Anoka ready to get its spook on for Halloween

Both the Grand Day and Light up the Night parades are full.

Anoka Halloween’s annual fall festival of fun is ready to get underway. File Photo
Anoka Halloween’s annual fall festival of fun is ready to get underway. File Photo

The Orange Tie Ball is already sold out.

So this year’s Anoka Halloween is shaping up to be a popular run of old favorites and a few exciting new events.

“There is really a lot of excitement, a lot of interest, this year,” said Jeremy McFarland, outgoing president of Anoka Halloween.

This year Pearson’s Candy Company (the maker of the Original Nut Goodie) is also delivering a ton – literally – of candy to be handed out for the festivities.

“Pearson’s is going to be the official candy of Anoka Halloween,” McFarland said.

Anoka Halloween festivities get underway next week, starting with the annual Anti-Crime Commission’s fundraising breakfast Tuesday, Oct. 15.

That will be followed by the family movie night Wednesday, Oct. 16. That same night will be the Pumpkin Bowl when the Anoka Tornadoes football team takes on the Blaine Bengals at Goodrich Field. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

That leads right in to the first full weekend of Anoka Halloween.

Green Haven Golf Club will play host to the Orange Tie Ball Friday, Oct. 18.

And Saturday, Oct. 19 will feature a new event – Anoka Halloween’s Amazing Race.

McFarland said registration is already full for the race, which has been capped at 15 teams in its inaugural year.

Family activities like Halloween fun at the library and the pumpkin carving contest at Akin Riverside Park will also be held on Saturday.

Saturday evening at 7 p.m. the Light up the Night parade will take over Main Street in downtown Anoka, which will be followed by a community bonfire at the River Plaza outside of city hall.

McFarland said despite construction, the medallion hunts will still be held at the Anoka Rum River Nature Area behind the library Sunday, Oct. 20.

The next week, judges will check out entries in the house decorating contest Wednesday, Oct. 23 and the wine tasting and rib contest will once again be held in the Serum’s tent Thursday, Oct. 24.

The Friday afternoon favorite Oct. 25 – the Big Parade of Little People – will be preceded by the costume contest at Lyric Arts Main Street Stage.

It all leads up to the big day – Saturday, Oct. 26 – when the Grand Day Parade dazzles as many as 40,000 people who line the streets.

But before the parade starts, McFarland said there will be an exciting new addition with the T6 Thunder flyover when World War II era planes will buzz the crowd at tree level.

The flyover will happen right before runners set out on the Grey Ghost 5K run, and is being presented courtesy of Federal Cartridge Company.

The Grand Day Parade, starting at 1 p.m. will follow its usual route, starting at the Anoka American Legion, traveling up West and East Main streets, then turning up Fifth Avenue.

The parade wraps up at Lincoln Elementary School for the Arts.

McFarland said this year categories that received more applications than spots available were chosen by lottery, rather than a first-come, first-served basis.

Before the parade families can stop in at the Spooktacular Carnival, held at the Anoka Armory from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., hosted by the Anoka Area Women of Today.

The Anoka Royal Ambassador program also has a record number of candidates enrolled this year, said McFarland. Of the 63 girls participating, three will be crowned the 2014 Anoka Royal Ambassadors during the coronation ceremony at 6 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 26 at Anoka High School.

Sunday features the always popular pancake breakfast and bake sale hosted by the Anoka Area Kiwanis Club at the Anoka American Legion.

For a full schedule of events, and more details on times and places, visit

Mandy Moran Froemming is at [email protected]