North metro town briefs: Halloween events ramp up in Anoka this weekend

  • Updated: October 22, 2013 - 3:00 PM

Costumed kids took part in a recent Halloween parade along Main Street in Anoka. This year’s Big Parade of Little People will start at 1:15 p.m. Friday. Another big Halloween parade, the Grand Day Parade, will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday. (see below).

Photo: ELIZABETH FLORES file photo•,

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Halloween events ramp up this weekend

The city that bills itself as the “Halloween Capital of the World” will continue to showcase its credentials this weekend with an array of events anchored by Saturday’s Grand Day Parade. The annual parade begins at 1 p.m. on Main Street and will feature more than 150 floats as well as several marching bands. When it’s done, there will be a post-parade dinner from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Anoka High School Cafeteria.

A day earlier, Main Street will be the location for the Big Parade of Little People, featuring elementary school kids in costumes. That parade starts at 1:15 p.m. Friday.

Among the other weekend events are a preschool costume contest Friday, starting at 9:30 a.m. at the Lyric Arts Main Street Stage; Serum’s Halloween Block Party, 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Serum’s Good Time Emporium Tent; the “Spooktacular Carnival,” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Anoka Armory; and the Gray Ghost 5k Run and 1 Mile Fitness Walk, with registration starting at 10 a.m. Saturday at Franklin Elementary School and the walk/run at 12:50 p.m.

The latter event bears the nickname of Bill Andberg, who was called the “Gray Ghost” because of his training runs through an Anoka cemetery in a gray sweatsuit. Andberg became a world-class runner after returning to the sport in his 50s; he died in 2007 at age 96.

Anoka’s celebration of Halloween began earlier this month. Helping fuel it has been a donation of 2,000 pounds of candy from Pearson’s Candy. With that donation, event organizer Anoka Halloween has put together more than 3,000 treat bags that are being distributed to elementary schools that participate in the parade, and at various other events.

For more information, go to

Nov. 7 program will look at Gettysburg

President Abraham Lincolon’s Gettysburg Address and the lasting impacts of the 1863 battle will be the subject of a Nov. 7 program presented by the Anoka County Historical Society.

The event, the third in the society’s Civil War Lecture Series, will begin at 7 p.m. at the Anoka County History Center, 2135 3rd Av. N., Anoka. It is free and open to the public.

John Cox, a former certified Gettysburg Battlefield Guide, will discuss Lincoln’s speech, as well as the battle.

Lincoln delivered the famous address in November of 1863, four months after the battle, in which the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment helped turn the tide at great sacrifice.


Wind ensemble will perform Sunday

The Encore Wind Ensemble will present a free concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at Spirit of Christ Lutheran Church, 2749 Bunker Lake Blvd. NE, Ham Lake.

The concert will feature works by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Edvard Grieg, David Delle Cese, Ralph Vaughan Williams, J.S. Bach, Percy Grainger, Alfred Reed, and Carl Maria von Weber.

For further information, go to 763-755-7234,

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