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South End Walk Streets Prepare for Halloween

Oct 30, 2019 07:26PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Manhattan Beach's most popular neighborhood for Halloween trick-or-treating is arguably the  family-friendly South End walk streets. 

These flat walk streets, from 4th to 11th Streets and bounded by Crest and Valley Drive, are car-free and easy for even the littlest ones to walk. With a large concentration of houses in a relatively small area, it's an ideal location for trick-or-treating. 

That said, the South End walk streets are hardly a well-kept secret. Each year thousands of trick-or-treaters descend on the neighborhood in search of candy, parties, and friends. 

DigMB talked to several South End walk street residents to get a sense of what it's like being at the epicenter of Halloween activity in Manhattan Beach.

How many trick-or-treaters do you typically get?

Hilary Mahan: "Our street is packed - we start with neighbor kids by 4:30pm and don’t finish until 8:30pm or we turn out the light. It doesn’t matter if Halloween is on a weekend or weekday; we usually have at least 1000 trick or treaters."
Amy Pham: "Around 2000-plus."
Clare Flynn: "I am guessing that we get about 1200.  I am pretty good about only giving one piece per trick or treater but some end up double dipping or getting extra."
Nick Christensen: "Over 500."
Katie David: "I think we get about 2000 trick or treaters. After a while it’s hard to tell if any are repeats, but most are not."

So how much candy do you buy?

Mahan:  "We buy at least 3000 pieces of candy - Costco is the only way to go...One year we were passing out grilled hamburgers, hotdogs and pizza because we ran out of candy. We’ve also given out candy we collect - but don’t tell my kids!"
Pham: "We're buying 2500 this year; we ran out too early last year."
Flynn: "Approximately 1400 pieces."
Christensen: "We buy about $500 worth of candy."
David: "We buy 2000 pieces and then when the kids come back from trick or treating, sometimes we use their candy if we run out."
Stacy Myrose: "We typically buy 1200 pieces of candy, and once that’s gone we head up to [the Flynns] and help pass out theirs."

How late do trick-or-treaters come by on a school night?

Mahan: Usually we shut down by 8 p.m. on a school night- sometimes because we are out, but sometimes because we are just done for the night."
Pham: "9 p.m., but we typically shut it down around 8:30 p.m."
Flynn: "We usually shut down by 9 p.m. and that is usually when we have gone through all of the candy. At that point, the crowd has thinned dramatically and we are spent from 4+ hours of handing out candy."
Christensen: "I shut it down at 8 p.m., or I could have another 250 kids. It's part of living on the walk street, though. It's all good."
David: "We usually end Halloween festivities at 8-8:30 p.m. and let people walk by and just say that we ran out of candy. We start passing our candy around 4:30 p.m. to locals mainly. Then around 6-7:30 p.m. it’s a steady stream of mixed locals and visitors."
Myrose: "On school nights we tend to shut down around 9ish."

Are the trick-or-treaters generally well-behaved, or have you experienced any over-the-top requests or behavior?

Mahan: "I love that our neighborhood is known as a safe and friendly place to trick or treat. We welcome anyone and everyone who is looking for a safe place to celebrate the night. It does become overwhelming when adults bring their pillow cases to fill. That’s when I tend to turn people away and send them on."
Pham: "Most trick or treaters are nice and grateful. We have a great time on Halloween seeing friends, neighbors, and meeting new people too. We've only turned away rascals who we know have already been to our house 2 or 3 times the same night. The kids always try!"
Flynn: "I have found most of them are well-behaved and excited. One year a sweet little girl came over with her mom and asked if she could please use our restroom. The mom was so appreciative."
David: "We always have well behaved trick or treaters. We've never turned anyone away, but my husband will gently harass people who show up with no costume and ask for candy, or people who ask for candy for their baby in a Baby Bjorn strapped to them."
Myrose: "Generally we have well-behaved trick-or-treaters, and we've never had to turn anyone away. We did find a lost kid one year, but we found his mother in the [school] directory so all ended well."

Do your own kids prefer to trick or treat, or do they like to stay at the house and hand out candy?

Mahan: "Our kids prefer to trick or treat themselves first for an hour or two and then head back to the house to hand out candy."
Flynn: "They prefer to go out and trick or treat early and then come back here to eat, trade candy and watch football."
Pham: "I think all my kids still prefer to trick or treat, but with so much candy to hand out, all family members have to take a shift.  You can actually get tired of handing out candy, physically tired!"

All of the residents surveyed, however, agreed that the South End of Manhattan Beach was a great place to live, even on one of the busiest days of the year.

"We love Halloween in the walk streets," said Pham. "It is one of the best parts of living here."

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