Elizabeth Krebs, of Hiawatha, Kansas, is an unsung hero of Halloween, but she wasn’t fond of children. The founder of the Hiawatha Garden Club, Krebs loved her flowers most of all, but in Kansas in the early 1900s, the local youths celebrated “mischief night,” the night before halloween, by running rampant through town, inevitably destroying Krebs’ carefully planted flower beds.
Embodying the can-do spirit of the American midwest, Krebs fought the vandals with love by organizing the first Halloween parade in U.S. history. The Hiawatha Halloween Frolic of 1914 featured a parade, a costume contest, treats, and music, all meant to distract the youth from wrecking Ms. Krebs’ precious posies. The event caught on, and Halloween parades and parties spread across the country, so you can thank Ms. Krebs for your local parade. Or thank the rebellious teens, I guess.