Visit This Midwest Town For The Ultimate Halloween Trip

Throughout the United States, celebrating Halloween is no joke. Wherever you are — a big city on the coast, or a small town in the country — people are going to be gathering together, dressing up, and celebrating all things spooky. You would assume that the big, flashy metropolises like New York City or Los Angeles would take the crown for offering the ultimate Halloween experience. On the contrary, it seems that Anoka, Minnesota is one of the top runners and considered the most fun and spooky destination to celebrate Halloween

For many, Anoka is far from being the obvious choice. A small suburban town outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota, the city is home to just under 18,000 citizens. While it is small, when it comes to all things Halloween, they go big. If you don't know what to do for Halloween this year, visit Anoka and you'll have so many options to choose from, you won't know where to start.

The history of Halloween in Anoka

If you're not familiar with the history of Anoka's Halloween festivities, you are likely wondering why this small, Midwestern town became the hot attraction it is today. Apparently, Halloween in Anoka used to be a far cry from the family-friendly holiday that the city now celebrates. Back before 1920, Halloween had been a scary day for Anoka residents — and not in a fun, make-believe spooky way.

Adolescents would dedicate the holiday to running through the city pulling mischievous pranks like flipping outhouses and releasing local cows. In an effort to put an end to this activity, the civic leaders decided to throw a huge celebration on Halloween, that way kids would be distracted by family fun instead of causing mayhem. 

Anoka's Halloween events started attracting huge crowds, and in 1937, Washington, D.C. named Anoka Halloween Capital of the World. While it's not confirmed, the Anoka City website claims it is thought to be the first U.S. city to host Halloween festivities.

What to do in Anoka, Minnesota for Halloween

"Anoka Halloween Capital of the World" is the volunteer-run non-profit organization that works all year round to make Halloween the best season of the year in town. Starting in September, you can visit Anoka for a spooky walking ghost tour through the city streets. Surrounded by the midwestern landscape, you'll find the local fall foliage makes for a picture-perfect Halloween vacation

Once October has begun, that's when the Anoka calendar really starts to stack up. Every week you'll find that there are more than one or two events to attend. From October 19 through Halloween itself, there are one or more events every single day. Some of the most notable events include the Light Up the Night Parade, the Annual Annoka Gray Ghost 5K, and the Halloween Grande Parade. To check out the full selection of Halloween fun, visit the Anoka Halloween official calendar.