The City of Salem will hold its annual Christmas Parade a week from Saturday, but it will look a lot different than usual. All the floats and performers will be positioned in spots around the Salem Civic Center parking lots – and you will see each one while driving past in your vehicle. Salem’s Christmas Tree lighting is on-line only this year, but the Gingerbread festival will continue – with social distancing.

NEWS RELEASE: The City of Salem’s Holiday celebrations will look a little different this December, but neither COVID-19 nor this incredibly unpredictable calendar year can stop Santa’s arrival in 2020.The annual Christmas Parade, which is traditionally held on Main Street and sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Salem, will shift to the Salem Civic Center parking lot this December. Floats and performers will be positioned in designated locations throughout the Taliaferro Complex, allowing citizens and visitors the ability to drive through and enjoy each entry without leaving their cars.

“This has been a challenging time for all of us, but the Salem Kiwanis Club member are excited about the possibilities this event offers all involved,” says Jim Paxton, Salem Kiwanis Club President-elect and Parade Committee Head. “We are blessed to have a facility as versatile as the Salem Civic Center, and we really look forward to working with our past entries and new participants to make this event special and unique.”

“Winter Wonder Lot -the 2020 Salem Christmas Parade” will take place December4from 6:30 p.m.-8:30p.m. This will be a FREE event, but attendees are encouraged to bring a donation of non-perishable canned food for the Salem-Roanoke County Food Pantry. Those wishing to participate in the parade can get complete info and an entry format this Parade Entry link or by calling (540)-404-1443. “The Salem Civic Center and Salem Parks and Recreation staffs have been adapting their events and schedules ever since the onset of COVID-19,”says Wendy Delano, Salem Director of Civic Facilities. “You have to keep looking forward and evolving, and I commend the Kiwanis Club of Salem for doing its part to keep the holiday spirit alive.”

Along with the revamped Christmas Parade, Salem Parks and Recreation will again present the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at the Salem Farmers Market and the Gingerbread Festival at the Salem Public Library .“We are honored to work with these different groups and provide a number of excellent events in a safe manner this December,” says John Shaner, Salem Parks and Recreation Director “We hope the participants and those who attend these events will enjoy themselves.”

Annual Christmas Tree Lighting: The Annual Lighting of the City of Salem Christmas Tree at the Salem Farmers Market will take place on Friday, December 4, 6 p.m. on Facebook. This tradition will kick-off the holiday season just before the “Winter WonderLot” Christmas Parade begins at the Salem Civic Center at 6:30p.m.

Gingerbread Festival at the Salem Museum & Longwood Park–December 5: The Salem Parks and Recreation Department, the Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce and the Salem Museum present this year’s Gingerbread Festival at the Museum on East Main Streeton Saturday, December 5, from 10 a.m. -2p.m. Check out the incredible culinary creations and enjoy other activities in a socially distant and responsible manner. Masks are strongly encouraged outside and required inside the Museum.

Salem Crafty Christmas at Farmers Market–December 12: The Salem Farmers Market and the Salem Parks and Recreation Department are bringing back a “Salem Crafty Christmas” on Saturday, December 12 from 8a.m. -noon. This event will take place at the Salem Farmers Market and feature handmade crafts, artisan items, greenery, baked goods, cheeses, eggs and many more items for your holiday shopping. All patrons are asked to adhere to the Market’s posted rules for COVID-19.
Salem Holiday Market at Salem Civic Center–December 12: Enjoy a great shopping adventure on Saturday, December 12,from the Salem Civic Center. Unique crafters, Artists, and Direct Sales vendors will have just what you need for the perfect gift. This is a FREE event but please bring a non-perishable food item for the Salem-Roanoke County Food Pantry. Shoppers are required to wear face coverings at all times.