Each year in October the City of Salem – a community of around 40,000 residents – welcomes close to 500,000 visitors who celebrate the Halloween season during the month long family-friendly Haunted Happenings festival. 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.
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic still presenting a significant public health and safety threat this year, many of the official events and activities that constitute Haunted Happenings will be either cancelled or scaled back. Most of the events and programs of Haunted Happenings are not City-sponsored activities, however, and are instead, privately organized by local businesses and nonprofits. In all cases – whether an event is an official City-sponsored event or a privately-sponsored one – limitations imposed by the state’s reopening requirements will be in effect. For planning purposes, the City is assuming the state will still be in Phase 3 and not yet in Phase 4. In general, Phase 3 prohibits indoor gatherings of more than 25 people and outdoor gatherings of more than 100 people.
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. Visitors are strongly encouraged to call the event organizer or business in advance to confirm that it is still open and taking place. In some instances, reservations/advance tickets may be required due to limitations on the number of participants or attendees allowed into a site at a time.
At present, the following Haunted Happenings events and programs 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
For further information visit Salem Haunted Happenings