Where: Anoka, Minnesota
When: Throughout October
Anoka Halloween is legendary. Indeed, this charming town just north of Minneapolis bills itself the Halloween Capital of the World. In 1920, Anoka threw a big parade and bonfire to give teenagers an alternative to terrorizing the town with Halloween pranks, which in had started to get out of hand (today's kids have nothing on 1920s Midwestern youths, apparently). The plan was a success, and now, buoyed by 100 years of Halloween tradition, the moment October arrives Anoka absolutely balls out. There’s all the Halloween-fest staples, of course: costume contests, a big parade that raises funds for local schools, a medallion hunt like the one in Independence, Kansas. But there is also… more. There’s merchandise. There’s a year-round nonprofit Halloween committee just to handle the October-long logistics; about 30,000 people show out for the parade alone. There is a fucking light-up pumpkin on top of city hall. And yes, they still do a bonfire.