The “Halloween City of the World,” Anoka, Minnesota, didn’t hold back anything for the first-day ceremony for the new United States Jack O’Lanterns forever stamps issued September 29.
Approximately 1,500 people attended the ceremony in the downtown area at the city hall. Highlights included hundreds of school children dressed in different costumes, decorated jack o’lanterns, and a huge banner of the stamps that was rolled off the side of the city hall building.
Here’s a selection of photos by APS editor Jay Bigalke from the Anoka ceremony:
Crowd at Anoka City Hall Plaza where the first-day ceremony took place for the new Jack O’Lantern forever stamps.
Fall decorations and Jack O’Lantern stamps with the social media tag to be used for the event.
Anoka County Historical Society booth at the event. The society handed out a special version of “The American Philatelist” of the Haunted Philately article from the September 2016 issue.
Decorated Jack O’Lanterns as Forever Stamps.
Collector Todd Ronnei have a few envelopes postmarked at the event.
USPS Stamp Sales area. A long line existed consistently during the morning.
An enthusiastic USPS chief financial officer and executive vice president Joseph Corbett celebrating the stamps with Anoka.
Jack O’Lanterns stamp unveiling.
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar speaking about Anoka during the event.
Stamp Photographer Sally Andersen-Bruce.
Rebecca Ebnet-Mavencamp, executive director of the Anoka Historical Society.
Samantha Jenson, student of St. Stephen’s Catholic School, reading a poem.
Stamp poster that was rolled off the City Hall building. The banner will be placed on the traffic facing side of the plaza for the entire month of October.
Sally Andersen-Bruce signing autographs.
The USPS products sign with multiple sold out signs after the crowd purchased almost every product they brought for sale.
A special Witch cancel was offered using orange ink.
APS Member John Freeburg with a first-day ceremony program and the banner in the background. It was John that prompted city officials to push to get the ceremony in Anoka.
National Register of Historic Places historical marker installed at the old post office building.
Sara Given created a one-of-one homemade Jack O’Lantern stamp with Anoka map dress for the event.
The United States will issue the new Diwali forever stamp October 5 nationwide. The first-day-of-issue ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. at the Consulate General of India, 3 East 64th Street (Between 5th and Madison Avenue), New York, New York. On-site stamp sales starts at noon.The event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. The public is asked to RSVP at this link: www.usps.com/diwali.
The new United States Kwanzaa forever stamp will be issued October 1 nationwide. The first-day-of-issue ceremony is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.
at the MOJA Art Festival, in Marion Square, 329 Meeting St., Charleston, South Carolina.
Here are some additional details about the stamp courtesy the U.S. Postal Service:
With this vibrant new Kwanzaa stamp design, the U.S. Postal Service® continues its tradition of celebrating Kwanzaa. This annual non-religious holiday, which takes place over seven days from December 26 to January 1, brings family, community, and culture together for many African Americans. December 26, 2016, marks the 50th anniversary of this widely celebrated holiday.
The U.S. Postal Service will issued its first-ever official Halloween stamps in appropriate holiday style September 29 in Anoka, Minnesota and nationwide. The northern suburb of the Twin Cities has celebrated Halloween as a community since before 1920, and in 1937 became the self-proclaimed “Halloween Capital of the World.” The town supports major decorating contests, a Pumpkin Bowl football game, a charity Orange Tie Ball, and a large parade.
The first-day ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. at the Anoka City Hall, River Plaza, 2015 First Ave North, Anoka, Minnesota. The event is free and open to the public.
The United States Nativity forever stamp will be issued November 3 nationwide. The first-day-of-issue ceremony is at 12:15 p.m. at St. John’s Church, Lafayette Square, 1525 H Street N.W., Washington, D.C.
The stamp art depicts a peaceful yet powerful image of the Holy Family silhouetted against the dawn sky. The baby Jesus lies in a straw-filled manger in the center of the picture with Mary kneeling to the right and Joseph standing to the left holding a lantern with a bright star over the scene. Illustrator Nancy Stahl worked under the art direction of Greg Breeding of Charlottesville, Virginia, to create the stamp image.