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,

Coon rapids

Ice center will host Halloween contests Sunday

Kids will have a chance to skate in their Halloween costumes this Sunday, Oct. 27, during an event from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Coon Rapids Ice Center. Prizes will be awarded for best costume, as well as for a coloring/drawing contest and a "guess the candy" contest. The on-ice costume contest will take place at 7 p.m.

Admission is $4 for students and senior citizens, $5 for other adults, and free for kids 5 and under with a paying adult. The ice center is located at 11000 Crooked Lake Blvd., Coon Rapids.

Robbinsdale Schools

KA-BOOM! is coming to Cooper High School

The Robbinsdale Cooper High School Marching Band will present "KA-BOOM!" on Friday, Nov. 1, at the high school in New Hope. The performance will run from 7 to 9 p.m. and will feature music from Cirque du Soleil's adventure show, "KA."

The Shady Oak Groove Society also will perform, the new Cooper High School Color Guard will appear, and WCCO-TV personality Jason DeRusha will be master of ceremonies.

All proceeds will support the Cooper band, the Marching Hawks. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Seating is general admission. To order tickets, go to or call 763-504-8543.

The high school is located at 8230 47th Av. N., New Hope.

Columbia Heights

Schools, nonprofit host Internet safety session

Columbia Heights Public Schools Community Education will partner with the Jacob Wetterling Foundation to host an"Internet and Cell Safety 101" workshop early next month.

The free event is designed for parents, caregivers and teachers. It will include information and prevention tips on cyberbullying, sexting and online exploitation of youth.

The event will run from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 7, in Room 100 of the Columbia Heights Public Schools Family Center, 1460 49th Av. NE. The presentation, interpreting and child care are free; however, please call to request child care or interpreting at 763-528-4423.

School board approves $3.3 million expansion

The Columbia Heights School Board approved a $3.3 million ­expansion and remodel of Valley View Elementary School.

Superintendent Kathy Kelly proposed the project because of enrollment increases, safety and special-education facility needs. Valley View was built in 1959 and was designed to accommodate 460 students. Current enrollment is more than 550. Enrollment jumped 10 percent in one year. Demographic projections call for 600 students at the school within three years.

Based on approval from the state Department of Education, the district will add a prekindergarten and five kindergarten classrooms, as well as remodeling two existing classrooms.

Construction could start as early as next June with a January 2015 completion date. The project will be financed with a 15-year capital facility bond paid through the district's general fund.



A summary for a story on Page AA1 of the Oct. 16 North Extra incorrectly identified a north metro high school as "Champlin High." It is Champlin Park High School.