Town plans a party
Planning and construction started last spring, and according to Public Information Officer Tricia Hayes, and was originally slated to be a three-year project. However, once they were given permission to work at night the estimated time was cut down to two years. They were able finish almost 90 percent of the work before the winter months inhibited the next steps in their construction, such as paving and striping.
"This is a time for the town to say thanks ... to the community," said Hayes.
All that is left to finish between now and the festival is paving, striping, the rearrangement of some signage, and the addition of a few crosswalks. The crosswalks will be made out of red thermal plastic, stamped to look like brick.
The festival will start at 6 p.m. with a parade from Adams Park down Main Street; during the parade, the route from the park to the festival will be temporarily closed. The public is invited to join the parade, which will be led by bagpiper Ben Partridge. The parade will run down Main Street to the stage located near the intersection with Bonnet Street. The entertainment will feature two sets from the Don't Leave Band.
As of 4 p.m. on Friday, there will no longer be parking along Main Street in preparation for the festival. Cars will still be able to drive down the street until 5 p.m. when vendors will begin setting up and the road will be closed. The closure will be between the button roundabout by Mountain Goat, where there will be fire trucks blocking Main Street, to Thai Basil, next to the Green Mountain Village Shops driveway.
Those looking to park for the street fest can use the municipal lot behind Rite Aid, as well as the lots at MEMS. Both intersections leading into the parking lot for Green Mountain Village Shops will be open for parking; however, Hayes advised that cars should not park so that they are hindering open businesses by parking in their driveways or in other obstructive places, and remembering that the bussinesses need spots for customers.
The detours around the fest will be signed, according to Hayes, and will mostly be utilizing Cemetary Avenue to circumvent Main Street. However, those driving alond Routes 11 or 30 and wishing to continue up to Dorset will still be able to do so, using the button rotary.
Main Street will be back open and operational by 10 p.m., according to Hayes.
In addition to the Don't Leave Band, there will be organ concerts outside of the First Baptist Church and street performers from Wunderle's Big Top Adventures, Tony Duncan and John Stork.
"It is a free event that is ideal for the whole family," said Hayes.
The Rec department will be doing facepainting for children and Mountain Goat will be holding children's activities.
There will be a dunk tank featuring town officials and locals, including Town Manager John O'Keefe and Bill Drunsic. The money for the dunk tank will be benefiting the MEMS PTO.
They have invited a total of 11 local non-profit organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity, the Historical Society and the Manchester Skate Park, to showcase their work over the years and to gather more interest in their causes.
There will be an abundance of food, and not only from the businesses that will be staying open throughout the festival, according to Hayes. Gourmet Deli will be selling beer and wine to festival-goers over the age of 21, as well as outdoor dining provided by Thai Basil and Christo's Pizza. There will also be maple cotton candy for sale.
"This is a culmination of all the work everyone has done," said Hayes. "I thought that, after all this, we deserved a party."
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