Hopkinton Family Fun Day ushers in the fall with a day of kids games, entertainment and fireworks. This year’s event is slated for Sept. 14.
Fall is fast approaching, and with it comes a variety of local events that show off the great community feel in this town.
One highlight of the season is Family Fun Day, which is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 14. The event, entering its third year, starts at 3 p.m. with two dozen local organizations — clubs, nonprofits and businesses — setting up activities targeted toward younger kids. Activities include bounce houses, a dunk tank (featuring prominent locals), the annual kids races around the track organized by the Girl Scouts, family scarecrows, and a soccer challenge put on by the Knights of Columbus. And there’s the popular basketball free throw competition put on by the Hopkinton Basketball Association (shameless self-promotion).
There also will be local bands performing. Refreshments are available for purchase at food trucks that will be set up in the middle school parking lot. (The rest of the activities are free.)
The woodsman amateur competition is back at Field 12, with residents invited to participate from 3-6 p.m. The Fire Department is bringing a side-by-side demonstration unit, which is a trailer with two small rooms, one with fire sprinklers and one without. The rooms are set on fire to demonstrate the difference sprinklers can make. That demonstration starts at 4 p.m.
At night, around 8:30, there will be a fireworks show.
The event is organized by the Friends of Hopkinton, who are looking for a few more adult volunteers to help supervise the event (email Ann Click for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Friends of Hopkinton puts on a karaoke night each winter to raise funds for the event, with local businesses chipping in as well so that the event can be free to all attendees.
“Sponsor response has been great so far,” said Click, who noted that no dogs or drones are allowed at the event, and the Center Trail and other trails along the loop road will be closed all day (starting at 8 a.m.) due to them being located within the safety circle that the state fire marshal sets up for the fireworks.
For more information on Family Fun Day, visit friendsofhopkinton.org.
Earlier that same day, the 45th annual Polyarts Festival will be held at the Town Common from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Local artisans will display and sell their crafts, and there will be refreshments, kids activities, music and more.
Like Family Fun Day, Weston Nurseries’ Blooms, Brews & BBQs event started two years ago and quickly has become a popular local tradition. The Sept. 7 event, which in addition to its titled elements features local bands (South Street Band, Hot Acoustics, The Rationales, F-Tones), is a fundraiser for the Jimmy Fund Walk, for which Weston Nurseries has put together a team for many years.
Tickets are $10 in advance (westonnursuries.com/events) and $15 at the event, which runs from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Vendors include Snappy Dogs, Uhlman’s, PJ’s BBQ, Gotta Q, Start Line Brewing and Marty’s Fine Wines.
“We’re really excited about this now-annual event because it brings together the town along with a lot of our friends and customers and supports an organization, the Jimmy Fund, that’s really significant,” Weston Nurseries chair Wayne Mezzitt said in an appearance before the Select Board on Aug. 13 to get approval for an entertainment license. “Last year we raised about $8,000 from this event for the Jimmy Fund — in addition to what we generated from [the Weston Nurseries team] for the Jimmy Fund Walk. We’re looking forward to doing at least that this year.”
Weston Nurseries president Peter Mezitt serves as captain (along with his wife, Karen) of the Jimmy Fund Walk charity team, which will march the Boston Marathon route on Sept. 22.
“Everyone knows somebody struggling with cancer, and it means a lot to me and our Weston Nurseries family to help,” he said. “We believe in the Jimmy Fund’s mission to help patients and families dealing with cancer. We are proud that Weston Nurseries is a leading supporter of the Jimmy Fund walk. It means a lot to us to contribute to the over $9 million they raise annually to help fund research to cure cancer.”
Town, schools continue to rank high
The Hopkinton Public School system was selected the No. 2 best school district in Massachusetts by Niche, a website that provides comprehensive rankings and reviews of schools and neighborhoods across the country.
“Yes, I know it’s not all about test scores or recognitions, but it is quite an honor for the Hopkinton Public Schools to be ranked by Niche as the second best school district in the state of Massachusetts!” HPS superintendent Carol Cavanaugh wrote on Facebook. “Thank you to the students, teachers, paraprofessionals, staff, administrators, school committee and parents who have made this people. So. Well. Done. I am proud every day to be your superintendent.”
The only district ranked ahead of Hopkinton is Westford.
Hopkinton High School placed 13th on Niche’s list of top public high schools in the state (Lexington is No. 1).
Hopkinton also was tabbed by Niche as the No. 1 place to teach in the Boston area.
As a town, Hopkinton ranks No. 2 for best place to buy a house in Massachusetts (behind Pelham) and No. 4 for best Massachusetts suburb to raise a family (behind Lexington, Newton and Sudbury).