PAPA AND ME. Four-year-old Cade Gaffney takes a break from all the activities at Town Day to enjoy a cup of Kona ice with his papa, Rick Post.


NORTH READING Although the clouds were thick and plentiful and a few raindrops snuck in late in the day, by all accounts, Town Day 2021 this past Sunday was a smashing success.

A signature event of the Reading-North Reading Chamber of Commerce, it was the first full-fledged in-person Town Day hosted by the Chamber since June of 2019.

Chamber Executive Director Lisa Egan estimates over 1,500 people of all ages attended the event at Ipswich River Park and plus another 250 people were on hand associated with the more than 70 vendor booths, all of which enjoyed steady streams of visitors.


DOWN HOME country and contemporary music by Annie Brobst filled Ipswich River Park with a laid back feeling for two hours during Town Day 2021. (Maureen Doherty Photo)


The kids had the most fun of all as nearly all the vendors had activities and give-aways geared toward them and there were plenty of inflatable booths set up in the park’s meadow for them to test their skills at skee-ball, the moon shot and even axe throwing (not to worry the moms and dads, the axes were inflatable too, and attached to the bullseye with Velcro). The line for the pony rides on the very patient Banner and T.J. never let up. The best part was watching hundreds of kids running around playing together and having fun without having to wear face masks. On this day they could just be kids playing outside.


PURE JOY. The expression on the face of Brooklyn Surette, 6, says it all as she enjoys her pony ride on the very gentle and patient Banner at Town Day.


The NRHS track team set up a very popular hurdling relay race where enthusiastic boys and girls challenged themselves and others to races. A hurdler as young as two even tried it out by leaping over small orange cones instead of the pint-sized hurdles. One youngster ran the course multiple times while clutching an inflatable alien doll he had won at another booth. At the end of every school year the track team and coaches hold a very popular track and field camp through Parks and Recreation which has introduced hundreds of youngsters to the sport and undoubtedly has contributed to the program’s success over the last two decades.


TREND-SETTERS. Step aside, rock lobster! Best friends Lylah Carbone, 7 1/2 (left), and Reese Bevchick, 8, were rocking colorful squid hats at Town Day festivities.


Music was a central focus of the event as well. The NRHS a cappella singers, NOTEorious, opened up the day with a 30-minute energetic and entertaining show. They were followed by two hours of country and contemporary music by singer-songwriter Annie Brobst, accompanied by her guitarist. Their music filled every corner of the park and lent a laid back feeling to the day, enabling those attending Town Day to enjoy the music while visiting all of the vendors and food stations without missing a beat.

“We were very happy with the event and so happy to be able to host it this year. Our new inflatable carnival was busy the entire time, and we loved NOTEorious and Annie, as well as our new stage set up on the flatbed,” Egan told the Transcript


RUN AWAY with me! Raelyn Kelley, 2, proudly totes around an inflatable penguin that is nearly as tall as she is while visiting Town Day at Ipswich River Park.


A raffle was also held for a pair of Patriots tickets donated by the Cota Funeral Home for the October 17 game at Gillette Stadium against the Dallas Cowboys. All proceeds from the raffle will benefit NRHS athletics programs. The name of the lucky winner was not released at press time but we’ll let you know once we find out who the lucky winner was.

See inside today’s Transcript for more Town Day photos.