What’s Open, Closed On the 4th Of July That’s Observed On The 5th; Trash Pickup Delayed A Day

Photo: Happy 4th on the 5th

Today, Monday, July 5 is when the country observes the 4th of July, Independence Day, which we celebrated yesterday. It’s that somewhat rare case of when the holiday that commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence falls on a Sunday but the US still wants the people of the country to have an official day off. So take it.

For most Belmontians, the most impactful result of the holiday is that trash and recycling pick up will be delayed by a day.

Here is what’s closed and what’s open on the 4th of July.

  • Belmont Town Hall and town offices: Closed
  • Belmont Public Library: Closed
  • State and Federal government offices: Closed.
  • US Postal Service: Both Belmont post offices are closed; express delivery only.
  • Retail stores and coffee shops: Open at owner’s discretion.
  • Liquor stores: Open.
  • Supermarkets: Open.
  • Convenience stores: Open.
  • Taverns, bars: Open.
  • Banks: Closed.

For those who want to do some day traveling using public transportation, the MBTA is running on the following schedule:

  • Subway and Commuter Rail will run on a Saturday schedule.
  • Bus and the RIDE will run on a Sunday schedule.

4th of July Celebrations/Fireworks Close To Belmont (But Arlington’s Not One)

Photo: Over the Charles River.

While Belmont does not hold a community 4th of July celebration, many neighboring and close-by cities and towns do. Here are just a few events and fireworks in adjacent communities and in Boston. 

• Lexington: The annual Lexington Lions Fourth of July Carnival takes place at Hastings Park (continue on Massachusetts Avenue past Lexington center) from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The Youth Games take place on July 4 at 10 a.m. Sorry, but the fireworks were shot off on July 3.       

Boston: Fireworks will fill the sky over the Charles River adjacent to the Esplanade after the Boston Pops concert a little after 10 p.m. 

Newton: Newton Community Pride’s July 4th Celebration is an all day affair with an open air market, food vendors and children’s activities beginning at 1 p.m. at Albermarle/Halloran Field, located on Watertown Street, Route 16. The music starts at 6 p.m. and the fireworks get underway at 9 p.m.

Today, from 10 a.m. to noon, is Kids Morning (for children from 3 to 12) at the Newton Centre Playground at Tyler Terrace. There will be a Grande Pet Parade, a Teddy Bear Parade, Decorated Doll Carriage Promenade and Foot Races. There will also be free ice cream provided by Cabot’s Ice Cream.

• Waltham: The City of Waltham 4th of July Events begins with a kids celebration at Prospect Hill Park (off Totten Pond Road) include family activities like mini gulf, animal adventures, music, food and trolley rides.

Then it is over to Leary Field, 19 Athletic Field Rd., (a block from Lexington Street and close to Waltham City Hall) at 5:30 p.m. for a concert by “Back in Time” with fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

 Arlington: A favorite of many Belmont residents for its panaramic view of Boston’s firework celebration, this year’s events at Robbins Farm Park, just over Route 2 in Arlington, have been cancelled due to large-scale construction in the park that is part of a Community Preservation Act project. 

Ready, Set … Last Minute Things To Know on July 1

Photo: Don’t let traffic get you down this July 4th holiday.

Make no mistake about it; with the 4th of July on a Monday, today, Friday, July 1 is the beginning of a four-day holiday for a majority of Belmontians. So here are a few helpful tips before you start your holiday 

• Heading out of town on the roads today? Take time to get the latest travel advisories.

For traffic and road conditions, drivers may use new technology:

  • Travelers may dial 511 and select a route to hear real-time conditions for more than one thousand miles of roadways in Massachusetts and for some roads in other states.
  • Visit the website, mass511.com, to find real-time traffic and incident information.
  • Access MassDOT traffic camera images of portions of Rt. 3, Rt. 6, Rt. 28, and I-90, I-91, I-93, and I-95 by visiting:  http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/highway/TrafficTravelResources/TrafficInformationMap
  • Download the Ridewise app to obtain travel times for various routes including Route 3, Route 6, I-93 and portions of I-90.  The app is available on Android and iPhone.

• Stock up on best-sellers, get the books on your reading list or find that favorite film as the Belmont Public Library will be open until 5 p.m., Friday, July 1. It will be closed until Tuesday, July 5.

• If you are looking to pay that parking ticket, town offices will be closing at 1 p.m. on Friday, July 1.

• Looking to sneak out of town via the commuter rail or trolley? You’ll have to dig a bit deeper in you wallet as the MBTA is raising fees today, Friday, July 1. Also, if you are traveling by the T on the 4th, there is no fare on the subway lines after 9:30 p.m. 

• Staying in town? Not leaving ’til later? Then come to the Benton Library for a bit of quiet time  at 75 Oakley Rd. on the corner of Oakley and Old Middlesex. The Benton is open on the first Friday evening of every month.

 

Raising the Flag for the Fourth on Homer Road

Photo: Gregory Arabian raising the flag in front of his house on Homer Road. 

If you have never heard of Israel Bissell, then you should come by and ask Gregory Arabian.

The Homer Road resident held a July 4th flag raising on Friday, July 3 at this house with a contingency of Belmont Fire – including Chief David Frizzell who came with Engine 1 – and Belmont Police present to honor a great, but now relatively unknown American Patriot.

Bissell, it turns out, was a 23-year-old post rider ordered by John Hancock in April 1775 to spread the word of the Battle of Lexington and Concord down the east coast from Watertown to Harford, New York and Philadelphia.

“That act help unite the United States of America,” said the attorney whose practice is located in Watertown.

The retired US Air Force officer and Commander of the Belmont AMVETS Post 2008 said that “many things are forgotten. July 4th is forgotten. July 4th is remembered only for barbecues, days off.”

“But the reason why July 4th is so important is that we are independent and free and we should enjoy this nation,” he said.

And to the sounds of the “National Anthem,” Arabian raised the flag – which flew over the Capitol Building in Washington DC – to honor those freedoms.

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Stormy Fourth: Belmont Could See Wet Independence Day

While fireworks and cannons are what many are expecting this coming Friday Fourth of July, the weather could be just as explosive early on this holiday weekend. 

But while much of the talk has been directed southward with the possible development of the season's first tropical storm, a major cold front sweeping from the Midwest is likely to disrupt your holiday plans.

At 5:35 a.m. today, Tuesday, July 1, The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather forecast for eastern Massachusetts beginning Wednesday night, July 2 with "a few strong thunderstorms are possible late Wednesday into Friday afternoon. 

"These storms could approach severe levels" with the main threat being "isolated damaging wind gusts with a secondary concern for large hail."

The NWS said the most likely place for this weather to occur is west of Worcester.

Yet forecasts are indicating that July 3 and Independence Day will be wet in the area with rain anticipated for both days. "There is the potential for widespread heavy rain and localized flash flooding Thursday into Friday night," according to the NWS. 

The latest news from down South is that the tropical depression now lingering off the east coast of Florida will strengthen and head up the Eastern Seaboard but will be pushed out into the Atlantic by the cold front that will be bringing the rain into Belmont. But it will likely increase the surf and tides along the New England coast beginning on Saturday.