Natick Days will celebrate its 15th anniversary on Sept. 21, when it will be held on the downtown common from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The event, inaugurated on Sept. 24, 1999, began as a way for local teens and nonprofit organizations to earn money while providing a community festival full of activities and entertainment for all. This year, it will continue that tradition as more than 100 groups will gather to increase awareness about their causes, raise funds, and entertain visitors with activities that range from obstacle courses to decorating bicycle helmets.
“It’s a flavor of Natick,” said Jon Marshall, director of the town’s Recreation and Parks Department and a member of the event’s organizing committee. “You’ll find anything from high school clubs and teams, not-for-profit organizations, to town government groups.”
Though this year marks the event’s 15th anniversary, Marshall said, the organizers have nothing special planned to celebrate the milestone, and are leaving it up to the participating groups to oversee all of the day’s activities.
“Natick Days was set up to provide for nonprofits and youth groups in the community,” he said. “The unique thing about Natick Days is that the nonprofit groups that are setting up will take care of running the events.”
Kids will have plenty to choose from at this year’s Natick Days. There will be a bouncy house, bungee run, and obstacle course for those who want to get in some physical activity. Athletic teams will be providing speed-gauging booths to measure how fast visitors can toss a lacrosse ball or baseball. In addition, balloon makers and face painters will add some color to the day.
A duck race, complete with gutters and soaker water guns, will also be held.
Firetrucks will be parked for kids to explore, and the Police Department has organized a helmet painting event. The artwork will be provided by students from the Walnut Hill School, but kids can have their say on how they want theirs decorated.
Meanwhile, adults can stock up on raffle tickets in hopes of winning a wide variety of prizes, or bid in silent auctions organized by the participating groups.
There will also be food available for purchase.
“It’s really a showcase of what Natick has to offer,” Marshall said. “It’s all about the community. Community sums up what Natick is.”
Shandana Mufti can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.