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Gloucester has always been known as a town that is down-to-earth, full of personality, and not short on flavor. In short, it’s kind of salty. On January 22 and 23, several town organizations are celebrating that spirit with Gloucester’s So Salty. Inspired by Salem’s So Sweet, a tradition in Gloucester’s neighbor to the south, the event will feature ice sculptures, salty-sweet snacks, art-making, free admission to the Cape Ann Museum, dance classes, and deals at local stores.

“These continue to be challenging times, and we want to bring people out and provide some sense of comfort and community,” says Oliver Barker, director of the Cape Ann Museum, which is organizing the event. “It’s an opportunity to encourage people to come out and to enjoy the best that Cape Ann has to offer.”

The event is a collaboration between Art Haven, Movement Arts Gloucester, MA (MAGMA), Maritime Gloucester, Dogtown Books, Discover Gloucester, and the Gloucester Cultural Council.

Visit the museum website for details and a more complete schedule, then make the salty scene at one (or all!) of these activities:

Get in on the gossip

The front courtyard of the Cape Ann Museum will feature an ice sculpture inspired by Gossips, a print by famed Folly Cove designer and illustrator Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios. Stop by participating businesses to write down your own Gratitude Gossip – a positive wish or idea for the community – and then drop it off at the sculpture. Don’t forget to snap a selfie with the chilly art!

Folly Cove Designers, Virginia Lee Demetrios, “Gossips” – Image courtesy of Cape Ann Museum

Keep an eye out for art

The Cape Ann Museum will be offering free admission so visitors can view its collection of seaworthy art or create their own salty watercolor in the museum studio. Also, watch the sidewalk for snippets of poetry shared by Dogtown Books and add your own words with chalk. At Art Haven, anyone who painted a buoy for the annual lobster trap tree can reclaim their art, and free drop-in art activities will be available for all comers. And if you’re visiting on Saturday, stroll down toward the waterfront to check out live ice sculpting from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Move your body

Join dancer and dance instructor Sarah Slifer Swift at the MAGMA dance studio from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. either day for “The Salt Shaker,” a family-friendly, drop-in dance workshop complete with pulsing music and lights, and plenty of room to stretch and socialize. On Sunday, stick around for a 4:15 open mic in cooperation with Dogtown Books.

Let it out

Frustrated? Stressed out? On the edge? On Saturday at 4 p.m., the Seaweed Scream lets those feeling the effects of these challenging times channel these feelings in a cathartic group screaming session.

Score some deals

At the Bookstore of Gloucester, all nautically themed books will be 10% off as will selected mugs at the museum gift store (and they come with a complimentary hot chocolate). Cape Ann Olive Oil is offering $1 off sea salt. Keep your eye out for other promotions at local retailers as you explore.