This had escalated into what were basically neighborhood block parties. 

People hosted gatherings, men got drunk and beat drums, kids were cross-dressing (boys wore heels and gowns, girls wore Prince Albert coats) and they prowled the streets on Thanksgiving morning.

However, lots of people got pissed off about it. Angry (and sadistic, omg) New Yorkers threw heated coins called “red pennies” into the streets and laughed when kids burned their fingers trying to get them. But nothing stopped the ragamuffins… until the Great depression. 

This change left grown-up ragamuffins nostalgic, even about red pennies. “I remember how my fingers got blistered,” patrolman Leo Carey recalled to The New York Times in 1931. “But they don’t have any real fun like that any more.”

h/t Mentalfloss