SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

October 30, 2013

Stealing the spotlight

Number of Halloween visitors might hinge on Sox

SALEM — Halloween night could be Salem’s biggest-ever, or not. It all depends on the Red Sox.

If the Red Sox don’t win tonight, clinching the World Series title in six games, a high-stakes Game 7 would fall on Halloween night, Salem’s busiest of holidays.

Kate Fox, director of Destination Salem, the city’s tourism office, said she’s been thinking about this possibility ever since it became clear the Sox were headed to the World Series. Salem’s “street party” atmosphere on Halloween is finished by the time World Series games have been ending, close to midnight, she said.

“I’m sure we’ll have a great crowd, and there will be a lot of Red Sox costumes and maybe a few umpire costumes,” said Fox, chuckling. “I don’t know if it’s going to enhance (Halloween) crowds or detract ... I think the people watching the game will be safely tucked into bars or at home. I’m hoping it won’t have a direct effect on our crowds.”

Salem police Chief Paul Tucker said record crowds have poured into the Witch City this month — an indicator that Halloween 2013 could be big.

“The last three weekends have been the busiest that we have ever seen in the history of Haunted Happenings. Most of it has to do with the weather; the weather’s been fantastic,” Tucker said. “If that’s any indication, this just could be a crowd the magnitude of which we haven’t seen yet. There is that possibility.”

“... The people that are coming here, are coming here anyway (regardless of the World Series),” he said.

Juli Lederhaus, general manager of the Hawthorne Hotel, said her downtown hotel sold out of rooms “months ago,” and they’re already planning for Halloween 2014.

This year, they’re planning for close to 300 for Go Out Loud’s “Scream Out Loud” Halloween bash in the hotel’s ballroom, she said.

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