By Staff

SALEM (CBS) — People on the streets of Salem were ready to make up for missing last year’s Halloween festivities. After a mostly virtual 2020 Halloween, the city is seeing record crowds.

“We’ve had the biggest crowds we’ve ever seen all year. But this is the end, this is the triumph and so we’re excited to welcome people from around the country frankly, and around the globe,” said Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll.

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Many events have limited capacity and are already booked.

There are COVID rules to follow including wearing masks in indoor spaces and providing proof of a negative COVID test for large indoor events.

“Life long bucket list to come to witch central. We’re here all week from Reno, Nevada. We might stay longer,” one man told WBZ-TV.

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Traffic was backed up for miles Friday afternoon, full of customers ready to spend which is a welcome sight for shop owners.

“It’s wild, it’s total wild,” said Vampfangs owner Alexis Pharae. “I think we were expecting a busy year this year but not anything this amazing.”

Driscoll recommends taking the train into Salem because parking is at capacity in the city. Or park in a neighboring town and take one of the free shuttles available.

Salem Police Chief Lucas Miller is experiencing the festivities as chief for the first time. “I think people have been very well behaved and we certainly appreciate that,” he said. “We really begin next week for preparing for next Halloween so it’s a year-long preparation.”

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Fireworks are at 10 p.m. on Sunday night, after that, the city askes visitors to go home. Staff