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DTA-LogoGone are the days or parking on the square on a friday night, getting out of your car and walking around to shop at local businesses, enjoying the fellowship small town life brings.

But City of Salem Mayor Troy Merry is wanting to bring that back to Salem.

Merry is hosting an old fashioned community gathering on the square in Salem on Friday, July 22 from 6-9p.

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Troy Merry was a guest on WSLM’s Coffee Club last week talking about his idea for Salem’s Downtown Alive program that will draw families and shoppers to the square on Friday, July 22. Denise Newkirk, Director of the City of Salem Park and Rec program is a weekly guest co-host on Thursdays.

“I remember as a kid coming up to the square on Friday nights and the businesses were open and people would just park and get out and walk around, talk and visit and do their shopping,” said Merry. “With big changes ahead for Salem, it’s important we support our local businesses and do things like this.”

Merry said free cold watermelon and free waters would be provided for visitors.

Also, he said on WSLM’s Coffee Club Thursday morning that the Short Notice Band would be playing that night.

“We want people to come out and bring a blanket or their lawn chairs and have a great night,” said Merry.

He also said there would be a card that patrons would take around to the local businesses on the square to have punched and upon completing the card, it would be entered into a drawing for a nice prize.

“The key is to bring our small businesses and the community together,” he said. “We used to do that many years ago and it’s time we started doing it again.”

Merry said if the event is successful others would be planned in other seasons of the year.