Wellesley Night Lights Unites Students, Town, Merchants

September 26, 2013

Wellesley Square Opens Its Doors to Students, Wellesley Provides Musical Entertainment

Central St. in Wellesley by night

The second annual Wellesley Night Lights takes place September 26, with most of the Wellesley Square merchants staying open late, offering specials to students, and welcoming them in their shops with snacks. Students from the Three College Collaboration plus Mass Bay Community College in Wellesley are invited to explore Wellesley Square, enjoy one another’s company, and be entertained by Wellesley performers, including AscenDance, The Toons, The Tupelos, and Wellesley Widows.

Wellesley has driven the development of this event and coordinated with other colleges. Wellesley administrators had heard from students that the commercial parts of the town of Wellesley (known in Wellesley College parlance as “The Vil”) had become increasingly inaccessible or uninviting to students. Discussions with the town and its merchants associations have led to events like Wellesley Night Lights, in addition to the long-running Taste of Wellesley, an on-campus merchant fair early in the academic year, and direct outreach by businesses to campus via flyers and special coupons. Since this work started, the town has also attracted Boloco, Dunkins, and Alex and Ani—three businesses whose customer base has a strong student component. “Getting more student-friendly businesses is one of our goals,” says Marianne Cooley, clerk of the Board and assistant to the president, who works closely on these town-related projects. 

This is the second year of Wellesley Night Lights, but the first year that it features student performers “busking” near the participating merchants. Their participation is likely to add to the solid participation seen at last year’s event. For many of the groups it will be the first public performance of the season, a fun way to get back into concert mode. For many students who attend the event, based on reports from last year, it will be their first trip to the Vil!

This collaborative effort between the colleges, the merchants, and the town planning department yields a fun night for students to get off-campus with just an easy walk and meet Wellesley friends and students from other colleges. “For Wellesley, “ Cooley adds, “the timing is good because it can expose the students to what the Vil has to offer before parents arrive for Friends and Family weekend.”

Schedule of Wellesley Performers

8 p.m.  The Tupelos in front of the GAP

8:15 p.m. Ascendance In front of Faber Rug

8:30 p.m. The Toons in front of Truly Yogurt

8:45 p.m. Widows in front of Tutto Italiano


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