Celebrating Halloween without Loose Cows
Anoka officials created a Halloween event to distract the mischief-makers. The celebration was the brainchild of local businessman George Green. Green figured the destruction left in the wake of Halloween pranks would be decreased if the pranksters had something, anything else to do. Anoka’s storefronts were decorated with spooky-fun Halloween décor. There was a large parade through the community, candy and pennies for children, and residents could show off their artistic skills in a costume contest. It didn’t stop pranks and vandalism completely, but it put Anoka on the map. The community is called the “Halloween Capitol of the World,” despite the millions of dollars the people of Salem, Massachusetts see during their October festival, Haunted Happenings. While Salem’s celebration is bigger, Anoka’s was first, and in 2003, Congress, in a proclamation authored by Representative Mark Kennedy (R-MN), recognized Anoka as the Halloween Capital of the World.