Ayer’s Halloween Costume and Parade for children and families is Ayer at its very best.

For a few short hours each Halloween, magic falls as quickly as a flash of lightning from the sky as our downtown becomes a magical wonderland of pirates, witches, monsters, race car drivers, muscle men and cowboys and Indians who zigzag, run, walk, dance and fly from shop to shop.

Ayer’s children remind us of what it means to be young as their smiles flash bright and our generosity and goodwill pours forth.

Each moment of the day — whether riding the hay wagon or buying fresh fruit and vegetables from the farmers market or petting the goats, ducks, chickens and rabbits or trick-or-treating from shop to shop — a new adventure lies behind every twist and turn of our downtown.

But the real magic of this special event is all the volunteers that come together and make Ayer’s Halloween special. Without the volunteers and the Downtown Business Alliance working together, Ayer’s Halloween tradition would never happen.

While there are many ways to measure the success of a community, the best way to measure community pride is by the spirit of its volunteers who work in many ways large and small to bring out the generosity and spirit of its community.

In Ayer, we don’t need a speech, like the president’s State of the Union, which measures our good and bad. We see, feel and live Ayer’s quality of life every day by working with our families and friends who volunteer to make Ayer a special place to live.