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Gearing up for Halloween on 40th Avenue

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Posted on: October 26, 2015

BY REBECCA BENNETT — Jimmy and Bernadette McAuliffe, residents of 40th Avenue, have been getting ready for weeks to host hundreds of trick-or-treaters this year.

“All the kids are dolled up and dressed up,” Jimmy McAuliffe said.

Click here to see photos from Halloween in Hyattsville 2014.

In two hours on Oct. 31, they said they are visited by nearly 600 people and go through a five pound bucket of candy. Jimmy McAuliffe said he gives them one piece at a time. “Then towards the tail end if I have a lot left I give them two or three. I want to get rid of them,” he said.

Jimmy McAuliffe with an almost-full 5 pound bucket of candy.  Photo courtesy Rebecca Bennett.
Jimmy McAuliffe with an unfinished 5 lb. bucket of candy. Photo courtesy Rebecca Bennett.

The McAuliffes still need to set up their large pumpkin, which Bernadette McAuliffe said they do the day before Halloween. For Christmas, they set up a large snow globe.

Since they started passing out candy nearly 40 years ago, the McAuliffes said there are more kids on 40th Avenue. “Before, you might get maybe 100. At the most. Now its up to 600,” Jimmy McAuliffe said.

One trick-or-treater left an impression. “This little girl must have been 10- or 11-years-old.” Bernadette McAuliffe said. “She came up here and she was so sincere and she loved the house and she loved the dog and she said I have been coming here all my life. I thought it was so cute, she was so serious.”

The McAuliffes met through the Irish community, they said, and married in 1978, the same year they bought the house on 40th Avenue.

“In Ireland, in my younger days we had Halloween but it wasn’t a candy Halloween,” he said. They would hang an apple on a string and try to bite into the apple, he said.

McAuliffe said he is known as the adhoc “Mayor of 40th Avenue,” because he likes to help people. “I know what’s going on. I’m fully in touch. If someone asks a question. … I do the best I can.”

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