5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester – Dec. 3, 2019

by | Dec 3, 2019 | News, Headlines

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 — Tuesday, Dec. 3 —  the Leary Foundation is debuting a documentary on the “Worcester 6”, the Worcester Beer Garden just got those cool, but warm, igloos that you can hang out in, MassHousing gave thousands to build sober housing, if you didn’t get Night Lights tickets, you lose and stART at the Station is at the loading dock. 

The Worcester 6 Remembered With a Documentary and 20th Anniversary Ceremony 

Comedian-actor and Worcester native Denis Leary announced on his Leary Foundation Facebook page that “The Worcester 6: Heroes Remembered” five part mini-documentary series debuts on Tuesday, Dec. 3, featuring the six firefighters who lost their lives in the Worcester Cold Storage fire in 1999. 


The series, which details the impact on the city, its fire department, and the families of the fallen, features interviews with firefighters who were on the job 20 years ago, as well as relatives of the Worcester Six. 

The first episode premiers on the Leary Foundation website and social platforms. 

Since Dec. 3 marks the 20th anniversary of the tragic fire, a ceremony is being held to honor the firefighters: Lt. Thomas Spencer, Lt. James Lyons, Paul Brotherton, Timothy Jackson, Jeremiah Lucey and Joseph McGuirk.

A march from Union Station to the Franklin Street Fire Station begins the ceremony at 6 PM. 

Several media outlets have reported that Leary, who is a cousin of Lucey and a childhood friend of Spencer’s, may join what is expected to be a large turnout for the 20th anniversary memorial ceremony. 

The Worcester 6 exhibit is also on display at Union Station through Dec. 4. 



The Beer Garden’s Got Lit-Up, Heated Igloos in Which to Hang 

The Worcester Beer Garden has joined the ranks of the cool places that have igloos to hang out in. Last week, the WBG added six lighted, heated igloos to its outdoor patio area. All seat 8-12 people and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, though you can reserve one for a $25 fee. The igloos will be up for grabs through February. 

“We are always looking for ways to improve our customers’ experience and this seemed like a cool addition that would work perfect in our Beer Garden,” said Alfredo Viera, director of operations. 

5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester - Dec. 3, 2019 1

The Garden’s menu offers a large selection of craft beer, homemade sausages, local “Wicked” pretzels and the greatest hits from the brand’s other restaurants. 

“And if something on this menu doesn’t catch your eye, you can order from any of our neighborhood Craft concepts and have the food brought right to you,” according to the site. Speaking of the site, go there to find out more and make a reservation. 


If You Wanted to See Night Lights This Year, and Didn’t get a Ticket, You’re Plum Out of Luck 

What is this, Journey or Boston at the Centrum in the 1980s? 

If you didn’t snag a ticket, sorry, but you won’t be reveling in the merriment and wonder that is Night Lights at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston. The annual display of lights at this picturesque venue kicked off over the weekend and continues through Dec. 30, and people are going ga-ga for holiday spirit! 

Tower Hill sold more than 40,000 tickets between Oct. 15 and Nov. 21 for the event, a record for the venue. Visitors who don’t have a ticket to Night Lights can visit from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the time period, but you’ve got to have a golden ticket for the 4-10 p.m. time period. 


MassHousing has awarded a total of $622,095 in grant funding to help create or modernize 152 affordable sober housing units in 11 communities across Massachusetts.The projects serve veterans, and men and women in recovery, including women with children.

The grants come from the Center for Community Recovery Innovations, Inc. (CCRI), a nonprofit subsidiary corporation of MassHousing that helps nonprofits create or preserve affordable sober housing in Massachusetts for individuals in recovery.

To date, CCRI has awarded more than $11 million in grants for the creation or preservation of nearly 2,300 units of substance-free housing, in 53 communities, serving recovery populations that include men, women, families, veterans, the homeless and ex-offenders.

“Having a safe, sober place to live is one of the top factors in overcoming substance abuse,” said MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay. “These CCRI grants help not just those trying to clear the grip of addiction, but in many cases their children and other family members who are impacted as well.”

Awards in Central Massachusetts went to

  • Opening Heaven’s Door Ministries, Worcester: $75,000 to rehabilitate and preserve seven units of sober housing for men in Worcester, including improvements to bathrooms, kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Commonwealth Green Low-Income Housing Coalition, Worcester: $25,000 to connect low-income recovery and sober homes with measures to reduce utility costs.
  • South Middlesex Non-Profit Housing Corp., Framingham: $47,500 to rehabilitate and preserve 22 units for women in recovery in Framingham. The scope of work includes new windows, roof and porch repairs, a fire escape and chimney.


Friendly Reminder: stART a the Station is Almost Here 

stART at the Station, the first cousin to stART on the STreet, is going on year 14 on Sunday, Dec. 8, at Union Station from 9 AM to 5 PM. The event features hundreds of tables with gifting-themed arts and crafts. 

The event also features live music, food and the occasional flash mob of dancers or singers. Hey, it’s the art community we’re talking about, here! 


Lead photo credit: fran.trudeau on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-SA

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