2007-10-05 / Opinions & Editorial

Locals make city proud on big stages

BY MAYOR DEAN MAZZARELLA

Leominster natives continue to make us proud.

Last week I spotted Michelle Hillman, journalist for the Boston Business Journal, on New England Cable News discussing a large office project in the City of Boston.

On the Saturday Night ESPN Game of the Week, playing and starting for the Washington Huskies was Anthony Russo, and the opening act for the Red Sox division championship celebration at Monday's rally in Boston was Matt Kelly, who sings and plays the drums for Dropkick Murphy's. I know their families are proud and thrilled, and so is Leominster.

Two weeks ago, I was provided a chance to cook at Lidio's as part of a fundraiser to benefit the Cup Crusaders, a team of local woman walking in the Susan G. Komen Threeday Breast Cancer Walk. Fifty guests enjoyed dinner, music, raffles and more. I must tell you that I have a new appreciation for what goes on in the kitchen of a restaurant like Lidio's.

Owner Marcus DiNardo, his wife, and entire staff opened my eyes to how hard they work to provide each of us with a special experience. Not that I'm an expert now, but cooking in your kitchen at home is nothing like the kitchen at Lidio's. At Lidio's, most of the morning is spent getting everything ready for lunch and dinner, and believe me there is a tremendous amount preparing, especially when everything your preparing is fresh.

In the kitchen when it's show time, it's show time. I know that I like to go to a restaurant and be served fairly quickly, and I'm sure most people are similar, so being organized in the kitchen and being prepared is vital.

I tip my hat to Marcus and the entire staff at Lidio's for allowing me into their kitchen and putting me to work as if I was a real employee. I received an education and understanding, and oh, by the way, I cooked and ate "Eggplant Mazzarella."

Fall is by far my favorite season, and this year has truly been one of the nicest falls that I can remember. So many Leominster residents and visitors remark about how nice the downtown and neighborhoods look, so in the coming year we want to build off our success, so I ask for your help.

Next spring, I ask those who are gifted with a green thumb to help us out as we strive to meet our goal of doubling the amount of beautification projects in the city. We need your help planting flowers, bulbs and other plants. I realize and appreciate the fact that everyone is busy, but if we could only get 25 people to give us two or three hours a season, we could really make a major impact.

I may be biased, but I have visited every city in this state, and in my opinion we have the most beautiful city surrounded by 12 historic hills. So as the seasons change, think about volunteering and give me a call or e-mail me at (978) 534-7500, or dmazzarella@leominster-ma.gov.

We have a number of events coming up this fall and holiday season. Veteran's Day events are as follows:
SATURDAY, NOV. 10TH
MARINE CORPS BIRTHDAY BALL AT THE
SHERATON FOUR POINTS.
SUNDAY, VETERANS DAY,
NOV. 11TH
10:30 A.M. CEREMONIES ON THE
COMMON
11:00 A.M. CEREMONIES INSIDE
CITY HALL. VETERAN OF THE YEAR IS
ANNOUNCED
12:00 P.M. LIGHT REFRESHMENTS
AT THE LEOMINSTER VETERANS CENTER
2:00 P.M. CARTER PARK BRICK
DEDICATION
2:45 P.M. FLAG RETIREMENT
CEREMONY (BOY SCOUTS)
MONDAY, NOV. 12TH
11:00 A.M. NEW VETERAN

STREET NAME DEDICATION (OFF GRANT
STREET)

Each year, we host a Halloween parade and party, and this year we will be expanding that event into a Halloween Parade and festivities on Saturday, Oct. 27. We will meet at Leominster Credit Union on Adams Street at 1:30 p.m. to begin the parade, and following will be fun downtown including, but not limited to, trickor treating at downtown businesses, games, music, apple-pie eating context, pumpkin carving, Sholan Farms booth, and hayrides. There will be refreshments available for or a minimal fee. Most downtown streets will be closed from 2 to 4 p.m. for the safety of our children, and Park and West Streets remain closed until the end of the event at 5 p.m.

We have already begun planning for the Holiday Stroll, and if you missed it last year you need to head to the calendar immediately and block off that afternoon. The stroll is planned for Dec. 1 from 3 to 6 p.m. in downtown Leominster, and festivities will include the tree lighting directly following the stroll.

We already have the Leominster High School Band and Chorus practicing for the event, and several of the elementary and middle schools are looking forward to participating as well. Can you help? Sure you can. We need volunteers for the stroll and have many opportunities for everyone to help out. Give us a call or e-mail me with ideas and thoughts about what you would like to see both at the stroll and during the holiday season.

The Festival of Trees will be here at City Hall again this November through the holidays, and we expect even more participants than last year after a tremendous response by visitors, organizations and business owners. Several local businesses have already called expressing their interest, and planning is in the works. Participating organizations and businesses are encouraged to donate and decorate a tree, which will be voted and bid on by silent auction. Please contact Sandie Chacon at (978) 534- 7525, Ext. 260 for further details.

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