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UPDATED Aug. 27: The final performance in the free Friday-evening summer concert series at "The Res," or Arlington Reservoir Beach at 210 Lowell St., took place Friday, Aug. 18, with the locally based brass band Gruvmeiners. Refreshments were available for purchase from Fresh Food Generation and, for those of age, local business Arlington Brewing Co.

Another free event at the Res -- this one with an expanded audience --  took place next. On Saturday, Aug. 26, people were allowed to bring their pet dogs with them, so that the canines -- though not the humans -- will be allowed to swim. An optional donation of $10 per dog was requested; all proceeds are to go to fund the upkeep of the off-leash recreation area at Thorndike Park, a town announcement says.

Town Recreation Director Joe Connelly noted in an email to YourArlington that though dogs are allowed to swim during the event, they all must be on leash on shore. "I will be there with a handful of staff, there are no lifeguards on duty and the water is no longer treated. Human swimming will not be allowed," he emphasized. 

On Aug. 26 disk jockey, DJ Zeke is scheduled to provide music from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and then "eclectic acoustic" band Coffee to Cocktails is set to play from 3 to 5 p.m., Connelly noted. In addition to ABC's beer available for purchase by the 21-and-over crowd, Dean's Concessions will be selling food suitable for all ages. 

ABC in recent days has been publicizing the event as "Reservoir Dogs," a reference to a 1992 American neo-noir crime film by Quentin Tarantino. Connelly said that in years past, when dogs were allowed to swim but when no beer was being served nor music being played, the event was referred to as the "Dog Days of Summer" and has long been seen as a way to promote the reservoir and the community.

He added that the Aug. 26 event is sponsored by local group Strut n Pup and that another local pet organization, A Dog, is helping promote the event.  

All such events are weather-dependent; two previous shows in the Friday-evening series were cancelled earlier this summer due to weather concerns.  

Thousands attend first beer garden held June 30

Arlington Brewing Co. held its first beer garden of the summer at "the Res" on June 30. It drew thousands, and many neighborhood parking spaces were taken. After 7 p.m., the lines to get food meant a wait of 30 to 45 minutes, some attending said.

Connelly responded July 2 to a YourArlington query about attendance. "I really have no idea [about the crowd size]. I was saying 5,000, but people called me crazy. [There were] at least 2,000."

In addition to offering a wide selection of beers, the series has featured food available for purchase from BTS Backyard BBQ.

And Arlington Family Connection has provided family-friendly games. 

All ages are welcome, but, of course, beer consumption will be restricted to only the age-21-and-up crowd.  

Connelly responded to queries from YourArlington on June 28, writing that this is the town's second season of concerts at the Res -- but its first for concerts, beer gardens and barbecues. 

"Our goal is to have the Reservoir Beach be a place for the entire community to enjoy," he wrote. "These events will hopefully allow residents who may not normally go to the beach in the summer to enjoy the newly renovated reservoir in a different way. 

"Arlington Recreation also feels it is very important to promote local businesses -- and this is a way that we can help. Most if not all of our [musical] performers are either [town] residents or have local ties." 

YourArlington in early July asked Connelly to address recent social media discussions that have expressed confusion or criticism that swimming is not permitted past 6 p.m., once the beer sales and concerts begin. 

"This is the same protocol we followed for the concerts last year," he replied. "It is very simple. There is just too much going on! When there are people in the water, we want all attention from the guards and staff on water safety. 

"Having a concert, beer garden, food, etc. diverts attention from the water. [On all other evenings] we normally clear the water at 6:45 p.m [in order] to close at 7 p.m. So, for all concerts over a two-month period, we are not allowing swimming for [a total of] 6 hours out of the entire summer in order to bring the community these fun events."   

June 8, 2023: Fun's on tap': Beer gardens at Res, Jason Russell

This announcement was first published Wednesday, July 5, 2023, based on information from YourArlington files and the July 2023 newsletter of the Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture. It was last updated Aug. 21, 2023, based on information from Town Recreation Director Joe Connelly and the owners of Arlington Brewing Co.