A little rain couldn’t dampen spirits at the second annual New Year’s Eve stroll on the Cochituate Rail Trail, sponsored by Friends of Natick Trails. Hundreds of people walked or biked along a one-mile stretch of the popular paved trail from 4pm-8pm, as almost 20 fire pit hosts kept their fires blazing despite wet conditions that ranged from a romantic mist to a steady patter of raindrops.
Natick Report, which has been on fire throughout 2022, bringing you news and information about the town, proudly hosted a fire pit. We even brought a gigantic frame, on generous loan from the Natick Center Cultural District (and hauled out of their office’s basement storage area), and created a phot0-op for our visitors. The question I heard Bob Brown, Natick Report’s most valuable reporter, ask most all evening was, “Can I take a team photo for you?,” as families lined up to pose for what might become 2023’s holiday card pic.
The experience was great fun. We preached the gospel of the importance of local news coverage (and heard “amen” from a bunch of fourth estate believers), gave out apple cider, cookies, noisemakers, and business cards.
Some passersby offered us news tips (“How controversial do you want to get?”). A photojournalist from Arkansas shared her thoughts on the need for local reporting. We were asked about how we make money (ads, reader contributions) and about our staff (“You’re looking at it…”). A couple new to Natick asked for advice on our favorite restaurants. We explained the latest on the South Natick Dam in response to an inquiry.
Our trail neighbors were cranking the party tunes, keeping those within earshot entertained and inspiring some vintage dance moves.
As for being out there in the elements, it was a little like camping, but we didn’t have to sleep outside in the rain. When the going got tough, we tossed another log on the fire, which our friend Chris sprinkled magic dust into to create a rainbow of colors. Before you knew it, the event was over and we headed home to dry out.
Natick Police and Auxiliary, Natick Fire, and the Natick DPW kept the event safe, while Amvets Post 79 opened up their parking lot and hall, and provided general assistance as needed.