Halloween No Longer Waits For October
Love It Or Hate It You Need To Buckle Up
By William Legault
It may not actually be October yet. But the season, our season, is here. The summer weekends this year have been quite busy. Some would say busier than most years. This past weekend as in recent years once again marks the unofficial beginning of Salem Halloween.
There are those that love it, and there are those that hate it. Most locals I think have learned to tolerate, and perhaps appreciate at least some aspects of it. No matter where you fall, the season is here for the next six to eight weeks. That’s right folks. The first of November no longer ends the festivities. These days the crowds linger into mid-November.
I don’t always love it. Traffic becomes more of a mess than usual. Getting from here to there even on foot becomes challenging. There are days when finding a seat for breakfast or lunch is impossible. Some businesses in Salem, especially those that do not cater to the tourists, suffer greatly as many of their customers choose to avoid the downtown.
Long ago I did come to accept it, and do love some aspects of it. Meeting so many people from across the county and around the world is always a great experience. The many costumes are always fun to see. Phil Wyman will set up the Fountain Stage, which this year will be at the new Charlotte Forten Park. The stage is alway a great experience.
In many ways I have also chosen to embrace it. Why not? Coloring my beard and dressing the part on weekends is fun. Over the years I have worked doors at various restaurants and watering holes and also spent time working the vending booth for The Magic Parlor on the pedestrian mall. While these gigs weren’t always easy they were entertaining to say the least. A few years back Salem Access Television allowed me to host the Haunted Happenings Grand Parade. Of course, that was only because I brought Aubry Bracco, then of Salem Patch and more recently of the Survivor TV series on CBS, along for the ride.
We know that the crowds are coming. We know what it means. We don’t know where the carnival will be, or even if there will be a carnival other than the kiddie version. We know the street performers will be out, including the hateful street “preachers.” We don’t know how that mix of performers will play to the crowds. There were some issues last year where visitors and performers became aggressive with each other. Some well known and long established performers may not return this year as a result.
It’s here. Like it or not. Enjoy it or not. We have to deal with it. I’m going to ty to enjoy it.