Manchester celebrates its Past, Present & Future with an Open-Air Trolley & More
Although the Past, Present & Future art exhibits will be up for most of April & May, if you want free trolley transportation between them and other special Bicentennial events, you’ll have to come to Downtown Manchester on May 13th.
Extending the hours for their monthly 2nd Saturday Open House, Main Street Manchester and surrounding areas invite you to a full day of events, most accessible by the Open-Air Trolley on loan from CT’s River Valley Transit.
In celebration of Manchester’s Bicentennial, a 3-venue art exhibit called 300 Years of Manchester was co-created by the Manchester Historical Society, exhibiting THE PAST (175 Pine St. www.ManchesterHistory.org), the Lutz Children’s Museum, showcasing Manchester Elementary Students’ artwork representing THE PRESENT (247 S. Main. St. https://lutzmuseum.org), and WORK_SPACE’s Main Street Gallery presenting The Future, an exhibit of CT artists envisioning the next 100 years of The Future (903 Main Street https://workspacemanchester.com/art- culture/). To encourage people to visit all three art shows, a trolley was added to provide free transportation between venues. Soon, other businesses and local organizations jumped on board and now visitors will have a plethora of offerings and activities to choose from including the Downtown Manchester Special Services District’s annual Butterfly Stroll, 30+ artisan vendors at The Firestone Art Studio & Café’s 1115 Market, special activities planned in Center Memorial and Charter Oak Parks, and live music provide by Imagine Main St. and the CT Songwriters Association at multiple venues including Trolley Stops.
Dr. Stacey Zackin, who grew up in Manchester and is now the Manager of WORK_SPACE, the town’s Coworking, Meeting & Gallery space says, “I’ve always heard how wonderful it was when a trolley was a regular part of Main Street, which was lined with ‘mom & pop’ shops and restaurants.” Once again Main Street is home to many wonderful locally owned small businesses, from Harvest Beads, open for 4 decades, and Silk City Antiques which is celebrating 20 years in business, to Retro Junk and Dragon’s Den Tattoo & Art Gallery, which opened in 2019 and 2021 respectively. Zackin is elated that “people seem really excited that we are incorporating something so nostalgic while Manchester is in the midst of a major Downtown revitalization that will move us towards the future.”
Visitors can park for free all around Downtown and hop on and off the trolley at 11 different locations. For details about May 13th as well as other Bicentennial events throughout the year visit https://bit.ly/Manchester200.
Stacey Zackin, Manager, WORK_SPACE, Direct #: 860.647.6022, [email protected]
Chris Silver, Director, Dept. of Family, Leisure & Recreation #860.647.3086, [email protected]
Bernie LeBel, Downtown Manager, Downtown Special Services District, 860.647.5276, [email protected]
Partial List of 2nd Saturday Bicentennial Events in Manchester on Saturday, May 13th accessible by Trolley
Reflect, Celebrate, Dream in Center Memorial Park (624-638 Main St)
9a-2p Dudes Donuts
10a-1p Community Drumming
10a-2p Display of 1998 Time Capsule & Create Your Own Time Capsule Story Station | Manchester Garden Club’s
200 Tree (seedling) give-away | Live Music | Adirondack Painted Chair Project
11a-12p Sharing of poems, letters, and art for the bicentennial time capsule
11a-2p FunZone Inflatables | Bocce with UNICO | Street Games | Youth Bureau Open House (63 Linden St)
12p Concert in the Park with Town Troubadour Bill Ludwig, Finn Rowan, Illing Singers, MHS Roundtable & More
Charter Oak Park 50 (Charter Oak St)
10a-3p The Elks host the ‘Safe Kids’ program for youth under 14. Hoop Shoot, Soccer Shoot & National Free Throw
Program for ages 8-13
10a-4p Manchester Historical Society
10a-4p Lutz Children’s Museum
12p-3p Cheney Hall, Cheney Homestead
12p-4p Old Manchester Fire Museum
300 Hundred years of Manchester – 3 Venue Art Exhibit
Historical Society: THE PAST
Lutz Children’s Museum: THE PRESENT
Galleries WORK_SPACE: THE FUTURE
Butterfly Stroll & Art Tour along Main St.
10a-4p Family Friendly Activities in the Forest Street parking lot with Downtown sponsors and Non-Profit friends
12p-4p Little Bird Clay Co. (29 Bissell St) Pottery Show/Sale of artists ages 10-17
10a-4p $3 butterfly facepainting at Frog & Fable and free butterfly craft at Downtown Roots in the Manchester Mall (811 Main St)
10a-4p The Market 1115 at The Firestone Art Studio & Café with 30+ local vendors (1115 Main St)
10a-4p CAST Children’s Theatre hosts costumed photo stop at WORK_SPACE to have your picture taken with
characters from Frozen, Peter Pan and Seussical and a few costumes to try on.
Urban Lodge (47 Purnell Place)
12p-11p $5 Pints of 1823 Bicentennial Brew