October in Salem: Your Guide to Events, Street Closures and Where to Park

There's a lot to do in Salem, Massachusetts throughout October. Here's what you should know to get around.

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With "spooky season" arriving in Salem, Massachusetts, the city has announced planned road closures that will have a major impact on the community's downtown as Halloween celebrations take hold in the Witch City.

Throughout the month of October, Salem is hosting several special events, and encourages visitors to avoid driving into downtown if possible. Instead, city officials want to see people using the Commuter Rail and ferry to get into the area.

Here's a list of events, as well as their anticipated traffic and parking impacts from the city of Salem.

  • Grand Opening Parade - Oct. 6
    • The Haunted Happening Parade begins at 6:30 p.m. at Shetland Office Park on Congress Street.
    • From there, the parade will take a left onto Derby Street, a right onto Central Street, a left onto Front Street, a right onto Washington Street, a right onto the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall, a left onto Washington Square, and into the Salem Common.
    • Roads along the parade route will be closed to traffic. Drivers should expect delays on Route 114 and Route 1A. Route 1A from Derby Street to Brown Street will be closed to traffic from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Other road closures will be Congress Street, Washington Street, Essex Street from Washington Street to Union Street, Central Street, Front Street, and Washington Square West, North, and South.
    • There will be a parking ban in effect from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the following streets:
      • Congress Street both sides from Derby Street to Harbor Street
      • Essex Street from Washington Street to Hawthorne Boulevard
      • Central Street both sides from Charter Street to Derby Street
      • Derby Street both sides from Congress Street to Lafayette Street
      • Front Street both sides from Washington Street to Lafayette Street
      • Washington Square both sides from Essex Street to Brown Street
      • Parking meter spaces at the intersection of Charter Street, Front Street, and Central Street
      • Washington Street between Essex Street and Front Street, metered spaces
    • These roads will be closed from 6 p.m. until around 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 6:
      • Congress Street will be closed from Harbor Street to Derby Street
      • Derby Street will be closed from Congress Street to Central Street
      • Commuters will not be able to use Route 1A between Dodge St. and Brown Street, which includes Derby Street, Hawthorne Boulevard and Washington Square at the Common entrance
      • Front Street and Washington Street between New Derby Street and Church Street
      • Essex Street will be closed at Washington Street
    • Garage Access:
      • Vehicles parked in the South Harbor Garage will not be able to exit until approximately 9:00 p.m.
      • The Museum Place Garage entrance will only be accessible from Church Street or St. Peter Street. Vehicles exiting the Museum Place Garage will only be able to take a left onto to Brown Street and a right onto St. Peter Street.
  • October Weekends
    • Essex Street from Hawthorne Boulevard to New Liberty Street and Essex Street from Barton Square to Washington Street will be closed to through traffic and there will be no on-street parking from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday throughout the month of October.
  • Witch City 5K - Oct. 15
    • You can expect traffic impacts along Memorial Drive, Essex Street, Route 1A, Route 114 including Hawthorne Boulevard, Derby Street, and Fort Avenue, ending at Restaurant Row. There are no official road closures planned. The 5K starts at 9 a.m.
  • Devil's Chase Road Race - Oct. 22
    • Drivers should expect traffic impacts along the route from around 8 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. along the following route: Restaurant Row to Memorial Drive to Szetela Lane. Right to walking path before Webb Street, left Andrews, crossing Washington Square into the Common and exiting at Forrester Street. Washington Square East, then right to Essex Street, left onto Little Hawthorne Boulevard, left on Derby Street to Fort Avenue to Winter Island Road. Winter Island Road back to Columbus Square, right to Columbus Avenue, right onto Bay View Avenue, left onto Beach Avenue, left on Sutton Avenue, right onto Bay View Avenue, right onto Willows Access Road. Follow walking path around the backside of the Willows by the yacht club, exit back on to Restaurant Row, follow onto Memorial Drive, right at Szetela Lane, to Memorial Drive, left onto Fort Avenue, and left onto Memorial Drive by the soccer field to finish. No road closures are planned as of right now.
  • Halloween - Oct. 31
    • Visitors on Halloween are strongly encouraged to take the Commuter Rail or ferry into Salem, as city officials expect heavy traffic impacts, including on Route 114, Route 1A and likely on Route 128.
    • Downtown Salem streets will close to traffic no later than 4 p.m. Closures include Essex Street at Crombie Street and Barton Square to Union Street, Washington Street from New Derby Street to Bridge Street, Federal Street from St. Peter’s Street to North Street, Washington Square North and West from Essex Street to Brown Street, Hawthorne Boulevard, Derby Street, Route 1A, Congress Street near Pickering Wharf, Charter Street, Central Street, Front Street, and Lafayette Street from New Derby Street to Front Street. Bridge Street at Sgt. James Ayube Memorial Drive will also close to all traffic between the westerly overpass ramps and Sgt. James Ayube Memorial Drive from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. for the closing fireworks.
    • The MBTA's Salem garage will be closed from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Halloween.
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