Des Moines is quirky for a plethora of reasons, but one of the most notable ones is Beggars' Night.
- We make kids trick or treat the night before Halloween, and they don't just get candy. They have to earn it by telling a Laffy Taffy-level joke.
Flashback: The tradition stems as far back as World War II, according to the Des Moines Public Library.
- Back then, Des Moines' Parks and Rec Department was figuring out a way to dissuade kids from causing mayhem like breaking windows and setting things on fire.
- In 1938, the solution — Beggars' Night — was born. Kids wouldn't get candy unless they performed a trick or a riddle. And it tamed Halloween mischief by spacing out festivities over two days.
Thought bubble: Making kids earn their candy is called Midwest humility, baby.
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