August 11, 2017 11:19 AM
When this year's Light Up the Night and Grand Day parades are held on Oct. 21 and 28 in Anoka, a familiar element will be missing.
Notes on the online event pages for both parades say no candy will be allowed for safety reasons.
Candy has become a big part of many parades in recent years. But it's been an especially big part of the Anoka events, which are part of the city's Halloween Festival and are held so close to the holiday.
The no candy rule is a departure for a festival in a community that bills itself as the Halloween Capital of the World.
In an email, Anoka Halloween Parade Chair Liz McFarland said the decision was a difficult one for organizers but was made in the interest of safety.
"Due to the downturn of volunteering and large crowds, we are having a hard time monitoring safety," McFarland wrote. "Last year we had several children under tow vehicles trying to get candy in the street and 3 floats 'mobbed' for more candy."
McFarland's email also said organizers welcome suggestions on balancing safety and "candy distribution."
"We have been brainstorming on candy distribution," she wrote. "We had hoped that the floats and bands were why people were coming to our parade, but we are learning that candy is very important."
Updated: August 11, 2017 11:19 AM
Created: August 11, 2017 10:42 AM
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