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Halloween Happenings: Anoka Parades and Boo Bash

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As we get closer to the big spooky day, and the weather has started to cooperate, everyone’s looking for something seasonal to do. You might favor a corn maze, a haunted house or a pumpkin patch. Here are a couple other options that are unique and fun!

The self-proclaimed “Halloween Capital of the World,” Anoka has been holding Halloween festivities since 1920. It started as a way to keep pranksters at bay on the festive night. The celebration now stretches for almost two weeks and includes at least three parades, a house decoration contest, a block party, carnival, medallion hunts, an Orange Tie Ball, haunted house and more. You can even take a Ghosts of Anoka Walking Tour.

This is easily taking a cue from the larger (and older) festivals in Minneapolis and St. Paul (The Aquatennial and the Winter Carnival, respectively) and has become “13 Days of Fun!” The main events for Anoka Halloween continue to be the parades. The first parade is this weekend, Sat, Oct 23 at 7pm. It’s the Light Up the Night Parade, which gives Holidazzle a run for its money, with floats lighting up for several blocks down Main Street.

The second parade is a perennial favorite – the Big Parade of Little People, Oct 29 at 1:15pm. As many as 2,000 costumed tykes have been known to participate in this procession. After the parade, the adults can partake of the Serum’s Halloween Block Party starting at 6pm, in a heated tent with music by G.B. Leighton.

On Saturday, Oct 30, it’s the big day. It starts with a Gray Ghost 5k Run and One Mile Fitness Walk – costumes encouraged! Then the Grand Day Parade starts at 1pm on Main Street. It carries the title of the biggest hometown parade in the state. The Block Party carries on that evening starting at 6pm, with the Johnny Holm Band and a Halloween costume contest. The whole thing is planned and coordinated by volunteers. Check out the website for specific times and dates of all the various events and activities.

If you want to stay closer to home, though, try the Boo Bash on Grand Avenue this Sat, Oct 24. From 1pm to 3pm, local businesses from Dale to Fairview will host family activities, including pony rides, petting zoos, costume contests and more. And there’ll be shopping specials for the grown-ups. Children 12 and under can then don their costumes and trick-or-treat along the Avenue from 3pm to 5pm.

Also, check out the list of corn mazes in the list on the right side of this web page (under Preferred Links). And if you click on the haunted houses link in the first paragraph, it will take you to this year's article on the various haunted happenings in the Twin Cities metro. Spooky stuff! Subscribe now to get all the festival articles delivered to you!

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