On your mark, get set, ghoul!

The city of Anoka celebrates Halloween like none other.

Proud Anokan Anders Skaalerud happily organizes and hosts the Anoka Halloween Amazing Race 2013.Photo by Sue Austreng

Proud Anokan Anders Skaalerud happily organizes and hosts the Anoka Halloween Amazing Race 2013. Photo by Sue Austreng

From costume contests and parades to pumpkin carving competitions, bonfires, movie nights and dance parties, window painting and yard decorating, there’s something for everyone.

And now, there’s something more.

The inaugural Anoka Halloween Amazing Race runs through town Oct. 19. First prize for the winning team is $250 and the honor of appearing in the Oct. 26 Grand Day Parade.

Fifteen teams of two people each (age 16 or older) will race through Anoka from landmark to landmark, accomplishing tasks at each point in order to discover clues to the next destination.

Challenges may be physical, mental or both, and  if Anoka Halloween Amazing Race founder Anders Skaalerud’s dream comes true, historic hometown history lessons will be learned along the way.

“This will be a lot of fun and it will show people a lot about Anoka – some things they probably never knew,” said Skaalerud, a 2012 graduate of Anoka High School and lifelong resident of the Halloween Capital of the World.

The race begins at John Ward Park, 8:30 a.m. sharp.

From there teams explore a nearby cemetery, perform a task and then traveling by foot from one downtown Anoka business to another.

Accomplishing tasks and uncovering clues along the way, teams make their way among participating businesses and historic landmarks including Main Motors, Jensen’s, Coop’s Locksmith, Goodrich Field, Hans Bakery, Terry Overaker Plumbing, the Anoka History Center, Serums, Two Scoops ice cream shop, Riverside Park and the Anoka American Legion.

Also offering support to the Anoka Halloween Amazing Race are Duall Printing, Ace Solid Waste, Sterling Trophy and Bronco’s slow roasted sandwich shop.

There’s still time to register for the race. Just visit AnokaHalloween.com and click on “the Anoka Halloween Amazing Race.”

The cost is $50 per team and proceeds go to the Anoka Halloween scholarship fund.

“I just think this is a great way to help local students and to promote local business – not to mention how much fun everyone will have,” said Skaalerud.

Sue Austreng is at sue.austreng@ecm-inc.com

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