The Anoka Light Up the Night Parade, Vulcans, and an excerpt from Legacy Falls.


Last Saturday, Ogre, Pooka and I went to the Light Up the Night Parade in Anoka. (The Boy, sadly, was too snuffly to want to stand outside on a cold, damp October night.) I didn’t get many good photographs, because I didn’t take a proper camera and tripod, but we had fun. (Chilly, chilly, fun.)

Pooka, in particular had a good time. If you’re a regular reader, you know she has a button-making business on Etsy. And she’s always had and affection for buttons of all sizes. She wanted to be sure to get this year’s commemorative button.

halloween button 2013

A few minutes after purchasing said button, while admiring a boxer puppy, she met the wife of a Vulcan krewe member, who assured her that — if she could catch the attention of a Vulcan — he would be happy to give her a button.

And this is Pooka — after we got home — proudly wearing both her 2013 Anoka Halloween AND her Vulcan krewe buttons … as well as the mark of her encounter with Vulcanus Rex.

vulcan mark


I was too, for most of my life. Only since I started working on my novel, Legacy Falls, have I understood ANYTHING about these men who show up at the Halloween parade, smear face paint on people, then disappear. Allow me to share some of what I learned when I researched the organization for inclusion in my novel:


vulcan krewe 2013

What is a “krewe”?

Wikipedia – A krewe (pronounced in the same way as “crew”) is an organization that puts on a parade and/or a ball for the Carnival season. The term is best known for its association with New Orleans Mardi Gras, but is also used in other Carnival celebrations around the Gulf of Mexico, such as the Gasparilla Pirate Festival in Tampa, Florida, and Springtime Tallahassee as well as in La Crosse, Wisconsin and at the Saint Paul Winter Carnival.

What’s the story of Minnesota’s Vulcan Krewe?

The Vulcan krewe, The Imperial Order of Fire and Brimstone, does not sponsor or organize the Anoka Halloween parade. Rather they make appearances at several of the Minnesota’s parades, while working most intensively with the St. Paul Winter Carnival. (Which does not coincide with the season of Carnival, but rather celebrates deep winter.)

If you want to know more about the New Orleans krewes, click: Mardis Gras New Orleans


When I was a kid, the Vulcans fascinated me. These costumed men were allowed to chase and grab us. They smudged the cheeks of the girls, and drew moustaches on the boys. I couldn’t understand why their rowdy behavior was so well-tolerated by the adults around me — adults who would normally kill anyone who looked sideways at one of us kids. When I asked who and what they were, no one seemed to know. They were a mystery I’d never been able to solve.

Which is why, I suppose, that they found their way into my work-in-progress. (See excerpt, below.)

Nowadays, the Vulcans are a kinder, gentler, more PC, krewe. They don’t chase people through the crowd anymore, and they apply their face paint marks, on willing victims, with a grease stick. I guess that’s a good thing.

Click “read the rest of this entry” to see the excerpt*.

*It’s actually one of those darling that I need to kill, or at least eviscerate. But I still like it.

Read the rest of this entry »