A community tradition, 100 years in the making, returns to Anaheim this October. The Anaheim Fall Festival is celebrating the centennial of the beloved community event on October 28, 2023. Ahead of the festivities, a beer festival and art exhibit at Muzeo have been added to the calendar.
A Centennial Celebration of the Anaheim Fall Festival
2023 marks the 100th anniversary of the Anaheim Fall Festival, which began as the Halloween Carnival and Festival in 1923. Today, the family-friendly daytime celebration invites the community to enjoy game booths, entertainment, live music, face painting, and storytelling. Civic groups also participate with informational booths and activities, as well. The festivities also include costume contests, including for the furry members of the family!
Anaheim Halloween Parade Rolls Downtown for Another Year of Fun
The Halloween festivities continue with the return of the annual Halloween Parade, celebrating its 99th year. The parade, once billed as “The largest nighttime pageant west of the Mississippi,” began in 1924 with none other than baseball’s Babe Ruth as its Grand Marshall. The original parade featured marching bands, baton twirlers, and children dressed in costume.
During the 1980s, the parade tradition dipped. However, it was revitalized by city boosters and engaged volunteers who have returned the parade’s spirit and local flavor. Today, it pays homage to its legacy with float designs influenced by the heyday of classic Halloween styles - the mid-twentieth-century, 1950s and 1960s. You’ll even find recreations of historic floats like the “Rocket Witch” and saucer-shaped “Flyer Sasser.”
The Anaheim Fall Festival and Halloween Parade are truly a collaborative community effort. Long-time volunteer Keith Olson shared his sentiments about the parade, “It’s amazing to be part of a 100-year-old tradition. Learning about the history of the parade and seeing what’s being done now makes me realize the parade will continue and thrive as long as people care and are willing to get involved.” It requires tireless efforts of residents to not only build and maintain the parade floats, but also to raise the funds necessary for the event. The smiles of school children, the neighbors gathered together to cheer, and the century of tradition upheld and extended make it worth it.
Save the date for the Halloween Parade on Saturday, October 28, 2023, at 7 PM. The parade route begins at City Hall and proceeds west on Broadway.
To volunteer, please visit the Anaheim Fall Festival website.
Anaheim Fall Festival Art Show
The spirit of the Anaheim Fall Festival is on display at the Downtown Anaheim Community Center. Don’t call the Ghostbusters, but instead, bring friends and family to enjoy the original works of local artists inspired by the Halloween fun. The gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 8 AM to 8 PM, and Sundays from 8 AM to 5 PM through November 5th. Admission is free.
Anaheim Fall Festival Online Variety Show
The COVID pandemic brought changes to the formatting of the festivities to include a drive-thru experience and scavenger hunt. It also took the fun digital, which remains today. Submitted videos make up a family-friendly online variety show, streaming on October 13, 2023.
Fall Exhibitions at Muzeo
In collaboration with the festival, Muzeo is hosting the “Hallowe’en Greetings” and “Tricks, Treats, and Traditions” in the historic Carnegie Building. Tickets for guests 16+ are $10; Anaheim residents are $8. An opening reception is scheduled for September 23, 2023 from 4 PM-6 PM. Admission is free with advanced reservation.
7th Annual FirkFest Craft Beer Festival
Grab your stein (no, not Frankenstein) for the return of Firkenstein. The FirkFest Craft Beer Festival brings together 30+ local brewers in a Halloween and tiki mash-up. Raise a glass to Anaheim with proceeds going to the Fall Festival. Enjoy FirkFest on Saturday, October 7 from 4 PM - 8 PM. Tickets are available at FirkFest.