The ghosts and goblins are geared for another Halloween season in Anoka.
Anoka Halloween’s annual community celebration of the spooky season is in its 92nd year.
Anoka residents and visitors can enjoy the same busy roster of Halloween-related activities, some of which are already under way.
“We’re looking forward to everybody having a fun and safe Halloween,” said Jeremy McFarland, chairman of the Anoka Halloween Committee.
The festival is organized by the 30 members of the committee, along with at least 200 volunteers needed to pull off a packed schedule of events.
Headlining this weekend will be Friday’s Orange Tie Ball at Green Haven Golf Club. This will be followed by Saturday afternoon’s pumpkin carving contest at 3 p.m. According to McFarland, carnival games will also be included for the first time at the pumpkin carving.
The Light up the Night parade will take over Main Street at 7 p.m. with the street lights out. This will be followed by a community bonfire on Second Avenue along with the Anoka High School All-Class Reunion on Jackson Street.
There will be changes to the detour during the Light up the Night Parade and the Friday, Oct. 26 Big Parade of Little People. Main Street will be closed from Ferry Street to Seventh Avenue.
Rather than detour people through Anoka, all traffic will be detoured to Highway 10. The changes are a result of the all-class reunion, which closes additional streets, as well as the ongoing construction at Main Street and Seventh Avenue.
Nolan said parking will be at a premium in downtown Anoka this Saturday. Parking will be available in the city ramp, although the three downtown city lots will be closed. Anoka County’s parking ramp will be closed due to construction, but the county’s surface lot will be open, said Nolan.
Sunday the medallion hunt will take place at the Anoka Rum River Nature Area behind the library from noon to 2 p.m. for families and children and 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the open category. A $400 prize goes to the winner of each hunt.
“The medallion hunt is always really exciting for the people who participate,” said McFarland.
Events through the week include the Anoka Halloween open house on Monday, bingo on Tuesday, the house decorating contest Wednesday and Thursday night’s Halloween wine tasting and rib contest at the Serum’s Good Time Emporium Tent.
Friday, Oct. 26 is a big day for Anoka’s youngest residents. The preschool costume contest will be held in the morning at Lyric Arts, followed by the Big Parade of Little People at 1 p.m. on Main Street.
It all leads up to the famous Grand Day Parade on Saturday, Oct. 27. The three-hour parade will feature a variety of music and entertaining entries.
The parade starts at 1 p.m. and will be kicked off by the annual Grey Ghost 5k run where participants show off not only their athleticism, but also their creative costumes.
The Grand Day Parade will also be the big unveiling of the new Anoka Halloween float, said McFarland. The float carries the ambassadors representing the city in parades around the state throughout the year.
Later in the day three new Anoka Royal Ambassadors will be crowned at the coronation ceremony at the Anoka High School.
Festivities wrap up Sunday with the Kiwanis pancake breakfast at the Legion.
While it will be after the traditional Halloween celebration, there will also be turkey bingo at the Anoka American Legion Nov. 14.
For a complete schedule of events with specific times and locations visit www.anokahalloween.com.
Mandy Moran Froemming is at