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Contact: Barbara McGowan, 781-608-7784
SALEM, MA - The 2012 Salem Maritime Festival, a celebration of "Ships, Sawdust, Sailors & Song," will be held August 3-4, 2012 and hosted by the National Park Service on the historic wharves at Salem Maritime National Historic Site. In its 24th year, the Salem Maritime Festival offers an exciting array of free family fun, including live music, free harbor cruises, craft demonstrations, dance, story-telling, and much more! Kids will enjoy face painting, fish painting, seaside kite-flying, radio-controlled boats, a "Muck Walk" and touch tanks with their favorite marine critters.
The Festival's live music schedule kicks off on Friday, August 3rd at 6:30pm with a sunset concert on historic Derby Wharf featuring the Boston Horns, a 7-piece funk/jazz/soul band led by founding members Garret Savluk and Jeff Buckridge. The big sound from this highly-acclaimed ensemble will fill the park with a compelling mix of funk and jazz. Bring your dinner to picnic by the waterside, and be ready to dance under the stars!
The recently returned Friendship of Salem, Salem's own replica of a 1797 merchant vessel, will be the center attraction for of this year's celebration and will offer a National Park Service Junior Ranger Program for children among other free shipboard activities. A flotilla of visiting ships including U.S. Coast Guard 47' Motor Life Boat; Schooner Fame of Salem (a full-scale replica of a once famous Chebacco fishing schooner); the Vessel Finback offering the HOBBES onboard marine ecology program; and Lewis H. Story, the flagship of the Essex Shipbuilding Museum; plus a fleet of kayaks, canoes, paddleboards and jolly boat will also be present, offering opportunities to cruise, sail, paddle, and row Salem Harbor. Free 90-minute harbor cruises will be offered starting at 10:30am on Schooner Fame of Salem and Vessel Finback (Ticket lottery starts at 9:30am, see website for ticket drawing information). Free kayak, canoe, paddleboard and jolly boat rides will be offered 10am - 4pm.
On Saturday, August 4th the live music program continues at 11:00am with back-to-back concerts by Annie and the Natural Wonder Band featuring interactive song and dance focusing on marine life; the Squid Jiggers, a salty, high-energy folk duo hailing from Maine; Debra Cowan's "Women and the Sea" program; and an impromptu ChanteySing of traditional sea chanteys. The Festival will close at 5:00pm with the Squeezebox Stompers, a spicy blend of Louisiana roots music that includes Cajun, Zydeco and New Orleans rhythm and blues. Sound will be produced by Dana Westover of Wolf Music Sound Production.
Additionally, on the Salem Maritime Interpretative stage, a delectable afternoon of entertainment will be hosted by Merrill Kohlhofer, National Park Service historian and story teller who will be joined by the Weebluetts, Salem's own Scottish country dancing group
The 24th Annual Salem Maritime Festival is organized and hosted by Salem Maritime National Historic Site with logistical support from the City of Salem, the Salem Chamber of Commerce, Essex National Heritage Commission, Salem Main Streets and Derby Street Neighborhood Association. Major sponsors of the 2012 Festival include Salem Waterfront Hotel and Marina, Eastern Bank, Excelerate Energy and Salem Five Charitable Corporation. The Festival is also generously supported by Beverly Coop Bank, Hawthorne Hotel, Salem State University, Bouchard & Sons, Inc., Haunted Happenings Magazine, Instant Signal & Alarm Company, Peabody Essex Museum, Pickering Wharf Merchant Assn., Salem Witch Museum, The Salem Inn, Victoria's Station and Vic's Boathouse, Winter Island Yacht Yard and Nathan & Krevat.
For complete information visit: http://www.nps.gov/sama/planyourvisit/maritimefestival.htm