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  • Writer's pictureWelcoming Newton

Welcoming & Connecting Neighbors: October in Newton

October’s Village Guide:

This month, we wanted to introduce you to a few members of Newton Neighbors’ core coordinating team. These individuals (along with the rest of our coordination team) have spent the past 18 months working day and night to run Newton Neighbors projects and programs, such as the food delivery program, Newton Project Takeout, Freedge support teams, and much much more. Get to know Bruce, Julie, Lisa, and Jenn below! You can also read more about coordinator Ranjani’s favorite West Newton spots in her West Newton guide here (also available in Spanish!). Our goal with the Village Guides is to provide village information and tips to help every Newton resident feel welcome throughout Newton. Past village guides are available here.

Members of the Newton Neighbors coordinating team + families at Auburndale Cove in Auburndale. Bruce W Favorite thing about West Newton (my neighborhood): morning dog walks and running into friendly neighbors and visitors Favorite place for coffee or snack: Judith's Kitchen Favorite restaurant: The Local and Shogun Favorite park or playground: Peirce School Annual Village events: Newton Open Studios Insider tips: Albemarle Field is a great place for running Year moved to village: the previous millennium (ha, ha), 1992 Julie S My husband and I moved to Auburndale in December 2009. We thought we would live here for a year or two. Two kids, two cats, and a dog later, we love it here and can’t imagine calling any other place home. A fun playground or park- Norumbega Park is a hidden gem for dog lovers. There’s a shady trail that’s perfect for people and their canine companions to take a relaxing walk. On a hot summer day, dogs can jump in the Charles for a swim. Annual village events to watch for- During the holidays residents of Islington Road hang light balls from the trees. The best description I’ve read called the street “a real life Whoville”.

Lisa G Favorite coffee - since L'Aroma closed it's George Howell in Newtonville. Favorite Restaurant - Thistle and Leek Favorite park / outdoor space - The Cove is just fabulous. Otherwise the front field at NNHS for running around with the kids and dogs I moved to West Newton in '98, Newtonville in 2007 and Newton Centre in 2021. Thus why the places I like are all over

Jenn P Favorite place to get coffee or snack: Koko Bakery on California St. Fun playground: Stearns Park (which is right behind Koko's and we take our treats there regularly to hang out). Annual village event that is great: the tree lighting in Coletti-Magni Park in Nonantum, which takes place at the beginning of December each year. It is a great community event, really well attended, and my kids love it! We moved here in 2010

SPOTLIGHT ON: The Newton Community Freedge

+ Info on how to help neighbors through Newton Neighbors' upcoming “Drive for Five” for the Freedge!

What is the freedge and what is the Drive for Five? The freedge is a community refrigerator & pantry that is open 24/7 and provides free food and personal care products to anyone who needs them, no questions asked and no sign up needed. The freedge is organized by Newton Food Pantry in collaboration with many local organizations, including Newton Neighbors. It is a volunteer-led, community-supported resource, with the motto “take what you need, leave what you can”.

The Drive for Five is a project organized by Newton Neighbors to support the freedge. It is a community-wide effort to stock the freedge with five particularly high-demand items.

How can I help? We encourage families to shop for items together and to use this as an opportunity to talk about food insecurity in our community and beyond, and how we can come together to support our neighbors. What to donate: The five items to donate for the drive are cooking oil, pasta, pasta sauce (your choice), toothpaste, and liquid hand or body soap. If you’d like, feel free to add more groceries or personal care items. This is a great way to get kids engaged in thinking about the foods they like to share with others and picking things to donate. We also encourage you to remember that Newton is a diverse and multicultural community, and to consider donating additional culturally-specific foods (e.g., tortillas, sauces or spices, Asian vegetables, etc.). The freedge accepts a wide range of items, but there are some limits for food safety - please review the donation guidelines for details.

Where to donate: You can bring your donations directly to the freedge, which is located at 420 Watertown Street (the parking lot of Central Drapery and Dry Cleaning in Nonantum) or to 174 Oliver Rd, 39 Berkshire Rd, or 184 Islington Rd.

When to donate: The Drive for Five will run from October 1-13. After that, we will no longer be collecting items at the homes listed but you are welcome to bring donations directly to the freedge anytime.

Is your family experiencing food insecurity? If your family needs food, the freedge is a resource for you. It’s free, and you can visit it anytime day or night (420 Watertown Street in the parking lot of Central Drapery and Dry Cleaning in Nonantum). The freedge has milk, eggs, produce, bread, rice, pasta, beans, peanut butter, prepared foods and much more! Please take only what you need on the day you visit and leave the rest for your neighbors. You can see this multilingual freedge flyer for more information.

October Events

Wellington Parkfest

Please join us Sunday, 10/3 from 12-3pm. We need volunteers! Visit to sign up and get more info. Thanks from the Friends of Wellington Park Parkfest

Homestead Hayfest

Saturday, October 3rd at 12:00 p.m.

Historic Newton's annual fall festival is back! Homestead Hayfest gives visitors a chance to try 19th-century activities at the Jackson Homestead, including apple cider pressing, butter-churning, and candle dipping. The event takes place on Sunday, October 3 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the back yard of the Jackson Homestead, 527 Washington St. All are welcome at this free, outdoor, family-friendly event. Come on down to Hayfest and experience life in 19th century Newton.

Upper Falls Village Day:

On Sunday October 3rd Upper Falls will host its Village Day. It will take place from 11-2pm next to the Upper Falls Greenway. If you would like to sign-up for a booth, click here.

Indigenous Peoples Day Newton 2021

October 11, 2021 - 12 PM – 5 PM, Albermarle Field

The Indigenous Peoples Day Newton, Massachusetts Ceremonial Celebration will spotlight and celebrate the music, dance, poetry, and the visual art of diverse Native artists that currently live in the Northeast. It will be an outdoor, daytime, family-oriented cultural and spiritual celebration that is open, accessible, and welcoming to all Newton residents and neighboring towns.

(See Marathon info below) Harvest Fair October 16 & 17, Newton Centre Green As the fall winds begin to blow, leaves change colors and one hundred or more tents “set up shop” on Newton Centre green, it hits you ……it’s Harvest Fair time! For 46 years this Autumnal celebration has brought our community together in one place to share good food, peruse unique hand- crafted goods, learn about local businesses, discover ways to create a “greener Newton” and of course watch the kiddies delight in their first ride on the ever popular caterpillar rollercoaster courtesy of Cushing Amusements. This year’s Harvest Fair will be October 16 and 17. Saturday the 16th will be amusement rides only (purchase tickets at the event). On Sunday the rides will be joined by crafters and vendors, food trucks and live entertainment on two stages.

The annual Halloween Window Painting Event is on Saturday, October 23, 2021! (Rain Date: Sunday, October 24)

Now in its 22nd year, the event provides a safe, fun opportunity for Newton area students, as well as their friends and family, to creatively celebrate Halloween.

The window painting event is open to Newton youth in Grades 3-8. Each artist is assigned a space on the outside of a business’ window in Newton’s participating villages on which to paint their masterpiece. The subject matter ranges from jack o’ lanterns, ghosts, goblins, witches, owls, to black cats and more, and each artist has their own particular take on the haunted holiday.

Dia De Los Muertos Celebration at the New Art Center 10/31, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM New Art Center in collaboration with Zaira Meneses, a Mexican musician and recipient of the 2018 Boston Foundation Award, will be presenting a three day opportunity to create an authentic Day of the Dead experience. Students of all ages are encouraged to participate in the art of making traditional Mexican altar pieces expressing gratitude to loved ones no longer with us. From paper cutting to piñata making, everyone is encouraged to take part in this three-day celebration being supervised by Zaira Meneses & Friends. Contact if you’re interested in participating.

The exhibition date to view the altars will be open to the public on October 31st. Welcoming everyone will be the sounds of Son Jarocho, an authentic music that originated in Mexico’s coastal Veracruz. Traditional customary dress is optional, but we encourage everyone to be creative and participate!

No registration necessary! You are welcome to drop in any time between 11 AM and 3:15 PM.

Full Schedule of Activities here.

City News

The 125th Boston Marathon will run through Newton on Monday, October 11th.

Information about how and where to watch the race is available here. ​​

Municipal Election November 2nd, 2021 Information on the upcoming municipal general election is available from our friends at the League of Women Voters here. Also visit the city’s election department. Flu Shot Clinics​​

Helping neighbors

Supporting resettling Afghan families: Newton Neighbors is working with local initiatives, including the Social Action Committee of Temple Shalom, to help with the search for housing for resettling Afghan families. As you may know, hundreds of families from Afghanistan will be arriving in Massachusetts in the coming week (starting as early as next week!!) and there is an urgent need for housing. If you might have a place to offer for a while, could you please fill out this form? If you are a realtor, broker, or otherwise might know folks who might have a space to offer, can you please send them this form? Thank you!

Please contribute to Newton Neighbors’ Drive for Five this month! More info on this and ongoing Newton Neighbors projects available on our website,

Find local events & learn more about what’s happening in town:

There are lots of great resources to find out what's happening in Newton - check out some that might interest you below!

We’ve created a landing page for those new to town, featuring important apps to download and helpful email lists to sign up for. Check it out here:

In addition, visit the following web pages and subscribe to these newsletters to find out more info about what’s happening in town - events, important city discussion and decisions, and more.

Need support?

Food assistance: information on the three food pantries, grab and go, and more available on the city's website here. Info on the Newton Community Freedge (free fridge), a 24/7 free community food resource, is available here.

The Horace Cousens Industrial Fund is a charitable trust, established in 1930, which gives financial help to Newton residents who are faced with a temporary but severe financial problem. Grants are for one-time specific needs.

Welcome Home, Inc. is a home goods pantry based at Trinity Church in Newton. Want to shop? Email to schedule an appointment.

Newton Neighbors has a Facebook group - Newton Neighbors Helping Neighbors to connect community members to support one another and share resources for people who live, work, pray, play and/or learn in Newton. Join here.

Support the work of Newton Neighbors

You can now make tax-deductible contributions to us! Thank you to Newton Community Pride, our fiscal sponsor. If you would like to make a donation, please do so here.

Or mail a check to: 1294 Centre Street, Newton 02459

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