Familiar haunts still Anoka Halloween favorites

The Halloween Capital of the World playfully spooked spirits throughout Anoka Saturday.

After the inaugural Anoka Halloween Amazing Race toured downtown, Akin Riverside Park set the stage for the annual children’s pumpkin carving contest along the shores of the Rum River at 3 p.m. that afternoon.

Children age 12 and younger fashioned jack-o-lanterns, creating comically haunting gourds for the contest. Visiting royalty did the same and prizes were awarded to the top three children’s pumpkins, the top visiting royalty pumpkin and a Chairperson’s Choice Award was also presented.

After sundown, the Light Up the Night parade made its way down Main Street and after the last unit passed the spirited crowd, four fire pits warmed shivering Halloween celebrants at River Plaza during the Fired Up For Fun bonfire event.

Halloween fun continues Saturday, Oct. 26, with a Spooktacular Carnival at the Anoka Armory, the Gray Ghost run and walk and the Grand Day Parade followed by the Anoka Royal Ambassador Coronation.

For details on these and more Anoka Halloween events, visit www.AnokaHalloween.com.

Sue Austreng is at [email protected]

Anders Skaalerud (far right) and a few of the 62 Anoka Royal Ambassador candidates warm themselves by the bonfire following the Oct. 19 Light Up the Night parade down Main Street. Photos by Sue Austreng Nick Bakken and his costumed son Paxton take in some post-parade fun during the Oct. 19 Fired Up for Fun bonfire outside city hall at River Plaza. The event had four bonfires burning, vendors selling Halloween merchandise and concessions of all types satisfying hungry Halloween celebrants. A ghoulish group haunts River Plaza during the Oct. 19 Fired Up for Fun bonfire. Louis Collins, Su Olson, Mike Collins and Melissa Jensen dressed for the Halloween holiday fun. A pumpkin winks a ghostly greeting from atop Anoka City Hall, peering at Light Up the Night parade-goers on Main Street below. Taylor Dobbel, Mady Heitman and Hailey Dobbel wave at passing parade units during the Oct. 19 Light Up the Night Halloween parade. Anoka Royal Ambassador candidates ride along the Light Up the Night parade route, pumpkins carved by local children lining the float. Anoka’s Sons of Norway Vennekretsen Lodge rolls down Main Street in the Oct. 19 Light Up the Night parade. Coon Rapids sent its Snowflake Days ambassadors to help light up the night during Anoka’s Oct. 19 nighttime parade. Elmwood haunts Anoka’s Main Street during the Oct. 19 Light Up the Night parade. A Candyland float sweetens Anoka’s Light Up the Night Parade. Layne Werk’s pumpkin (left) won the Chairperson’s Choice Award in Anoka’s annual pumpkin carving contest, sponsored by Berry Hill Farm and Northstar Towing. Kalista Barker works to carve a perfect pumpkin during the Oct. 19 pumpkin carving contest at Akin Riverside Park. Miniature vampire queen Berit Allen puts finishing touches on her pumpkin during the carving contest at Akin Riverside Park. Pumpkin carving contest winners pose with their trophies for a prize portrait. Winners of the contest were Layne Werk (Chairperson’s Choice Award), Taba Bach (second place), Quinn Knudsvig (third place) and Chloe Forsman (first place). This year’s contest was sponsored by Berry Hill Farm and Northstar Towing.
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Pumpkin carving contest winners pose with their trophies for a prize portrait. Winners of the contest were Layne Werk (Chairperson’s Choice Award), Taba Bach (second place), Quinn Knudsvig (third place) and Chloe Forsman (first place). This year’s contest was sponsored by Berry Hill Farm and Northstar Towing.