Wow, Salem comes alive! What a night in downtown. June's First Wednesday proves that Salem's downtown can be an attraction that brings out hundreds, maybe thousands of people. First Wednesday is an event put on the first Wednesday of every month by the city funded organization, Go Downtown Salem! June's theme was "Always a Picnic Downtown" but I think most people were there for the "Dog Days Parade and Party." The sidewalks were lined with dogs of all sizes, leashed and paraded about proudly by the pet owners. Isn't it funny how some people can look like their pets? There were lots of reasons for people to come out last night including mild weather, music and an art fair that stretched around several city blocks. There was even a seven year old boy making some extra money drawing portraits of pets for two bucks a pop. Whatever happened to a paper route? He actually did do a great job capturing my likeness on paper. In front of the Salem Center, a band called the B-Sides was wailing out tunes. The lead singer sounded a lot like classic rock legend Janis Joplin. It's tough with our weather, but we could use more events like this and our farmers market that bring a sense of community to our city. Conversations with strangers happen and we get to know our neighbors a little better. For reasons beyond my control I didn't get a chance to eat anywhere downtown but I plan on doing that next time. The next First Wednesday is July 2nd with theme "Spirit of America."