SALEM (CBS) — October in Salem will look different this year due to the coronavirus. The city, which usually welcomes half a million tourists during the Halloween season, announced Tuesday that many events will be canceled or scaled back.
“Many people inside and outside of Salem will be disappointed that their favorite, fun and festive October activities cannot take place this year,” said Mayor Kim Driscoll, “However, as a community we are committed to doing our part to help protect residents, visitors, and staff and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Salem.”
While most of the Haunted Happenings events are not city-sponsored, they need to comply with the state’s coronavirus restrictions. The city is making plans on the assumption that Massachusetts will still be in Phase 3 of reopening, which limits indoor gathering to 25 and outdoor gatherings to 100.
“Based on that guidance, while some events and activities may still be able to take place with restrictions, including several attractions, museums, walking tours, retail shops, and restaurants, many large-scale functions will not be able to proceed,” said a statement from the city.
The following events have already been canceled:
- 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
Visitors are encouraged to contact event organizers to see if what they wish to attend is still happening and if there are any modifications, such as required reservations.
There will be limits on street performers and the city will not put on the concerts, beer garden, or fireworks.
“The month of October is very important to the local economy, producing thousands of jobs and millions in local sales revenues for Salem’s restaurants, shops, and other businesses each year,” the city said.
Anyone who still plans on visiting Salem is warned parking downtown has significantly decreased to accommodate outdoor dining. The city also has a mandatory mask requirement throughout the downtown area that will still be in effect for Halloween. Failure to comply could result in a $300 fine.
The state’s travel order could still be in place in October as well. Anyone visiting from a list of states considered to be a higher risk must fill out a form online, and quarantine for 14 days or provide a negative COVID-19 test from the last 72 hours. Failure to comply could result in a $500 fine.