I’ve always loved Halloween… and for good reason! I grew up in the Halloween Capital of the World, Anoka, Minnesota. My mom moved us from Minneapolis to the suburbs when I was in elementary school, and I’d have to ask her whether or not she knew this town’s history of being the first in the country to put on a Halloween celebration (to divert the youngsters from pulling pranks on Halloween night). Looking back, I don’t think she could have picked a better place to raise her family!
Naturally, this time of year I’m flooded with memories of my hometown. The celebrations for Halloween in Anoka lasted all month long when I was a kid – and still do. I remember dressing up in elementary school for the “kiddie parade,” where they shut down the streets of downtown so we could proudly display our costumes. Only one year was it too cold to be outside, so we paraded around each classroom in the school collecting treats instead. In middle school, I marched with the band and my clarinet during the “grand parade” (picture below), where marching bands from all over the state come to participate. The “grand parade” is just that… grand. And long! Hours long! One of the first years that I moved away from home, I came back for a short 24 hour weekend just so I could go to the parade with my mom and soak in Halloween the only way I knew how. As a kid in Anoka, trick-or-treating was big in our neighborhood and every neighborhood in town, as you can imagine. Even during the “Great Halloween Blizzard” in the early 90s, when the snow was almost as tall as I was, we went out to get candy. My mom always loved giving out candy and complimenting kids on their costumes so most Halloweens, she stayed home to pass out candy while my brother and I filled up pillowcase after pillowcase of treasures. My mom was the one who instilled in me that everyone gets candy – it doesn’t matter your age. If you show up on my doorstep in a costume on Halloween, you get candy! Halloween movies… decorating the house with spooky trinkets… picking out a new costume weeks in advance… pumpkin carving… the memories go on and on. I am passionate about my Halloween heritage and am passionate that it should be a fun holiday – for kids of all ages. I love this time of year and am so excited for our annual tradition – Halloween Deliveries with the Magic Crew! I can’t imagine a better way to spend October 31st.