Against a lively guitar tune, the popular “I Love Salisbury” video opens with a pink heart, arched lines inside representing the ocean and flying seagull, below the words Dear SBY.
Shared and replayed thousands of times, the video is the first in an upcoming series, designed for the enjoyment of the public, and as a way for Mayor Jake Day to share messages.
“We’re trying to get into the schedule of a video a week to communicate directly with the people,” Day told the Salisbury Independent.
The I Love SBY offering was the city’s most-viewed, the mayor said, seen about 20,000 times. Usually, city postings are watched 13,000 to 15,000 times.
Chris Demone, who handles public relations for the mayor’s office, was behind the camera and managed to get Gov. Larry Hogan to appear, asking, with an endearing smile, “What’s not to love about Salisbury?”
“It’s the capital of the Eastern Shore, great revitalization going on, the arts district, you know, just a fantastic place to be, the Shorebirds,” the governor said.
“He said yes right away,” Day said.
“He was totally willing to do it. We love the governor. He has been good to us. We got a lot of comments from the community. People really enjoyed it,” Day said.
Also appearing was Delegate Carl Anderton, whose line was “You. You’re the reason I love Salisbury.”
“It was cool to be part of it. We have the best people in the world here. They are truly incredible. There is no other place to call home except the Lower Shore and Salisbury is the heartbeat of the Lower Shore,” he told the Salisbury Independent.
Salisbury City Council President Jack Heath called being in front of the camera “a lot of fun.”
“It was put together real quick, the day the governor was here,” he said, referring to Hogan’s Feb. 13 visit to town, where he participated in a question and answer session with Comptroller Peter Franchot, then announced funding for Salisbury.
“It shows you what the people are made of. It got 20,000 views on the city site and it’s been on Facebook. It got a lot of hits,” Heath said.
In it, he praised the quality of life and “wonderful group of people volunteering to make the city better.”
Others around town expressed affection for Salisbury for reasons including small businesses that give the city a local feel, being a great place to raise children, the Downtown Plaza and community gardens.
Salisbury University President Janet Dudley-Eshbach called the city a vibrant community where “people of all ages, young and old, can come down to 3rd Friday.”
City Councilman Muir Boda mentioned City Park and the Salisbury Zoo.
As the video ends, Day comes out from behind his desk and walks toward the camera.
“With the fastest growing job market in the northeast United States, Maryland’s coastal college town, great arts scene, wonderful restaurants and a booming Downtown. So many reasons to love us. What’s yours?” he asks, breaking into his signature grin.
Day wouldn’t take credit for conceiving of the video, but Heath said he was instrumental.
“It was a group decision. We thought, ‘Let’s try this and see what happens,’” Heath said.
Jamie Heater, director of the Arts & Entertainment District, said the video received more shares than any she has been in.
“It didn’t take long. The day before Valentine’s Day, Chris Demone stopped by my office and we recorded it in one take. He didn’t tell me what to say. I just made it up on the spot,” Heater said.
“It was spontaneous and it turned out well. Everybody loves it.”
Reach Susan Canfora at email@example.com.