing shoes (or just listen to the live music) at the August Saturday Ceili Mor 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, August 7, under the covered area at Cesar E. Chavez Elementary School. No partner or experience is needed for this social dance hosted by the Ceili of the Society and featuring live music by Channing Dodson, Zac Leger and Chad Southwell and dances called by Elisa Chandler. Everyone is welcome. Bring a chair and water. Facilities will be available. Cost is $10. Learn more at ceiliofthevalley.org


Theatre 33’s virtual-hybrid summer season wraps this month with Merchant of Stratford by Maury Zeff August 5 through 8.

In 1600 plague-ridden Stratford, semi-legitimate businessman — and sometime playwright — William Shakespeare struggles to feed his family and finish his “greatest play ever.” Each Shakespeare family member mourns the death of son Hamnet in their own way — daughter Judith haunted by visions of her dead brother; wife Anne obsessed with protecting her family; actor brother Edmund perceiving reality as one endless stage play; and William lost in sheer denial. Against this shattered family backdrop, William must “procure” a wagon of grain, finish his play, and keep at bay Puritan authorities who would imprison him and keep theatres closed for good.

To watch the performances, register to attend (here). You must RSVP before the broadcast day. You will receive a viewing link and information prior to the show. Admission is by donation to accommodate youth and lower-income patrons. The recommendation is $10 per show. Learn more about Theatre 33 in our Press Play Salem feature story.

25 Things to do in August in Salem | Press Play Salem (1)RiverCity Royals will perform on August 6 outside The Kitchen on Court Street

4. Rock Out Downtown

RiverCity Royals & Surfer Rosé will perform 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, August 6, outside at The Kitchen on Court Street. Hear songs from Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Rush, Queen, Pearl Jam, and others from the Royals, then stick around for Surfer Rosé, Pixies tribute band at 7 p.m. performed by RiverCity Rock Star Academy teachers – Doug, Jarred, Hunter & Danielle.

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5. Break Dance

Check out the City of Reign Break Dance Contest on August 29 at FLEX Gym, 5115 Commercial St SE. This one-on-one break dance competition is presented by Towers Media Production, Salem World Beat Festival, Hit Squad DJ’s, and FLEX Gym. Grand prize winner receives $250 cash prize. Other prizes include merch from Towers Media Production and a custom t-shirt you design from Caakes. Stay in the loop at towersmediaproduction.com/city-of-reign

25 Things to do in August in Salem | Press Play Salem (2)Anton Pavlenko “Autumn’s Gate”Oil on canvas20” x 24” at Salem on the Edge

6. View “En Plein Air”

From August 4 through 28, browse the Plein Air Invitational Show featuring 13 invited artists from around Oregon at Salem on the Edge. En plein air (French) is the act of painting in the open air — working outdoors directly on canvas capturing the likeness of the surrounding landscape.

Artists featured in the show include Helen Bouchard, Aron Michael Johnston, Katia Kye, Rich McCloud,Patti McNutt,Ulan Moore,Michael Orwick,Anton Pavlenko,Jill Perry,Greg Poulin,Nate Sowa,Christopher St. John andYong Hong Zhong.

PLUS, on August 7, some of the artists will meet to paint en plein air at Riverfront Park in the morning and early afternoon. Those paintings will be displayed later on that day on the wall at the far end of the gallery, and there will be an artist reception from 5 to 7 p.m. with wine from Terrapin Cellars and appetizers from Charcuterie Board & Sweets. Learn more at salemontheedge.com

7. Join Roller Derby

Looking for a new form of exercise, sport and/or social engagement? Roller derby is all three rolled up into one. And now is the time to get your skate on as Cherry City Roller Derby is hosting open recruitment at 6:30 p.m. Monday, August 9. Get info about joining and learn about becoming a part of this inclusive community. Meet Cherry City’s Cherry Blossoms Junior Roller Derby and Cherry City team skaters. No skates, gear or experience are required. Not sure you are ready to skate? There’s still a place for you with Cherry City. The league is always looking for non-skating volunteers who fill a variety of roles from helping sell merch to refereeing bouts. Learn more at cherrycityrollerderby.com. And, make note, if August doesn’t work for you, the first Monday of every other month is open recruitment.

8. Have fun at Englewood Forest Festival

Community. Art. Environment. Englewood Forest Festival returns to bring art to the park 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. August 14 to Englewood Park, 1260 19th St NE.Nestled in seven wooded acres near downtown Salem, this free community gathering is an opportunity to connect with our community, its artisans and the environment in general. Listen to live music, watch dance performances and visit local vendors, from artists and craftspeople to nonprofit groups.The setting itself lends to the festival’s experience. Englewood, which is Salem’s oldest park, features trees predating the pioneers. It is also home to Cooper’s hawks and the endangered Oregon white oak. Plus, legendary landscape architects Lord & Schryver had a hand creating drawings for the park. And for the kids, there is also a splash pad and two playgrounds.Watch for more details about the festival as they are announced at englewoodforestfestival.org.

9. Celebrate Capital Pride in the Park

Capital Pride in the Park begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, August 21, at Riverfront Park.This annual celebration of the LGBTQ+ community includes a run/walk open to all ages and skill levels as well as a chance to connect with local organizations and vendors supporting the LGBTQ+ community throughout the Mid-Willamette Valley. For more information, keep an eye on facebook.com/events/634288811307234

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Additionally, Capital Pride and Prisms Gallery are hosting a Pride Art Show beginning August 21 at Prisms Gallery in downtown Salem.

10. Explore the Garden

Two Saturdays a month, Gaiety Hollow, the historic home, garden, and studio of the landscape designers Lord & Schryver at 545 Mission St. SE opens for the public to explore, experience and enjoy. Between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. pop in for a self-guided tour with live music by String Quartet on August 7 and Usual Suspects on August 21. Learn more at www.lordschryver.org

11.Tour the Elsinore

Explore behind-the-scenes at the Elsinore Theatre. Hear about her history, her artwork, her creation and her current events in this guided tour, which concludes with a performance on the Mighty Wurlitzer – the largest theatre organ in the pacific northwest. Cost is $10. Call 503-375-3574 to reserve your spot and pay at the door when you arrive.

12. Meander the Museum

Hallie Ford Museum is the only liberal arts college art museum in the Northwest. Timed entry tickets are available and encouraged. Reserve your ticket here. Walk-in entry may be accommodated based on availability and capacity.

Current exhibits include:

The museum is open 12 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Check the website here for the most current updates.

13. Visit the Library

Salem Public Library is open at its temporary Broadway location, 1400 Broadway St NE. Services include browsing, limited public computer and printing, holds pickup, and library cards. Open hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday. Learn more here.

14. Catch Capital City LIVE!

Capital City LIVE! features country music artist Brett Young, with special guest Riley Green 7 p.m. Thursday, August 5 in the L.B. Day Amphitheatre at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. Brett is recognized for “his honest lyrics and West Coast-meets-Southern sound, aptly dubbed ‘Caliville’ style.” This all-ages concert benefits children and families partnering with Family Building Blocks, the certified Relief Nursery of Marion and Polk counties committed to “Keeping Children Safe and Families Together.” Tickets are $40 to $125 and available online here. Learn more at familybuildingblocks.org/events/#capitalcitylive

(Video) Salem-Keizer School Board Meeting - October 11, 2022

15. Learn to Bachata

Every 1st and 3rd Thursday is Bachata Night at Bari Restaurant hosted by Salem Rueda de Casino. The lesson begins at 7 p.m. following by dancing at 7:30 p.m. Cost is $5. Arrive early to take in dinner and drinks, too.

16. Watch HOOPLA

HOOPLA, the largest of all Oregon 3×3 basketball events, returns to downtown Salem August 7 and 8. Learn more at www.oregonhoopla.com. Check it out outside the Oregon State Capitol building and surrounding streets.

17. Go Underground

Explore the Underground Market, 3 to 7 p.m. August 7, at Blast Off Vintage, 860 High St NE, as it brings together a variety of weird, wacky and wonderful creations by Salem makers.

18. Catch Country’s Clay Walker

Catch country music artist Clay Walker live at the Elsinore Theatre on 7:30 p.m. August 18. Click here for tickets.

19. Be Divine

Divine Distillers is celebrating its 3rd Anniversary on Saturday, August 14. Learn about mead making, watch a beer demonstration and listen to live blues and Zydeco music from The New Iberians (6:30 to 9:30 p.m.)Learn more here.

20. Put on your Dancing Pants

After being postponed multiple times, put on your dancing pants for Agent Orange, Spice Pistols and Buttfrenchers 7 p.m. Tuesday, August 17, at Blast Off Vintage. Spice Pistols are 5 hot nasty “gals” in their 40’s and 50’s with 5 o’clock shadows that destroy razors. Limited space. Get your tickets now at Blast off for $13 in advance. $15 (if still available) at the door.

21. Enjoy Music in the Park

Oregon Spirit Chorus presents Barbershop in the Park at 3 pm. Sunday, August 15 at Bush’s Pasture Park. Enjoy an afternoon of beautiful vocal harmonies by choruses and quartets. Bring a blanket to sit on in the comfort of the large shade trees, next to the Bush House Museum, near the Rose Garden.

22. Walk-n-Wag

Step out with your pets for the 9th Annual Walk-n-Wag. While the in-person walk takes place in September, an online race begins Sunday, August 15. Registration is $10 starting August 8, 2021, at wvh.org/pets, or $15 at the park on the day of the live event. Walk-n-Wag donations help hospice patients care for their pets. Learn more here.

(Video) City of Salem Council Meeting - July 11, 2022

23. Try Trivia

Every second Thursday, it’s Questions About Facts With Kelly Williams Brown from 6 to 8 p.m. at Divine Distillers. This month, pop in on August 12 and 26 and test your skills. Go for the name that tune round, stay for the godawful prizes.

24. Listen under the Stars

Take in a night of live music outdoors under the stars. We have so many opportunities! Here are a few highlights —

Gabriel Cox Band will play live on the patio at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, August 7, at Santiam Brewing. Grab some friends and get out and listen to Gabriel Cox, Colt Desando, Brian Wixom, John Pulvers, and Greg McManus.

Summer Uncorked Concerts – Lakeside Sessions at Eola Hills Legacy Vineyard features Tony Smiley on Aug 6,Hayley Lynn & Band on Aug 20 andSarah Clarke & Band on Aug 27.

Plus, check out what’s happening at Ankeny Vineyard,Trinity Vineyards and Cubanisimo Vineyards

25. Head to the Oregon State Fair

From carnival rides to concerts, the Oregon State Fair boasts something for everyone happening August 27-September 6. Learn more at oregonstatefair.org.


What is Salem or known for? ›

Salem is the garden capital of Oregon, filled with public gardens, private gardens and garden spaces at area nurseries that all come alive each spring. Stop by Deepwood Museum & Gardens, Gaiety Hollow, Schreiner's Iris Garden or any of the other beautiful spaces around town.

Is Salem Oregon a good place to live? ›

Salem, OR, has a lot going for it and many excellent amenities, attractions, and opportunities. It's a wonderful town to raise a family, with a location that's central to the Portland metro area. Salem has an exciting nightlife and just as exciting opportunities to enjoy nature and outdoor adventures.

What is there to do in Salem Oregon on a Friday night? ›

This local hangout also boasts a year-round, outdoor seating area overlooking Silver Creek.
  • 1 Taproot Lounge and Café Taproot Lounge and Café ...
13 Feb 2020

Which is the famous food in Salem? ›

“Authentic Salem Food, Famous for Mutton and Biryani, No Veg Food Served”

What is special food in Salem? ›

If you visit Salem during the season of Mangoes, do try them and your taste buds can never forget them. Apart from the above, you get all dishes those are available all over Tamil Nadu like kotthu parottas, parottas, idlis, vadas, Pongal etc are at Salem.

What is famous in Salem to buy? ›

Salem is well known for its textile industries. Handloom products in cotton and polyester, as well as handicrafts, are a famous specialty here. You could also choose to buy the silver anklets sold in Salem. They are handmade and extremely beautiful.

Is Salem Oregon safer than Portland? ›

(KOIN) — Salem and Vancouver have trumped Portland on the list of 2022's Safest Cities in America, according to a recently-released WalletHub report.

How much money do you need to live in Salem? ›

Family of four estimated monthly costs are 3,209$ without rent. A single person estimated monthly costs are 927$ without rent.

How many days in Salem is enough? ›

People from all over the world have heard of Salem, whether that's because of the witch trials or the movie Hocus Pocus. Most people visit Salem from Boston on a day trip, and, since it's just 17 miles away, this makes perfect sense! One day is the ideal amount of time to spend in this fascinating city.

Is Salem easy to walk? ›

Yes! Salem is a small town that's perfect for pedestrians. The streets are still laid out like they were in the 1600s, so they are designed to travel by horse or foot. That means you can reach any destination you want to visit just by walking!

What is Salem now called? ›

(Salem Village is present-day Danvers, Massachusetts; colonial Salem Town became what's now Salem.)

What did people in Salem eat? ›

Salem cooks would have used a combination of local ingredients such as corn, clams, squash, beans, cranberries, and potatoes while taking advantage of the wild game, domesticated hogs, nuts, wild berries, and fruits such as pears, cherries, and plums.

Why is it called Salem? ›

The settlement was first titled Naumkeag, but the settlers preferred to call it Salem, derived from the Hebrew word for peace.

Which fruit is famous in Salem? ›

Mango fruits from Salem are enjoyed and much sought after, specially the variety Malgoa-which is the pride of Salem besides a number of other newly introduced hybrid varieties.

What is Tamil famous food? ›

Several varieties like saada dosai, kal dosai, muttai dosai, neer dosai, rava dosai and paasi paruppu dosai are prominently available in Tamil Nadu. Vadai is based on the ingredients used and served along with idlis. Pongal is a traditional cuisine where rice is cooked in a matki with water and milk.

Which mango is famous in Salem? ›

Salem is well known for certain varieties of mangoes such as malgova, nadusalai (better known as pether in other parts of the state), kudhadhath, Salem gundu and Alphonso. “Each variety has a distinctive aroma and taste.

Is one day enough for Salem MA? ›

You can easily see most of Salem's main attractions in one day, which makes it the best day trip from Boston. This post may contain affiliate links.

What is the oldest house in Salem? ›

The Pickering House is unique in the United States as the oldest house to have been continuously occupied by one family; it is also the oldest known house in Salem MA. The house stands on part of the land granted in 1637 to John Pickering.

What is the safest state to live in? ›

Vermont is the safest state in the United States, according to a new report from WalletHub. The ranking is based on 53 different indicators ranging from unemployment rates to assaults per capita. Vermont is followed by Maine, New Hampshire, Utah, and Hawaii, respectively.

What is the safest small town in Oregon? ›

#1. West Linn
  • VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020: 0.4, 0.7, 0.9.
  • PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020: 11.7, 8.6, 8.7.
17 Mar 2022

Is Salem a pretty city? ›

Salem is a pretty good location-- close to the beach, Washington, and Portland. However, Salem itself doesn't have a lot of things to do. Salem can be pretty low-key. While it's a beautiful area with all the rain, greenery, and hills, there are a lot of problems within the community.

How long is walking tour in Salem? ›

Rated as the top walking tour in Salem, you will experience approximately two hours of captivating tales of our city's history, chilling tales of the supernatural, while being awed by the breathtaking architecture, and discover the fascinating truth of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials.

Is August a good time to visit Salem? ›


A summer visit to Salem comes with ideal weather: highs rarely surpass the mid-80s and lows stay consistently in the 60s. This makes outdoor pursuits like walking tours and sailing the Salem Harbor the perfect afternoon activity.

Where is the hocus pocus house in Salem MA? ›

Count Orlok's is located at 217 Essex Street and is open as a museum and haunted house throughout the summer and October.

What part of Salem or is the best? ›

Best Neighborhoods in Salem Oregon
  • Best walkable neighborhoods– Bush Park, Fairmount Hills, and Grant.
  • Best vintage neighborhoods- Bush Park, Fairmount Hills, Candalaria, and Englewood.
  • Best schools- south and west Salem.
  • Best highway access- Jan Ree and Foxhaven.
  • Best luxury neighborhoods– Illahe and Croisan Mountain.

What should I wear to Salem? ›

The clothes you pack for Salem should always be comfy and easy to travel with. No matter the season, you will want to pack layers as there can be some cold weather in New England sometimes. Think sweaters, cardigans, or even a heavy winter coat if you visit during winter.

Can you walk everywhere in Salem? ›

Walking Distances

Once in Salem, you'll be pleased to find that most everything you'd want to do is within walking distance. Downtown is about a mile wide, and any Salem attractions are located within about a 20-minute walk from each other at their farthest points.

How much does Salem trolly cost? ›

Adults $22.00, Seniors (60+) $21.00, Children (6-14) $12.00 and Children 5 and under are free. Is there group discounts? Yes, groups of 20 or more will receive a $1.00 off all Adult and Senior tickets.

Can you walk around Old Salem for free? ›

Old Salem is free to walk around, but if you are wanting to take part in some of the extra interactive exhibits then you will need a ticket. Tickets can only be purchased on-site at the Visitors Center, the Horton Center, and the Moravian Book & Gift.

What makes Salem Oregon unique? ›

A richly diverse cultural city, Salem has a historic downtown, state capitol, and several museums. Visitors can explore the beautiful gardens in this city, hike through ancient forests, or visit a charming hilltop abbey.

Why do people visit Salem? ›

It is now most famous for its Witch Trials of 1692, and it's author, Nathaniel Hawthorne. It is also full of colonial architecture, world-class museums, shopping, and restaurants. Whether you are interested in art, pirates, witches, or history, you can easily spend more than a day here.

What is Salem known as now? ›

(Salem Village is present-day Danvers, Massachusetts; colonial Salem Town became what's now Salem.)

What did the people of Salem eat? ›

Salem cooks would have used a combination of local ingredients such as corn, clams, squash, beans, cranberries, and potatoes while taking advantage of the wild game, domesticated hogs, nuts, wild berries, and fruits such as pears, cherries, and plums.

What is a fun fact about Salem? ›

Salem was the birthplace of the American military. In 1628, Governor John Endecott was authorized to create an official militia to defend the town. All men between ages 16 and 60 were obligated to serve. The first muster of the militia took place on Salem Common in 1637.

How do you spend time in Salem? ›

If you are considering visiting Salem, you need to look at these top Salem tourist places before planning your trip.
  1. Kalangi Siddhar Temple. Source: Pinterest. ...
  2. Kandaswamy Temple. Source: Pinterest. ...
  3. Mookaneri lake. ...
  4. Kottai Mariamman Temple. ...
  5. Oothumalai Hill. ...
  6. Kurumbapatti Zoological Park. ...
  7. 1008 Lingam Temple. ...
  8. Mettur Dam.
8 Sept 2022

What's the best time to visit Salem? ›

The best time to visit Salem is September through November. Although you'll have to contend with hordes of tourists looking to explore the Witch City come October, Salem's jam-packed calendar of events, breathtaking fall foliage and spooky Halloween decorations make it worth the trip.

Is Salem Witch Museum worth it? ›

Top ways to experience Salem Witch Museum and nearby attractions. 97% of travelers recommend this experience. This number is based on the percentage of all Tripadvisor reviews for this product that have a bubble rating of 4 or higher. 90% of travelers recommend this experience.

Is Salem busy during the week? ›

Weekends are the busiest time to go! If you can make it work, try to do a day trip or book your trip during the week. There are usually a ton of events each day/night of the week, so you won't be missing out.

What are 5 interesting facts about the Salem witch trials? ›

5 Facts About the Real Salem Witch Hunt
  • There were complex political, religious, and racial issues under the crisis. A lot was changing in colonial America at the time. ...
  • Strange behavior at the time had alarmed Salem. ...
  • Torture led to bizarre confessions. ...
  • Bodies mounted. ...
  • Some people condemned the trials…
18 May 2017

Is Salem a demon? ›

Finally, we've got our first proper look at the new era of Salem Saberhagen. Rather than a spitting one-liner cat puppet as per the Melissa Joan Hart-fronted Sabrina the Teenage Witch series, Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Salem 3.0 is a demon shapeshifter who arrives to act as a protector.


1. Salem Mennonite Church Worship Service - August 14, 2022
(Salem Mennonite Church)
2. Salem Serenity Book Club: aired August 25th
(Salem Midday Bible Study Lessons)
3. City of Salem Council Meeting - July 25, 2022
(Capital Community Media)
4. City of Salem Council Meeting - August 22, 2022
(Capital Community Media)
5. SDAC: Mt Salem// Online Worship// August 13, 2022.
(SDAC: Mt. Salem)
6. The Salem Witch Trials
(Into the Shadows)
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