WORCESTER – On Friday evening, a three car collision occurred on Lake Ave in Worcester resulting in one operator being extricated from his vehicle by the “Jaws of Life” and another in critical condition.

According to the Worcester Police Department [WPD], around 7:40 PM, the department’s Crash Reconstruction Unit responded to the crash. The accident occurred in the southbound lane and other traffic was detoured from the area for several hours.

Upon arrival, officers provided first aid to two males — one with critical injuries and the other with serious injuries. Worcester EMS and Worcester firefighters arrived and provided advanced medical procedures. The victims were transported to a nearby hospital for treatment and their conditions are unknown at this time.

The crash involved three Worcester residents, each operating and being the only ones in their respective vehicle. The WPD’s preliminary investigation that a 54-year-old operator of 2013 Toyota Tacoma was heading northbound on Lake Ave and attempted to pass a 2004 GMC pickup truck operated by a 32-year-old male. When the Toyota attempted to pass the truck, it struck the rear bumper. The Toyota then tried to pass again on the left side, but swerved into the opposite lane and collided head on into a 2014 Toyota Scion being operated by a 27-year-old male.

The operator of the Scion had to be removed from the vehicle by the “Jaws of Life” and the 54-year-old operator of the Toyota is in critical condition.

The operator of the GMC truck was unhurt and provided WPD investigators with a detailed statement. Investigators interviewed witnesses, processed evidence and mapped out a crash scene. The investigation is ongoing and each vehicle will have a full mechanical inspection.

No citations have been issued at the time as the investigation is still in the early stages. Citations may follow as the investigation progresses.

SHREWSBURY – A major motor vehicle accident has blocked off Route 9 eastbound in Shrewsbury near White City Plaza.

The accident occurred around 1 PM. Shrewsbury Police and Fire are on the scene as an SUV is flipped on its roof following the accident at the intersections of Rt. 9 and Quinsigamond Ave.

The cause of the accident and the condition of the motor vehicle operators isn’t known at this time.

Passing vehicles are being detoured around the accident scene.

ThisWeekinWorcester.com will update this story as more information becomes available.

Photos Courtesy of Eleni Poulo.

WORCESTER – “We never thought it was even going to happen, because really, why would it?”

In an interview last week, Mark Senior of Worcester, looked back on late February 1988 and shared what appeared to be a familiar sentiment among Worcester residents and media outlets across the country.

In early Jan. 1988, legendary rock n’ roll artist Bruce Springsteen announced his 43-show “Tunnel of Love Express Tour” would kickoff with a three-night performance [Feb. 25. 28-29] in Worcester.

The 1988 shows weren’t the first time Springsteen was in Worcester. He had already come to the Centrum in Aug. 1984 during the Born in the U.S.A. tour.  He would return to Worcester in Sept. 1992 during Springsteen’s World Tour.

But this time around, Springsteen fans and followers — both local and national — couldn’t help but ask the question: “Why start a tour in Worcester?”

“People were shocked. We couldn’t believe it.,” Senior said. “You would have thought he would’ve started the tour in the Meadowlands.” [Springsteen was born in Long Branch, NJ]

In 1988, the Worcester Centrum was only six years old, Union Station was abandoned, and the Worcester Common Fashion Outlets were still six years away from opening [and 18 years from closing]. Worcester’s Mayor at the time was Jordan Levy [now a talk radio host on WTAG], Shrewsbury Street had only a handful of restaurants, and Water St. was a Sunday morning destination for fresh bulkies and bagels. 

SEE VIDEO BELOW: MTV Coverage of Springsteen’s ‘Tunnel of Love’ Tour Opening in Worcester

A headline in the New York Times read ‘Town Asks Springsteen, Why Here? (and Smiles).’

The article’s author Allan R. Gold asked “Why is Bruce Springsteen, the nation’s biggest rock-and-roll act, beginning his first national tour in two and a half years in this gritty central Massachusetts mill town?”

A Chicago Tribune article surmised that playing Worcester was in Springsteen’s wheelhouse.

Sid Smith of the Tribune wrote, “The choice of Worcester, a mill town that has seen better days and is striving for a new life, couldn’t be more perfect for the working class poet of modern rock `n` roll. The town might be a setting for one of his blue-collar odes.”

According to the Times article, “Tickets for the three shows by Mr. Springsteen and the E Street Band are long gone – 37,000 were sold in a few hours at $20 apiece. Most people know someone who spent frustrating, freezing hours on line, only to come up empty-handed. The Mayor cannot get a seat.”

It’s been 30 years since Springsteen, joined by the E-Street Band and the Horns of Love, reeled out a three-hour, 28-song, double encore performance on his first night in Worcester on Thursday, Feb. 25, 1988. The first performance included the live debut of Springsteen’s hit single ‘Tunnel of Love,’ an acoustic version of ‘Born to Run’ to open the first encore, and a cover of Elvis Presley’s ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love.’

Springsteen would go on to play two more sold-out shows on the following Sunday [Feb. 28] and Monday [Feb. 29], rocking the Centrum with hits like ‘Born in the U.S.A,’ ‘I’m on Fire,’ ‘Cover Me,’ ‘Brilliant Disguise,’ ‘Dancing in the Dark,’ and the tour debut of ‘Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out.’

Bruce Springsteen performs onstage at the Worcester, Mass. Centrum Feb 25, 1988 as he kicks off his nationwide “Tunnel of Love” tour. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Why did Springsteen have to take two nights off in between shows? The United States Hot Rod Mud Bog Drag Racing Championships, featuring the Battle of the Monster Trucks were in town and took over the Centrum on Friday and Saturday evening.

Ironically, the Monster Trucks still come to Worcester and will be in the city this coming weekend at the now DCU Center.

Fond First Night Memories of His Father, and Wearing a Tour T-Shirt

In 1988, WooBerry Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt shop owner Brendan Melican was only 11-years-old when he attended Springsteen’s opening night show and witnessed the live debut of ‘Tunnel of Love.’

Then a student at West Tatnuck Elementary School, Melican attended his first ever “real concert” as a kid with his father, Robert Melican, who passed away a few years ago.

Although Melican doesn’t remember where his seats were exactly — “I just remember they were great seats from an 11-year-old’s perspective. Somewhere stage right.” — he fondly remembers sharing the experience of seeing Springsteen with his father.

“He was a huge Springsteen fan, and he was really just a fan of music in general and this was the first time I really saw my father get excited about being at a show. I still have his record collection and it’s amazing to realize as an adult how your parents sort of shape a soundtrack to your life via the music they listen to,” Melican said.

The Horns of Love [Miami Horns] that played along with the E-Street band made a very positive impression on Melican, who said that he was “floored” by saxophonist Clarence Clemons’ performance.

“Clemons was a larger than life musician for me as a kid. I remember being floored by his sax in the Dancing in the Dark video. That was like the high-water mark for cool by ’80’s standards. But the additional horn section was just crazy to see and hear — also probably where my tinnitus originated from even if it’s more fun to blame that on late nights at the Lucky Dog in my 20’s,” Melican said.  

“But my biggest memory overall is of the tour t-shirt,” Melican added. “I was so excited to wear it to school the next day, but it wasn’t the most masculine shirt ever designed and I was a small kid, so it was basically a flowered dress featuring Bruce holding a bouquet, of more flowers. I got picked on a lot for that shirt, not an easy look to pull off in Worcester circa ’88, but I wore the shit out of it. “

Later that same year, Melican’s mother, Beth, took him to see David Lee Roth’s “Skyscraper Tour.”

“Pretty sure [my mom] drew the short straw on that one,” Melican said. “However, Springsteen didn’t ride over the Centrum crowd on a surfboard, so maybe it’s break even?

Wife is at Home Pregnant, But the Show Must Go On

Senior attended the Sunday night show on Feb. 28 with Peter Keefe, a co-worker from Nissen Bakery Co. Before they went into the show, Senior and Keefe went to the former Red Baron Pub on Main St. for beers. Senior and Keefe’s seats were in the back of the stage, viewing Springsteen’s performance from behind. 

“That was okay sitting back there,” Senior said. “They didn’t have a big production stage with curtains and videos like they do at concerts now. It was just the band and you could see everything.”

“One of the few things I remember from the show was a girl sitting in the front row with a t-shirt on that said ‘Tramps Like Us,’” Senior added, who still has two t-shirts from the Springsteen show.  

Senior, then 31-years-old, remembers well how Springsteen opened up with “Tunnel of Love’ [as he did all three shows] singing to his now wife, Patti Scialfa, with the stage set up like an amusement park on the Jersey Shore boardwalk.

“He was acting like a kid going on a first date during ‘Tunnel of Love’ and then the show kicked off from there. It was a great show,” Senior said. “It was crazy. The show was over in three hours, but it went by real fast.”

Mark Senior’s t-shirts from the 1988 Bruce Springsteen Show in Worcester

At the time, Senior’s wife Barbara was at home pregnant with his youngest child, Kristen.

“She still let me go. Back in those days there were no cell phones, so it was kind of taking a risk by me going and her at home pregnant,” Senior said, now a receiver for Austin Liquors in Shrewsbury. “I was working nights at Nissen’s and I remember having to call into work that day, too. There wasn’t a chance I was making it in after the show.”

The Coolest Kid in School Tomorrow

Nick D’Andrea was 15 years old and a sophomore at Holy Name high school when he attended the third show at the Centrum on Monday, Feb. 29 [1988 was a leap year]. D’Andrea attended the show after receiving the tickets from WXLO for doing volunteer work with the Friendly House Biddy Basketball program.

“The night of the show I met up with two more recipients at WXLO.  At that time, they were located in the former Worcester Center Galleria.  We took a tour of the station and then walked over to the show with a couple of representatives from the station,” D’Andrea said.

D’Andrea, now 45, is a Sales Operations Program Manager with Fallon Health in downtown Worcester and a reporter for ThisWeekinWorcester.com.

A ticket stub from the Sunday, Feb. 28 show at the Worcester Centrum

WXLO’s seats were in the top level away from the stage, but D’Andrea said it was still a great vantage point for the show.

D’Andrea said. “I remember the energy of the crowd.  It was pretty electric.  I specifically remember, as the concert was coming to an end, Bruce had acknowledged the crowd and the city of Worcester for being a great place to open up his world tour.  He said to the crowd ‘We are now going to rock the rest of the world for you.’

D’Andrea also remembers Springsteen’s unique take on his hits ‘Born to Run’ and ‘Dancing in the Dark.’

D’Andrea said, “I am a big fan of ‘Born to Run.’, I still have it on my running playlist, so I was amped to hear that song.  Bruce took a different approach with it this time.  He played it acoustically during one of the encores — the first one, I think.”

“He also played ‘Dancing in the Dark’ kind of in the way of the song’s music video.  He brought a woman on to the stage to dance, just like in the video.  It was little to staged for me, but it was cool to see.  The song I thought he knocked out of the park was a cover of Edwin Starr’s hit “War”.  Bruce has the perfect voice for it,” D’Andrea added.

High Hopes for Springsteen’s Return to Worcester

In the summer of 1975, United Way President and CEO Tim Garvin first saw Springsteen perform while he was doing an internship in Washington, D.C.  It was the first concert Garvin had ever been to in his life.

“We were given free tickets to see this CBS recording artist. This was before ‘Born to Run’ came out. When we asked what Springsteen was like, we were told he sounded like Dan Fogelberg, which couldn’t be more different,” Garvin said.

“This scrawny guy with a really bad beard walks out on stage in Chuck Taylor high tops and performed for two and a half hours. My world was changed. I went back to Connecticut and got a record of Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band. It was the most glorious sounding music. Each song was about ten minutes long. It was just incredible,” Garvin said.

LISTEN BELOW: Audio from full Springsteen show – Feb 28, 1988

Following his first taste of Springsteen’s live act, Garvin would go on to attend the 1984 show in Worcester and would even get to meet Springsteen at the former Embassy Suites hotel downtown [now part of Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences].

When Garvin graduated from Clark University in 1985, he and his parents pitched in for his graduation present and was able to see Springsteen perform overseas.

In Feb. 1988, Garvin, who was 30-years-old at the time, paid $125 to see Springsteen at the Centrum and couldn’t get over how different the ‘Tunnel of Love’ tour was from previous Springsteen concerts.

Garvin said, “When you’re a Springsteen fan, you love him almost without critique, but this was a very different show. The ‘Born in the U.S.A’ show was a stadium show. Springsteen would tell funny stories in between songs and they went on forever.

“This show was orchestrated more than any other show that I had seen. There was a lot of new stuff which I thought was good, but I wasn’t used to it as much as I was the old stuff. I was really a traditionalist.”

“But it was an excellent show because I hadn’t seen him in three years,” Garvin said, who attended the show alone. “I was dating a woman, Theresa, who is now my wife, and there was no way I was going to spend $250 when I was only making $200 a week.”

“[Theresa] loves Springsteen and she has since gone to about ten shows with me,” Garvin said.

Garvin remembers Springsteen performing the live debut of ‘Part Man, Part Monkey’ — “it had kind of a reggae beat,” ‘Seeds’ – “a brilliant song about the state of the nation’s economy,” and ‘Two Faces.’

“I’m not a huge fan of ‘Brilliant Disguise.’ I’ve never been a fan of ‘Hungry Heart.’ I think it’s the worst song he’s ever performed and that’s his biggest hit ever. And I think this show was the first time I’ve ever seen Springsteen play ‘Born to Run’ acoustically which I thought was interesting.”

This year, Springsteen is performing on Broadway — “Springsteen on Broadway” — five shows a week from now until June 30.

“My hope is that after reading this story, Springsteen will want to come back to Worcester and do a show at Mechanics Hall when he’s finished up on Broadway. That would be absolutely fantastic,” Garvin said.

 

WORCESTER- Who is #22?

That’s what the Elmira, NY Police Department is trying to figure out as they search for a suspect involved in a brawl between Worcester’s American Basketball Association [ABA] team, the 78’s, and the Elmira Eagles.

According to the Elmira PD, on Dec. 16, 2017, officers were called to the Elmira YMCA “to investigate an assault that was perpetudated by the owner and players of the Elmira Eagles basketball team against [the Worcester 78’s]. The victims suffered concussions, a broken jaw and substantial financial loss as a result.”

SEE VIDEO BELOW: Brawl Breaks Out at Worcester 78’s Game

The 78’s players — namely, guards Lee Vasquez, who suffered a broken jaw, and Kamahl Walker, who suffered a concussion — declined to comment for this story, as the investigation is ongoing.

During the course of Elmira PD’s investigation, Eagles management, coach and players purposely mislead the police into believing that the suspect [described by the Worcester 78’s players as wearing #22] was former Eagles player and Rochester resident, Chad Dillard.

However, Elmira PD has since learned that the Dillard had already quit the team earlier in the season and a different player wore #22 during the game in question. The police department has yet to identify who wore the #22 jersey and the Eagles organization has refused to cooperate with the investigation.

In the above photo, the Elmira PD are trying to identify #22.

The video below shows that the 78’s are down one point when forward Sam Longwell is fouled during a shot at the buzzer. The referees decided to put .4 seconds back on the clock, and that’s when Alston approaches the 78’s bench and mayhem ensues.

According to 78’s owner Tom Marino, Alston has not replied to multiple requests for information on the suspect — including the suspect’s name and an image of the game’s roster sheet.

“Once the decision is made to put time on the clock and let free throws be shot for us to finish this game, I have nothing to say,” Marino said.

The 78’s are Hoping for a Swift Resolution following a fight in Elmira, NY/Photo Courtesy of Worcester 78’s

In an email to ThisWeekinWorcester.com, ABA co-founder and CEO Joseph Newman said, “The first thing we did was to gather all of the facts…as much video as we could, officials’ reports, witness reports.  Under normal circumstances, incidents like this result in suspensions of parties directly involved.  When it became a police matter, however, we did take a step back, until all of the information was gathered by them.  That information has been gathered.”

Newman said Tom Chichester, ABA Director of Officials, will make the final determination as to the ABA’s course of action.

“We take the matter very seriously and hopefully, we’ll make the proper decision,” Newman said.

 

There’s no telling when the infinite sadness of the New England Patriots losing to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII will end.

Thankfully, there’s only 30 more Sundays before the first NFL Sunday of the 2018 season and there’s plenty of major and local sporting events to watch live and on television and activities — concerts, parades, festivals, and more! – to take part in Worcester from now until September.

 

ThisWeekinWorcester.com has you covered to keep you occupied every Sunday until the Patriots play a regular season game again on Sept 9.

Feb. 11

Worcester 78’s vs Jersey Express – Boys & Girls Club of Worcester 

– The city’s only professional basketball team, the Worcester 78’s are playing their second-to-last home game of the season against the Jersey Express on Sunday, Feb. 11 at 4 PM.  The 78’s have had an incredible season so far (11-2) and remain near the top of the ABA’s power rankings. Check them out!

Paul Pierce Jersey Retirement – Boston Celtics vs Cleveland Cavaliers

– The Celtics will host the Cleveland Cavaliers at 3:30 PM on Sunday and will pay tribute to Celtics legend Paul Pierce and retire his number #34 to the rafter of the TD Garden. The game will be broadcast on ABC.

 

Feb. 18 

Monster Jam at DCU Center 

Monster Jam is adrenaline-charged family entertainment providing jaw-dropping displays and gravity-defying feats that promises to always leave fans entertained. Monster Jam events feature some of the most recognizable trucks in the world including Grave Digger®, Max-D, El Toro Loco® and many more!

Feb. 25 

Something Rotten! Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in Worcester

“Set in the ‘90s – the 1590s – this hilarious smash tells the story of Nick and Nigel Bottom, two brothers who are desperate to write their own hit play while the “rock star” Shakespeare keeps getting all the hits.  When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theatre involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first musical!” – The Hanover Theatre

 

March 4 

Worcester Railers vs Manchester Monarchs

– The Worcester Railers will host the Manchester Monarchs at the DCU Center for a Sunday afternoon matinee. With less than ten home games left for the Railers, this is one game you won’t want to miss!

March 11

Worcester County St. Patrick’s Day Parade 

–  An all-time classic Sunday afternoon in Worcester, the Worcester County St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a fun-filled day for all ages. Be sure to get to Park Ave early to celebrate as this parade usually reels in thousands of spectators.

March 18

Boston Celtics vs New Orleans Pelicans 

– Will this be the last time Anthony Davis plays against Boston in a New Orleans uniform? The last time these two teams played, Davis absolutely clobbered the C’s and the Pelicans won 116-113 in OT. Hopefully next year at this time, Davis is doing the clobbering FOR the Celtics. Tip-off is at 6 PM.

March 25

2018 Men’s NCAA Hockey  Northeast Regional Final

– The NCAA has awarded the Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Northeast Regional to the City of Worcester for the 2018 season. The bid to host was submitted this spring by the College of the Holy Cross, the SMG-managed DCU Center and Discover Central Massachusetts. The event, hosted by College of the Holy Cross, will take place March 24-25, 2018.  – dcucenter.com

NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Sweet 16 and Elite 8

– The thrilling action of the March Madness tournament will take place at the TD Garden in Boston on Sunday, March 25 and in Omaha. Year in and year out, this tournament is must-see basketball and this year will prove the same.

April 1 

Boston Bruins vs Philadelphia Flyers

– It’s a Sunday matinee as the Bruins take on the Flyers in Philadelphia and approach the end of their season before the NHL playoffs start. Head out early to your favorite Worcester sports bar and catch all the action as the B’s get ready for a long playoff run.

April 8 

Final Round of The Masters

– Hello Friends. In what is arguably the greatest weekend in golf every year, the final round of the Masters is always a thrilling Sunday. Spend it on your couch or at a Worcester sports bar that will let you hear Jim Nantz call every shot.

Worcester Railers vs Manchester Monarchs (Final Game of Season)

– In the Railers’ final game of the season, they take on a familiar foe in the Manchester Monarchs for 3:05 PM Matinee at Worcester’s DCU Center. Get down there and cheer the hometown team on and celebrate their first ever regular season.

April 15

First Round of NBA Playoffs 

– The NBA playoffs kickoff this weekend and whether or not the Boston Celtics will play this Sunday is still undetermined. Nonetheless, this has been one of the most intriguing NBA seasons in a long time and with the Cleveland Cavaliers flailing and the Celtics on a roll, every game counts and should be watched.

April 22

Marvel Universe Live! at the DCU Center

– Marvel fans, assemble for this live, action-packed, legendary battle to defend the universe from evil. Spider-Man, the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy join forces with Doctor Strange, master of the mystic arts, in a race against time to recover the Wand of Watoomb before it falls into Loki’s hands. This ancient artifact holds immeasurable mystical power and would allow Loki to achieve his eternal quest to crown himself ruler of Asgard and Earth. This all new show unites some of Marvel’s greatest Super Heroes including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Panther, Hulk and Black Widow against some of the most threatening villains.

April 29

New England VegFest

The New England VegFest is a free festival that brings the local community together to celebrate vegetarianism: an animal-friendly, environmentally sustainable, and healthy lifestyle.

May 6

Massachusetts Pirates vs Columbus Lions

– Finally some football! In their only Sunday game of their inaugural season, the Massachusetts Pirates will host the Columbus Lions at 7:30 PM at Worcester’s DCU Center. It will be the Pirates’ fifth game of the season. 

May 13 

US Rowing Men’s Sprints Collegiate

The 2018 Men’s Sprints will be held on Sunday, May 13 at Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester. Pack a lunch, get their early and cheer on your favorite college rowing team!

May 20

 

33rd Annual Walk for the Homeless at Worcester’s Elm Park

– Over the 32 year history of the WALK for the Homeless, over 20,000 people have walked a total of 76,000 miles to raise over $1.9 million to move families from homelessness to safe, quality housing. Register here.

May 27

Memorial Day Weekend

– It’s a long weekend! Do what you want! Host a cookout! Go on vacation! Sleep in! Binge watch TV shows! Whatever!

June 3 

Worcester Bravehearts vs Pittsfield Suns

– PawSox who? The Bravehearts are back and that means great baseball in Worcester for the next few months. Take your family and friends to Fitton Field at Holy Cross to cheer the young Bravehearts on as they try to get back to their championship form.

June 10 

Boston Red Sox vs Chicago White Sox

– In a reunion of sorts, the White Sox will head to Boston to take on the Red Sox for a 4:05 PM as Sox ace Chris Sale gets to see his old teammates and former #1 Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada tries to show the Red Sox they made a mistake in trading him.

June 17

 

PGA U.S. Open Final Round 

–  The 118th U.S. Open will be played in Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y. However, we suggest that you visit Green Hill Municipal Golf Course in Worcester, or another local course, and play a round of golf and then go inside to the clubhouse and spend an afternoon learning something from the pros.

June 24

MASSive Comic Con at DCU Center

– A superhero day for the masses! MASSive Comic Con is back at the DCU Center and will showcase movie and television stars, comic book creators and publishers, and celebrity guests!

July 1 

Psychic Medium Matt Fraser at Mechanics Hall

– Matthew Fraser is an internationally renowned psychic/medium and author of “The Secrets to Unlocking Your Psychic Ability”. He has conducted thousands of readings around the world, reconnecting friends & family with the spirits of those who are no longer with us. His messages of hope, comfort and reassurance have touched the lives of all who meet him, making Matt one of the most gifted and genuine psychics living today. For tickets, click here.

July 8 

Boston Red Sox vs Kansas City Royals

– The Sox and Royals play a 2:15 PM game in Kansas City one week before the All-Star break and just weeks before the MLB trade deadline hits. This series could be part of a stretch that helps determine if the Sox are buyers or sellers before July 31.

July 15

Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

– The first of three Italian Festivals in Worcester this summer, the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is being run by the Mount Carmel Preservation Society, a group dedicated to preserving and elevating the Italian and Italian-American history, arts, culture and spiritual life in Worcester.

July 22

Rugby World Cup Sevens

– The Rugby World Cup Sevens is the premier stand-alone international rugby sevens competition. The event is contested every four years with tournaments for men’s and women’s national teams co-hosted at the same venues. This year’s competition in San Francisco, but we suggest catching the action at a local sports bar like Funky Murphy’s, Quinn’s Irish Pub, or the Galway Bay Pub.

July 29 

Worcester Bravehearts vs Bristol Blues

– In their final Sunday game of the regular season before the playoffs begin, the Bravehearts will take on the Bristol Blues at 4:05 PM. Get down there and cheer the team on as they make another run at a title.

August 5

Boston Red Sox vs New York Yankees

– Football is right around the corner, but first the Sox take on the hated Yankees in the dog days of summer with a Sunday matchup that will likely be a night game on ESPN. We can only hope that this game still counts for soemthing come August.

August 12

Our Lady of Loretto Feast Italian Festival

– For the first time in ten years, an Italian Festival will be held at Our Lady of Loretto on Massasoit Road in Worcester. Come relive some great memories!

August 19

Worcester Italian Festival

– After a one year hiatus, the Worcester Italian Festival will return and the festival will be held at East Park on Shrewsbury St. Proceeds from that festival will go towards either several local charities or designated to two or three local families that may be in need or suffering a hardship.

August 26 

Boston Red Sox vs Tampa Bay Rays

– The Sox take on the Rays in a 1 PM game in Tampa as the Sox make their final push into September and hope to lock up a playoff spot.

September 2

Labor Day Weekend

– Happy Labor Day Weekend! Enjoy a cookout with friends, or simply count down to the last few days until the Patriots play again in one week!

WORCESTER – For some, the thought of fleeing Worcester would be a welcome respite from the traffic, weather, and the every day demands of work or school.

For many others, Worcester is home and their livelihood is tied into this city and the thought of leaving here has never once crossed their mind.

But what if you were offered a chance to escape Worcester in order to earn some great prizes?

The premise around the newest live action game, “Escape the City,” is to find safe places and people to help you throughout the city, avoid being caught by a clandestine group of agents, and escape the seven hills of Worcester.

Jason Eastty, owner of Escape Games Worcester and creator of “Escape the City” and last fall’s live action game “Find the Secret Agent,” told ThisWeekinWorcester.com that he’s turning the tables on the game’s contestants this time around and giving them a chance to “run for it instead of run towards it.”

“You know too much & now you’re being hunted. There’s a clandestine organization that wants you & your team eliminated. You need to find someone you can trust that can help you escape. Luckily for you there are safe places throughout the city where people are willing to help you….  for a price of course.

Can you find all of your contacts & escape the city before you’re captured?”

In what could be considered a sequel to “Find the Secret Agent,” Eastty describes “Escape the City” as putting its contestants “on the run.”

Eastty said he’s going to hire people to chase the contestants around — not literally chase them, but give the contestants the impression they’re being followed.

“Instead of finding secret agents to assist you, this time the agents are chasing you because you know too much. You have three hours to find safe places throughout Worcester before you’re ultimately able to escape,” Eastty said. “You need to escape the city, stay off the grid and find these safe places where there will be someone to help you.”

The people at the safe places for the players will have something that the contestants need to help them escape Worcester and the contestant will have something for those at the safe places in order to receive the help.

“Basically, the players are going to be bartering with those trying to help them in order to get the clues and information that will show them the way to escape,” Eastty said.

Do you have what it takes to Escape the City?

Eastty remained mum on prize details and game specifications, but said it would be a similar experience to “Find the Secret Agent” in terms of cost [$30] and prizes. However, he expects twice the number of contestants [“Find the Secret Agent” had around 100 players] and even more agents to be involved.

Unlike “Find the Secret Agent” which used local business at meeting points for players to find agents, “Escape the City” will use landmarks and random outdoor areas [parks, streets, tunnels] in Worcester as “safe places” to avoid the agents.

“A lot of people loved how it went last time, but we’re going to up our game on the puzzles. We’re very excited about it and we’re going to try and out do ourselves,” Eastty said.

Eastty hopes to host a live action game every six months [April & October] each year. “I feel like that’s perfect. In October, I’ll probably put on something completely different. Maybe something with zombies,” Eastty said.

The event will take place on Saturday, April 7 and tickets can be purchased here. For more information, check out Escape the City’s FAQ page.

WORCESTER – The first ever marijuana social club in Worcester will be opening up on Water St. in the city’s Canal District this week.

The Summit Lounge — an upscale, private smoking lounge that will allow the consumption of cannabis — is slated to open on Friday, Feb. 9 at 116 Water St., the former home of Secret Society Tattoo shop.

According to owner and general manager Kyle Moon, 27, of Northbridge, The Summit Lounge will be an exclusive club aimed at business and social leaders in the Worcester community to come share common interests.

Interior of The Summit Lounge/Photo Courtesy of The Summit Lounge

In an interview on Feb. 6, Moon, a Business Administration major at Quinsigamond Community College, said, “It’s a private membership association. It’s really for people that aren’t interested in the bar scene and don’t want to go out to a loud club, but still want to socialize with people. For example, older people that want to go out on a Friday night, but don’t want to be surrounded by the college crowd. It’s an alternative to the typical Worcester nightlife.”

According to Moon, The Summit Lounge is modeled after an upscale yacht club — where it’s private membership-based and a place for people to hang out in a relaxed environment.

“We’re really trying to pride ourselves on being a classy establishment. Our members are allowed to smoke cannabis, but we don’t want it to be a place just to smoke cannabis,” Moon said.

“If our members agree to allow the smoking of cannabis on the premises, it’s legal in Massachusetts and we’re not open to the public. Because we are a private membership association, we’re allowed to smoke cigarettes and cannabis in the privacy of the club,” Moon added.

Interior of the Summit Lounge/Photo Courtesy The Summit Lounge

The Summit will offer a selection of tobacco products to its members, but will not be providing cannabis. Members will have to bring their own into the club.

“We won’t be selling cannabis. We won’t be providing our members with cannabis. If anyone is caught selling cannabis in our club, they will be asked to leave immediately and their membership will be revoked,” Moon said.

The Summit Lounge is a registered 501(c)(7) social and recreational organization. The membership only includes the right of access to the club and will cost $50 per month.

Possession of small quantities of marijuana in Massachusetts is legal, therefore The Summit Lounge is able to allow its private members in to bring their own, according to Moon.

“You’re able to come in and enjoy the atmosphere. We will have different theme nights — local brewery samplings, paint nite, poetry night, live music — that will all be free.  There will be no alcohol on the premise. Due to our members smoking cannabis in there, we decided we don’t want to mix the two,” Moon said.

Moon said the club has a occupancy limit of 80 people and hope to have between 100 to 150 members within its first three months in business.

“We’re membership driven. So the members will decide what kind of events we have there and how we grow our relationships with our businesses,” Moon said. “We want to grow with the community in a positive way.”

Moon said the business neighbors on Water St. — notably Kummerspeck restaurant and Weintraub’s Deli — have been amazing to deal with.

“Everyone’s been wonderful. It’s a great area for our type of crowd. From our point of view, we see our place as somewhere people can take a break from the club scene for a bit, come visit the club and enjoy a joint, and then head back to a bar at Whiskey on Water or somewhere else on the street,” Moon said.

An open house will be held at The Summit on Feb. 17 from 12 PM to 5 PM for people interested in learning more about the club and those looking to apply for a membership.

“It’s a market that is historically looked down upon. We’re trying to help change that image. We’re talking about successful young adults, and successful business leaders that enjoy cannabis. It’s a way for people that don’t have a problem with substances to have a good time on the weekend,” Moon added.

The hours of operation at The Summit Lounge are 5 PM to 10 Monday-Wednesday, 5 PM to 3 PM Thursday, 12 PM to 12 AM Friday, 10 AM to 12 AM Saturday and 12 PM to 7 PM on Sundays.

WORCESTER – The list of candidates for Worcester County Register of Deeds could soon grow to four.

In an interview on Thursday, Feb. 8, Worcester City Councilor At-Large Morris A. Bergman told ThisWeekinWorcester.com that he is seriously considering a run for the seat that will be vacant following current Register of Deeds Anthony J. Vigliotti’s announcement that he wouldn’t be seeking re-election this Fall after 46 years in office.

“A number of people approached me about whether this would a position I would be interested in. It’s something I’m seriously considering because it’s in the wheelhouse of what I do in my day-t0-day job, but I will have to weigh where I believe I can do more good for the constituents that I represent. We are just coming off an election year and I’m very grateful to be elected [as City Councilor At-Large],” Bergman said.

Councilor Bergman is currently serving his third two-year term on the council and runs a private law practice in Worcester.

“For anyone seriously considering a run for that office, they probably have to make up their mind more sooner than later,” Bergman said. “With Mr. Vigliotti leaving, it was kind of unexpected, but it leaves a vacuum on the Democratic side.”

“The realization of Mr. Vigliotti not running is just setting in. It’s not something I thought of at all until he decided not to run. I’m thrilled to be on the city council and thrilled to be re-elected, but at the same time, real estate is a lot of what I do and also a way to serve my constituents, so I definitely have to look at it,” Bergman added.

Recently, real estate Attorney Kathryn A. Toomey, of Worcester, also announced her candidacy for the open seat. State Representative Kevin Kuros (R- 8th Worcester District) formally announced his intention to run for Register of Deeds in early Sept. 2017. Rep. Kate Campanale (R-17th Worcester District) announced her candidacy on Nov. 2, 2017.

Cover Photo: Facebook

WORCESTER – On Tuesday, Feb. 6, the Boston Herald reported that several Holy Cross student-athletes had been suspended by the school for possible NCAA violations.

On Wednesday night, in their coverage of the Holy Cross men’s basketball game versus Navy, Telegram & Gazette’s Jennifer Toland reported that three members of the basketball team had been suspended — junior Karl Charles, and sophomores Jack Stevens and Will Powers.

According to the T&G, head coach Bill Carmody confirmed that the players were suspended from the team, but would not confirm why or for how long.

The following statement was released from the school to ThisWeekinWorcester.com: “This weekend Holy Cross Athletics was made aware of potential NCAA violations involving current student-athletes. Those athletes have been placed on interim suspension from team activity pending a full investigation.”

Holy Cross could not comment further at this time. Please stay with ThisWeekinWorcester.com for further coverage.

WORCESTER – Several Holy Cross athletes have been suspended by the school for possible NCAA violations, according to a report from the Boston Herald on Tuesday, Feb. 6.

The Herald said that the students in question have been suspended from athletic activity while the school conducts an investigation into the violations. Holy Cross would not release the names of the athletes or the teams on which they play to the Herald.

In a released statement to the Herald, the school said that it had been “made aware of potential NCAA violations involving current student-athletes.”

Stay with ThisWeekinWorcester.com for further updates regarding this developing story.