Editor's note: Five Things You Need To Know Today is a Patch column that provides readers with essential, daily information at a glance. If you know of something happening in town that did not make our list, please add it in the comment section!
1. Expect a Sunny Weekend with Mild Temperatures in Foxborough
Saturday’s weather in Foxborough, according to the National Weather Service based in Taunton, calls for partly sunny, with a high near 44. Breezy, with a southwest wind 13 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. Saturday night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 34. Southwest wind 13 to 15 mph. Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 43. Breezy, with a southwest wind 15 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph. Sunday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 17. West wind 11 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph.
2. Fan’s Guide to AFC Championship Weekend in Foxborough
Championship Weekend has returned to Foxborough and with it comes thousands of anxious fans counting down the days until Sunday.
To keep both Patriots and Ravens fans entertained leading up to Sunday's AFC Championship game at Gillette Stadium, Patriot Place will be offering plenty of activities at the Route 1 shopping, dining and entertainment complex.
VISIT THE HALL
The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, just ahead of kick-off at Gillette Stadium. You can view the Patriots’ three Lombardi Trophies, take a photo on a Super Bowl Parade Duck Boat and enjoy the feature film “Patriots Way.” Even visitors from Baltimore will enjoy The Hall, where interactive exhibits allow fans to kick a field goal, listen-in on the coach-to-quarterback communication and test their vertical leap. Visit www.thehallatpatriotplace.com for ticket prices and info.
GET ON THE FIELD AND MEET A 3-TIME SUPER BOWL CHAMPION
The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon will offer a limited number of fans the chance to meet and take a picture with Kevin Faulk on Saturday from 2 to 3:30 p.m. The three-time Super Bowl champion and honorary Patriots Captain for Sunday's AFC Championship Game will have one of the Patriots’ six AFC Championship trophies with him on the field for photos. Tickets are $25 and includes admission to The Hall and a 10 percent discount at the Patriots ProShop. All Hall tickets also include a 10 percent off coupon for CBS Scene Restaurant & Bar. Tickets can be purchased in advance at http://www.museumtix.com/program/program.aspx?vid=838&pid=539660.
ENJOY A GREAT MEAL
New England Clam Chowder or Maryland Crab Cakes? Patriot Place features 15 dine-in restaurant options, with everything to satisfy a hungry football fan, from sushi to burgers to fine dining. See the options at http://www.patriot-place.com/dining.aspx.
ICE SKATE IN THE SHADOW OF GILLETTE STADIUM
Winter Skate at Patriot Place presented by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, an outdoor ice skating rink designed specifically for recreational skating, is open Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Bundle up, have some fun and get some exercise on the professionally-maintained ice surface. You don’t even have to pack your skates, as on-site rentals are available. Visit www.patriot-place.com/winterskate.aspx for rates and info.
GEAR UP FOR THE GAME
Gear up for the AFC Championship by visiting the Patriots ProShop, the official team store of the New England Patriots, which features the widest selection of authentic Patriots merchandise available anywhere, as well as all of the official AFC Championship Gear for fans of both teams. www.patriotsproshop.com.
GO ON AN ADVENTURE
Visiting with kids? Patriot Place is home to two 5Wits interactive, walk-through experiences for adventurers of all ages. “20,000 Leagues” takes explorers to the depths to solve the greatest mystery under the sea. “Espionage” turns you into a secret agent with the weight of the free world on your shoulders. Visit www.5-wits.com for tickets and info.
CATCH THE NFC CHAMPIONSHIP ON TV
Prior to the game at Gillette Stadium, fans of both the Patriots and Ravens will want to see who emerges from the NFC to face the AFC representative in the Super Bowl. The game, which kicks off at 3 p.m., will be on TVs across Patriot Place, from restaurants and bars to CBS Scene’s giant outdoor screen, which can be seen from NRG Plaza outside Gillette Stadium.
ENJOY SOME LIVE MUSIC
On Saturday night, enjoy some country music and southern cooking at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, which features the Tom Dixon Band at 9:30 p.m. On Sunday afternoon, ThinkSay Records recording artist Chris Wallace, whose debut album was named by iTunes as the Best Breakthrough Pop Album of 2012, will perform above NRG Plaza before the game. Swing by at 4:45 p.m. to see Wallace and his band rock the plaza.
3. Dunkin’ Donuts Patriots Tickets Giveaway
Dunkin' Donuts will award a pair of New England Patriots AFC Championship game tickets to five lucky fans who deserve to go to a Patriots game. Dunkin’ Donuts invited fans to submit via e-mail why they or someone they know should attend Sunday’s game at Gillette Stadium. Over 300 entries were received in a 24-hour period. Entries were judged on overall appeal, adherence to theme and originality/creativity.
All five winners will be present to receive their tickets on Saturday morning at the Dunkin’ Donuts in Patriot Place.
- Christopher Demain from Haverhill (nominated by his mother) – he is a member of the Army National Guard and will be deployed to Afghanistan for a year on Feb. 11
- Andrea Marquardt from Cambridge (sending her mom and brother) – her mom is a huge Patriots fan and the caretaker for her dad who is dying of ALS
- Robert Trahan from Chester, NH – (nominated by his daughter Brittany) a lifelong Patriots fan who lost his job last May, his daughter Brittany is surprising him with the tickets on Saturday morning
- John McMahan from Boston – he is a teacher’s aide, loyal Dunkin’ guest and has never been to a Patriots game
- Jeff Peterson from Medway (nominated by his wife Brenna) – a huge Dunkin’ and Patriots fan, this entry stood out for its creativity
4. Patriot Place Events:
The following events will be held at Patriot Place this weekend:
- (Saturday) - Artist's Studio & Gallery features Medfield High School: The Artist's Studio & Gallery at Patriot Place hosts Medfield High School displaying pieces of student art along with other artists from around the area. Stop in and check out these great pieces.
- 2 to 3:30 p.m. - (Saturday) - Visit Gillette Stadium Field and get your photo with Kevin Faulk: The Hall will offer a limited number of fans access to the Gillette Stadium field for a photo opportunity with former Patriots star running back Kevin Faulk posing with one of the five AFC Championship trophies he helped win as a member of the Patriots on Saturday, Jan. 19.
- (Sunday) - Learn to Skate at Winter Skate: Learn to Skate features instruction by a professional coaching staff one of the most convenient and affordable skating programs in the area.
- (Sunday) - Artist's Studio & Gallery features Medfield High School: The Artist's Studio & Gallery at Patriot Place hosts Medfield High School displaying pieces of student art along with other artists from around the area. Stop in and check out these great pieces.
- 6:30 p.m. - (Sunday) – New England Patriots vs. Baltimore Ravens in 2012-13 AFC Championship Game: New England Patriots host the Baltimore Ravens for the second consecutive year in the AFC Championship game.
5. Massachusetts Ranks Last in Pet Ownership
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recently released its U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook, which revealed that Massachusetts ranks 50th out of 50 for pet ownership with 50.4 percent of households owning a pet.
In 2006, which was the last time the AVMA put together the sourcebook, Massachusetts again made the bottom 10 list of pet owners, ranking 47th with 50.7 percent of households owning a pet. Massachusetts also ranked in the bottom 10 for dog ownership in 2011 with the lowest dog ownership of any U.S. state.
The survey is conducted by the AVMA every five years and always includes a breakdown of pet ownership by state. The most recent survey, conducted in 2012 but based on December 31, 2011 numbers, reveals that the top 10 pet-owning states are: Vermont where 70.8 percent of households owned a pet, New Mexico with 67.6 percent, South Dakota with 65.6 percent, Oregon with 63.6 percent, Maine with 62.9 percent, Washington with 62.7 percent, Arkansas with 62.4 percent, West Virginia with 62.1 percent, Idaho with 62 percent, and Wyoming with 61.8 percent.
The 10 states in 2011 with the lowest percentage of pet-owning households are: Rhode Island where 53 percent of households owned a pet, Minnesota with 53 percent, California with 52.9 percent, Maryland with 52.3 percent, Illinois with 51.8 percent, Nebraska with 51.3 percent, Utah with 51.2 percent, New Jersey with 50.7 percent, New York with 50.6 percent, and Massachusetts with 50.4 percent. The District of Columbia had a far lower rate of pet ownership at 21.9 percent.
Top/Bottom Dog-Owning States
The Sourcebook reveals that the states with the most dog owners in 2011 are: Arkansas where 47.9 percent of households owned a dog, New Mexico with 46 percent, Kentucky with 45.9 percent, Missouri with 45.9 percent, West Virginia with 45.8 percent, Mississippi with 45.2 percent, Alabama with 44.1 percent, Tennessee with 44.1 percent, Texas with 44 percent, and Oklahoma with 43.2 percent.
The bottom 10 states in 2011 for dog ownership are: Illinois where 32.4 percent of households owned a dog, New Jersey with 32.4 percent, Minnesota with 31.9 percent, Maryland with 30.8 percent, New Hampshire with 30.3 percent, Utah with 29.4 percent, Rhode Island with 29.3 percent, New York with 29 percent, Connecticut with 28.3 percent, and Massachusetts with 23.6 percent. The District of Columbia had far lower dog ownership than any state, with 13.1 percent.
Top/Bottom Cat-Owning States
The 2011 top 10 states with the most cat-owning households are: Vermont where 49.5 percent owned a cat, Maine with 46.4 percent, Oregon with 40.2 percent, South Dakota with 39.1 percent, Washington with 39 percent, West Virginia with 38.1 percent, Kentucky with 36.8 percent, Idaho with 34.6 percent, Indiana with 34.4 percent, and New Hampshire with 34.2 percent.
Conversely, the bottom 10 states with the lowest rate of cat-owning households in 2011 are: California where 28.3 percent of households owned a cat, South Carolina with 27.8 percent, Rhode Island with 27.6 percent, Alabama with 27.4 percent, Florida with 27.3 percent, Georgia with 27.3 percent, Illinois with 26.3 percent, Louisiana with 25.9 percent, New Jersey with 25.3 percent, and Utah with 24.6 percent. The District of Columbia, once again, had by far the lowest rate of cat ownership with 11.6 percent.
“This report reveals a tremendous amount of information about pets and their owners across the country; what’s constant and what has changed. One of the most important parameters that we look at is how well pet owners are doing at keeping their pets healthy,” says Dr. Douglas G. Aspros, president of the AVMA. “Unfortunately, the report reveals that fewer dogs and cats are seeing the veterinarian regularly, and that’s something that the AVMA and every companion animal veterinarian are concerned about. Pet owners across the country need to remember to bring their pets into the veterinarian – at least once a year – to maintain optimal health.”
The report indicates that, between 2006 and 2011, the percentage of households that made no trips at all to the veterinarian increased by 8 percent for dog owners and a staggering 24 percent for cat owners. Overall, about 81 percent of dog owning households made at least one visit to the veterinarian in 2011, down 1.7 percent from 2006. The decrease for cat owners was, once again, much higher, as only 55.1 percent of cat owners made at least one visit to the veterinarian in 2011, down 13.5 percent from 2006.
The U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook offers a great deal of information on pet ownership, trends and veterinary care. It’s available free to journalists and is for sale on the AVMA website. For more information about the AVMA or to obtain a copy of the U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook, visit www.avma.org.