Don't Miss the Anaheim Fall Festival & Halloween Parade
Experience a Halloween celebration that brings the creativity and magic you would expect to find in Disneyland’s home town. A combination parade and festival, this FREE family event features old-time carnival games, delicious treats, live music, pumpkin patches, costume contests (including one for dogs) and a pageant of unforgettable floats. It’s an event you won’t want to miss. Here’s a guide to enjoying the Anaheim Fall Festival & Halloween Parade this Saturday, October 26 in Downtown Anaheim!
History of the Anaheim Halloween Parade
Since 1924, the annual Anaheim Halloween Parade has brought a pageant of ghosts, goblins, jack-o-lanterns and witches through the streets of Anaheim. Created by the Chamber of Commerce, the very first parade featured baseball legends Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson.
The parade’s popularity soared in the coming decades with nearly 150,000 spectators and by the late 1960s and 1970s it was televised live each year. But as Anaheim underwent major urban transformation, interest in the parade started to wane. Luckily in 2012, the Anaheim Halloween Parade was revitalized with the help of former Disney art directors, Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily, whose extensive credits include Disneyland's Fantasmic experience.
Anaheim Fall Festival
Located along Center Street Promenade, the Fall Festival begins at 11 am and ends at 5 pm. This friendly gathering of community features handcrafted carnival games, local entertainment, a pumpkin patch, the traditional Kiddie Costume Contest, the Howl-o-Ween Pooch Pawrade and themed food offerings. Grab a bite from one of the snack vendors on the street or enjoy a meal from the many local restaurants.
All activities will be low-or-no cost to enhance your enjoyment. Costumes are welcome, especially for children and families who will want to enter the Kiddie Costume Contest for a chance to win Disneyland Resort tickets!
Anaheim Halloween Parade
After the festival grab a good spot for the parade, starting at 6 pm, to experience a delightful procession of colorful floats, special guests and community performances. True to its roots, the Anaheim Halloween Parade features reproductions of 1950s classics as well as new designs from local artists and makers. Local businesses also sponsor a number of fantastic floats. (Be on the lookout for Anaheim Brewery’s custom built entry, Gerhard Nogginshader, which has been part of their Oktoberfest celebration for years.)
The Parade route starts up Broadway from West Street, goes left on Harbor Boulevard, right on Center Street then right on Anaheim Boulevard before ending at Broadway.
Howl-o-ween Pooch Pawrade
Whether you want to show off your pooch’s costume or simply watch adorable dogs, the Howl-o-ween Pooch Pawrade is not to be missed. Prizes awarded for categories such as “Most Creative,” “Judges’ Choice” and “Top Dog” in both small and large categories. If you’re entering your pet, just be sure to register the day of the contest at the Cottage Pet Hospital Booth from 2-2:45 pm. Dogs must be on a leash of no more than 6 feet at all times.
Volunteer with the Anaheim Halloween Parade
Every year, this spectacular event is run entirely by volunteers and the local community. They hold fundraisers during the year to pay for supplies and materials used to create many of the parade entries, including the popular, annual Spaghetti Dinner at Tony's Original Deli. If you’re interested in helping out, they encourage everyone to take part—no matter what your interest or skill level!
For more information, please visit the Anaheim Halloween Parade & Fall Festival official website. All photos courtesy of the Anaheim Halloween Parade.