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Happy Halloween

Posted by Steve 
Happy Halloween
October 31, 2017 09:25AM
Happy Halloween to all and be safe out there!
Re: Happy Halloween
October 31, 2017 10:19AM
Happy Halloween from here, too.

Has Dallas experienced any notable Halloween celebrations over the years? I know that in times past, especially pre-WWII, Halloween was often a time when a lot of vandalism and property crime took place, mainly perpetrated by teens and young adults just looking to cause havoc. Relocated outhouses were one feature of that behavior.

But I do not know of any particular Halloween activities, whether of a criminal nature or just harmless fun and hijinks. Were there ever any big community parties, or organized public activities for kids?

Did Dallas ISD schools have Halloween activities? I don't remember any in particular, though the schools I attended prior to moving to Dallas did have celebrations, put on by the PTAs. They included dances for teens, and such things as "cake walks," and "apple bobbing." Later, when my daughter attended public schools outside of Dallas, similar celebrations were held. Cake walks were pretty neat, at least to a kid. Cakes, mostly homemade, were the prizes in a game of chance. There was a circle of numbered squares drawn on the floor or an outdoor paved area with chalk. People stood on the squares and music was played while the people walked around the circle. When the music stopped, so did the people. A number was drawn from a container, and whoever was standing on that number got a cake. It usually cost something like a quarter or fifty cents to play maybe five rounds. I once got a delicious pineapple upside down cake for a twenty-five cent entry.

I never cottoned to apple bobbing much. A big tub was filled with water, and apples were floated in it. Participants, who usually paid something like a dime, attempted, using only their head, to retrieve an apple. Most would try with their mouths, but the only effective approach was to try to trap an apple under the chin. Prizes like at a carnival were usually awarded. The game was probably not very sanitary.

Related, were there significant Day of the Dead celebrations in the Hispanic community back in the day in Dallas?

Dave McNeely
Re: Happy Halloween
November 05, 2017 05:27PM
When I was growing up, in the 60's, we always had a fall carnival at school. it was a PTA fundraiser. Much like you describe, Dave, there were different events or games held in classrooms, and multiple games in the school gym. Cakewalks were a staple, along with a game where you tossed a ping pong ball and tried to land it in a goldfish bowl. If you did, you got to keep the goldfish. There was also a show in the auditorium and a raffle at the end of the evening. We were encouraged to wear our costumes but the carnival was not held on Halloween. Halloween was reserved for trick-or-treating. Interestingly, I remember that there was some type of collective agreement that Halloween should not be celebrated on Sunday. The only year I can remember it falling on Sunday, we trick-or-treated on Saturday night, instead. If I recall correctly (and it HAS been a few years) there was something in the paper about it, to make it official. I have no idea who might have made that decision.


When we first moved into our house there were just a handful of kids who came by, the first couple of years. We started decorating the porch and then the yard. This year we had over 600. While we do hand out candy, we also hand out glow necklaces to everyone who comes by.
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