Monday, September 26, 2016

Anoka: Halloween Capital Of The World

Back in 2008, I blogged that I was going to be moving to Anoka, Minnesota after finding out it was considered the Halloween Capital of the World.  It seems our High Holiday is worshiped by those folks, and it's been that way since the 1920's.

But now, according to the Orlando Sentinel...
Orlando has been dubbed the world's Halloween capital in a new marketing campaign to lure more tourists and scare up some extra business.

Visit Orlando is promoting events on social media, arranging press trips and hosting a Halloween landing page on its web site.

The convention and visitors bureau has never branded the region this way before, Chief Executive Officer George Aguel said.

"We needed to pull this together in one big overarching way," he said. "We don't see any place that could even come close to the magnitude of how we celebrate the Halloween period like we do in Orlando."


Here's hoping big money doesn't win out over spirit.

Click below for Anoka's official website...



11 comments:

lady M said...

Well I think Manitou Springs, Colorado just a pretty great job of celebrating. Who else has coffin races??

SM Barrett said...

I agree that spirit should win. I don't know a soul that hears the name Halloween and immediately pictures Florida. Anoka is the Northern Midwest. It's pocked with trees that change their wardrobes, chilly Octobers, streets swarming with leaves and vintage brick buildings.

It's the sort of small suburb that might have suffered a visit from Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show back in the Depression. It's type of town that Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud might choose to plant a tree for the season.
While spectacle, special effects, concerts, and amusement rides might be entertaining, Halloween will always live in the neighborhood streets, in the shadows between houses and on the twilight porch. Halloween fumbles at window latches and tests locks, scratches at doors and moans through branches.
It may stride for a time through brightly-lit avenues and theme parks, but it abides in small town America.
Thank you for bringing this to your blog, and trying to get some attention on the issue.

~S. M. Barrett (AKA Spats at HalloweenForum.com)

Willow Cove said...

The facts can't lie. Anoka was the first. No money or corporations can change that.

Jeanne Wright said...

Florida weather doesn't really seem very Halloweeny.

Jay's Shadow said...

I'll take spirit of glam any day.

Dan Wiswell said...

Thanks for the support Rot. Glad Tony sent the note. Marketing ploys can't compete with nearly 100 years of tradition carried on by VOLUNTEERS. But I'm clearly biased having grown up here.

Ryan said...

"...the Halloween period."

Oh yeah, dude sure sounds like he celebrates Halloween hardcore.

Mark Faucett said...

That would be a "No". Oh sure their are lots of theme park and commercial Halloween ventures but it's far from a good traditional Haloween location.

Joel said...

I'm a resident of Orlando, spent nearly a decade as a performer at Universal Studios, and have exhibited at Spooky Empire for the last few years, and I still have to say...nope. Don't get me wrong. Halloween Horror Nights is a blast, and offers a really awesome seasonal spectacle. The talent and spirit on display at Spooky Empire is amazing. There are some great local haunts, including this year's revival of the locally famous Church Street haunt downtown. And folks strive, in spite of the tropical weather, to celebrate the season as best we can - Halloween spirit is not in short supply. But net income is the wrong metric for this title.

I do think Orlando deserves credit for celebrating Halloween in its own big, theatrical way - the creative team at Universal, in particular, are true lovers of the holiday, and Horror Nights always conjures some genuine, classic Halloween magic amidst the crazy crowds (and the mind-boggling amount of alcohol.) But ultimately, I agree that Halloween lives in neighborhoods; porches, yards, and streets. I don't see why we need a Halloween capital at all, since the country is full of neighborhoods. But if there is one, for my money it's places like Anoka, for reasons of history and community-made fun - not Orlando, and certainly not because of money spent or earned.

Steven Blumke said...

I was born in Anoka- growing up, my best friend in life was my dog. His name was Anoka

LynxGrrl said...

(This might be a little late to the party) Anoka may be the first and that's great - I thank them from the bottom of my spooky heart! I grew up in Toms River, NJ which was always fantastic for Hallowe'en! Hallowe'en is a 3 day long event. It starts with Mischief Night (2 nights before the day), the next day would be Trick Or Treat, and then Hallowe'en day is the Hallowe'en parade downtown that has been hosted by the TR Volunteer Fire Company #1 for 78 years. It is considered the second largest Hallowe'en parade in the world (Greenwich Village is 1st). I think growing up there has completely infused the spirit in me!