Anoka’s Halloween History

Halloween in Anoka wasn’t always costumes, candy, and celebration. Instead it was a dreaded night and a November morning that no one wanted to deal with. When Scottish and Irish immigrants made their way to the United states in the beginning of the 20th century, they brought over their own Halloween antics across the Atlantic.

These children would go around pranking the townspeople by letting cows loose in the street, soaping windows, and carving scary faces into turnips. These pranks started out harmless but as areas expanded so did the violence of these pranks and many cities wanted to ban Halloween!

But thanks to a local business man named George Green in 1920, who had the idea to divert pranking antics with planned festivities. Store fronts were decorated by their owners and the prize was not candy, or money, but gas!

Anoka had a large parade celebration that everyone was participating in, which in return, came on a November morning the Anoka people weren’t dreading. The children were too distracted and too involved with the festivities to pull pranks and from that day forward the Halloween celebrations has become one of Anoka’s loved traditions.


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