Madrigal men sing Hooked on a Feeling at Town Day. / Carla DeFord photoMadrigal men sing "Hooked on a Feeling" at Town Day. / Carla DeFord photo

UPDATED, Sept. 24: Town Day for 2017 was a pageant of activity -- some of it unprecedented in the 41 years since Arlington first took a September day to celebrate itself.

Town Day logo

What had participants not seen before?

-- A drone buzzing about the blue dome of the former Greek church and now Highrock.

-- A beer garden drawing happy sippers in a town that, from the 1880s until 1993, was dry.

-- The unveiling of a restored part of town history, the carriage house beside the Whittemore-Robbins House, which dates to 1804, work paid in part by Community Preservation Act funds.

Much was not unprecedented Saturday, Sept. 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., as early drizzle turned to gray and, finally, about 2, humid sun broke through as skies went blue.

Indeed, much was familiar, and that is among the day's annual charms -- the unexpected meeting of old friends amid the crowds; the various booths reflecting the diversity of Arlington's lifeblood, its volunteers, as well as its potpourri of food; the Town Hall main-stage performances.

You can see a selection of photos shaping the day, as well as some from the evening before, when some got drenched.

Photographers were Beatrice Schueller, this site's Arlington High intern; Carla DeFord, freelance writer/photographer for the site; Martha Ingols, resident; and Marjorie Howard, journalist and partner.

See a series of photos here >>

Full brochure >> | To find a booth or activity, see the map >>

The following was published before Town Day

Marie Krepelka, the selectmen's administrator, told the board on Aug. 7 that nearly 240 booths had applied.

AHS musicians at the main Town Hall stage

Carla DeFord reported the following:

In their first concert of the year, the Arlington High School (AHS) Jazz Band and Madrigal Singers will perform on Town Day, Sept. 16, at 11 a.m. at Town Hall. The program, featuring plenty of favorite tunes as well as new discoveries, is sure to get the crowd involved. As Fats Waller would say, the joint will be jumpin’.

Madrigals: The AHS Madrigal singers, which has 30 members, 12 of whom are new to the ensemble, will present “All the Things You Are” by Jerome Kern, “Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing” by Stevie Wonder, “Moon River” by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer, and “Wana Baraka,” a traditional Kenyan piece.

“Town Day is an opportunity to get the year off to a great start,” noted Madalyn Kitchen, who is now in her third year as choral director.

“Not only does it allow the students to bond and work together right off the bat,” Kitchen said, “it’s also the first time the community gets to hear them. The parents of our students usually come to AHS concerts, but we hope that on Town Day other community members who may not have a direct connection to the school can see the caliber of our ensembles and be drawn in. In addition, Town Day will be the first fund-raiser for our trip to Italy in February.”

Jazz Band: Having won the grand championship of the Bahamas Cruise Line Festival in 2004 and taken either first or second place in the Berklee High School Jazz Festival in 2011, ’13, and ’14, the AHS Jazz Band has long been recognized for its excellence.

On Town Day, the 23-piece ensemble, which has 11 new members, will present “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé Knowles, Rich Harrison, Shawn Carter, and Eugene Record and “Sweet Home Chicago” by Robert Johnson, both with vocalist junior Devin Wright; “Cave Canem” (Latin for “Beware of the Dog”), an original piece composed and directed by junior Julian Carpenter; “One More Once,” a Latin-influenced piece by Michel Camilo; “American Patrol” by Glenn Miller; “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” by Joe Zawinul; and “The Chicken” by Pee Wee Ellis.

Jazz band director Sabato (“Tino”) D’Agostino came to AHS in 1999 and has been building its jazz program ever since. “We want everyone in Arlington to know what a great cultural resource this band is for the town.  On June 8, 2018, Bejazzled, our biennial, full-evening jazz concert, will return to [AHS] Lowe Auditorium,” he said, “and our Town Day performance will give the audience a little taste of what we’ll be doing then.”

Beer garden on Central Street: 'Secret' brews reported

UPDATED: This year, Town Day organizers will introduce a beer garden that will be accessible from Mass. Ave. at Central Street (one block east of Mill Street), selling brew from Somerville-based Aeronaut. 

Aeronaut's brewmaster tells YourArlington: "We'll have our India Session Ale, 'Hop Hop and Away' as well as our juicy New England style IPA the 'Imperial Galaxy Cirrocumulus.'

"We will also have our 'Passion fruit Sour Planet' Berliner Weisse, along with our 'Robot Crush' Pilsner."

Aeronaut Brewery is in the former Ames Envelope complex, a company operated managed until 2010 by Bill Shea, an Arlington volunteer leader who died in 2012.

Selectmen approved a plan for the beer garden at their Aug. 7 meeting.

An Aug. 1 memo from Allison Carter, Arlington's economic-development coordinator, spells out the security, with additions from Larry Slotnick.

Staffing will be 10 volunteers, including two Town staffers, several Aeronaut Brewery staffers and two Arlington police officers.

From Aeronaut's website: "We push the boundaries of beer through fearless recipe design, creative ingredient-sourcing, and house-cultured fermentations. Our mission is to brew world-class beer, amplify the voice of our community, and support arts and culture."

Access to the beer garden will be restricted to a single entrance on Mass. Ave. There will be an Aeronaut Brewery staff person stationed there who is trained to check identification.

Those under age 21 will be allowed into the beer garden only under the supervision of a parent or guardian. After identification is checked, beer garden patrons who are 21 years or older will be given a wristband.

Per state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission regulations, each wristband-wearing patron will only be allowed to purchase two drink tickets at a time. Drink tickets can be redeemed only by those adults wearing wristbands at the Aeronaut serving station inside the beer garden.

A police officer will be stationed at either end of the beer garden -- one near the service station and one near the beer garden entrance/exit onto Mass. Ave. All beers must be consumed inside the beer garden.

Aeronaut Brewery will have crowd-management-certified staff members as part of its team on Town Day. 

This information was added Aug. 8 and updated Sept. 14.  

Walter V. Moynihan Town Day Run

Get ready for the Walter V. Moynihan Town Day Run The Town Day Road Race held Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Arlington High School. Enjoy this 2.7-mile course as it heads down Mass. Ave. and then returns on the bikeway.  

General Information 
  • An automatic timing system will be used.
  • Registration starts at 7:30am – 8:00am with race time starting at 8:30am.
  • Register the day of the race or prior to the event at Arlington Recreation.
  • Pre-race Registration is $20 per person.
  • This event is sponsored by Arlington Recreation, Boys & Girls Club and Fidelity House.
  • Online Registration available until 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15.
Click HERE for more information or to register.....

Raffles at Bowes

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Stop by and visit Shannon & Mary of Team Murray at the Bowes Real Estate booth.

We have free A-Town Koozies, but numbers are limited so stop by early. We also have three raffles (House DEEP clean and two Custom Arlington Tiles ) to give away to those of you who like our Facebook Business pages: and 

We will draw the winners live at Town Day. 

Honoring a poet

Cathie Desjardins, the town's new poet laureate, will be doing a poetry reading on Town Day from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. outside the Jefferson Cutter house.

Those involved will start by dedicating the reading to Arlingtonian Charles Schwab, who passed away on Aug. 24.

His family has requested that Laura Kiesel, an Arlington writer who knew him at the end of his life, say a few words about him and read one of his poems.

Others will also be offering poems and recollections before many of the Beehivers from the library read their poems. Those are poets who meet Desjardins in the library.

Charlie's son and daughter, Carol Ober and Hal, who were present last year, will attend this year. Read about Schwab here >>  

Restored carriage house unveiling

The town Department of Health and Human Services invites the public to the unveiling of the newly restored, historic Whittemore-Robbins’ carriage house at 11 a.m. on Town Day at 670R Mass. Ave., or to the left of the 1804 home, which serves many town purposes, near the Robbins Library.

'80s pop at visitor center

The town visitor center at Unlce Sam Plaza plans to be the host for a band performance on Town Day, on Saturday, Sept. 16. The Grüvmeiners plan to play pop hits from the 1980s and beyond from 1:15 to 3 p.m.Arlington For All banner

The full band won't be there, but the members playing on Saturday are:

Matt Dorson, sousaphone;

Susan Dorson, saxophone;

David Wedaman, trombone; and 

Joe McEachern, drums. 

Teosinte group 

Tseosinte Arlington needs your help with its booth. The group seeks volunteers to help staff the table in one-hour increments.  This is a great activity to do with your school age child. To sign up, click here >> 
Please stop by to say Hola, and shop for crafts and coffee. We have several new items. We would also like to share with you updates from Teosinte and what we are doing in the community. 

Book donation at Robbins Library

Donations of books for the Town Day book sale may be left in the large blue bin located in the front lobby of the Robbins Library beginning Tuesday, Sept. 5, and continuing until Thursday, Sept. 14, from 1 to 9 p.m.

Books, books on CD, music CDs and DVDs in excellent condition are welcome.

Please do not donate Reader's Digest condensed books, old textbooks, magazines, computer texts, or books without covers.

Anyone wishing to assist the Friends with the sale should contact Friends Coordinator Amy McElroy at 781-648-4109 or ae65[@] 

Arlington Disability Commission

The Arlington Disability Commission's booth will be directly in front of Town Hall at Mass. Ave. and Academy Street.

Members of the commission will be available to provide information to the general public.

The commission is also delighted to host Kids On The Block for unforgettable puppetry performances on disabilities, awareness, inclusivity and more. 

Food LinkFood Link

Come join the fun and spread the word about Food Link. Volunteers are needed on Friday afternoon to assist with organizing and packing supplies and on Saturday to help set up and to connect with the community. Sign up here.  

The deadline to submit booth applications was 7 p.m. Thursday, July 13. 

Learn about Town Day sponsorship opportunities at 

Old Schwamb Mill

Visit the Old Schwamb Mill booth, across from the Robbins Library on Mass. Ave. 

Soap Box Derby

The Arlington Soap Box Derby will be giving test rides to kids at the Citizens Bank drive through across from Town Hall. 
Stop by and say hello, or to volunteer to help staff our booth for an hour or two. In addition to offering rides in the drive-through, a couple of cars are on display. Organizers are signing people up who might be interested in racing.
If you're able to help us out at Town Day, email arlingtonsoapboxderby[@] 

Century 21

Century 21 Adams will have a booth set up on Mass. Ave., so please stop by, say hi, spin our "wheel of fortune" to win a prize- and if you have any real estate related questions, we'll be happy to answer them. 

Here are 2017 sponsors >>

Stop and chat with YourArlington

Another resident keeps track of Town Day online >>

A look back at Town Day: 2015

This news announcement was published Friday, June 9, 2017, and updated Sept. 24.