Rain Can’t Dampen Watertown Pride Extravaganza Festivities

(Photo by Maya Shwayder)The JP Honk band performs during the second Watertown Pride Extravaganza at Saltonstall Park. Set against a gray, rainy sky, the rainbows of Watertown’s 2023 Pride festivities looked especially bright on Saturday. Families, folks, and four-legged friends of all shapes, sizes, and identities gathered on Saltonstall Park to mark the second year in a row that that space had hosted the celebration. “It’s perfect,” said Carey Conkey-Finn, Teen Services Supervisor at Watertown Free Public Library and Pride team co-leader. “We got some extra tents in a pinch.

A Hidden Gem Training Ballet Dancers Right in Watertown Square

Maya ShwayderAlexandra Koltun, co-founder of Koltun Ballet in Watertown, instructs dancers in the level 7 class at the recent open house at the studio in Watertown. High above Watertown Square on a rainy Saturday, pink tights, skirts and hair in tight buns abounded at the Koltun Ballet Boston open house. Low levels of mild chaos permeated the proceedings as adults milled about in front of the coffee table avoiding abandoned street shoes, little kids curled up in parents’ laps, and older students weaved their way through the crowd, preparing for their next class. Presiding over all of the leotard-clad tumult are Alexandra Koltun and Alex Lapshin, the founders of the school, which just recently won their fourth Youth America Grand Prix award for Outstanding School in the past six years. For the last 20 years, YAGP has been one of the most prestigious international annual ballet competitions and scholarship programs that sees more than 10,000 dancers compete.

City Will Distribute $10.5M in ARPA Funds, Several Groups Have Ideas for How to Spend It

The kitchen at the Belmont-Watertown United Methodist Church — the site of the Watertown Food Pantry, needs upgrading. The church is applying for some of the City of Watertown’s ARPA funds, with which Pastor Gary Richards hopes to create a space open to the community. Photo by Maya Shwayder. Watertown has $10.5 million to spend, and the clock is ticking! The City Council will be the ones divvying up the dollars, but Councilors will have to choose from a long (and growing) list of proposals:

The Department of Public Works needs around $5 million to replace Watertown’s crumbling water and sewer infrastructure.

Big Discussions Over the Future of a Small Pond in East Watertown

Maya ShwayderThe future is uncertain for Sawin’s Pond, a small body of water between Arlington Street and Coolidge Avenue. It’s easy to miss Sawin’s Pond in Watertown. The little body of water sits squished between where Arlington and Coolidge streets come together, behind a UPS outlet that’s across from the Home Depot. It’s not much to look at: some scraggly trees and browned earth, and rubber is sticking up in some places. But the privately-owned space has been the center of a long-running debate: what, exactly, should happen to the land?