A father of three with no background in carpentry or stage design went above and beyond to make this year’s Halloween special by building an impressive 50-foot-long, 20-foot-tall pirate ship in his garden.
“I’m a big fan of Halloween,” Tony DeMatteo, from New York, told FOX TV Stations. “It’s been growing bigger and bigger each year. I always try to out-do myself.”
The idea for the magnificent ship, which stands in front of DeMatteo’s home in Churchville, outside of Rochester, came into existence when his now-13-year-old daughter, Ali, asked for a “Pirates of the Caribbean”-themed Halloween a few years ago.
Last year, the enthusiastic father made it possible by creating a small ship. However, this year he exceeded all expectations and built one that is two times bigger.
The ship, which is made from recycled metal, wood, and rope, consists of a vessel that has black pirate flags all around and a huge skeleton hanging in the front. Additionally, the ship is also equipped with some special effects, which include six cannons that light up, fog-machine fire blasters, and a 30-minute soundtrack that was specially curated for this and blends in perfectly with the effects of the cannons and fire blasters.
“It might look expensive but I bought everything second-hand and made a lot of the props myself,” DeMatteo told CNN.
The 41-year-old father, who constructed the ship from scratch, began gathering materials over the course of the year. DeMatteo started to collect old wood and metal on the weekends. Additionally, he used lights that the family already owned and got materials from scrap sites and friends, according to The Sun.
“I don’t have any background in carpentry or set design and I didn’t need anything fancy, just enough to give it an authentic look,” DeMatteo said.
Needless to say, constructing the ship would have taken a lot of effort, but DeMatteo said the process was “fun” as his children were also involved in creating the masterpiece.
Unsurprisingly, the kids absolutely loved the ship. For DeMatteo, it was a true joy to be able to fulfill his daughter’s wish. “The best part of this was seeing Ali’s face when it finally went up. Everything else is just a bonus,” he said.
DeMatteo and his family have been creating Halloween shows for eight years now. However this year, owing to the pandemic, the situation has been really tough on people. “Events are getting canceled and kids are not in school so the positive reactions have been out of this world,” DeMatteo said.
“It’s like being at Disney World for my kids and all of our neighbors come out to see it, eating snacks and enjoying the show,” he further added.
However, apart from creating joy among his family and community, DeMatteo has also used the opportunity to help feed those in need by asking visitors to donate nonperishable canned items to Open Door Mission, a local food pantry in the Rochester area.
As for what the next year’s Halloween celebration has in store, the creative father revealed they have already started to think about it. “But, I don’t have a solid idea yet. I probably won’t do a pirate ship again unless I get some sort of overwhelming feedback that we should,” DeMatteo told FOX TV Stations.
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