SALEM — Despite the finale fireworks not giving tens of thousands of revelers the hint to go home, the clearing of Salem's streets late Thursday night went smoothly with few incidents.
To end the night, police had only one arrest and two people taken into protective custody, according to Salem police Capt. Fred Ryan. How long it has been since Salem had an stress-free Halloween?
"It's been a while," Capt. Ryan said.
Crowd numbers were projected to be lower because of forecast rains and strong winds. The rains dissipated by mid-afternoon, however, and the city's Pedestrian Mall was characteristically packed by 8 to 9 p.m.
But still, rainy weather earlier in the day kept many people home, according to Ryan.
"The weather kind of discouraged a lot of people," Ryan said. "We didn't expect as many families with the rain and the wind. (It was) a low crowd for Halloween, but they're still out there."
By 10:30 p.m., police had two people placed in protective custody but no arrests, though a past assault was being investigated at the time, according to Ryan. A while after the official closing, there was on arrest in a downtown bar, he said.
There were no bomb threats or concerns throughout the night, but there was one reported suspicious package that turned out to be a bag of costumes, according to Ryan.
"It's going well so far," Ryan said at 10:30 p.m. "There's a lot of planning that goes into it. Next week, we'll start for next year's Halloween."
Halloween in 2020 is due to be a blockbuster, with the event falling on a Saturday — traditionally resulting in record crowds — as well as being a full moon, a one-two punch that builds on the religious significance of the holiday for practicing Pagans and members of the city's witch community.
"Next year's going to be our largest," Ryan said. "If the weather's like this, it won't be — but we're planning on one of the biggest that we've had in over five or six years."