Halloween originated long ago as the ancient Celtic festival Samhain, when they celebrated the night before their New Year on Nov 1st.

On this day, the Celts believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth and the boundary between the worlds of the living and dead became blurred.

The Celts wore animal heads and skins as costumes and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes. They would build huge sacred bonfires to offer crops and animals as sacrifices to Celtic deities and relight them the following day to help protect them for the upcoming long, cold winter.

“The All Hallows Eve festivities in Mankato begin on Thursday night”

Many years and wars later, came All Souls Day, which was celebrated in a very similar fashion to Samhain, which then became All Saints Day which was also called All-Hallow Mas, which in turn became All Hallows Eve and eventually Halloween.

Eventually Halloween made it to America and after a few centuries, Trick or Treating hit its stride. A few things that have remained consistent are the ghost stories, the curiosity of the blurred lines between the living and the dead, and of course a little magic.

The All Hallows Eve festivities in Mankato begin on Thursday night at Mankato Makerspace. The Makerspace will have a hog roast provided by Lucky Devil BBQ, fire dancing by Red Dragon Entertainment, a cash bar provided by Midtown Tavern, power tool pumpkin carving, an epic bonfire and live music from The Brothers Burn Mountain, Rythmaplex, and War Rooster. This is an 18 plus event with a $5 entry. Costumes are encouraged and the top costume receives a free month to Mankato Makerspace.

Friday the 410 begins their annual Halloween Show and it is an open exhibition, which means YOU can drop off your artwork! The rule is, your artworks must relate to Halloween, Fall, or Harvest. Any medium is accepted.

A non-Halloween activity is the Union Market Open House on Friday from 2-7 pm. It is an opportunity to check out Mankato’s newest retail destination and a chance to learn about Micro-Store opportunities and get a glimpse at the renovation.

Northern Frights in Garden City is another attraction. The entire fair grounds is loaded with fright! They have a Minnesota Legends Haunted House, Killer Clowns in 3D, Phobias, Zombie Outbreak & Terror Tunnel, Zombie Paintball, and of course food and vendors. Its open both Friday and Saturday night.

Over in St. Peter you can jump on a hay rack and head out into the woods for the 4th annual Mill Pond Haunted Hayride. I went on this a few years ago with my sister and there was a bit of creepiness as the sun went down and the ghouls started to creep out.

“Which reminds me, on Sunday be sure to watch The Great Pumpkin and my favorite, Garfield’s Halloween! Happy Hallows Eve!”

Saturday is some good light hearted Halloween fun with Trick or Treating in Old Town. No creepiness happening, just lots of candy. Dress up with the kids and hit the stores marked with balloons to get your fill! After reading of all the scary stuff happening, this event will be more about “Awww, look at that cute baby in a pumpkin costume!”

These stores are participating

  • Artifact
  • Bella Nova
  • Bumbelou
  • Covenant Family Church (Fall Festival)
  • Dork Den
  • Gallery 512
  • Edina Realty
  • Encore
  • Friesens
  • The Hub (Scarecrow contest)
  • Kato Music Lessons
  • Mary Lu’s Yarn and Ewe
  • Mid Town Tavern
  • MSU Innovation Center
  • Nicollet Bike Shop
  • Office Space Design
  • River Valley Quilts
  • Salvage Sisters
  • Tune Town
  • Wild Sparrow
  • Whimsy and Weathered (Not open for shopping, just for treats!)
  • Vagabond Village

It seems to me that Mankato is having events that basically represent the history of how Halloween began with the Celts and is known today in America. The options run from creepy to cute, pig roasts to candy, candy, candy!

Which reminds me, on Sunday be sure to watch The Great Pumpkin and my favorite, Garfield’s Halloween! Happy Hallows Eve!