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New York state dad builds 50-foot pirate ship in front yard

Nov. 2 (UPI) -- A New York state father took what has become a family tradition to a new level when he built a 50-foot-long pirate ship in his front yard for Halloween.

Tony DeMatteo said one of his three children initially requested a Pirates of the Caribbean themed Halloween a few years ago, leading him to build a small pirate ship in front of the house in Churchville, outside Rochester.

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DeMatteo said he has since been building ships every year for Halloween, and this year's is the biggest yet at 50 feet long and 20 feet tall.

"I'm a big fan of Halloween," DeMatteo told FOX TV Stations. "It's been growing bigger and bigger each year. I always try to outdo myself."

DeMatteo said this year's ship cost about $3,000 to build and took about a week to assemble. It features a skeleton hanging from the bowsprit, six light-up cannons, a fog machine and fire blasters.

"I have no background in this, I just do it for fun for my kids, and that's what makes it so great," DeMatteo told CNN. "It's also been a rough year for a lot of people so we decided this would be a perfect opportunity to put a smile on people's face and just give them a sense of normalcy."

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DeMatteo said he does not charge anyone to tour the ship, but visitors are asked to bring canned goods for Open Door Mission, a Rochester food pantry.

"We got so many donations that my garage was completely full, and they're still coming to this day," he said.

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