Santa’s Coming For Belmont’s Tree Lighting, Thursday, Dec. 2

Photo: Yup, Santa and Mrs. Claus will make their return to Belmont

After being cancelled in 2020, Belmont’s traditional start of the holiday season returns to Belmont Center as Santa and Mrs. Claus will lead the annual tree lighting ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 2 starting at 5:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The event, which will include closing Leonard Street to allow for caroling, food and merchants stalls, and the arrival of the Claus’ on top of a Belmont Fire engine, is sponsored by the Belmont Center Business Association.

XMas Tree Pickup Starts Jan 4; Special Cardboard Drop-Off Set For Jan . 9

Photo: Residents have two weeks to have their trees collected.

Belmont’s Department of Public Works has announced the times and dates for a pair of yearly seasonal services: picking up your Christmas trees and collecting your cardboard.

Curbside Christmas tree collection starts on Monday, Jan. 4, and ends on Jan 14. Trees will be collected on your trash day for those two weeks. Trees need to be free of ornaments, bags, wiring, lights, and stands. After those two weeks, residents will need to call Waste Management (800-972-4545) for a bulky pick-up by noon the day before your trash day. 

Cardboard Drop-Off will take place on Saturday, Jan. 9 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the DPW yard located at 37 C St. off of Waverley Street.

There will be a $5 fee per vehicle.

Contact information will be required for contact tracing purposes. 

The DPW is encouraging contactless payment by requiring pre-registration and payment for the event. Please use the attached link for pre-registration.

  • Prior to arriving at the event, all residents who have not paid on-line, should be ready with a check (payable to the “Town of Belmont”) or cash, and on a separate sheet of paper, provide the town contact information including your name, address, and phone number.
  • Cardboard will only be accepted from pickup truck beds, trunks, and the back of SUVs. The DPW will not accept cardboard from the seats of vehicles handed to us by residents.
  • Any resident who attempts to or exits a vehicle will be asked to leave.
  • Residents will be required to wear a mask.
  • All town personnel working will be wearing masks and gloves.

Find Your Christmas Tree in the Belmont Lions (Club) Den

Photo: Alex (left) and Mary Rogul perusing the wares at the Belmont Lions’ annual Christmas Tree Sale.

Belmont resident Mary Rogul walked along rows of evergreens with her son, Alex, 10, in search of the Christmas tree to be their home’s holiday centerpiece.

And what makes a certain tree the “right” one for the Rogul clan?

“A really chubby one so we can hang all the decorations,” said Alex as they perused on a sunny Sunday afternoon, Nov. 26.

“We come by each year because they do sell the best trees,” said Mary, who came with Alex, husband Emerick and son Nathan, 8.

For nearly 70 years after Thanksgiving, the triangle in front of the Belmont Lions Club becomes the center of the local Christmas tree universe as approximately 3,000 trees and wreaths travel 14 hours from a farm in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia as part of the Lions’ annual Christmas Tree Sale along Royal Road at the entrance of Belmont Center.

“It’s a great community give-back as it serves so many causes,” said John McNamara, who is one of four team captains who leads the 50-plus volunteers who work the sale. 

The tree and wreath sale is the Lions’ biggest annual fundraiser, said McNamara, with the money supporting Mass Eye Research, the Lions Club International Foundation, Diabetes Awareness, scholarships for students at Belmont High School, community activities, Lions Clubhouse Historic Preservation and more activities.

The proceeds of this year’s tip jar goes to Belmont S.P.O.R.T. and Adaptive Sports New England.

Trees are sold from noon to 9 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends, “until the last tree is gone” which occurs usually a week before Christmas, said McNamara. 

“The reason we sell out is people come back each year because they know the money they spend goes to a good cause. It’s not like we’re making a profit. Everyone is donating their time,” he said.

The prices for trees are according to the height indicated on the board next to the wrapping area.

  • 4 feet   $23
  • 5 feet   $32
  • 6 feet   $40
  • 7 feet   $45
  • 8 feet   $50
  • 9 feet   $55+
  • Special shaped trees are priced as marked.
  • Wreaths range from $12 for a small 12-inch plain one to more than $35 for a decorated (bow and ) 24-inch.

There are also tree stands, tree bags, and center and mantelpieces for sale.

And the Roguls took home a Balsam Fir that was wrapped up and placed on the family car.

“We like to support local business and we care about Belmont,” said Mary.

Now Into Its Sixth Decade, Belmont Lions Has The Right X-Mas Tree For Everyone

Photo: The Folan’s have their perfect tree.

While growing up as a child in the UK, Somerset Street’s Edward Young would join his family as they would go out and “dig out or cut our Christmas tree.”

But on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 29, with his family in tow, Young came to Royal Road adjacent to the commuter rail station to select a tree from a few hundred. 

“This is much easier,” he said of his yearly trek to the Belmont Lions Club Christmas Tree and Wreath Sale. 

And he has a particular type.

“I look for the right height for the house and that it’s nice and bushy,” said Young. 


The Youngs joined a steady stream of residents and people from surrounding towns to the annual migration of folks who for the past half century have ventured down to the Lions Club in Belmont Center looking for that “right” Christmas tree (all from one farm in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia); the one that fills the living room, frames the front window or stands on the upstairs landing. 

From 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (they may close up a little early on bad weather nights), the Belmont Lions –  one of 46,000 local clubs worldwide with more than 1.35 million members in 200 countries – will be there to help you find “your” tree.


Dan MacAuley, a Lions past president, said he and his 60 fellow members (supplemented by volunteers from the Belmont High School sports teams) will spend the last Saturday in November until Christmas Eve selling approximately 2,700 trees – all balsam firs – and more than 2,000 wreaths, mantle pieces, and cemetery baskets.

Price is determined by the “official” measuring stick located next where the trees are prepared for traveling; a 7-footer will put you back $43.

But don’t wait until the last minute to get “your” tree.

“They’ve sold out every year I’ve been here, and I have doing this for 14 years,” said MacAuley.

The sale’s proceeds go to help the Lions Internationals’ SightFirst programs focusing on its Childhood Blindness Project and other sight-related charities as well as funding a pair of scholarships at Belmont High School.

“A lot of it stays here in town,” said MacAuley.


This year, change and donations placed in the “tip” jar will go to Belmont S.P.O.R.T. (Special Programs Organized for Recreation Time) which provides activities for individuals of all ages with special needs.

Peter Folan from Monroe Street came with the wife and kids and found “the perfect tree for the occasion,” said Folan.

Why is it the right tree?

“It’s the perfect height, and it’s plump and it resembles his dad,” said Folan, pointing to his son.


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A Belmont Lions Share of Christmas Trees and Wreaths Now on Sale

Belmont residents Colleen Ford and Linda Garrity slowly made their way up and down the evergreens standing outside the Belmont Lions Club on Saturday, Nov. 29.

Like each year, they ventured down to Belmont Center looking for that “right” Christmas tree.

“You don’t want it too big because over time they fill out,” said Garrity.

Nor should it be too tall as the tree will be placed in the kitchen, explained Ford.

“We put it there because the window looks out over the access road [to Route 2],” she said.

“We think it’s nice for drivers to see, and it’s also a way to show off a little,” Ford said.

The pair were some of the first customers on the first day of the annual Belmont Lions Club Christmas tree and wreath sale which has transformed into its own holiday tradition for hundreds of families in Belmont and the surrounding communities for the past five decades.

“Our family does this each year,” said Kristen Lonero, who was back from attending Curry College to help her father get the right tree.

“We know the people so this is like a Belmont reunion,” said Lonero, who not so many years ago spent time with fellow athletes at the Club – one of the 46,000 local clubs worldwide with more than 1.35 million members in 200 countries – located under the Belmont station of the MBTA commuter rail line.

Lion’s President Kevin Vona said he and his 63 fellow members will spend from last Saturday until Christmas Eve selling approximately 2,800 trees and 2,000 wreaths, “but every year we sell out before the 24th.”

Supplemented by volunteers from the Belmont High School sports teams – Boys’ hockey and lacrosse were there to unload the first delivery of trees while softball created wreaths – “we all do our little part to make this a success,” said Vona.

Former Belmont resident Al Gledhill was placing trees on mini-van roofs with the expertise of someone who loves to volunteer.

“It’s the season,” said Al.

The sale’s proceeds go to help the Lions Internationals’ SightFirst programs that focus on its Childhood Blindness Project and other sight-related charities as well as fund a pair of scholarships at Belmont High School.

This year, change and donations placed in the “tip” jar will go to Belmont S.P.O.R.T. (Special Programs Organized for Recreation Time) which provides activities for individuals of all ages with special needs.
“People come here not just that it’s close, but they know the money they spend here is going to a worthy cause,” said Vona.

While the weekends can be busy, and the traffic traveling up Royal Road can cause everyone to do a “quick step” to avoid a collision, “I think everyone has a blast coming here. Our guys and the customers,” said Vona.

Jasyn Tandy and his daughter, Elise, were spying a couple of trees to select.

“She definitely has a voice in which one we select,” said Tandy of his toddler who was looking with a family friend.

With the selection made, Tandy decided to put the tree over his shoulder and head up Royal Road (he only lives three houses up the street.”

“My daddy’s strong,” said Elise.