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Arlington celebrates itself, with record crowd topped off by fireworks

Town Day logo

UPDATED Oct. 1: The return of Town Day -- the 44th -- drew record attendance on a beautiful, blue-sky day, followed after dusk by 22 minutes of fireworks on Saturday, Sept. 17. 

Town Day logo

Town Day had not been held since 2019 because of the continuing pandemic.


Chamber of Commerce video >> | See photos here >>


The Arlington Town Day Committee, in a Sept. 27 news release, thanks all who helped make the return of Town Day 2022 a huge success, with the largest turnout in memory. In addition, an estimated 1,000 people visited the new wings at Arlington High School.

Held along Mass. Ave between Mill/Jason streets and Pleasant Street, Town Day presented a wide variety of activities and services and hosted more than 200 booths. 

“After a 3-year hiatus, it was terrific to see so many in the community come out and enjoy food and music on a beautiful day,” said Kathleen Darcy, Arlington Town Day Committee chair, in a news release. “We are grateful for the many volunteers for working the event, ACMi – for covering it, and Arlington’s Select Board and the many sponsors who supported it, especially Cambridge Savings Bank, who is once again the Primary Sponsor.”

Over a dozen sponsors supported the event, including Platinum Sponsor Cambridge Savings Bank and Gold Sponsor Leader Bank. Arlington Community Media, Inc (ACMi) provided live coverage, and Arlington Chamber of Commerce provided marketing of the event. Special thanks go out to the Arlington Public Works, Police and Fire Departments for their significant contributions to the event. 

“The safety and success of the event relies on the contributions of so many individuals, but these Departments work tirelessly to support the event from beginning to end,” noted Select Board member and Town Day Committee member John Hurd 

“We couldn’t ask for a better turnout,” said Len Diggins, Arlington Select Board Chair and member of the Town Day Committee. “We’re already planning for next year.”

Earlier in the day the Walter V. Moynihan Town Day Run was held at the newly renovated Arlington Reservoir. Recreation Director Joe Connelly reported 300 runners participated, a record for the event.

Next year's date set

The next Town Day is set for Sept. 23, 2023..

Atlas PyroVision Entertainment Group of Jaffrey, N.H., provided the aerial displays, the first since Town Day Night in 2018, as shown in the photo. The cost was $10,500.

The Town Day Committee raises funds through fees, donations and sponsorships. This money goes into a Town Day Fund, and all expenses relating to Town Day, including fireworks, are paid from that fund, Select Board Chair Len Diggins explained Sept. 20 in response to questions from YourArlington. The only exception: The town gives $5,000 for Town Day expenditures as an appropriation for celebrations and events. 

A perspective piece about this year's Town Day was published here >>

ACMi News shows how Town Day returned in 2022:

Estimates 1,000 tour AHS wings

AHS tour, April 30, 2022Residents tour new AHS wing April 30. / Alisha Gandhi photo

The Town of Arlington reports that an estimated 1,000 people toured the new high school’s Performing Arts and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics) wings before Town Day got into full swing.

“The outpouring of community support for the new high school was on display on Town Day,” said Town Manager Sandy Pooler in a Sept. 27 news release. “We've just started Phase 2 of a four-phase project, which is on budget, despite complications from the pandemic.”

"We are grateful to the many volunteers and students for organizing this event and providing everyone with another opportunity to see this beautiful resource for the entire Arlington community," said Elizabeth C. Homan, Superintendent, Arlington Public Schools, in the release.

The new wings opened to students in February. Among the 19 stops in the self-guided tour, attendees visited the new auditorium, chorus and band rooms, makerspace, science labs, discourse lab and classrooms.

Visitors also learned about sustainability features of the new building, which were a core component of the building’s design.

Representatives of HMFH Architects were on hand to share plans for Phase 2 construction, which is estimated to be complete fall 2023. This Phase includes the construction of the central spine, library, cafeteria, Humanities classrooms, District Administration offices, and Menotomy Preschool.

A virtual tour and photos, as well as Phase 2 construction information, are available at the project website at www.ahsbuilding.org. 

En Plein Air painting winner announced

Congratulations to Felipe Eguia, the Arlington artist who won first prize and garnered the town vote for the Town Day En Plein Air painting competition, the ACAC newsletter reported.

If you missed Town Day this year, see Felipe's beautiful painting at right, and stay tuned for details about next year's festival.

The En Plein Air Festival was sponsored by the Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture and was organized and managed by ArtLinks Arlington, a networking group for artists of all kinds in town.

For more information, email ArtLinks at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the Facebook page.

Some of the Town Day booths

AFD demonstrations were behind the library
Arlington firefighters provided fire-safety demonstrations from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. behind the library. Featured were Metro Fire SAFE’s Smoke House, a three-room trailer designed to teach children about fire hazards in the home, plus Jaws of Life demonstrations and touch-a-truck opportunities.  

APD Family Services Team and K9 Eiko Demos 
APD booth on Mass. Ave. and at Robbins library. 

Arlington police provided public safety information at their booth on Mass. Ave. at the Robbins Library entrance. The family-services team was on hand to provide assistance on a wide range of topics. K9 Officer Michael Hogan along with the APD's K9 Eiko conducted demonstrations at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. in the Robbins Library parking lot.  

Free Drinking Water at Town Day - BYO Water Bottle
ZW Zone was between Academy and Jason streets.

Visitors were able to hydrate at a kiosk sponsored by the Zero Waste Committee’s campaign to reduce single-use plastics in Arlington. People could bring water bottles, travel mugs or cups to the zero-waste zone between Academy and Jason streets and fill up for free; Arlington’s tap water is healthy, delicious and a valuable resource. The new Arlington on Tap campaign aims to make drinking water access more convenient for people on the go. 

Pie Palace: First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington offered pies in front of the church at Mass. Ave. and Pleasant Street with or without ice cream or whipped cream. All money raised is to go to fund social-justice activities at the church.

Park Avenue Congregational Church: The booth distributed information about attending Sunday morning services and upcoming events, in-person or virtually. Visitors could meet the Rev. Leah Lyman Waldrons, talk about coping with the pandemic and state what they would like PACC to do to serve Arlington and the wider community.

Arlington Community Media inc.: ACMi provides access to equipment, training and hands-on experience in television production to Arlington. At the booth, visitors were able to learn about programming and also see how ACMi covered Town Day live on-air.

The Julie A. Bankovich Foundation : JAB, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, raises funds to create memories and provide joy to those living with metastatic breast cancer, a terminal disease.  JAB was started in honor of Julie (Brusgulis) Bankovich, who grew up in Arlington and passed away from the illness in April 2020.  

Morningside Music Studio: Those staffing the booth provided instruments for visitors to try and shared information about private and group lessons and discounts on lessons.

Zero Waste Arlington, a town committee, taught visitors how to put zero-waste efforts into effect in Arlington, including the town's newly adopted ban on single-use plastic water bottles, as well as composting, textile recycling and how the committee works to reduce waste in the community.

Radius Wealth Management: In its first Town Day appearance, Radius shared information about its family-owned registered investment advisory practice that specializes in working with individuals and families to improve their investments, including an overview of several of the leading financial planning/investment management software packages. Contact Christian von Stackelberg at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Arlington-Teosinte Sister-city Project: This was an opportunity to shop for fair-trade Salvadoran coffee, textiles and crafts -- all to help the town's sister city. Volunteers are accepted year-round. To volunteer, sign up here >> 

Arlington Children's Theatre: The booth provided information on ACT's programs and facilitated registration for the 2022-2023 season; sweatshirts to commemorate ACT's 30 years were available for purchase.

Arlington Land Trust: The booth provided information about Land Trust projects

Open Space Committee/ Conservation Commission (joint booth): shared maps, draft Open Space and Recreation Plan etc.

Arlington Community Card from Thompson School PTO: Visitors were able to purchase the Arlington Community Card at Town Day to get yearlong discounts at 35-plus local Arlington businesses to help them shop local, save money and contribute to the curriculum-enriching fund-raiser. All proceeds from card sales are to go directly to Thompson PTO.

YourArlington: Four dozen visitors answered questions about the town in a real-news test for a chance to win a restaurant certificate, and five of them won. They also had an opportunity to suggest to YA's reporters what stories to cover.

Town planning: Visit Department of Planning & Community Development staff and committees, including:

Conservation Commission
Open Space Committee
Affordable Housing Trust
Arlington Community Electricity
Clean Energy Future Committee
Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture
Transportation Advisory Committee
Bicycle Advisory Committee


Sept. 18, 2019: Town Day celebrated before showers fell
 
Town Day 2017: A view from above

 


This announcement was published Thursday, May 12, 2022, updated July 7 to describe the new route for the Moynihan run based on information from the town website and updated Aug. 14 to clarify wording and invite participants to share their plans with YourArlington's readership. It was updated Sept. 22, 2022, to add video link, and Sept. 24, to add ACMi News video. Updated Sept. 27, to add town news release, as well as Oct. 1, to add info about a winning painter.

YOUR VIEW: Opinions: Murals politics, Town Day, Medford St., AFD, ACMi, poetry, Mugar, Alewife

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