Just before 10 a.m., Friday, Aug. 10, the traffic on both branches of Beech Street funneling into Trapelo Road was backing up nearly a block due to a state police motorcycle officer in the middle of the intersection with his arms outstretched.
"It can only mean one of two things," said one member of a tree company crew stuck on Beech who took out his iPhone to film the event.
"It's either a funeral or Romney's in town."
"Or the King of Saudi Arabia is on vacation," added another jokster, as a growing number of commuters, workers and passersbys began looking down the street in anticipation Republican Presidential Candidate and 40-year resident Mitt Romney to drag race up the Trapelo's patched-up and rutted road surface.
Not that Belmont hasn't had high profile visitors in town in the past. Washington Street residents still talk of the time Blackhawk heliocopters buzzed overhead as Secret Service and military units closed off a good portion of the street for Afghan President Hamid Karzai to come visit one of his former professors.
For some of the regulars at Dunkin' Donuts, the closing of the busy roadway for the expected speeding caravan of SUVs, vans, motorcycles and suped-up state police crusiers is not all that exciting after seeing it once before.
"I've seen this already a couple of times. It's old hat," said one older resident, adding that you'll know which SUV Romney will be traveling in "because it has the horse trailer hitched to the back," a reference to some involvement the Romneys had with a horse that participated in the current Olympic games.
"Get on the sidewalk!" bellowed the statie in the intersection as the first of two fellow motorcyclist raced through. Then three blacked out SUVs (no horse trailer on any of them) with the candidate in the middle. No sign of vice presidential hopefuls in the vehicle.
Behind his Chevy was one filled with the Secret Service including one that closely resembled US Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones, giving a long, steely stare at photographers on the street.
Then came three new vans – likely to transport the press and other baggage – followed by the tricked-out state police Dodge Charger with a Boston Police car bringing up the rear as the caravan heads to the Boston head
"Hey, Mitt," said one of the tree company employees. "You got my vote," he yelled as he put his iPhone away.