Five facts about Olde Salem Days

by rcnewsblog on September 11, 2014


Thousands of people are expected to flock to downtown Salem, Va., this Saturday for Olde Salem Days, a day-long arts and crafts festival. Here are five things you should know in order to get the most out of this annual event.

1. The Basics

Olde Salem Days has been a fall staple in Salem since 1982. The festival takes place on Main Street, and the road closes to everything but pedestrians. The excitement kicks off at 9 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. Get there sooner, rather than later, to avoid the rush.

2. Enjoy the Art Scene

Hundreds of local crafters and artisans set up camp in downtown Salem. The yearly spread usually includes pottery, woodwork, jewelry, candles and a hodgepodge of other handmade creations. You’ll have the opportunity to meet the crafters and tune in to the local art scene, while also finding some unique knickknacks along the way.

3. Not Just a Craft Show

While it’s fun to see all of the locally-made art, that’s not all there is. Olde Salem Days also hosts a car show located on the West Hall end of Main Street. The show features classic cars, trucks and motorcycles restored to their heyday glory. If you get tired of walking, Olde Salem Days also provides seating areas to listen to live, local bands. It’s a nice excuse to kick back, relax, and munch on some refreshments.

4. Come Hungry

Every year there are plenty of food vendors serving all of the festival classics. The big sellers last year included kettle corn, hot dogs and gyros. Another fan favorite are the ribbon fries, which are thinly cut potatoes cooked until crispy and served with your choice of seasoning. The eclectic food and beverage section for Olde Salem Days is found in the Salem Farmer’s Market area. Explore the area and splurge on some treats!

5. Crowded Streets Mean Limited Parking

Olde Salem Days is a great way to get to know the surrounding community outside of the Roanoke College bubble. Even if you don’t go, be aware that parking will be limited. Festival goers have designated parking off of Roanoke’s campus, but it fills up quick. If you leave campus, parking will likely be tight until Saturday evening. Also, Main Street as well as a few other side streets will be closed for the event.

To see a map of the festival and the closed streets, visit

-By Hannah Cline ’15


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