SALEM (CBS) — Despite the damp weather, Salem is still expecting a crowd to join its Halloween festivities.
In preparation, organizers worked to make the stages, welcome signs, and food stands more wind resistant on Thursday morning.
“It’s the busiest day of the year. This is it,” said Kate Fox, director of Destination Salem.
The weather conditions added a spooky feel, but it was less than ideal for spending Thursday outside. Rain showers and strong winds were being forecasted. As a result, several towns pushed trick-or-treat times to Friday or Saturday.
“Salem is an international destination for haunted happenings around the calendar so if you’re making plans to come from far away, you’re not going to change those plans because of some rain. So we keep our fingers crossed that it’s not going to be too terrible a weather forecast and I’m hoping the wind is going to hold off until after the celebrations are over,” said Fox.
For Salem, Halloween is a month-long event, the city has been welcoming visitors in costumes for weeks. Oct. 31 is the grand finale with tens of thousands expected to make their way downtown.
Police will have a visible presence the entire time.
“If you’ve got a great costume, make sure you don’t have anything that looks like a weapon or can be used as a weapon because we’ll probably take it,” said Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll. That means replica guns, knives, and other props will be confiscated.
“It’ll be crazy tonight, see everyone dressed up. We don’t experience that in England so much,” said one woman.
Ralph Chudley, who’s visiting from New Jersey, said, “It’s just like everyone knew it was going to be a crappy day – it’s going to rain. I’m seeing a lot less costumes than I’m used to.”
But that wasn’t going to stop Chudley from enjoying Salem. “It’s like the Mardi Gras of Halloween,” he said.
The fireworks and a few live shows have been canceled, but otherwise, Fox said the festivities are unchanged by the weather.
Visitors are urged not to drive to Salem as multiple downtown streets will be closed beginning at 4 p.m.