We all know that 2020 was the year of cancellations, but 2021 has become the year of resurrection for some of SouthCoast’s most beloved events. The Acushnet Fire and EMS Departments is ecstatic to bring back the popular Halloween Parade, and it promises to bring a night of fall fun to families and little trick-or-treaters.

The Acushnet Halloween Parade is a tradition that stretches back decades.

“I have been a member of the department for 34 years and it predates me,” said Acushnet Fire Chief Kevin Gallagher.

In its early years, the parade would begin outside of the town hall where the fire station used to be, and when it relocated, the parade went with it.

It’s a bittersweet year for Chief Gallagher as he prepares to retire in the coming months.

“I’m in my final year as fire chief and there will be families here on Sunday that I remember the parents being the ones pulled in the wagons,” Gallagher said.

The Acushnet firefighters and the Acushnet Police Association are able to host the parade through donations from loyal, local businesses.

“Our folks put the effort in, but it wouldn’t happen if we didn't have such a tremendous community that always opens their checkbooks and sends in donations,” Gallagher said.

On Sunday, October 31, families dressed in their Halloween best will march down to the fire station for 6 p.m. and follow the Acushnet fire engine that will lead the procession through back roads of the town, looping back to the station where treats will be waiting.

“We’ll have tables set up with bags of large candy bars, none of the small stuff,” joked Gallagher. “There will be Acushnet apples, Miss Apple Peach will be here, and there will be lots of other treats.”

In previous years, parade-goers would be able to enter the fire station, but this year the fire station will remain closed as a COVID precaution. Everything you love about the parade, however, from the costumes to the candy, will be alive and well.

“We feel relieved to bring it back,” said Gallagher, remembering the difficult decision of canceling it in 2020. “It’s good for the community and really good for the kids.”

Get your costumes ready, Acushnet. The Halloween parade returns Sunday, October 31 at 6 p.m.

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