Visitors center opens at Town Day, Sept. 13, 2014.Jenn Tripp, center, cuts the ribbon to open the town's visitor center on Town Day 2014, to the joy of leaders.

PHOTO FEATURE: The many faces of Town Day

UPDATED, Sept. 16: Lexington has long had one. So has Concord. Now Arlington has its own place for people to ask questions about Arlington -- now and in the past.

"It takes a village," Angela Olszewski, chair of Arlington Committee on Tourism and Economic Development (ATED), told about 50 people gathered Saturday, Sept. 13, at Uncle Sam Plaza, before opening the center with Jennifer Tripp of the Chamber of Commerce. "This was truly a community effort."

ATED's aim, and the center's, is to rescue Menotomy from the dustbin of history -- and from Longfellow's poem "Paul Revere's Ride."

Town Day logo

That poem, emphasizing the role of the galloping silversmith above parts played by two other riders, gave Lexington and Concord its patriotic due, but leaves out Arlington, then known as Menotomy.

Now a visitor center, hard by where the Minuteman Bikeway runs smack into Mystic Street, provides central location to learn about all the town has to offer.

Those at the center will "welcome visitors to Arlington and promote our cultural resources, restaurants and businesses," Olszewski wrote in response to queries from YourArlington. "Our location is especially attractive to people on the bike path. We would also like to act as an information source for new and current residents."

ATED hopes the center will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, based on the availability of volunteers and weather conditions, from spring until fall.

Talk about having a center began a couple of years ago, she wrote. Those involved tested sites a tent and a Town Day-like table at some locations.

Construction began in June and was delayed after handicapped access was required. Electricity was hooked up the week before.


Selectmen Joseph Curro Jr. introduced Olszewski, noting the center was "a long time coming." She said Curro was referring to the fact that Town Meeting approved the project in 2013.

The center was constructed according to a Town Meeting-approved budget of $25,000. Local businesses and individuals made donations to help furnish and equip the center.

Noting the many community events town, Olszewski said ATED encourages sponsoring groups to contact them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange to drop off fliers and notices.

"We encourage residents to stop by and also sign up to volunteer by contacting the same email address," she wrote.

Other enhancements to the center are sought, such as a bike rack, ceiling fan and outdoor bulletin board.

Among those thanks at the opening were the Board of Selectmen (Curro and Diane Mahon read a proclamation with audience participation); the Finance Committee, Town Meeting, Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine; DPW Director Mike Rademacher, who suggested the wooden walkway; Precinct 6 Town Meeting member Andrew Fischer, who built it; Watertown Community Trust, Mirak Properties, the Chamber of Commerce and the Capitol Square Business Association.

It's worth remembering some lines in "Paul Revere's Ride" that are not often quoted:

    "You know the rest. In the books you have read

    How the British Regulars fired and fled,—
    How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
    From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
    Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
    Then crossing the fields to emerge again
    Under the trees at the turn of the road,
    And only pausing to fire and load."

One of those hiding and not afraid to fire was Sam Whittemore, then of Menotomy, and memorialized with a headstone near the Jefferson Cutter House. Read about him here >>

With stories such as this we may fend off, as Olszewski suggested at the opening, neighboring towns getting all the glory. She said Arlington has to "just keep telling our story, and people will listen."

Town Day, an Arlington tradition since 1976, extends from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with five hours of music, food, exhibits and more, with over 200 booths to celebrate Arlington, along Mass. Ave. between Pleasant Street and Jason Street.

Information about Town Day 2014 is here >>

The brochure shows booth and activity locations >>

One view of Town Day 2014

Where in the Square?

Town booths, events of note

Many Town departments will have booths on Town Day. Residents are encouraged to visit these booths and learn about the many services and projects going on in Arlington, including:
Flu clinic
The Arlington Health Department will be offering flu shots in the Robbins Library Parking lot from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Residents must bring their insurance card(s) with them to the clinic. There is no fee for the vaccine if you have a participating insurance provider.  For a list of participating insurance providers or to download the Vaccination Form, please

Book Sale at Robbins Library

Lots of books will be available for very reasonable prices in the library parking lot. Please note, the Library will be closed on Town Day.

Master Plan Advisory Committee

Visit this booth to learn about the status of Arlington’s Master Plan and what's ahead. Learn more about it at

Public Works/Recycling Committee

Questions about recycling? Visit this booth for expert advice on recycling and pick up recycling and yard waste stickers. Recycling information can always be found at

Art on the Green! Art, author festival at art museum

The Cyrus Dallin Art Museum will host its annual Art on the Green! art and author festival, on Arlington Town Day, September 13, from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. in front of the museum in Arlington Center (corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Mystic Street). Area artists will exhibit and sell their works in front of the museum. The annual event is the largest program of the year for the museum and an important fundraiser for the museum. This year the museum is pleased to have the John Mirak Foundation as its primary sponsor for Art on the Green!

This year’s artist vendors include Anne Black, Eugene Czarnecki, Maggie Furtak, Nina Lapchyk, Caitlin Lynch, Aileen McElroy, Helen Ray, Regina Valluzzi, Nancy White, Julia Ledoux, Chikako Mukai, Carolina Portillo, Suzanne Owayda, Cathryn Chadwick, Rose Cummings, and Chris Taylor. Their crafted wares will include: textiles (quilts/hand-painted scarves/shawls/sweaters), exotic, contemporary, & woven jewelry, letterpress cards & invitations, small paintings & collages, photography, photo cards, & graphic prints. The Arlington Center for the Arts and the Arlington Public Art Committee will also be represented and offering information about their art programs.
A classical quartet organized by Robin Henzer, will provide entertainment on the Green from 10 a.m. to noon. Free parking is available on Town Day in the municipal parking lot behind the museum.
A star-studded lineup of authors will appear at the Dick Haley Booksellers’ booth. Meet your favorite authors, get a book signed, or browse the selections:

10:30 Elisabeth Elo NORTH OF BOSTON
11:00 Rosalie Meropol THE UPSIDE DOWN GARDEN
11:30 Pulitzer Prize Winner Megan Marshall MARGARET FULLER
12:00 William Martin THE LINCOLN LETTERS
12:30 Matthew Gilbert OFF THE LEASH
1:00 Randy Susan Meyers ACCIDENTS OF MARRIAGE
1:30 Elizabeth Searle GIRL HELD AT HOME; Marianne Leone JESSE
2:00 Henriette Power THE CLOVER HOUSE
2:30 Sandra Lee THE SHANTY

Free Parking is available in the parking lot behind the museum. The Museum will be open free of charge from 10:00am–4:00pm.
A raffle to support the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum’s educational programming will feature over $1300 in prizes. Raffle tickets can be purchased in advance online at or in person at the museum. Tickets can also be purchased on Town Day at the museum’s tent in Whittemore Park. The drawing will take place at 3:30 P.M.
Raffle prizes include $100 cash, merchandise donated by local businesses, and hand crafted wares from participating artists. Donations from the following businesses and artists will be among the raffle prizes: Ace Shattuck, Acitron, Anton’s Cleaners, Art Beat, Art Wear, Book Rack, Boston by Foot, Capitol Theatre, Chilly Cow, City Paint, Dunkin Donuts, Evolve Fitness, Giles Liquors, Helen Ray, Jennifer Edmunds Massage, Jimmy’s Restaurant, J. R. Burke’s Salon, Menotomy Grille & Tavern, Menotomy Beer, Wine & Spirits, New Dimensions in Hair, Not Your Average Joe’s, Play Time, Quebrada, Regent Theatre, Regina Valluzzi, Starbucks, Trader Joe’s, Wanamaker Hardware, Wild Child, WOW, and Yummy’s.
The Cyrus Dallin Art Museum is open to the public Wednesdays through Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Visit for more information.

Thompson School discount card

This is the sixth year the Thompson School booth has sold the wallet-size discount card that is Thompson's most important fundraiser of the year. Even if you can't help with a shift, stop by the booth to say hello and pick up a card or two for your family. The $10 card offers discounts to 32 local restaurants and businesses and quickly pays for itself. Here are this year's deals:

Andrina’s Pizzeria – $5 off ($20 min)
The Book Rack – $2 off ($15 min)
Capitol Theatre – 1 small popcorn per card w/ticket
D’Agostino’s – Free small chips with sub purchase
Derby Farm Flowers & Gardens – 10% off ($25 min, in-store only)
Dunkin Donuts, 369 Mass Ave – 10% off food & bev
Flora – 10% off (Sun-Fri, excl. special-event menus)
Helena’s – 10% off ($25 min, no gift cards)
Little Q Hot Pot – 10% off (Mon-Th, $30 min)
Menotomy Beer & Wine – 10% off (wine only)
Penzeys Spices – Free spice jar ($10 min)
Prime Your Trusted Butcher – $5 off ($25 min)
Retro Burger & Ice Cream – 10% off ice cream (no frappes)
Sabatino’s – $1.50 off each large pizza
Tweet Tweet – 10% off ($20 min, excludes Lego)
Upholstery on Broadway – 20% off fabric
Za – 10% off (take-out & Mon-Fri lunch)

10% off
Bagels by US (take-out Mon-Fri)
Chilly Cow (ice cream only)
Coyote Impressions
Firefly Moon (Mon-Fri, $25 min)
The Madrona Tree
Menotomy Grill & Tavern
Mr. Sushi (dinner only)
Not Your Average Joe’s
Playtime ($10 min)
Tryst (dinner only, no holidays)
My Brother’s Place ($10 min)

15% off
Kathmandu Spice (eat-in only)
Quad Cycles (bikes & gear)


Soap Box Derby 

The Arlington Soap Box Derby has a tent at Town Day, aiming to sign up new kids interested in racing.

The organizers will have the first-place Akron trophies and a car from each division. The winning car is in the Soap Box Derby Museum at Derby Downs, Akron Ohio, so pictures will have to do.

Racers should wear their derby shirts during the day.


Hola Amigas y Amigos de Teosinte

Stop by the Teosinte booth at Town Day and check out some of our new craft items. It's also a great time to stock up on coffee to enjoy these cool fall mornings!

Your purchase is one of the most important things you can do to financially help Teosinte as it not only provides jobs within Teosinte, it is  also our main fundraiser to support educational scholarships and community development projects.

By purchasing crafts you can look good while doing good.  This year we will be accepting credit cards for purchases of $30 or more.  Please click on this link if you would like to volunteer to staff the booth for an hour. 

This story was first published Tuesday, May 13, 2014, and updated Sept. 15.