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The Halloween Capital Of The World


Interesting Facts in Easy English

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • self-proclaimed: decided or claimed (a title) on one’s own
  • sponsor: to support a person or cause with funding or assistance
  • deter: to prevent
  • vandalize: to purposely cause damage to property
  • kick off: to start something
  • festivities: celebrations and activities related to a holiday or event
  • spot: to see or suddenly notice someone or something

The Halloween Capital Of The World

The Midwestern town of Anoka, Minnesota is the self-proclaimed Halloween of the world. Anoka was one of the first cities in the US to organize a formal Halloween celebration. The city-sponsored parade as a way to deter troublemakers from vandalizing the town and playing cruel tricks. Residents kick off the week-long celebration with the Pumpkin Bowl, a match between Anoka’s football team and a local rival. Several Halloween-themed events take place the week, including the Big Parade of Little People, the Grand Parade, and the 5K Gray Ghost run. The Gray Ghost run was named after Bill Andberg, a local world-class runner who was often spotted running through an Anoka cemetery in a gray .

Note:┬áMany Americans use an “a” to spell the colour gray. In other English-speaking countries, it is usually spelled grey. An easy way to remember this is that American starts with an “a” like their gray.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Why did this town organize its first Halloween parade?
  2. What is the Pumpkin Bowl?
  3. Who was Bill Andberg?

Discussion Questions: Why is it important for towns and cities to have their own unique traditions? Share some traditions from your own hometown.

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