Pride in Manchester week offers something for everyone
By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Thu., May. 19, 2011
The 20th anniversary celebration of Pride in Manchester starts on Saturday, June 4, with two free concerts at the Center Memorial Park, located next to the Mary Cheney Library, 586 Main St. in downtown Manchester. Local band “Stealing Jupiter” opens the show at 5 p.m., followed by “The Great Escape,” a Journey tribute band. Local restaurants will also be selling food, and the Pride in Manchester Committee will have flags and glow necklaces for donation, as well. Those attending are encouraged to bring folding chairs or blankets.
“I think we have great bands lined up,” said Sharon Hebert, co-chair of the concert committee. According to Hebert, “The Great Escape” has been voted the top tribute band in New England for two years in a row, and will be playing at the Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun. Hebert also noted that Journey is releasing a new album and will be performing this summer in Hartford.
Hebert and her husband, Paul, have always enjoyed attending the annual town events, and this year decided to become a part of the volunteer team. “We’ve always gone to a lot of the activities, and we wanted to get involved,” explained Hebert. She is especially looking forward to the concert evening. “It’s a great night,” she said. “The experience of bringing a blanket is very casual. It’s just a fun evening.”
On Tuesday, June 7, from 6 to 9 p.m., community members are invited to a multi-generational dance at the senior center. Although the evening is free to the public, tickets are required and must be picked up in advance at the senior center, located at 549 East Middle Turnpike, or the Customer Service Office at the Town Hall, located at 41 Center St. The Stan Scott Band will provide live music, and light refreshments will be served.
Remember when the shops on Main Street were only open late on Thursday nights? Enjoy the welcoming feel of downtown Manchester on Thursday, June 9, with Strollin' on Main, from 6 to 8 p.m. Take a walk up and down Main Street, or travel in a free horse-drawn wagonette, and enjoy the live music by area musicians and sidewalk displays by local non-profit organizations. The many restaurants in downtown Manchester will be open for business.
“I like the idea that Heritage Day exists,” said Grahame Slogesky, publicity chairperson for Pride in Manchester. Heritage Day takes place on Saturday, June 11, the last day of Pride in Manchester week, at Cheney Hall, located at 177 Hartford Road. The day begins at 10 a.m. with the sounds of Silk City Brass, followed by an opening ceremony at 10:30. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Cheney Hall will step back into its role as a community center, with exhibits, entertainment and performances.
Beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 11, the Manchester Historical Society will host a free walking tour of the Great Lawn. The tour will begin at the Manchester History Center, located at the corner of Forest and Elm Streets, and will walk through the historic Cheney Mills to the Great Lawn off Hartford Road. Community members are also invited to visit the Manchester Historical Society locations free of charge, including the loom exhibit at the History Center, 175 Pine St., Cheney Homestead and Keeney Schoolhouse at 106 Hartford Road, where there will be Civil War reenactors, the Fire Museum at the corners of Hartford Road and Pine Street, and the Old Manchester Museum, located at 126 Cedar St. The South Manchester Arts, Recreation, History and Education group will also provide transportation on the S.H.A.R.E. trolley.
“There’s something for everyone,” said Slogesky about Pride in Manchester week. She decided to join the committee this year to do something good for the community. “It’s a great group of people,” said Slogesky of the nearly 40 volunteers who organize the week’s events and obtain the sponsorships that make all the entertainment possible. “I hope that people really enjoy what’s done,” said Slogesky, ”and it inspires other to do good things in town.”
For more information about Pride in Manchester or a detailed listing of the week’s events, visit the town website at townofmanchester.org/prideandheritage. The website also has links to other events sponsored by various organizations throughout the week, such as the “Relay for Life” American Cancer Society event on June 3 and 4; several events in conjunction with Trails Day on June 4; the Manchester Art Association “Art in the Park” show on June 5; and many other events throughout the week.