With the perfectly cool weather and changing leaves, there’s no better place to celebrate Halloween than in Minnesota. Here are five facts about the spookiest time of year in our fine state.
1. Did you know Anoka, Minnesota, is the Halloween capital of the world? (Salem, Massachusetts also claims this title, but Anoka has an official congressional proclamation, which is good enough for us.) While the town now has a year-round planning committee to put together their festivities, the Anoka Halloween tradition had a smaller purpose when it began in 1920. After teenage pranksters wreaked havoc on the town by letting out cows and tipping outhouses, Anoka leaders decided to host an official celebration to divert their attention. Today, Anoka’s Halloween celebration includes a massive parade, a button design contest, an orange tie ball, a rib contest and a beer tasting. In short, nobody does Halloween like Anoka does Halloween.
2. Landscape enthusiasts have been creating topiary designs since the 13th century, but no one does a corn maze quite like Sever’s Corn Maze in Shakopee. Currently in its 18th year in operation, the Sever family has delighted audiences by creating everything from an Egyptian sphinx maze, to a sinking Titanic ship to a full map of the United States. This year, the Severs have teamed up with Minnesota Corn to create the “Sever’s Express,” a train-themed maze. Head to Sever’s from now through the weekend of October 26th to enjoy this awesome Minnesota tradition.
3. You likely remember the Halloween Blizzard of 1991 - more than twenty inches of snow fell over the Twin Cities, creating an unsafe environment for trick-or-treaters and the parents who accompanied them. We often joke about the horrors of having to wear snowsuits under Halloween costumes, but the severity of the storm was no laughing matter. Eleven counties were declared federal disaster areas, and more than $15 million in damage was reported. 1991 remains the snowiest October in Minnesota history due to the Halloween Blizzard (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).
4. According to the Minnesota Safety Council, the most common injuries to children on Halloween are due to falls and burns. Make sure your children’s masks, hats and one-size-fits-all costumes don’t impede their ability to see or walk easily. And while the lighting of jack-o-lanterns may seem like the reason for accidental fires on Halloween, flammable costumes are another culprit. Steer your kids away from lit pumpkins, and consider buying flameless LED candles for your own jack-o-lanterns. Last, explain to your kids the importance of not eating treats while they’re out trick-or-treating. Once you arrive home, be sure to look over their loot for candy that has been tampered with or unintentionally opened.
5. Approximately one in thirteen kids has a food allergy. When prepping for trick-or-treaters, consider buying some allergen-free treats like gummy bears, Skittles, Starburst or fruity suckers. If you’d like to nix sweets entirely, head to the dollar store to find cheap Halloween puzzles, games, pencils and more. Remember - with just a little extra effort, kids with food allergies can have a great Halloween!