AYER -- As the Business Alliance hosted its final Classic Car Cruise Night of the season, members look forward to upcoming holiday events and hope to attract new members to the group.
From 1955 Chevrolets to 1940s Ford trucks, Business Alliance President Chuck King said all kinds of cars show up at the event. "There are a lot of car enthusiasts in this town," King said. "They come from all over the place."
Prizes for "Driver's Choice" and "People's Choice" were given out as well as a raffle for a bucket of car care products donated by Napa Auto Parts. "They've really done a terrific job," King said of Napa Auto Parts' generosity.
The car show is the group's largest regular fundraiser. "(It) funds our holiday events and most of our group's dues," treasurer Nick Laggis said. "Our funding this year is comparable to the past."
"I just like bringing people from town and surrounding towns together for an all-around good time," King said.
Although the Business Alliance works to bring people to town through regular events like the Classic Car Cruise Night, King said they also focus on bringing more businesses into town as well.
"That does take some time though," King admits, as he discussed the lengthy amount of time it took to convince a motorcycle shop and restaurant to come to Ayer.
King finds the most difficult thing about doing business in Ayer to be the lack of variety. There are numerous service shops but "no bookstores, ladies clothing stores, or much of anything else other than salons and sub shops," he said.
"I think we need more communication downtown between the Town Hall and the Business Alliance," King said. "It would be nice to know if there is a storefront open (before another business moves into that spot). We need something to draw people into town. Not corporate businesses because we don't want to lose the small feel of this town, but more Mom and Pop shops. It's those shops that made this country great."
The Business Alliance has members from local businesses; King said he would like to see even more join the group. "I would like to get more events going, but that takes manpower. But if everyone spent a little bit of their time, I know we could do it," King said.
King hopes to get a "Wednesday Walk" together where local artists from Nashoba Valley can display their art in Business Alliance members' shops and along Main Street for people to walk through and view.
King hosted an arts night in the past, he said, that didn't stick the way the car shows did, but would like to give it another try.
An upcoming Halloween event includes hayrides, face-painting and candy handouts. Around Christmas, the alliance hosts the "Holiday Stroll" and brings in Santa Claus and musical performances along Main Street.
This year the holiday events will be hosted on Oct. 26 and Dec. 14.
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