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Halloween Festivals around the Country

Posted by admin On June - 17 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

Halloween Festivals around the Country


If Halloween is really your kind of holiday than Halloween festivals around the country should be just the thing to get you in the spirit of the holiday. For some people, a costume party or taking the kids trick or treating just isn’t enough. In that case, you’ll be glad to know, there are some places that even celebrate Halloween all month long.


Halloween Festival of Salem, Massachusetts


It may come as no surprise that the town where the Salem Witch Trials were held has become the party spot to celebrate Halloween all month long. There are different types of planned events throughout the month, some involving the city and some independent groups. It doesn’t matter when you show up; you will find a way to celebrate the holiday.


There’s a week-long Festival of the Dead, a Witches’ Halloween Ball, a Vampire’s Masquerade Ball and a psychic fair, just to name a few of the many options. Of course, Halloween night itself is the most grand of all costumed galas. The entire area closes down the streets to traffic and costumed visitors and residents take over. There are plenty of clubs, bars, street food vendors and random craziness that make this an unbeatable Halloween celebration.


Anoka, Minnesota


When you think Halloween you certainly think Anoka, MN, right? Though the name may not ring a bell, shockingly, this place is considered the Halloween Capital of the World. This week long event started off as a one day parade and celebration back in the 1920s. The festivities grew until one day became one week. There are plenty of things to do throughout the week, including simply taking in the decorating that practically everyone in town pitches in to do. The usual Halloween events take place, including awarding the best decorated house, and there are now three parades instead of just one.


New York Village


One of the most well known and best loved Halloween parade takes place here. Going on its 39th year, the parade has become quite a spectacle and includes public participation. Costumed New Yorkers and visitors come to mingle with the puppets and performers, such as musicians, dancers and artists. This self-proclaimed Nation’s Most Wildly Creative Halloween parade is a must-see, and must join in, for holiday fans.


Independence, Kansas


Spell Halloween backwards and you have the Neewollah celebration of Independence, KS. This town has been celebrating a backwards version of the holiday since 1919. There is a carnival, parades, a chili cook off and plenty of other Halloween and seasonally appropriate events to attend during this traditional holiday homage. The great pumpkin contest is a real crowd attracting event and most of the activities are fun for the whole family.


Pierce College, Woodland Hills, California


This festival is now a six week-long event, beating out even Salem, which goes for four weeks. The festival includes a pumpkin patch, corn maze and haunted house and trail. It is the perfect combination of family fun, country autumn fair and spooky Halloween attraction. Kids will love the farm animals and hay ride if they aren’t at the age to enjoy the Factory of Nightmares Haunted House just yet. Parts of the festival, such as the corn maze and haunted house and trail even go until midnight on weekends.


Irvington, Indianapolis


The Historic Irvington Halloween Festival is a traditional part of the holiday that has been happening for more than 60 years. Designed to bring some attention and tourists to the town, this festival is now just shy of a full month of celebrations. The variety of events included are eclectic, to say the least. From a roller derby to ghost story telling or a five mile run followed in the evening by Halloween-themed movies, there is sure to be something for everyone who attends. The Historic Irvington Halloween Festival also includes music, a pageant, theater, haunted puppet shows and ghost tours.


Finding Halloween Festivities


If you can travel, there is a world of opportunities to available to go all out celebrating Halloween. From single day events to six week festivals, there are all kinds of spooky or family friendly events to enjoy Halloween, or just autumn in general. All you have to do is search around a little and you will be sure to find something that suits your Halloween needs.


Even within your own town, or neighboring areas, there is sure to be something happening to pay homage to the holiday. More and more, towns are starting or elaborating on the events planned to honor Halloween.



Halloween Festivals or Events Around the Country

There are thousands of events and festivals and happenings around Halloween time, spread throughout the U.S.  Some of the dates vary each year but some are fixed, so it’s wise to check before heading on out to any particular one.  Another good idea is to find out whether the event itself is family-suitable, and whether or not the crowds are rowdy or family-friendly, as well.  Of course, not all of the events are listed and there’s bound to be some within a short distance of your local city or town.  If you have your own event, you can list the event in the links directory.

New York City’s Halloween Parade

This huge and diversely-populated city is not the place to be if you dislike large crowds.  The party and parade is simply gigantic  and it starts early evening on October 31st.  The jumping off point is usually 6th Avenue, and it goes from Spring Street to 21st St.  The event ends about 11pm but some celebrants carry on into the wee hours.  There are 100s of large puppets, over fifty bands, along with parading citizens all dressed up.  Millions watch from the sidelines according to the usual estimate.


Arkansas’ Magic Screams


This one is a theme park makeover held throughout October on the weekends.  It’s in Hot Springs at the Magic Springs and Crystal Falls park.  A lot of the things to do and see are family-friendly, with goblins and ghosts, wizards, costume contests, pumpkin painting and a haunted trail.

Witch Trial Recreation in Colonial Wiliamsburg in VA

Take part in this dramatic trial of a woman accused of being a witch (it’s set in 1706).  Cry Witch is 1 of several offered here in the spirit of Halloween.  They also have tours and evening walks by flickering candlelight, which talk about ghostly legends.

California Theme Park & Other Halloween Bashes

Universal Studios in Hollywood holds an annual event and they audition actors a few months before.  Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park becomes Knott’s Scary Farm for the season.  The West Hollywood Carnival attracts costumed participants (usually about half a million) along Santa Monica Boulevard.  The huge retired luxury liner, The Queen Mary — which is docked in Long Beach, gives paranormal tours, haunted hotel rooms, ghost investigations and dinners around Halloween.  Disneyland in Anaheim is decorated to a T for Halloween, and it holds parades and has crafts areas as well.

Ripley’s (Believe it Or Not) Events

Ripley’s Haunted Adventures in San Antonio, TX; special horror movie guests at their location in Gatlinburg, TN; the same at their location in Myrtle Beach, SC; Carnival of Screams at their Tussaud Palace of Wax in Grand Prairie, TX; and ghost walking tours as well as ghost train adventures in St. Augustine, FL.

Around California

Several Dia de los Muertos festivals, or the Mexican Day of the Dead, are spread throughout California.  Altars for loved ones may be created at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery; in San Francisco they hold a procession all the way from the Mission District through to Garfield Park; Oceanside is the site where thousands of marigolds are used to decorate altars honoring ancestors, and where visitors can make their own in  a Chalk Cemetery.

Busch Gardens Africa in Tampa, FL

The park is transformed into Howl-O-Scream during the Halloween season, using scare zones, haunted houses, roller coasters and shows.  Lots of screams here!

Misc. Events Across the Country

Events are held at the Nickelodeon Family suites which are in Orlando, and at some of the Great Wolf Lodges at other locations.  Disneyworld decorates up a storm in Orlando, FL each year.  In Key West, FL, they hold a Gnomes, Toads and White Rabbit Tea parties themed event.  There are street fairs, costume contests and a parade.  Alice in Wonderland is the theme.  There’s a coronation ball as well as Captain Morgan’s Fantasy Fest Parade right through the historic downtown area of Key West.

In one of the best cities in the U.S. to celebrate Halloween — New Orleans — you’ll find The Witching Hour Ball (Anne Rice’s Lestat fan club puts this on), Haunted History Tours, and the Voodoo Music Experience.  Just walking around New Orleans at this time will let anyone soak in the mysterious and romantic and exciting atmosphere of this legendary city.  And oh, the food, glorious food, in New Orleans!