If you’ve always wanted to go to a real Halloween town, you don’t have to travel far from the St. Cloud area. The Halloween capital of the world is just an hour’s drive southeast on Highway 10 in Anoka.
How did this city of just 17,000 people come to be the Halloween capital? According to AmericasLibrary.gov, it was one of the first cities in the country to hold a celebration to keep kids from causing trouble on Halloween night:
In 1920, a week-long celebration was started in Anoka to take the trick out of the trick or treating. The Grand Day Parade includes a mass band made up of bands from four high schools. Another event is the Gray Ghost 5K Run, inspired by the sightings of Bill Andberg, a marathon runner in the 1970s whose gray-clad ghost figure often walks through a local cemetery.
These days, Halloween in Anoka is less about stopping troublemakers and more about providing the community with opportunities to support schools, scholarships, and family-friendly activities.
There are several events held in Anoka during the month of October to celebrate the upcoming holiday:
Painting competition: Run October 1st through October 23rd. Pick up your original design coloring sheet at the Rumriver Art Center, Anoka Halloween Gift Shop, and Anoka Chamber during business hours. The winners will receive a unique Anoka Halloween ribbon and a special prize.
Pumpkin weighing, scarecrow competition, pumpkin carving competition for adults: October 3. See some of the largest pumpkins in the state along with creative scarecrows and carved pumpkins.
Blood donation campaign: 4th of October. Look for the van that rolls into town and scares away the vampires on this very important mission.
House decoration competition public viewing: October 29-30. Look out of your car this year. Have fun watching the great transformation of every single participant.
Parades: Light Up the Night Parade on October 23, Big Parade of Little People on October 29, Grande Day Parade on Main Street October 30.
Other events include outdoor movie nights, scavenger hunts, wine and painting nights, campfires, and more. To see the full list of events, visit AnokaHalloween.com.
Happy Halloween, how lucky are we that the perfect place to party is just a short drive from our area?
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