The northwestern suburb of Anoka calls itself The Halloween Capital of the World, and yesterday featured the highlight of their annual festival... what they bill as the largest hometown parade in Minnesota.
This annual community festival started in 1920, when civic leaders decided start a celebration to divert local kids from playing Halloween pranks. It is still going strong, and thousands participate each year in this ever-evolving celebration which this year covered 13 days and included three parades, a house decorating contest, and a pancake breakfast this morning.
Anoka is located at the confluence of the Rum and Mississippi Rivers, which were important to its beginnings in the mid 1800's as a logging and milling area. Prior to that the area had Dakota and Ojibwa roots, and the name Anoka was derived from two Indian words meaning 'both sides of the river' and 'waters'.
Now one of the stops on the Northstar Commuter Rail line about 25 miles from downtown Minneapolis, Anoka still has a small-town flavor. It is famous as the birthplace of Garrison Keillor, host of A Prairie Home Companion, and is the home of Anoka Technical College.
Click here to see homes currently for sale in the Anoka, MN area. Please be patient while the link searches for the most current listings... click on the map to zoom in until you see icons on the dots, then pass your cursor over them for property information, click for property details.