Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Guidelines

The City of Salem anticipates tens of thousands of revelers to visit this weekend for the annual celebration of Halloween, and the culmination of the City’s month-long Haunted Happenings Festival.  Dozens of costume balls and parties hosted by Salem’s restaurants and hotels will be supplemented by a street party atmosphere that attracts visitors from around the world.

With Halloween falling on a Monday, both Saturday, October 29, and Monday, October 31 are expected to draw the most visitors.  Friday, October 28 and Sunday, October 30, will also be busy.  While the questionable weather forecast may keep some people away, many of the balls and parties on Saturday night are sold-out, so those revelers are expected to visit Salem regardless of weather. 

In preparation for the busy weekend, City Officials encourage visitors to:

  • Take public transportation.  The MBTA and Salem Ferry have expanded service for the weekend.  Taking public transportation is the best way to avoid traffic snarls coming into Salem.  Expanded MBTA service schedules are available online at Salem Ferry schedules are available at
  • Be prepared to pay for parking.  Parking in downtown Salem is a premium, and visitors who do drive should plan to pay $20 cash per day for parking.  MBTA lots in Beverly and Lynn have ample parking, and are less than a 10 minute train ride from the Salem depot.  Salem’s walkable downtown makes personal vehicles unnecessary once visitors have arrived.
  • Be aware of street closures.  Downtown street closures are planned for Monday after 5:00 PM, and closures will be executed on Saturday if deemed necessary for public safety.  Street closure and parking ban information is available at

Once in Salem, visitors are urged to bring their common sense, and be aware of the following rules and regulations that will be enforced during Halloween weekend:

  • Disorderly conduct will not be tolerated. Salem has tougher sanctions and will be issuing tripled fines, up to $300 per violation, for infractions including public drinking, vandalism, littering, and disorderly behavior.
  • Leave weapons – real or fake – at home.  They will be confiscated by police.
  • Public drinking will not be tolerated. Public consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited in Salem.
  • Know when the party’s over. The event ends at 11:00 PM on Saturday night and 10:00 PM on Monday night.  Visitors who are not inside restaurants or private parties will be asked to depart Salem following the fireworks on Monday night.  Police and Public Works Department staff will begin clearing the streets at 10:30 pm.
There will be more than 200 police on the ground this weekend, including the Essex County Tactical Unit and the Plymouth County Mounted Unit.  Surveillance cameras are installed throughout the downtown and will be monitored by police officials throughout the weekend. 

Salem is a historic, residential community, and city officials are working diligently to mitigate visitor impacts to residents, provide effective crowd control, and encourage an orderly exit out of the City when festivities conclude.  Visitors to Salem who respect the City of Salem, its residents, businesses, and law enforcement officials will have a great time celebrating Halloween and Haunted Happenings.

Free public entertainment will be provided on the Haunted Happenings Main Stage, presented by Radio 92.9, on Washington Street at Federal Street from 5pm – 10:00pm on Friday, 5pm – 11pm on Saturday, 4pm – 10pm on Sunday, and 4pm – 10pm on Monday.   On Monday night, bands and DJs will provide free music on Salem Common, Hawthorne Boulevard, Front Street, and Derby Street.  The month-long Haunted Happenings celebration will conclude with a brilliant fireworks display over the North River at 10:00 pm on Monday.

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