In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, ThisWeekinWorcester.com explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.
These five things can cover a whole range of subjects and issues that we feel are pertinent to understanding what’s going on in the city and the cities and towns surrounding Worcester.
In today’s edition — Friday, Feb. 14 — MassDOT warns of changes in traffic for the upcoming holiday (week), Pet Rock Fest announces date and place for its next festival, your help is needed to clean up the old cemetery at the old Westborough State Hospital grounds, help paint some murals for the WooSox and Assumption puts on “Godspell” to benefit one of its students.
All for the Animals, for All Animals: Pet Rock Fest Announces 22nd Annual Event
Pet Rock Fest is thrilled to announce that the 22nd annual festival will return for the fourth year in a row to the field at Wyman-Gordon in North Grafton, which we are happy to now call “home.”
This annual event will be held on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, from noon to 5 p.m. on the grounds of the Wyman-Gordon plant, 244 Worcester St., North Grafton. With a return to this centrally-located and expansive venue, the event continues to grow in numerous ways, drawing more attendees and participants, both in variety and in numbers.
The event features all of the popular attractions, but includes additions to our offerings: from food to vendors to events to nonprofit participation. Pet Rock Fest continues to put the spotlight on the animal welfare organizations of New England that work hard to promote kindness to animals.
Bring Shears and Shovels: Clean Up the Old Westborough State Hospital Grounds
The Westborough State Hospital Memorial needs volunteers on Sunday, Feb. 16, from 10 AM to 4 PM on the old Westborough State Hospital grounds to help clear away overgrown brush from the location of an old State Reform School cemetery.
Our first clean up saw about 30 people come out to help,” said the announcement, “and hopefully we’ll see both new and returning faces!”
Before the grounds became Westborough State Hospital, from 1848 to 1884 it was the home of the State Reform School for Boys. Once the hospital took over it was abandoned, and its memory and very existence forgotten, said the announcement.
“Our research has confirmed the existence of a State Reform School cemetery on the property, and we also have photos of the receiving tomb and headstones,” it continued. “In order to officially confirm the location with the appropriate equipment though we need to clear out decades of overgrown brush.”
Bring shears and shovels if you have them!
Meet volunteers by Lake Chauncy on Hospital Road in Westborough behind the red storage building and an old garage.
Want to Help Paint a Mural for the WooSox?
Hey artists and baseball fans. Here’s another fun way to enhance the community and contribute to the progression that is the Canal District. Join the WooSox and ArtReach on Tuesday, Feb. 18, to create two community murals that will enhance the construction fences surrounding Polar Park during construction.
From 6:30 PM -8:30 PM at Art Reach, 322 West Boylston St., Worcester, enjoy some popcorn, Polar seltzer and Table Talk apple pie, as we paint two murals and create WooSox history. Free drawings for opening day tickets, WooSox merchandise, and some other fun stuff celebrating Worcester’s favorite pastime.
MassDOT Encourages President’s Day Travelers to Plan Ahead
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is warning all your drivers who are hitting the road the next few days to plan ahead, take advantage of MassDOT’s travel “real time” tools and consider using public transportation this coming weekend if possible. Monday, Feb. 17, is President’s Day and that’s a holiday for lots of workers and students (who start February vacation that day, too).
Commonwealth of Massachusetts offices are closed, including Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) locations, and on Monday the MBTA subway, bus and commuter rail lines will be running on Saturday schedules. In addition, on Monday there will be no deployment of the I-93 High Occupancy Vehicle Lane (HOV) between Quincy and Boston or the Sumner Tunnel Swing Lane. Normal HOV and Sumner Tunnel Swing Lane deployments will resume Tuesday, Feb. 18.
Due to an increase in anticipated travel, today and Friday, February 14, the HOV lane from Quincy to Boston will open earlier than usual in the afternoon: at 1 PM Friday.
All subway and commuter rail lines, buses, and trackless trolley operate on a Saturday schedule on the holiday. All ferries and boats operate on a normal weekday schedule.
Assumption’s Production of “Godspell” Benefits Student Seriously Injured in Car Crash
Assumption College is presenting its student-run production of the 2012 revival of Godspell on Feb. 28 and 29 at the Curtis Performance Hall on the Assumption Campus.
Proceeds from the ticket sales will benefit the family of Lily Vartanian, class of 2020, who was seriously injured in a car crash.
Godspell, composed by Grammy- and Academy Award-winner Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak, is a collection of parables, primarily from the Gospel of Matthew. MTI writes that Godspell follows “a small group of people” as they “help Jesus Christ tell different parables by using a wide variety of games, storytelling techniques and a hefty dose of comic timing.”
Broadway returns to Worcester in February when Assumption College presents a student-run production of the 2012 revival of Godspell on February 28 and 29, at 7:30 p.m. in the state-of-the-art Jeanne Y. Curtis Performance Hall on campus, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester. Tickets are $15 for the general public and $5 for students. (Assumption students, use the code ACSTUDENT to receive the discount.)
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Freiber Betancourth, a 30-year-old Worcester man, was sentenced in federal court today to 12 months and one day in prison today for drug trafficking charges.