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Daytime road closures planned in Arlington Center, others near Spy Pond that evening; bus routes to be adjusted accordingly

UPDATED Sept. 20: Town Day is set for Saturday, Sept. 23; the date of this year's edition of the popular annual free local street festival is slightly later than usual.  Town Day itself also is set for a slightly later time period than in the past, starting at 10:30 a.m. and ending at 4:30 p.m.; formerly, the event had taken place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

On its website, the town has published a map/list of the nearly 250 town departments, organizations and businesses participating.

Mass. Ave. between Pleasant and Jason/Mill, where most but not all of the activity is planned, is to be closed Sept. 23 other than to foot traffic from 9:15 a.m. to 6:15 p.m., and the same will be true of  access to Mass. Ave. from all adjoining side streets. MBTA is rerouting its bus routes accordingly. Traffic delays are expected. Visitors are encouraged to walk to the event if possible. The town on its website is advising all to observe signs for other traffic and parking restrictions. 

Fireworks are set to start to go off at about 7:30 p.m. that evening (instead of on the previous evening, as in the past), the town reports -- with attendant road closures for that, as well.

More than one location for event

Many dozens of information booths -- including one by YourArlington -- educational displays, food vendors and entertainment are planned in a section of Massachusetts Avenue aka Mass. Ave. closed to all motor traffic between Pleasant and Jason/Mill streets.

Some Town Day events also are set at Whittemore Park and at Robbins Gardens (between town hall and Robbins Library). And, raising money for good causes, there is to be a foot race at "the Res," aka Arlington Reservoir Beach (plus food, drink, music and more); details, including how to register, are lower down in this article. 

Fireworks by Pyrotecnico Fireworks, Inc. is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. over Spy Pond, officials say -- no other evening activities are offered, just fireworks. Parking will be extremely limited in the immediate area, so walking to the pond is encouraged; Pond Lane will be closed from Mass. Ave. to Wellington/Lombard Terrace from 6 to 9 p.m. 

Details about about "the Res race," including the necessity to preregister for it and the many new family-friendly activities surrounding it; various public-responder demonstrations; educational events; artistic endeavors; volunteer opportunities and more are below.

Free drinking water to be provided at Town Day; visitors are urged to bring their own empty water bottles: The town website says, "When you crave a drink of water at Town Day, you’ll be able to quench that thirst at a kiosk sponsored by the town's Zero Waste Committee; it's an ongoing campaign to reduce single-use plastics in Arlington.Visitors may bring water bottles, travel mugs or cups to the ZW Zone between Academy and Jason streets and fill up for free! Arlington’s tap water is a 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."

Town-sponsored events, activities

Walter V. Moynihan Town Day Run; new route, expanded activities; proceeds benefit youth 

Arlington Recreation Department plans its annual Town Day Road Race at 10:30 a.m. at the Arlington Reservoir Beach. Two loops, the equivalent of two miles, around "The Res" -- with participants of a wide variety of ages running, jogging or walking -- are to be followed by recreational events, including a DJ for music, bounce house, food for purchase and a beer tent from Arlington Brewing Company for those ages 21 and older.

This event is co-sponsored by the Arlington Recreation Department, Arlington Boys and Girls Club and Arlington Fidelity House, with all net proceeds going to youth programming, officials say.

For the race, waivers must be signed, and the cost per person is $20 until Sept. 15 and then may go up. Participants are asked to be at the site by 8:30 a.m. to prepare for the 10:30 a.m. race. T shirts are planned to go to the first 100 registrants. Medals are to be awarded each division winner, according to town Recreation Director Joe Connelly.  Preregistration is needed.

Many more details are here >>

 Learn more about local recreation here >>

AFD Touch-a-Truck, Smoke House, Jaws of Life demos 

Arlington firefighters are to be present to provide fire-safety demonstrations from behind the library. Metro Fire SAFE’s Smoke House, a three-room trailer designed to teach children about fire hazards in the home, will be there. Jaws of Life demonstrations and touch-a-truck opportunities are also planned.

APD Family Services Team, K9 'Eiko' demos 

The Arlington Police Department plans to have public-safety information at its booth on Mass. Ave. at the Robbins Library entrance throughout Town Day. The Family Services Team will be on hand to provide assistance on a wide range of topics. K9 Officer Michael Hogan along with the APD's K9, Eiko, will be conducting demonstrations in the Robbins Library parking lot.

Donate to Town Day: Arlington officials say, "Please help us make Town Day 2023 a success.  Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of the multitude of events, which reflect the rich tradition of Arlington." For sponsorship and contribution opportunities, please contact call 781-316-3020 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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Call for volunteers: 2nd annual Arlington Plein Air competition

Volunteers are still sought and are needed from 10:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23. Duties include co-organizing the event, monitoring three painting sites in the Winfield Robbins Garden, helping with registration -- and more opportunities as well as choice of shifts. If interested, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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


This news announcement was published Saturday, May 20, 2023, and updated Sept. 5, with details including times, dates and locations -- some of which are different from what they were in 2022. It was updated Sept. 8, to clarify that the annual foot race, for which participants pay a fee, is a benefit, with net proceeds going to organizations serving local children. It was updated Sept. 20, to provide links to the relevant page of the town website and a map/list of booth/attraction locations, and to specify the fireworks time.