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Olde Salem Days by Sarah Barb

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Sarah Barb

Olde Salem Days

Saturday 14th Salem held one of the largest arts and craft festivals in Virginia, Olde Salem Days. Students and locals mingled in the late summer sun, purchasing local art and kettle corn. The festival is organized by The Rotary Club of Salem.

It was the 32nd annual Olde Salem Days and was anticipated by many in the campus community. The event had over 400 food vendors, arts and craftsmen, and antique vehicle exhibitors. Tens of thousands of costumers visit the festival. There are things to enjoy for every generation.

Music played included Bluegrass in front of Snyder’s Nursing home and a Country cover artist near the Farmer’s Market. Crafts included tie-dye, Minion knitted caps, candles and soaps, wood working, and wind chimes. The car show included over 150 cars all from Virginia, most from the Salem area.

Only handcrafted goods and homemade baked goods are allowed at Olde Salem days, that way each purchase is unique and upholds the traditions that the festival was founded on. The decades old tradition has become a tradition for Roanoke College students as well. Many students enjoy shopping for Christmas and birthday gifts at the event, and on a limited budget it is a fun way to spend a Saturday – especially because of free samples and sales the shops have going on for the event. The Salem Public Library even had a book sale where students stocked up on their personal reading collections.

There are a couple downsides to the festival, including the shutting down of Main Street to car traffic. Students who have to travel have to take backstreets to get where they wanted to go. One other important, more personal problem is: sunburn. Several students damaged their skin by not applying sunscreen (including this reporter).

If you were not able to attend this year you should go next year, and don’t forget the sunscreen.