, Salem, MA

Local News

November 2, 2013

High marks for Halloween Few arrests, friendly crowds make festival a treat


An estimated 200 police officers worked Halloween night, including State Police and federal agents. In a post-Boston Marathon bombing move, metal trash containers were removed and replaced with cardboard containers, and mailboxes were covered.

As in past years, the Department of Public Services got high marks for the cleanup.

“It looked great,” said Ward 1 Councilor Bob McCarthy, who drove through the downtown yesterday on his way to work. “The streets were clean.”

For businesses, Halloween night was the culmination of a strong, month-long Haunted Happenings, an official said.

“I think it went very well,” said Rinus Oosthoek, executive director of the Salem Chamber of Commerce. “The restaurants all seemed to be doing pretty good. ... I think people were pretty happy, and I think that reflected the fact it was a real solid October.”

In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, police and city officials spent many hours on additional planning.

“We’re pleased, given the number of folks in the downtown, that we had minimal arrests and, thankfully, no serious incidents of violence,” said Mayor Kim Driscoll. “But we’re always looking for ways to do it better.”

The city “dodged a bullet” with the weather, the mayor said. Early rain gave way to an unseasonably warm evening with light winds, which allowed bands to perform and the closing fireworks to be held.

“We’re training people,” Driscoll said, “to come early, have your fun but don’t stay too late.”

Tom Dalton can be reached at

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