Iris Peterson, Heights Pub, window painter

UPDATED June 8: The second annual Spring Fling Festival was held from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 10, in the Heights business district, at Mass. Ave. and Park Avenue. .

Enjoy an afternoon of top-notch live music, poetry, activities for children, more than 55 painted storefront windows and more – all free.

At left is one of those windows and its painter, Iris Peterson at the Heights Pub. See more windows and photos of two musical groups here >> 

This festival is put together by several local organizations -- the Arlington Heights Community Association (AHCA), the Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture/ArtsArlington, ArtLinks and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce.

“Arlington is such a vibrant town and increasingly recognized for its arts, culture, and environmental activism,” said organizer Janet O’Riordan in a May 22 news release. “People in the Heights have been clamoring for more events and we are delighted to respond with our second spring festival and showcase the wonderful talent and energy in our community.”

Sustainability theme continues

Collaborator Cecily Miller of ArtsArlington, added in the release: “We introduced the theme of sustainability and environmental stewardship last year to celebrate the spring season and Arlington’s amazing community groups. The response has been great, so you can learn about composting, renewable energy, reducing plastic, planting native and much more while exploring the arts and meeting your neighbors.” 

The event is set to have live music, outdoors and indoors, from performers with Arlington roots. The impressive lineup features theDirty Water Brass Band. Guests can expect to watch them parade down Mass. Ave. towards a concert in D’Agostino’s parking lot, from 4 to 5 p.m. The band is scheduled to perform right after a one-of-a-kind show fromOdaiko,New England’s Japanese Taiko drumming group, at 3:30 p.m.

Additional accomplished performers include TNT- Jazz and R&B, with Jeff Robinson on tenor sax, Dave Harris on tuba, and Jim Arlhelger on drums outside MyEyeDr from 2 to 3 p.m. Local residents Lucy and Jim Pyle Bluegrass (fiddle and guitar) are scheduled at the bus depot from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Festivalgoers wishing to get out of the sun and bustle can enjoy choral music and poetry at Park Avenue Congregational Church, 2 to 4 p.m. See more info below. 

Free family fin

The festival includes free family-fun activities throughout the afternoon, including Touch-A-Truck hosted by Arlington’s Fire and Police Departments, Topnotch Contracting and Intelligent Labor & Moving at the bus depot. Guests can also enjoy outdoor bean bag and ring toss games also at the depot.

A kids' wind-chime crafts activity with artist Tonya Grifkin is at Wonder Yoga. Outside ACMi, attendees can meet Nalua, the Great Horned Owl, and falconerDiane Welch. Inside ACMi, they are invited to enter other worlds with floor-to-ceiling green-screen technology in ACMi’s professional television studio.  

Protect environment, new events

The festival places a high value on environmental protection, its organizers say. In addition to performances and activities at the depot, members of student-led sustainability organizations were invited to host informational tables — including Full Circle Composting to Save Arlington Wildlife, Robbins Library and Arlington Swap Shop. Guests can speak with the members and learn tips for promoting a healthy and sustainable environment. 

The tables are by the depot, 1389 Mass. Ave.; in front of ACMi studio, 85 Park Ave., and at 1308-1312 Mass. Ave., next to the Heights Pub.

New this year is a showcase of diverse voices -- a collaboration among the Arlington Poet LaureateJean Flanagan, theCantilenawomen’s chorus and Arlington High School’sMadrigal Singers. Flanagan is to debut a collaborative "kindness poem" written with contributions from the community. She has invited local poets Thomas DeFreitasSteve Rapp and Andy Oram to join her at Park Avenue Congregational Church, 50 Paul Revere Road, from 2 to 4 p.m. 

Arts on view

 Local artistLidia Kenig-Scherhas developed a visual-arts component: “Festivalgoers can watch two artists at work during plein air painting demonstrations; the community reaction to live painting has been fantastic so I wanted to bring it to this great neighborhood celebration.” Suzanne Menonplans to paint in front of Apothca, 1386 Mass. Ave, joined by artist Sudakshina Bhattacharya in front of the Park Avenue Congregational Church, 50 Paul Revere Road, from 2 to 4 p.m. 

In addition, Miller has facilitated an exhibition hosted by Roasted Granola and RepHAIRations showcasing the work of Arlington photographer Maria Fonseca and Arlington musician Larry Terry.

Plus enjoy viewing more than 60 spring-themed painted windows in 24 business storefronts.  

Free limited parking is available in the Arlington Coal and Lumber parking lot, 41 Park Ave. 

For more info about schedule of events, location of activities and a list of participating organizations, click here >>

Volunteers are needed for this event. Sign uphere >>

This festival is free to all, thanks to a prestigious grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the generosity of the following sponsors: the Arlington Committee on Tourism and Economic Development, the Chamber of Commerce, AHCA, ArtsArlington Cambridge Savings Bank, Intelligent Labor and Moving, RB Farina Roofing and Senné Residential.  

A warm thanks to the Town of Arlington, Roasted Granola Café, RepHAIRations, Wonder Yoga, Intelligent Labor & Moving and Park Avenue Congregational Church, and all the storefront businesses hosting window painting for their invaluable support.

Thanks also to Arlington Coal and Lumber and D’Agostino’s Delicatessen for loaning their parking lots for the festival.  

This event was organized by the Arlington Heights Community Association (AHCA), the Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture/ArtsArlington, ArtLinks, and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce

May 9, 2022: Arlington Heights Spring Fling Festival in May '22


This news announcement by Janet O'Riordan, who provides publicity for the AHCA, Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, was published Monday, May 22, 2023. It was updated May 30, to add a main photo and a link to others. Brynn O'Connor, assistant to the editor,  clarified the copy June 2. The headline was updated June 8..