Editor: On behalf of the Town of Bel Air and the Bel Air Downtown Alliance, I would like to thank the citizens of greater Bel Air for their attendance and enthusiasm at the Sunday, Dec. 3, Town of Bel Air Christmas Parade and Celebration. This year’s weather was THE BEST! I don’t know how much that affected things, but it surely helped attract one of the largest crowds I’ve ever seen in downtown Bel Air (even with a Ravens home game happening at the same time!), and I’ve run almost 40 parades through the downtown area. The clear skies, lack of wind and warm sun through sunset time also allowed us to extend the Shamrock Park phase of the event a few minutes longer than last year, which was fun! My wife and I walked the route just behind the end of the parade and we were astounded at the size of the crowds. I was particularly pleased to see so many children enjoying the sights and sounds. The joy on the faces of the kids and families reflected the values of our community and the love we all have for this season. We are lucky to live in such an area, and to have such citizens turn out. Bel Air is indeed a wonderful, family-friendly place, and it's events like this that make that clearly apparent to all. The parade includes many different kinds of units, from marching bands to motorcycles and horses, and this year’s parade included many very elaborate and creative floats, but overall the Bel Air Christmas Parade is of, for and all about KIDS. Hundreds — THOUSANDS — of kids aged from toddlers through teenagers participated in it. To see their commitment, organization, dedication and wonderful good spirits made me, for one, very, very optimistic about the future of our community and of our nation. And I want to thank their parents and families for supporting these wonderful kids! Special thanks must go to the many hard-working volunteers who put the entire celebration together, especially including our parade marshals Annette Blum, Aaron Cahall, Trish Heidenreich, Alex Krowzow, Sandy Saunders, Patti Sterling and David Williams, plus a very hard-working group of wonderful students from Bel Air High School, members of the National Honor Society under the supervision of