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Irish America’s other Halloween, the Ragamuffin’s of Thanksgiving

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The streets are “jammed with masked and costumed children making a deafening din with their penny tin horns.”  Some storekeepers lock their doors to keep the noisy panhandlers out while others unleash “profane lectures on the evils of begging.”

Police and school officials regularly cracked down on Ragamuffins and begging. The ascension of Halloween and calls for more orderly Thanksgiving celebrations seemed to hasten the demise of the Ragamuffin traditions.

But the tradition has not completely vanished.  Every October, community organizers in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, host a Ragamuffin parade.

(Contact “Sidewalks” at tdeignan.blogspot.com)

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