Happy New Year’s, Belmont: What’s Closing Early on the 31st And Open On The First Day Of 2024

Photo: Fireworks over the Boston Common at 7 p.m. Take the T! (Credit: Estormiz, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Welcome to 2024, Belmont. This leap year will see Concord Avenue without a library or skating rink – come back in 2025 for their openings! – a vote on a large operational override and the election of a new select board member.

And 2024 is an Olympic year with Paris as the summer venue, the European Championships in football (soccer) will be played in Germany, while one of the most consequential Presidential elections will take place in November. Sadly, the town will lose two of its brightest business lights as Trinktisch and Craft Beer Cellar close its doors on the final day of Dec. 31.

The MBTA On New Year’s Eve: For everyone looking for a cheap and reliable way to attend First Night 2024 in downtown Boston to participate in the First Night Procession (at 5:50 p.m.) or attend the Family Fireworks display over the Boston Common (7 p.m.), here is what you need to know. 

Service will be free on all systems after 8 p.m. Additional staff and ambassadors will be available to assist riders.

Service by System

  • Subway will run on a Sunday schedule, with increased service after 3 p.m. Trains will run until approximately 3 a.m.
  • Bus and The RIDE will run on a Sunday schedule.
  • Commuter Rail will run on a weekend schedule. The T will hold the Fitchburg Line – which services Belmont and Waverley stops – at North Station until 12:45 a.m.

New Year’s Day

 Commuter Rail will run on a weekend schedule

 Buses and subways will run on a Sunday schedule.

New Year’s Eve early closings:

  • Star Market at 535 Trapelo Rd. closes at 9 p.m. The pharmacy closes at 5 p.m.
  • CVS: The store at 264 Trapelo Rd. is closing at 10 p.m. (the pharmacy at 7 p.m.) and 60 Leonard St. at 10 p.m. (with the pharmacy shutting its doors at 5 p.m.)
  • Starbucks at 110 Trapelo Rd. in Cushing Square will close at 5 p.m.
  • Dunkin’ at 353 Trapelo Rd. is closing at 7 p.m., while the store at 52 Church St. is closing at 7 p.m. The store at 350 Pleasant St. will shut it down at 6 p.m.
  • Craft Beer Cellar at 87 Leonard St. will be open until 9 p.m. The only exception is if the store sell through everything before 9 p.m.

New Year’s Day


  • The Dunkin’ at 353 Trapelo Rd. will be operating from 4:30 a.m. until 9 p.m.
  • The 52 Church St. location in Waverley Square will be open from 4:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • 350 Pleasant St. will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.


  • The “Cushing Village” location at 110 Trapelo Rd. will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

CVS Pharmacy

  • The store at 264 Trapelo Rd. will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • The operation at 60 Leonard St. in Belmont Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Jan. 1. The pharmacy on Trapelo Road is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Star Market

  • Belmont’s supermarket, located at 535 Trapelo Rd., will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

What’s Closing Early On The 24th; What’s Open And Closed Christmas

Photo: “Elves Forever” (credit: US Postal Service)

Christmas is a day of gift-giving and reflecting on cheerful times from past years around the tree, gift giving, before decamping to the dinner table to watch the latest holiday movie on the Hallmark Channel and professional sports events or just relaxing with family and friends.

For those who don’t celebrate the day, several fine Chinese restaurants will be open, and some great movies are premiering on the big screen on Christmas: the remake of The Color Purple, Ferrari and
The Boys in the Boat  [Editor’s suggestions: “Maestro,” at the West Newton Cinema at 1 p.m. “Poor Thing” (several screenings] at The Majestic 7 in Watertown, and the best of the Rom-Coms “Anyone but You” at the “7” and Apple Cinemas in Cambridge] 

And if you have a “need” to get out of the house, here are a few places around town closing early Christmas Eve and open on Christmas:

Christmas Eve early closings:

  • Star Market at 535 Trapelo Rd. closes at 6 p.m. The pharmacy closes at 5 p.m.
  • CVS: The store at 264 Trapelo Rd. is closing at 10 p.m. (the pharmacy at 6 p.m.) and 60 Leonard St. at 10 p.m. (with the pharmacy shutting its doors at 5 p.m.)
  • Starbucks at 110 Trapelo Rd. in Cushing Square will close at 4 p.m.
  • Dunkin’ at 353 Trapelo Rd. is closing at 8 p.m. while the store at 52 Church St. is closing at 5 p.m. The store at 350 Pleasant St. will shut it down at 6 p.m.
  • Craft Beer Cellar at 87 Leonard St. in the Center will be open ’til 6 p.m.
  • MBTA buses and subway lines will run on a Sunday schedule. The commuter rail is on the weekend schedule.

Christmas Day


  • The Dunkin’ at 353 Trapelo Rd. will be operating from 4:30 a.m. until 8 p.m.
  • The 52 Church St. location in Waverley Square will be open from 7 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
  • 350 Pleasant St. will be closed on Christmas.


  • The “Cushing Village” location at 110 Trapelo Rd. will be closed.

CVS Pharmacy

  • The store at 264 Trapelo Rd. will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • The operation at 60 Leonard St. in Belmont Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Christmas.
  • The pharmacy on Trapelo Road is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Belmont Center site will be closed.

Star Market

  • Belmont’s supermarket located at 535 Trapelo Rd. is closed for the day.

If you are looking to get around on the MBTA:

  • The Fitchburg/South Acton Commuter Line will operate a weekend schedule while buses that operate in Belmont will also be on a Sunday schedule.

James Paul White Field House Now A Memory As Belmont Remembered Namesake’s Sacrifice [VIDEO]

Photo: James Paul White (center) in an undated photo

It was 79 years nearly to the day when 19-year-old James Paul White was killed during the Battle of the Bulge on Dec. 21, 1944, as a small group of local veterans, residents, and town officials gathered on Monday, Dec. 18, in torrential wind and rain to remember White and the building bearing his name which in a few hours would be reduced to rubble.

During the height of the worst late winter storm in recent years, Belmont Middle and High School Building Committee Chair Bill Lovallo and Belmont’s Police Chief James MacIsaac spoke as workers for Skanska USA made final preparations to demolish the historic building to begin the construction of the town’s new $30 million skating rink and community center. The multipurpose facility is scheduled to open in the spring of 2025.

“Today, we’re representing and going to thank James Paul White for his dedication to Belmont,” said Lovallo.

Belmont’s Police Chief James MacIsaac

MacIsaac read from his history of White – “a gifted athlete and outstanding student” – and the field house dedicated to him in May 1948.

MacIsaac’s in-depth tribute to White and the Field House can be found here.

“We should remember that 83 other Belmont residents were killed in World War II and [the field house] represents those other 83 young men,” said MacIsaac.

A plaque honoring White that was located at the field house’s entrance has been removed and will be relocated.

The demolition began just after 10 a.m. when a blast from an air gun announced the beginning of the end for the venerable structure that served Belmont High School athletes as changing room and coaches quarters for three-quarters of a century.

Workers at the site said it would take little time for the mostly cement structure to come down, and they were spot on. A lone excavator began ripping through the building from the back of the facility near the rink. By noon, the street facing façade collapsed after a well-placed hit from the excavator’s arm.

“One down, one to go,” said a worker viewing the aftermath and pointing to the ‘Skip’ Viglorolo Rink feet from where the field house stood. The half-century skating facility is scheduled to be brought down a couple of weeks into the New Year.

Before and after

Belmont Winter Special Town Meeting: Virtual Session Set For Jan. 22 On Board Of Assessors

Photo: The current board of assessors (from left) Charles R. Laverty, Robert P. Reardon, Patrick Murphy with Dan Dargon, the Assessing Administrator

A winter Special Town Meeting is all set as the Belmont Select Board opened and closed the warrant for an all-virtual meeting assembly dedicated to a single proposition: to transition the Board of Assessors from an elected to an appointed council.

The fully remote meeting will occur on Monday, Jan. 22, 2024, at 7 p.m.

The article awaiting the members originated as a citizen petition from Precinct 8’s Angus Abercrombie for the fall Special Meeting in November. Due to the heavy agenda facing the meeting, Moderator Mike Widmer asked Abercrombie to have the petition moved to the new year, where it would receive the attention it deserved.

A recommendation in a 2022 review of the town’s financial structure by the Edward J. Collins, Jr. Center for Public Management at UMass Boston, the change in the Board of Assessors structure will bring an essential element in the town’s fiscal structure under the umbrella of the financial director. Earlier this year, the post of Town Treasurer was made an appointed position.

The current board comprises long-time Chair Robert P. Reardon, Charles R. Laverty, III, and Patrick J. Murphy, IV.

Belmont’s Beth El One Of Several Bay State, US Synagogues Targeted With Bomb Threat

Photo: Beth El Temple Center in Belmont

Belmont’s Beth El Temple Center was one of several synagogues in Massachusetts and more than 100 across the country that received bomb threats on Sunday, Dec. 17.

“I am following up on my earlier message regarding the bomb threat to the temple building, which prompted us to close this morning,” said Rachael Fagin, president of the Temple Center, building this m in an email to the congregation sent Sunday, Dec. 17. 

Belmont and Cambridge police, including a K-9 unit, searched the building and found no threat, according to Fagin. “Law enforcement has confirmed this to be a hoax.”

“We continue to be grateful for the attention and support of local and state law enforcement. There will be an increased presence from the Belmont Police Department this afternoon,” said Fagin.

Beth El was one of many Jewish religious and cultural centers that were targeted on Sunday, a day after Hannuakka ended.

According to a statement from the Massachusetts State Police, a Jewish community center in Framingham, a Jewish cultural center in Tisbury, and a synagogue in Florence received email threats. At the same time, a bomb squad swept a Natick synagogue in advance of an event, though there was no threat.

“Hundreds of similar threats have been received by Jewish institutions across the United States this weekend,” stated the state police.

Physical acts of vandalism of Jewish institutions and religious centers are occurring. A menorah at the Framingham Centre Common Cultural District was toppled, and a sign voicing support for Israel was taken on Saturday, Dec. 16, according to Framingham law enforcement, which is investigating the incident as a potential hate crime. 

Belmont High Teams In A Winning Way As Winter Sports Season Gets Underway

Photo: 2023-4 Belmont High Girls’ Hockey

After a successful fall in which each team participated in the MIAA tournament, Belmont High begins the winter sports season with

Girls’ Basketball: Belmont High Head Coach Shantell Jeter opened her second campaign with the Marauders thumping Melrose, 68-24, at the Wenner Field House on Dec. 13. Coming off an impressive first-year campaign, Sophomore Sophia McClendon continued her outstanding form, scoring 12 of her game-high 16 points in the first quarter on two 3s and three baskets. Senior captain Mia Ferrari scored in double digits with 10 points, including a pair of 3s. Emily Donahue, Lean Attridge, and Brynn Connolly each contributed 8 points to the lopsided victory. The Marauders (1-0) head to Reading (1-0) to meet the Rockets on Friday, Dec 15.

Belmont High sophomore Sophia McClendon in action.

Girls Hockey: Under the tutelage of new head coach Brendan Kelleher, the newly-created co-op team of Belmont and Watertown high schools started the 2023-4 season with a stellar performance, shutting out hosts Melrose, 3-0, on Wednesday, Dec. 13. Goals were courtesy of seniors Ruby Jones, Allison Caputo and Molly Driscoll while sophomore Jil Costa in goal did an outstanding job replacing four-year starter all-star Bridget Gray.

Boys’ Basketball: In a tight, low-scoring season opener, Belmont took down Melrose, 49-45, at the Wenner. Senior Donovan Holway netted 21 points while leading the Marauders back from a double-digit deficit to squeak through in the final minute. Next up for the Marauders (1-0) is a matchup with Reading (1-0) on Friday, Dec. 15.

Boys’ Hockey: With losing its top defensive line and all-star goal-scoring forward due to graduation, it will be a rebuilding year for the Marauders, which will be playing the next two seasons in Watertown as the town builds a new rink.

The season got underway against Catholic Memorial, ranked fourth in the Boston Globe preseason Top 20. The West Roxbury team proved a real test for the Marauders as the Knights scored a 4-1 win at the Warrior Arena in Brighton. Sophomore Leo Packard scored Belmont’s lone goal, assisted by senior co-captain Adam Bauer, while first-year goalie Ethan Bauer stopped 26 shots. Against Melrose, Adam Bauer collected two points with a goal and an assist on Packard’s second goal of the season to secure a 2-2 tie vs. Melrose. Belmont will be in Watertown to take on the Raiders on Saturday, Dec. 15.

Expect Delays On Trapelo Road Thursday, Friday As Waltham Honors Fallen Officer

Photo: Waltham Police Officer Paul Tracey (City of Waltham website)

Due to the large number of people and police departments expected to attend services for Waltham Police Officer Paul Tracey, who was killed last week, the Belmont Police Department is advising residents and commuters to avoid Trapelo Road heading towards Waltham on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 14 and 15.

The wake and funeral mass will occur at Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted Church, 920 Trapelo Rd. in Waltham. The wake is scheduled from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, the funeral services will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday. The burial will occur around 1 p.m. at Mount Feake Cemetery in southwest Waltham.

Waltham plans to close Trapelo Road for most of the day on Thursday and Friday to accommodate traffic to the church as thousands of uniformed officers from across the region, and country will come to Waltham to remember Tracey with his family and friends.

Tracey and National Grid employee Roderick Jackson were killed when a pickup driven by Peter Simon of Woodsville, NH crashed into them at a work site on Totten Pond Road, Dec. 6. 

Flood Watch Issued For Belmont Until Monday Afternoon; Strong Winds Could Cause Outages

Photo: Be prepared: Strong winds could lead to power outages

The National Weather Service issued on Sunday, Dec. 10 a flood watch for central Middlesex county including Belmont that will remain in effect through Monday evening, Dec. 11.

Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations. Creeks and streams may rise out of their banks. Flooding may occur in poor drainage and urban areas. Storm drains and ditches may become clogged with debris.

The heavy rain will be accompanied by sustained south-southeast winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour with gusts of 30 to 50 miles per hour into Monday, with stronger gusts up to 70 mph along the coast.

In areas with the strongest wind gusts, scattered power outages are likely, and “trees and power lines, and numerous tree limbs could be downed,” according to the NWS. “Damage or blow away of poorly secured outdoor objects is expected.”



To text an outage report please text your message to with all the necessary information: Name, address, outage information. When reporting an outage, Belmont Light is encouraging customers to send imagery of any damages, infrastructure issues, and general community engagement.

State Rep. Rogers Final Belmont Office Hours Of 2023 On Tuesday, Dec. 12

Photo: State Rep. Dave Rogers

State Rep. Dave Rogers will be holding his final office hours in Belmont of 2023 on Tuesday, Dec. 12, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St.

Residents are encouraged to contact his office with questions by email at any time at dave.rogers@mahouse.gov .

Rogers serves the 24th Middlesex district, which includes parts of Cambridge and Arlington.

After A Historic Season, Belmont High Head Football Coach McCray Leaves Program

Photo: Belmont High Head Coach Brian McCray leaves program.

After helming Belmont High School Football to a memorable 2023 season, Head Coach Brian McCray said it was with “mixed emotions” that he submitted his resignation after three seasons as head coach “effective immediately” in an Instagram post dated Friday, Dec. 8,

“After careful consideration and reflection, I believe this decision is in the best interest of my personal and professional development,” said McCray who went 14-17 since joining the program in 2021.

“I am grateful for the opportunities and experiences that Belmont High School has provided me during my tenure as head football coach. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the talented student-athletes, dedicated coaching staff, and supportive administration.

Together, we have achieved significant milestones and growth, and I am proud to have been a part of the Belmont High football program.”

“It has been an honor to work with Coach McCray,” said Adam Pritchard, Belmont High’s Athletic Director. “Brian is a dedicated teacher/coach and has been a tremendous leader for our student-athletes and a positive park of Belmont High School and our Belmont community.”

“We are grateful for Brian’s time as varsity football coach and are excited for the future of football at Belmont High School,” said Pritchard.

Finishing this season at 6-4, McCray’s team won the Middlesex League Liberty Division crown – its first Middlesex title since 1965 – defeating division rivals Reading and Woburn for the first time in more than a decade, earning a spot in the Division II state tournament, and routing Watertown on Thanksgiving, 47-0.