SALEM — This year's Salemfest has something for everyone, from foodies to animal lovers to history buffs.
"It's a chance to have some inexpensive fun and raise funds for good organizations, and become aware of the organizations that you might want to be part of," said Salemfest founder Betty Gay.
Since it launched in 2004, the event, which brings together local nonprofit groups and helps raise money, has grown tremendously. Gay said that became obvious when she assigned a letter to each of the organizations participating in the event for a flier she was putting together.
"We've used up the entire alphabet now for organizations," she said. "It goes A to Z. We started with six (in 2004) and now we have 26, and more than 26 events."
Those events include plenty of old favorites, like the St. David's eighth annual Professional Crafters Fair, held tomorrow and Sunday at the church.
"When we started seven years ago, we had about 17 crafters," Gay said. "There are 44 this year."
The event's popular church dinners will return this year. An international food festival at Triumphant Cross Lutheran Church will run from 4 to 7 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults, free for children 12 and younger.
At Tenney Memorial Methodist Church there will be an all-you-can-eat ham-and-bean supper from 4 to 6 p.m. for $7 for adults and $4 for children ages 5 to 12. Pleasant Street Methodist Church will serve ribs, coleslaw, baked beans, corn bread and more from 3 to 6 p.m.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for seniors and children under 12.
"People can eat their way through Salemfest, from breakfast to supper," Gay said.
Civil War historians will be on the Kelley Library grounds tomorrow and Sunday.
The Salem Animal Rescue League will have demonstrations on pet care and training, as well as animals to pet, tomorrow and Sunday at St. David's Episcopal Church.
On Sunday, they will have the SARL Animal Tracks Walk-a-Thon, beginning in the Kelley Library parking lot at 1 p.m.
Gardens of Hope, a group of volunteers who tend the gardens of cancer patients, will be recruiting new volunteers at Kelley Library. The Salem Farmers Market also will participate tomorrow and Sunday at Kelley Library, selling tote bags and T-shirts. Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts will be at the Town Common, with Boy Scouts demonstrating how to make rope and the Cub Scouts running their Pinewood Derby.
Some events will only be tomorrow. The Salem Historical Society will give museum tours at Old Town Hall, Alice Hall Memorial Library and School House No. 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There also will be tours of the First Congregational Church, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Salem Family Resources will host crafts, games, and story readings on the Kelley Library grounds, with a children's book character costume parade tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. from the library to Field of Dreams. The parade will return to Kelley Library at noon, and a famous train conductor will visit the participants.
Salemhaven will host its annual fall fair tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., including food, crafts, music and miniature horses.
The Greater Salem Caregivers will host a Walk-a-Thon at 10 a.m. tomorrow, starting at the Ingram Senior Center.
There also will be a return of the popular Kelley Library used book and media sale beginning at 9 a.m.
"The book sale last year was still like the wedding gown sale at Filene's," Gay said.
"People are waiting outside the door to get in at 9."
There also will be a 5K run, walk and kid trot tomorrow morning, with race registration kicking off at 7:45 a.m. at Woodbury School.
Complete schedules are available at Town Hall or Kelley Library.
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