Halloween can be a fun time of the year. In virtually every community, youngsters go trick-or-treating on designated nights, begging at homes for a little candy.

Many schools have special parties, especially pre-schools and younger grades, in which children can show off their costumes to their classmates, teachers, and in many cases, even their parents.

One of the amazing things about Halloween are the annual parades.

There are parades in many towns including Tamaqua, Jim Thorpe, Palmerton, and Ashfield.

One of the most spectacular of the season was on Saturday night in Lehighton when a six-division line took 75 minutes to pass the judging stand. There were five bands in the parade and floats and costumes that were simply great.

For example, one Boy Scout troop had a gigantic rocket on its float and used the theme "Blasting Off Into the Future."

Various car clubs had their vehicles decorated in spectacular style, using great light displays and ornamenting the cars with spiders and other decor.

Who couldn't be impressed with the seemingly endless group of children - nearly 12 dozen - who represented St. Matthew's Pre-School as letters of the alphabet.

We could go on and on, but there was creativity, hard work, joint efforts, and incredible displays in the Lehighton parade.

The same can be said for any of the local parades held. There are parades coming up in Jim Thorpe, Tamaqua, and Slatington.

Hopefully, you'll be able to get to see them and view some of the positive aspects of the Halloween season.

Thanks especially to the parades, Halloween really is a special time of the year.

And speaking of Halloween, please drive carefully, especially when children are trick-or-treating.

Finally, if possible, keep the trick-or-treating tradition alive by leaving a porch light lit as an invitation for the little "beggers."

By RON GOWER

rgower@tnonline.com