A Tradition Unlike Any Other . . .

One of the neat things about Newton that separate it from other communities in Massachusetts is that it is comprised of thirteen different villages.  Most people take pride in their villages and in the unique things their village has to offer. Last night provided one example of this. It was the fourth annual Feast of the Falls, the grand event of the Newton Upper Falls social calendar. The Feast is an entirely privately funded event.  It is the brainchild of Upper Falls business owners Seana Gaherin and Christopher Osborn and Upper Falls resident and Upper Falls News publisher Jerry Reilly. They created an event unlike any other in the city.  Here’s a description from the Feast’s website:

The Feast of the Falls is a community gathering like you’ve never seen.  At 5 PM as the neighbors of Upper Falls walk through the streets towards the Feast the church bells begin ringing.  The guests arrived over Echo Bridge to the decorated woods full of the music of a string quartet wafting through the trees. They sit down at one long 350 foot table for a four course gourmet dinner, served by their elected officials and the familiar faces from local businesses.  When dinner ends guests are invited to join in the musical campfire where friends and neighbors play and sing together.  As darkness falls, the guests leave via an illuminated Echo Bridge that have been decorated by the children of the neighborhood.

Unbelievably, thanks to the generosity of the organizers and sponsors, the event is free to all Upper Falls residents who request tickets.  Additional tickets can be purchased by nonresidents, so look for this event next year.

Does your village have its own one of a kind event? Other examples I can think of are the St. Mary of Carmen Festival in Nonantum and the Christmas lighting also in Nonantum.  Are there others?  Please let us know in the comments! It would be neat to collect all of these in one place.

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Greg ReibmanJerry ReillySallee Lipshutz Recent comment authors
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Sallee Lipshutz

You are right, Anil, the Feast of the Falls is one of the most awe-inspiring events to be coordinated by a single Newton Village for its residents! In Waban, the singular community event is The Progressive Dinner that is run by the ever-present, ever-busy and ever-friendly Waban Improvement Society. Several hundred Wabanites travel to participating Villagers’ houses for appetizers, then “progress” to different Villagers houses for entrees; and then move on to another residence for a community dessert that brings everyone together under one roof. The sharing of an uncommon communal meal seems to be the way to the heart of both of our communities! I imagine there are others In Newton as well! Also, let’s not forget the various Villages’ Village Days that bring our residents and the politicians out to commingle in the sunshine of our village Centers!

Jerry Reilly
Jerry Reilly

Anil has been a charter member of our VIP Server Crew since the Feast was started in 2012. Every year we recruit a who’s-who of local celebrities as the waiters for the event. Anil represents as the chairmen of the Upper Falls Area Council.
Last night Anil received a singular honor at the Feast. 400 guests sang Happy Birthday to him (his birthday is actually today).
A big shout-out for this year’s new editions to the VIP Server crew – Scott Lennon (City Council), Ruthanne Fuller (City Council), Scott Gregorian (Gregorian Rugs), Nancy Hyde (Dir of Economic Development), Billy Meleady (Newton Nomadic actor), Chris Steele (Charter Commission), Gail Spector (author Legendary Locals of Newton), Lily Canan Reynolds (Community Engagement Manager) and of course all of our regulars too

Greg Reibman
Greg Reibman

I agree the Feast is an awesome event.

And add to your list: Friday night concerts and movies all summer in the Highlands.

Jerry Reilly
Jerry Reilly

and theater too! The Hyde Bandstand summer program is indeed amazing.