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.

Holiday Parking Cheer: Selectmen OK 2 Free Hours at Municipal Lots

Photo: Don’t put any coins in or swipe you credit card if your staying less than two hours.

The holiday season came early for residents and shoppers who will be shopping for that special gift in Belmont’s three main shopping districts as the Board of Selectmen Monday night, Nov. 9, voted to allow the first two hours free at municipal parking lots town-wide during the holiday season.,

The free parking will take place from Nov. 27 to Dec. 27, said Town Administrator David Kale “as a  ‘welcome back’ gesture” to customers who didn’t want to contend with the road construction occurring throughout Belmont.

Currently, parking in the three municipal lots – Belmont Center, Waverley, and Cushing squares – costs a dollar for each hour and five dollars for the day.

Concerned business owners told Kale the reconstruction of Belmont Center and the work on the $17 million Trapelo/Belmont Corridor project had impacted sales and activity in the past six months. The free parking will be an incentive to draw them back.

Kale said parking enforcement will target the late afternoon hours, after 6 p.m. to keep spaces turning over during the peak shopping times. 

Also, the town will increase the number of trash bins in the business centers, especially in Belmont Center during the annual Belmont Turn on the Town, Dec. 4 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Belmont Selectmen Chair Sami Baghdady said it was also a “tough environment” for store owners along Trapelo Road and especially those in Cushing Square which are dealing with the delay in the construction of the proposed Cushing Village development.

In construction news, Kale said the laying of sidewalks in Belmont Center is proceeding quickly, and the installation of new street lamps has begun on Leonard Street.