Salem Scaling Back Halloween Events Amid Coronavirus Pandemic


SALEM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Salem is scaling back a number of Haunted Happenings events this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Normally, about 500,000 visitors come to Salem every October to celebrate Halloween. However, the pandemic is changing those celebrations. Events will either be cancelled or limited to ensure safety.

"This is going to be a really different Haunted Happenings," Mayor Kim Driscoll said. "For folks who are familiar with what happens here in October, it's a pretty unique festival that are hundreds of individually produced events and balls and parades and a street party-like atmosphere. And, obviously with COVID and coronavirus, those sorts of programming really have limitations."

Here are the events and programs that the city says "will not take place this year as they customarily do":

  • Haunted Happenings Grand Parade
  • Mayor's Night Out
  • Kids' Costume Parade
  • Lanterns in the Village
  • Biz Baz Street Fair
  • Creative Collective Merchant Marketplace vendors
  • Salem Food Truck Festival
  • Outdoor food vendors, including Fiesta Shows food trucks
  • Great Salem Pumpkin Walk
  • Haunted Harmonies
  • Howl-o-ween pet parade

The city says additional restrictions will be put in place for outdoor retail and street performers.

"The City is evaluating the best course of action for Halloween night. Public programming including the concerts, beer garden, and fireworks will not be planned," the city said in a statement. "Public safety, public health, transportation, and parking are the City’s priorities because we know people will still come to Salem on Halloween, just as they will come to Salem during the month of October. Further details on planning and expectations for Halloween night will be forthcoming in the coming weeks.

WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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