After a scaled-back celebration last year, Anoka Halloween is back to its ghostly self with a full schedule of events this month.

Festivities kicked off last weekend with a giant pumpkin weigh-off outside Anoka City Hall Sunday, Oct. 3. Alexander Bogie, of Ham Lake, won the $1,000 first-place prize with a 1,547-pound pumpkin. The event also included an adult pumpkin-carving contest and scarecrow contest.

“It was a really great day to kick off some of the Halloween stuff,” Anoka Halloween President Liz McFarland said.

All three parades are back to normal this year after cancellation or modification in 2020. The Light Up the Night Parade is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 23, followed by the kids parade, known as the Big Parade of Little People, on Friday, Oct. 29, and the Grande Day Parade on Saturday, Oct. 30. McFarland said parade participation is similar to pre-pandemic levels. Anoka Halloween is already seeking volunteers to help plan next year’s parades.

A handful of events retain changes from last year because they worked so well, McFarland said, such as showing Halloween movies outdoors in George Green Park instead of indoors.

Other upcoming events include a scavenger hunt Sunday, Oct. 17; the Pumpkin Bowl Wednesday, Oct. 20; the children’s pumpkin carving contest Saturday, Oct. 23; and the Gray Ghost Run Saturday, Oct. 30.

Learn more and find a full schedule at

The weight of the winning pumpkin has been corrected.


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