After kids mobbed floats, Halloween parade organizers consider candy ban

The Halloween Capitol of the World wants to make its parades safer.

Because kids ran in front of tow vehicles and mobbed floats during last year's event, parade organizers in the Halloween Capitol of the World are mulling a candy ban.

Every Halloween, thousands of people line the streets of Anoka for its spectacular parades, but organizers now say they're having a "hard time monitoring safety" because of increasing crowds and dwindling volunteers.

"Last year we had several children under tow vehicles trying to get candy in the street and 3 floats 'mobbed' for more candy," Anoka Halloween Inc. said in a Facebook post on Friday.

"This behavior has slowly increased over the past few years. As a non-profit organization, any accident would threaten our existence and crush our festival."

Organizers are looking for alternatives to the way candy is distributed during the parade, otherwise it could lead to no candy at all.

The parade has had a rule the past few years that candy needs to be handed out, rather than thrown, but that doesn't appear to be working.

"We had hoped that the floats and bands were why people were coming to our parade," the statement said, "but we are learning that candy is very important."

Many suggestions have been made on the Facebook thread, including having local businesses doing a trick-or-treat before the parade starts.

Others suggest having fencing on the streets to prevent kids from running near the floats.

"Whatever you do, DON'T get rid of the candy! It's a tradition!" Kris Erickson wrote. "There are many great suggestions posted here! Please do the right thing!"

Anoka's Light Up The Night Halloween Parade is due to be held on Oct. 21 this year, with the Grand Day Parade being held a week later on Oct. 28.

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