Admittedly, this time of year we find ourselves sticking closer to our home base of Ocean City/Berlin, and who can blame us with the beach just a few minutes away. Nonetheless, we decided to divert our beach-centric attentions back to the city of Salisbury this week, which continues to grow and evolve thanks to the concerted efforts of local businesses, elected officials, and the Salisbury Chamber of Commerce. The latest addition to the Salisbury scene was announced at a recent press conference, as area officials gathered to reveal their newest community event – the Torches Celebration.
“We look forward to this event – this is going to be another feather in our cap…another torch in our cap if you may,” said Salisbury Mayor Jim Ireton of the premier event, which is scheduled for October 2nd, 3rd and 4th of this year. The event, aptly titled “Torches – Celebrating Community” is being hailed as “an opportunity for all ages to come together in celebration of the renaissance and re-birth of the downtown Salisbury community.”
The event will take place in Downtown Salisbury along the Riverwalk and will feature three days of activities, including a Downtown Salisbury plein air paint out, a main stage featuring live entertainment, an art exhibition, delicious local food, a carnival and more. The event follows closely on the heels of the cancellation of the Salisbury Festival, which many locals were disheartened to hear would not be returning. At the time, officials promised they would be delivering a new and improved event, and it looks like they have certainly delivered on that promised. According to the Salisbury Chamber, “we wanted to take the opportunity as a chamber to provide a new and fresh venue that would capitalize on the renaissance of downtown Salisbury.” With 3rd Friday becoming increasingly popular each year, and with the addition of new businesses like The Brick Room and Headquarter’s Live, Downtown Salisbury has come a long way in the past few years.
The event will coincide with Seagull Century, operating as an attraction for the thousands of visitors that come to Salisbury for the bicycle ride each year. The aim is to attract people from the local Eastern Shore community of course, but from the entire Mid-Atlantic region as well. “We are excited to see Torches evolve into a regional celebration and a long standing and honored tradition for Salisbury,” said Tony Nichols, Chairman of the SACC Board.
In addition to local artists and musicians, the event will also highlight local businesses. Businesses will be able to directly participate in the nightly lighting ceremonies that will occur along the Riverwalk by sponsoring a torch. Non-profits will also have the opportunity to fundraise by selling luminaries and torches.
“Our downtown will be illuminated and alive during the weekend of October 2nd through 4th,” said Torches Chair Stephanie Willey. “Torches will be full of energy, people, the arts – a community coming together to celebrate with pride where we live, work and play.”