SALEM — Tonight’s Grand Parade kicks off a month of Halloween revelry here in the Witch City.
This year’s Haunted Happenings celebration will have more than 150 events throughout October and promises something for pretty much every taste, from trick-or-treating to the annual Zombie Walk to live theater, art and music.
“It’s just a really festive month to be in Salem,” said Kate Fox, executive director of Destination Salem, the city’s tourism office. “Haunted Happenings is a tremendous, collaborative effort. ... There’s such a range. It goes from the historic to the haunted and pure entertainment, plus food and shopping.”
This year, a new open market will set up on the Essex Street pedestrian mall for the last three weekends in October. The city has contracted with New England Open Markets, the organization that created the popular SoWa Open Market in Boston’s South End, to manage it. Arts and crafts vendors will set up on Essex Street and Derby Square on Saturdays and Sundays beginning Oct. 12.
This weekend will be the Chamber of Commerce’s annual Haunted Biz Baz, a street festival featuring more than 100 outdoor vendors, street performers and musicians. The bazaar runs Saturday from 10 to 8, and Sunday from 10 to 6.
On Oct. 20, a coordinated “flash mob” dance will take over Salem Common. Organized by Salem State University students, the event is in the theme of Lady Gaga’s song “Born this Way,” said Fox, and participants are encouraged to come in costume. Dance lessons will be given before the flash mob, so participants can learn the choreography, at the Boys and Girls Club on Hawthorne Boulevard.
In addition to the annual lineup of haunted houses, cemetery tours, costume balls, ghost stories and, of course, the carnival (opening Oct. 14 on Derby Street), several new events promise thrills and chills.