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Salem officials: Halloween show may well go on, despite Hurricane Sandy

Salem tourism officials are closely monitoring Hurricane Sandy’s path, but expect Halloween festivities planned for Wedneday will go on as planned.

“I’m just holding my breath and waiting for the storm to pass,” said Kate Fox, executive director of Destination Salem, the city’s tourism office.

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Wind, not rain, will determine if dance parties, a beer garden, and a fireworks display planned for city streets will be held Wednesday night, she said.

“We’ve had the events before in light rain,” Fox said by telephone Monday afternoon. “We’re really hoping that the wind dies down, and there isn’t a fear that the beer garden will get blown away, and we can have Halloween as planned.”

The owners of private tourist attractions will decide for themselves if they choose to stay open, Fox added. Most were closed today, after Governor Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency. Some also plan to be closed on Tuesday. “I think most of them do plan to open Tuesday, but a lot are waiting to see if they have power and be sure the brunt of the storm has moved through.”

The hurricane prompted a flurry of cancellations at The Hawthorne Hotel, a 93-room venue that is usually sold out for Halloween week. There are 30 vacancies for Halloween night, general manager Julie Lederhaus said.

“It’s definitely had a financial impact,” Lederhaus said, noting the hotel is offering special deals for locals, or tourists stranded in Boston, to fill beds.

Hurricane Sandy didn’t scare Jen and Jon Coil, a married couple staying at the hotel, who traveled from Philadelphia from Salem on Sunday.

“What difference does it make if the hurricane hits us in Philadelphia or Salem?” said Jen, 30, a paralegal, making her first visit to Salem. “I do wish more things were open today. We were looking forward to visiting some museums.”

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