Tim Burton once said

Every day is Halloween isn't it? For some of us.

And I feel like he had the town Anoka in mind when he said that, even if he didn't know it. Have you ever been to Anoka, Minnesota? Truthfully, for years I had driven by a sign that said the towns name, but had never actually step foot into it until last weekend. My mother and I were there for a mother-daughter date, and to see something completely unrelated, so read more on that cool experience HERE, later, if you'd like on that.

But when we got there early to explore this charming town the first thing that caught my eye when stepping out of the vehicle was this:

Photo by Megan Zee/TSM
Photo by Megan Zee/TSM

Now I had heard before that there was a town in Minnesota that hung their hat on being the "Halloween Capital of the World", but I hadn't given it much thought on where it might be in vicinity of me living in St. Cloud. The sign had my attention and my curiosity.

Naturally, I couldn't let that get the best of me. Because I am sure you've heard the saying "curiosity killed the cat" but did you know the second part of that is "but satisfaction brought it back". Hence, I had to know more and so I went searching for answers and I have learned so very much. Such as

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The history of Anoka becoming the "Halloween Capital of the World™" (literally have it trade marked) is quite fascinating. On their site you find mischief was amok;

Anoka, Minnesota is believed to be the first city in the United States to put on a Halloween celebration to divert its youngsters from Halloween pranks. When Anokans awoke to find their cows roaming Main Street, windows soaped and outhouses tipped over, they decided something had to be done. But what?

It was then in 1920, the costume parade in this Minnesota town was established and from there the celebration only grew.


Today they still hold their amazing parades and have so many other events going on that make them one of the BEST Halloween destinations in the country. One digital lifestyle group, Style Blueprint, even wrote about how Anoka is one of "5 Towns That Go All-Out For Halloween", right along the likes of places like New Orleans, Salem, Sleepy Hollow in New York, and St. Helens in Oregon.

What helps make Anoka so special is the town really embraces Halloween and participates in everything. So much, you might even spot a pair of these guys hanging around each holiday, dressed to impress:

Photo by Anoka Halloween Inc. via Facebook
Photo by Anoka Halloween Inc. via Facebook


If you are a Halloween lover like the town of Anoka, then you are in luck, as this is their and yours month, and there are still plenty for you to participate in. Including;

Thursday, October 20 - Begins the Kids Fall Festival Hosted by the Anoka County Fairgrounds 1pm-6pm is runs through Saturday...

Saturday, October 22 - Light up the Night Parade: 7pm-8pm and "afterwards walk over to City Hall for annual bonfire with food trucks".

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Friday, October 28 - Big Parade of Little People starts at 1:15pm. Public Viewing of House Decorating is 7pm-9pm and the addresses will be made public HERE after the 26th.

Saturday, October 29 - Anoka Gray Ghost 5K and 1 Mile Walk 12:45pm that kicks off the Grande Day Parade: 1pm.

I'm sure you can find even more if you go and explore, because it is the "Halloween Capital of the World" for good reason, but the THREE parades look to be rooted in a long standing tradition, so those feel to me, the must see Anoka Halloween experiences of the season. So you can bet I'll be putting, going to those ALL by some point, on my bucket list!

Photo by Anoka Halloween Inc. via Facebook
Photo by Anoka Halloween Inc. via Facebook


LOOK: How Halloween has changed in the past 100 years

Stacker compiled a list of ways that Halloween has changed over the last 100 years, from how we celebrate it on the day to the costumes we wear trick-or-treating. We’ve included events, inventions, and trends that changed the ways that Halloween was celebrated over time. Many of these traditions were phased out over time. But just like fake blood in a carpet, every bit of Halloween’s history left an impression we can see traces of today.

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