Family and Friends Wicked Weekend

Salem State family weekend carnival

Join us for a Wicked Weekend in Salem! The 2014 Family and Friends Weekend will be held on Saturday, October 4–Sunday, October 5, with most festivities occurring on Sunday, October 5. 

A brochure describing the weekend activities was mailed home to families in early September. Highlights of the weekend include tours of our new Gassett Fitness Center, Library and Learning Commons, home games featuring our women's soccer team and the field hockey team, plus the traditional Family and Friends Carnival and the Wicked Good Cookout! There is a wide variety of events planned for all ages, families of first year students and families of upper-class students. 

Tickets and reservations for family weekend festivities are available here

The full schedule of events is listed below:

Family and Friends Weekend 2014

Welcome to our new back yard!


Thursday, October 2

Salem Haunted Happenings Grand Parade

Watch the Salem State contingent, led by the residence hall association, march in the annual Haunted Happenings Parade in downtown Salem from 6:30-8:30 pm. This festive event kicks-off the start to the Halloween season in Salem, drawing thousands of people each year!


Saturday, October 4

Haunted Biz Baz Street Fair

Downtown Salem from 10 am–8 pm: Shop for uniquely Salem items at more than 100 vendors, be entertained by street performers and listen to some great music at the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall.


Jazz Brunch

Marsh Dining Commons from 11 am–1 pm: Join your student for brunch on Central Campus while you’re entertained by live jazz music. Students use their meal plans while visiting families dine for free.

Field Hockey vs. UMass-Dartmouth 

         O’Keefe Sports Complex, Alumni Field at 12 pm

Downtown Salem Shuttle

Ride the Salem State shuttle van from Marsh Hall to the Gassett Fitness Center and to the Salem Visitor's Center. Continuous shuttles will run from 12-6 pm between those locations.


Tailgating Treats

O’Keefe Sports Complex Courtyard at 12:30 pm: Refreshments will be available during and between games for fans in attendance.

Women’s Soccer vs. Framingham State

O’Keefe Sports Complex, Alumni Field at 2:30 pm: Student organization banners will be recognized and the winners of the Viking Spirit Awards will be announced at half-time.

Magician Peter Boie 

Marsh Dining Hall at 7 pm: Program council presents a belief-challenging, wonderment-enhancing, imagination-inducing, harmonica-appearing, reality-altering, philosophy-spouting, destiny-predicting, ghost-contacting magic show that will make you gasp in awe, laugh ‘til it hurts and inspire your imagination. Belief optional.


Sunday, October 5

Ecumenical Service  

Campus Center Martin Luther King, Jr. Room at 9 am: All are invited to attend an inclusive service led by Reverend Laura Biddle of the spiritual life office.

First Year Families Reception

North Campus Commons Dining Hall at 9:30 am: All first year students and families are cordially invited to a special reception in your honor. The enrollment management and student life staff members proudly welcome the newest members of the Salem State “family,” as we look back and celebrate the success of this year’s freshman class with a few fun surprises.

To RSVP for this reception for first year families, please register online here

¡SSU Unidos!

North Campus Commons Dining Hall from 9:30–10:30 am: Come by our table to learn more about events for Latino/a students and their families during the First Year Families Brunch. Hosted by the Latino/a Task Force, a group of staff and faculty dedicated to building community for Latino/as on campus!

Haunted Biz Baz Street Fair

Downtown Salem from 10 am–6 pm: Shop for uniquely Salem items at more than 100 vendors, be entertained by street performers and listen to some great music at the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall.

Family and Friends Workshops

10:30–11 am   Choose from among one of the sessions below

11:10–11:40 am   Choose a second workshop from among the sessions below:

  •  “A Storm of Witchcraft: the Salem Trials and the American Experience”: Campus Center Veterans Hall Rear Room - History Professor Emerson Baker discusses his new book which considers the critical--and often overlooked--political side to the events in 1692. He traces the story through to the present day, and considers the ways Salem both revels in and reviles its witch trial heritage.
  • Salem: We’re Much More than Halloween: Campus Center Veterans Hall Front Room - Join Jeff Swartz of Destination Salem and learn about what makes Salem an exciting place to live, learn, and play all year.
  • #SSU Builds: Campus Center Martin Luther King, Jr. Room - Learn about the exciting campus renovation projects underway, including the new Gordon Center for the Performing Arts, a parking garage on North Campus and our newest residence building, Viking Hall.
  • Meet the Schools and Colleges Reception in the Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons Lobby - Meet with deans and faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Health and Human Services and the School of Business 
  • Study Abroad 101: Ellison Campus Center, Presidential Conference Room - Find out about the fabulous opportunities to study abroad from our Center for International Education staff members.  Learn how to organize your classes and plans to study in another country.
  • Follow Your Passion To Career Success: Ellison Campus Center Career Services office (room 105) - Learn about the steps involved in building a strong career path.


Kids Corner

Ellison Campus Center Lobby from 10:30 – 11:40 am - Featuring arts and crafts to entertain children until the family workshops conclude.

The Great Salem Fire Exhibit 

Berry Library Archives from 10:30 am – 12 pm: 100 years ago, a terrible fire raged through the city of Salem. Explore the details and understand the impact of this historic tragedy through an exhibit on the lower level of the Berry Library and Learning Commons. To access the university archives, enter from the quad level and take the elevators next to the library reception desk to the ground floor. 

Library and Learning Commons Tours

Berry Library from 11:10 am – 12 pm - Join our Librarians on a tour of the Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons, a four-story, energy conscious, 124,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility. Gather at the Meet the Schools and Colleges Reception for the tour.

Family and Friends Carnival

Alumni Plaza, Ellison Campus Center from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm: The carnival includes student musical performances, inflatables, novelties, local vendors, plus games and activities presented by campus offices and student organizations. There will also be a “Touch A Truck” exhibit featuring one of the constructions vehicles used on campus for little and big kids to inspect. Students, family, friends, and alumni can enjoy the entertainment, and also connect with faculty, staff and student leaders to learn more about our many services and opportunities on campus. This event takes place in the Ellison Campus Center Alumni Plaza and Berry Library Quad, or in case of rain on the second floor of the North Campus Commons Dining Hall.

Wicked Good Cookout 

North Campus Commons Dining Hall Grounds at 12 pm: Enjoy an old-fashioned barbecue complete with hot dogs, hamburgers and vegetarian options. Desserts will be available at the Harold E. and Marilyn J. Gassett Fitness and Recreation Center immediately following.

* The link to order tickets is


Games, Tours & Dessert at the Gassett Center 

Gassett Fitness Center at 1 pm: Visit the new Harold E. and Marilyn J. Gassett Fitness and Recreation Center for a tour of this beautiful new facility or to join in field games available for all ages. Desserts will also be available at the Gassett Fitness Center for all to enjoy.  A shuttle will take guests back and forth from the Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons shuttle bus stop to the O’Keefe Complex.

Downtown Salem Shuttle

1:30 – 5:30 pm: Ride the Salem State shuttle bus from the library bus stop to the Gassett Fitness Center and to the Salem Visitor’s Center. Continuous shuttles will run until 5:30 pm between these locations.



Important Information

  • Tickets
    • $10: Wicked Good Cookout and Carnival
    • Salem State students may use their meal plan and children under 10 are free.
    • You may purchase tickets by going to and click on Purchase your tickets by Friday, September 26. Please check-in at the welcome booth in the Library and Learning Commons quad to get your tickets and event schedule. 
  • To request an accommodation for any of these events, please contact disability services at 978.542.6217, TTY 978.542.7146, video phone 866.881.7097 by September 19.
  • For more information about Family and Friends Weekend, please contact, call 978.542.7455 or visit us on facebook, our page is SSUparentsandfamily
  • Stay up to date on upcoming Salem State University events by visiting
  • For upcoming Halloween events in Salem, Massachusetts, please visit