Looking Back: Summer 2012

By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
Manchester/Bolton - posted Thu., Dec. 27, 2012
An 8-foot-long banana made by artist Chaz Well was one of many attractions at Imagine Main Street. Photo courtesy of Christiane O'Brien. - Contributed Photo

Summer is a busy time of year for Manchester. There are numerous events that take place on Main Street, and car enthusiasts from all over Connecticut look forward to one event in particular: Cruisin' on Main. The 12th annual Cruisin' on Main was held on Aug. 5, and was an enormous success. Nearly 800 automobiles 25 years old or older filled downtown Main Street. The event attracted 20,000 visitors, and was made possible by more than 200 volunteers.

Downtown Main Street also built up its artistic presence during the summer. The Aug. 2 Imagine Main Street event brought art, music, cheese and wine to storefronts for an evening of culture and entertainment. The Lutz Children's Museum and the Little Theatre of Manchester partnered to present a performance, artists exhibited pieces with a transportation motif – including an 8-foot banana made entirely from skateboards – and vendors sold jewelry and crafts. It was all an effort to bring more art to Main Street while improving economic development with cultural events.

If art can serve as a vehicle to boost local businesses, Manchester Community College believes it is also a way to connect its campus to Main Street. That was the college's mentality when it opened MCC On Main, located at 903 Main St., on Friday, July 13. Since then, it has hosted numerous art exhibits, musical performances, poetry slams and spoken-word performances, and classes. It has also introduced many students to downtown Manchester.

On Saturday, Aug. 4, the town was proud to learn that Mikey Williams, a 14-year-old boxer from the Manchester Ring of Champions Society, won his third consecutive world championship belt at Ringside 2012 World Championship in Kansas City, Mo. The 2012 Summer Olympics were underway when Williams was in Missouri, giving him further inspiration for his goal of boxing in the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro.

In neighboring Bolton, Superintendent of Schools Paul Smith left his position on Friday, Aug. 10. Smith was a strong advocate of technology in classrooms, and was superintendent during the renovations to Bolton High School and Center School, which included wi-fi upgrades. Dr. Joseph L. Wood took over as superintendent in the interim, and was succeeded by Kristin Heckt, former principal of Timothy Edwards Middle School in South Windsor. Heckt has the task of overseeing the curriculum shift to comply with the new Common Core state standards.

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