Let's have another

Last Friday's "block party" or more officially, the Solstice Party, was such a success it begs for a repeat, maybe even a three-peat.

For a few hours that evening, the section of Main Street in downtown Manchester between the button roundabout at the corner of Bonnet Street and roughly up to the Rite Aid Plaza parking lot was abuzz with people, vendors, prominent officials getting soaked in a dunk tank, food, street entertainment and music. It was a great scene and a celebration of the community. It's the sort of thing that make you think should happen more often than once a year or so.

Of course, with repetition would come a bit less of novelty. And the first time it rains, or the heat and humidity climbs to uncomfortable levels, the fun factor slips a notch or two. Last Friday's event was propelled along in no small part because of the made-in-Hollywood perfect weather. It won't be like that always.

We were aware that town officials and local businesses were hoping that if this block party was successful, more might follow, so this is hardly anything more than a suggested boost in that direction. We hope we can get to that point. And the next time, it would be good to have the mix of entertainment and vendors shift around a bit, so there's a newness to each event to make it special.

Street fairs like last Friday's do more than just bring folks together for a fun, relaxing evening, important as that is all by itself. It also brings an added vibrancy and bounce to the downtown, which can use all it can get. Especially in today's world, where connectivity is too often measured in terms of Facebook friends, real face-to-face connectivity is all the more valuable.

And for certain, it's the best possible way to advertise Manchester and the Mountains. There could have been few of our summer visitors who happened by luck to be in town for the weekend and who strolled over to check it all out that could not have left there thinking, "hmm, this sure looks like a nice place to live."

So hats off to the planners and organizers and all those who helped make the evening a success. And let's see if we can't make that happen again, with some kind of variations on the same theme.


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