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Nobody Does Halloween Like Manhattan Beach

Nov 01, 2023 12:11PM ● By Mb News Staff

Mark Howorth leading his annual show on the South End walk streets.

From "trunk or treat," to the Pumpkin Race, to the golf cart parade, to walk street madness: No one does Halloween like Manhattan Beach does Halloween. This year, the Halloween festivities were spread out over a whopping six days, from Thursday to Tuesday. 

"I was impressed by the costumes - lots of homemade ones this year - and the kids were really polite and engaged. This year especially, it was a much-needed distraction from all the stuff going on in the world," said City Councilmember Amy Howorth, whose family hosts a popular scary show each year on the walk streets. "Even though our own kids have grown up and left home, we look forward to Halloween every year."

The Halloween festivities began last Thursday with a Trunk-or-Treat event sponsored by the Manhattan Beach Police Department, offering safe trick or treating for little ones.

Saturday morning brought the annual Scare and Tear costume surf contest, sponsored by Spyder.

(Photo via Spyder Surf)

Saturday night saw numerous Halloween parties, including a "Halloween Horror Ball" at the Strand House. 

Sunday, of course, was one of the town's biggest days, with the Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk, followed by the Pumpkin Race and a golf cart parade through downtown Manhattan Beach.

On Tuesday, Culture Brewing Co. held its annual pet costume contest. (A three-legged pirate dog was the big winner.) 

And later on Tuesday night, the big night, thousands swarmed Manhattan Beach and its walk streets for over-the-top parties and trick-or-treat experiences.

Pumpkin Race Draws Crowds

Now in its 33rd year, the race that originated in Manhattan Beach is now in more than 300 communities across the country.

(Photo via city of Manhattan Beach)

This year's winner was Ivy Tracey of Torrance, with a white unicorn pumpkin. In the City Council race, City Manager Bruce Moe triumphed, and the Manhattan Beach Parks & Rec Department won the City Commissions race with "Barbies at Begg Pool."

(Photo via City of Manhattan Beach)

(Photo via Tracey Windes)

Walk Streets Offer Barbie, Scares, and Lots of Candy

On Halloween night, crowds from across the South Bay headed to Manhattan Beach - particularly its famous South End walk streets - for candy and cheer. Several residents estimated that they handed out more than 2,000 pieces of candy.

On the 9th Street walk street, which is famous for its camaraderie, neighbors coordinated to create "Barbieland."

(Photo via Hilary Mahan)

And on 5th Street, the Howorths held their annual scary show, with Mark Howorth as the master of ceremonies (see lead photo).

"The walk streets are an uniquely special place for Halloween," said Amy Howorth. "My husband Mark really goes all out and puts on a show. Kids and parents come back year after year. Now there are kids in their 20s who come up to him and say 'Mr. Howorth, you scared the heck out of me when I was a little kid!' It’s a tradition and a labor of love."

The fun wasn't just for kids, however. At the Joslyn Center, the Manhattan Beach Parks and Rec Department hosted a "Little Shop of Horrors" themed Halloween party for its Older Adults program.

(Photo via Manhattan Beach Parks & Rec)

Missed the fun this year? Mark your calendars for October 27, 2024 - the Sunday that will feature the Skechers Pier to Pier Walk and the Pumpkin Race. And of course, make sure you hold October 31, 2024 (a Thursday) for Halloween in Manhattan Beach.

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