Dress Up In Your Costume Best For FBE Halloween Apple Run 5K

Photo: Scary run through Belmont on Oct. 29

With a new date and route all with a holiday theme, the Foundation for Belmont Education’s Apple Run 5K is not just about how fast you run but do you have the best costume?

The 2023 5K Apple Run will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 29, with the shorter 2K race starting at 10:45 a.m.

Now being held on the weekend before Halloween, the annual road race that benefits improving educational opportunities for students and teachers at the Belmont Public Schools is expecting its share of ghouls, ghosts, and Marvel superheroes racing through the streets of town.

There will be exciting and fun new prize categories for this year’s Halloween Apple Run, including awarding prizes for Best Individual Costume and Best Team Costume and the fastest runner in age groups and fastest team! A complete list of prizes can be found here. So get working on those costumes!

The first 400 registrants receive our limited edition 2023 Apple Run t-shirt! Register today to reserve one: they’re almost all gone!

Volunteers are needed! Is running not in the cards? We need lots of help to organize and run this amazing community race. Click here to sign up and help out.

The race sponsors are Cityside Subaru of Belmont (PLATINUM SPONSOR), Belmont Orthodontics (RESULTS SPONSOR), Belmont Youth Activities, and D.A.R.E. Inc. (BIB SPONSOR), and East Cambridge Savings Bank (WATER TABLE SPONSOR)

You can find more information about the FBE, and the FBE Apple Run 2023 at this website.

Belmont, Lexington To Provide Covid Testing After Halloween

Photo: Detail of the poster on post-Halloween testing in Belmont and Lexington

In an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, Belmont is partnering with neighboring Lexington to offer free COVID-19 PCR testing following Halloween at two upcoming testing events on Thursday, Nov. 4 and Nov. 6. Both are open to residents of Belmont and Lexington, regardless of the testing location.

PhysicianOne Urgent Care will be providing the testing.  

Please note: You will need to set up an account on their website through the highlighted link below to register for a COVID-19 test, and to view your test results. 

Guide for setting up an account

Residents must have an appointment to be tested. Proof of residency is required.

Register for a COVID-19 test

The testing dates is

Thursday, Nov. 4 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

173 Bedford Street, Lexington (drive-through testing—remain in your car)• 

Saturday, Nov. 6 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Chenery Middle School, 95 Washington St., Belmont (indoor testing)

Nasal swab process 

PhysicianOne Urgent Care uses the Project Beacon online platform for account registration and test scheduling. If you have any issues with registration or scheduling, please contact Project Beacon by email at help@beacontesting.com, or call 617-741-7310, Mon.-Fri. from 8 AM – 4 PM.

Despite Neighboring Community’s Rat Concerns, Pumpkins Are Welcome In Belmont

Photo: Pumpkin … or problem?

Nothing signals fall than the appearance of the winter squash known as the pumpkin.

From mid-September to Thanksgiving, the humble pumpkin is a star; in the kitchen – pies, breads, spices and seeds – and especially for its aesthetic value: what doesn’t evoke the season than a slew of pumpkins on the stoop or a jack-o-lantern by the front door on Halloween? Nothing comes close.

But this year, the pumpkin is getting a cold shoulder in one of Belmont’s neighboring communities and it doesn’t have anything to do with cancel culture.

In Watertown, town officials are advising residents to chuck the real thing and replace it with plastic or ceramic orbs when decorating their stoops and gardens. The reason: rats. Well, rats and other vermin that have been sweeping through the town as if it was 14th century Hamelin.

Many homeowners have complained over the past year of an increase in rodents in a community has been a hot spot of commercial and town construction projects that disrupt them in their underground habitats. Shorter winters have allowed rat couples to have more babies and there’s the problem.

According to Larry Ramdin, Watertown’s public health director, the friendly urging from the town – it is not in anyway a mandate – is an attempt to remove a ready source of food for the local rodent population and that includes the orange squash.

“We have observed rat problems last year around this time. We are being proactive,” Ramdin told the Boston Globe.

“Did you know that putting pumpkins and other edible decorations outside your home can provide food sources for rodents?” Watertown health officials wrote in a Facebook post. “This year, please consider plastic decorations to help prevent rodents on your property and in Watertown.”

Belmont has also had its fair share of ratty issues in the recent past. A few year’s back, Joey’s Park in the Winn Brook neighborhood became a rodent housing complex with numerous underground burrows and the streets around Grove Street Playground have seen a sizable uptick in rats from overburdened trash containers and a problematic house on a nearby street.

But rest assured, the town’s Health Department is happy to tell residents they can keep the real thing this fall.

“At the moment we do not have reason for concern about Halloween pumpkins or any related outdoor activities,” said Wesley Chin, the Health Department’s director.

Halloween Is Coming … And Belmont Wants You To Be Safe Trick Or Treating

Photo: Don’t be too scared about Halloween this year

On a night filled with spooks and horrors roaming the streets, who could have thought the most terrifying act of Halloween 2020 would be sticking your hand into a bag of candy?

With a truly scary coronavirus pandemic continuing to stalk the global community, Belmontians are asking if tricks or treats should even be held this year. It turns out if they follow a few bits of sage advice, the undead, witches and ghouls can still have fun on Halloween.

Wesley Chin, director of Belmont’s Health Department, told the Belmont Select Board Monday, Oct. 5 as it’s getting closer to Oct. 31, there has been “more and more requests for guidance with respect to how to safely participate in Halloween.”

Chin first noted that Halloween is not an “official” town sanctioned event so his department is reluctant to ask the Select Board to either cancel or approve of Halloween taking place.

Rather, the Health Department is making some common sense recommendations for residents of all ages to follow which will minimize the safety risk. The step to take to ensure a safer holiday:

  • Continue to social distance and avoid traveling in large groups or parties (A casualty of prohibiting large gatherings is the cancellation of the annual Halloween Party at Town Hall.)
  • Wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth.
  • Practice good hygiene such as using hand sanitizer often.
  • Rather than give out candy, put them in small bags on a table for tricks and treaters.
  • Residents can also decide not to participate this year. Just keep your porch and indoor lights off during prime tricks or treats time, advice Chin received from Belmont Police Chief James MacIsaac.

Chin has released a chart showing those and other ways to have a fun time being spooked.

“I guess that every resident will have to decide for themselves how to approach this with any guidance you can offer,” said Select Board Chair Roy Epstein. “It’s tricky.”

And treaty.

Booo-reaucrats! Halloween At Town Hall; Monday, Oct. 28

Photo: Flying monkeys and a scarecrow in the Town Clerk’s Office.

It’s scarier than your next property tax bill and more deadly than a night debating bylaw amendments at Town Meeting.

What could be this frightening? It’s the second annual Halloween Trick or Treat at Town Hall on Monday, Oct. 28 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Town Hall and the Homer Building will host children and their parents for a bit of pre-Halloween joviality. Employees are once again encouraged to dress up in the spirit of the day.

As with last year, we will have tables and space available in Town Hall for Belmont Light, the Belmont Public Library, Belmont Police and Fire, and Council on Aging so those employees can participate in the fun as well.

Ghoulish and Creepy: Belmont Town Hall Turns Tricks Or Treats

Photo: The Scarecrow greeting her constituancy at Town Hall. 

A slew of kids and a fair number of adults were given a bit of a fright coming to the Town Hall complex in Belmont Center as the entire staff provided an early Halloween trick with the treats on Monday, Oct. 29.

The Town Administrators Office was transformed into the Addams Family (Glenn and Patrice made a wonderful Gomez and Morticia) while the Department of Public Works took the Disney route with Snow White and the Seven Dwarves – with a particularly fetching princess – while there were competing Wizard of Oz offices with stuffed Totos in the Homer Building and Town Hall. You could touch eyeballs and brains in the HR department whose director was mirroring Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly (although she admitted only residents and staff of a “certain” age recognized the costume) while a mad scientist was conjuring up budgets out of thin air at the Homer. 

Official town business continued as usual in the Town Clerks office where a resident was helped by the Tinman to determine whether the post office had notified the Scarecrow of the resident’s change of address in time so she could vote on a ballot question – alas, they did not. Just another rock in the sack of voting for some at Town Hall. 


Masquerade Concert, Haunted House At Belmont High This Wednesday, Oct. 24

Photo: The poster for the Masquerade Concert

Preview your costume and get scared as Belmont High School turns into a House of Horrors on Wednesday, Oct. 24, as students get ready to do some pre-Halloween spooookiness.

Need a night of fright this Halloween season? Then come down to the fifth annual Belmont High School Haunted House! This event includes a walk-through spook show and a Halloween activity center for younger guests. The house, constructed and inhabited by the sophomore class, will be open from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the school’s cafeteria. There is a $5 admission fee: this year the class is donating all funds to Samaritans, the suicide prevention hotline. 

Right after the Haunted House, the Belmont High School Music Ensembles will hold its yearly Masquerade Benefit Concert which this year will assist the Belmont Food Pantry. The musical groups will be outfitted in their ghoulish best as they present a variety of magical and scary music. 

The concert starts at 7 p.m. in the school’s auditorium. Join in on the fun and wear your own costumes.

While admission is free, a suggested donation of $10 to $25 or nonperishable food items would be appreciated.

Halloween In Belmont: Cushing Square Treats; On HELLcrest [PHOTOS]

Photo: Aerosmith is in town.

Halloween has come to Belmont in the guise of two popular annual events: The Cushing Square Merchants Association’s Cushing Square Trick or Treat and the rising of the skeleton residents of Hillcrest Road which transforms into HELLcrest on Oct. 31.

A hoard of costume children and parents descended on Cushing Square as shop owners got into the mood passing out candy and in one stop, salad. This year’s best costumes were an orange tree, a child dressed as Prince, and Belmont Savings assistant branch manager Kenneth Tingle’s jack-o-lantern suit which Tingle said is part of his wardrobe.

While some communities have neighborhoods that are known for holiday lights, Belmont’s Hillcrest Road is a destination for gawkers in cars and on foot to see the collection of skeletons dressed in a wild array of outfits and in outlandish situations. And as always, the ghoulishness along the road is ruled by the Big Black Cat.

All hail the cat!


A devil dog and a cow girl.


Salad and drinks: certainly a treat for many.


Floating eyeballs.


Prince reincarnated outside the Five and Dime.


My, what big palms you have,


I would love a suit like Kenneth Tingle’s.


I see a member of Aerosmith has arrived for the festivities.


The reason my sunglasses have not arrived.


A current cultural reference.


A “Hamilton” mention on Hellcrest.


All hail the cat!


It might be the scariest place in Belmont, it’s still trash pickup on Tuesday.

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Letter to the Editor: Trick Or Treating For UNICEF


To the editor:

What is UNICEF and what is “Trick or Treating for UNICEF”?

UNICEF stands for United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund whose focus is to help the children in need whether they are going through poverty, violence, or lack of health. 

One way UNICEF gets donations to support children is through Trick or Treating for UNICEF. Millions of kids around the world are in need of medicine, food, or even just some clear water so your donation would be very important to us!

The Belmont High School chapter of UNICEF will be collaborating with the Daniel Butler School and the Chenery Middle School this Halloween. Butler and Chenery students will be trick or treating around Belmont with little orange boxes to collect change for UNICEF’s Trick or Treat. 

How Can You Help?

Trick-or-Treaters will come by with little orange boxes to collect donations. Please have some change ready along with Halloween candy. Even a few cents can go a long way!


Trick or Treating for UNICEF was invented by Mary Emma Allison in 1949. She was inspired when she saw a UNICEF booth collecting funds for undernourished children around the world. The first time she did Trick or Treating for UNICEF, she collected $17 and donated it to UNICEF. 

Eighteen years later, President Johnson declared Halloween to be UNICEF Day. Afterwards, Trick or Treating for UNICEF spread throughout the whole country, and even into some other countries such as Canada and Mexico. Donation boxes would be distributed to millions of trick or treaters every year. This program has raised more than $188 million worldwide, immensely helping those in need.

Whom Does the Money Go To?

Money donated to Trick or Treating for UNICEF is proudly funded to children in need of medicine, nutrition, water, and education. A little money can go a long way!

  • $5 can provide children with 13 doses of measles vaccine 
  • $15 can provide a child with clean and safe water for a year
  • $50 can provide 35 malnourished children with lifesaving nutrition for a day
  • $165 can provide a bicycle to deliver medicine to children

Put yourself in the shoes of these children and image how they could live without health and education. It’s really tough for them so we will appreciate any donations we can get to help these children all we can.

Maggie Yu

Belmont High School chapter of UNICEF

Never Too Early for Cushing Square to Start Halloween

Trick or treating got off to an early start in Belmont as the Cushing Square Business Association sponsored the annual Cushing Square Halloween spook-tacular. It was an opportunity for all to get into costume and receive only treats from the retailers in one of Belmont’s business centers. Here are a few photos from this community-building event.