There are a number of good spots to watch the Boston Marathon as it begins in Hopkinton.
Of course, there’s the start line, although that gets very crowded and it can be challenging to navigate the area.
Enter Weston Nurseries. Located a mile down Route 135 from the start, it’s a great spot to watch both the elite and the thousands of “regular” marathoners scoot by. And there are plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained before and after the stampede of runners passes.
That’s because after a successful debut last year, the Marathon Spectacular is back.
“This will be a great day for the whole family, offering something for everyone, and proceeds from the event will support the 26.2 Foundation, which promotes the sport of marathoning,” explained Peter Mezitt, owner of Weston Nurseries and the event sponsor.
Arrival can be anytime throughout the day. It’s a mile walk on the new sidewalk coming out of the town center or, if traveling by car, Weston Nurseries has easy driving directions online which will provide back road access to the location at 93 E. Main St.
The whole family will have entertainment options at this daylong event, which goes from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. Highlights include food and drink, fun children’s activities, dancing to live bands and, new this year, DJ Gary Titus, as the event’s master of ceremonies.
Weston Nurseries, Start Line Brewing Company and Marty’s Fine Wines are the event sponsors.
“We’re celebrating the spirit of the Marathon in style this year,” said Ted Twinney, owner of Start Line Brewing. “You can watch the field come through in person or visit our optimal viewing station tent for exciting, all-day coverage.”
The largest tent lining the main parking area (adjacent to the “Spirit of the Marathon” sculpture) will house an enormous 12×8-foot television for viewing race coverage. Music lovers can experience four live bands, including Steve Spector’s Hot Acoustics, Soul Function Boston, the F-Tones and Vermont Fiddlers.
Each $5 drink ticket gives patrons the opportunity to taste Start Line Brewing’s limited release of Marathoner IPA beer (also raising funds to support the 26.2 Foundation). There will be other craft beers, mimosas and a selection of fine wines and spirits from Marty’s Fine Wines. Coffee, sodas and water also will be available.
The showcase of food truck vendors offering breakfast and luncheon fare will include StreatFood RX, PJ’s Smoke & Grill BBQ, Goody’s Kettle Corn, Say Cheese and more.
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 on event day, with free admission for ages 12 and under.
Folks from the MetroWest YMCA will be on hand to coordinate kid-friendly activities. Youngsters can participate in giant Jenga, corn hole and Connect 5 and have their faces painted.
Opportunity drawings for a family pack of tickets to the event, gift certificates and vendor merchandise will occur prior to event day on broadcast media, online and at the event.
Mezitt and Twinney agreed they wanted to expand the footprint of what Hopkinton does for the Marathon and brainstormed this celebration event as the perfect way to have fun, cheer on the marathoners and raise funds for an important cause.
“Our customers and employees are deeply involved in running, so this event is important to Weston Nurseries and Start Line Brewing Company from both a business and community standpoint,” Mezitt said.
The 26.2 Foundation is a locally based nonprofit organization founded in 1996. Its mission is to promote and support the sport of marathoning, as well as health, wellness and economic development initiatives through strategic investments in innovative, multi-generational programs on local, regional, national and global levels.
For the past several years, it has been the dream of 26.2 Foundation president Tim Kilduff to open an international marathon center in Hopkinton that would not only showcase memorabilia from Boston’s annual Patriots’ Day event, but also celebrate the international community of distance runners that has continued the sport from the days of ancient Greece.
“It’s a privilege to be the beneficiary of the Marathon Spectacular,” Kilduff said. “As a nonprofit, this kind of support is key to our programs and plans. Great things are possible with the kind of strong partnerships we have in our business community.”
Several 26.2 Foundation board members will be on site event day to answer questions about the proposed center.
Mezitt and Twinney hope the Marathon Spectacular will not only help raise awareness about the International Marathon Center project but raise important funds to support its development.
For tickets and additional information, visit www.westonnurseries/events/marathonspectacular2019.