To the editor:
Haunted Happenings is to October and to Salem what Christmas is to December and shopping; some view it as so much fun, while others dread the inconvenience. Over the years, the tremendous traffic tie-ups and large crowds have caused some to avoid Salem altogether during the month. This year, the crowds were up, people from all over the world came to Salem to enjoy what we have to offer, traffic moved freely. The very founding premise was to create a safe family celebration and bring back the fun that I remember as a child.
This year, and in the past few, America suffered from the incredibly strange actions of a few with the Boston Marathon bombings, mall attacks, etc., and slogans like “Boston Strong” became battle cries of those who fought back to recapture the America that we all grew up in. In the Driscoll administration’s early days, the mayor took the steps to make sure that tourism was a priority, empowered Destination Salem to be the voice of that industry, and hired Kate Fox and her staff to be the go-to people to achieve that goal. Working with tourism partners in Salem, the region and the state, Kate became that powerful and trusted voice. The media learned early that Destination Salem was the place to go for information on what was going on in the city.
The mayor put together a team of advisers to work with her to solve the problems of a world-famous city that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world. It took the involvement of safety officials, such as police, fire and emergency personnel, the DPW and the Chamber of Commerce and tourism partners to all work together to solve the problems so typical of large crowds confined in a small area, and judging from how October worked out this year, I would say that they achieved what they all set out to do.