Summer Bicentennial Celebration is Heating Up

The Town of Manchester’s 2023 Bicentennial Celebration is already in full bloom, but there is so much more to celebrate right around the corner! With a slate of special events, cultural activities & programs, come commemorate Manchester’s Bicentennial with the Town of Manchester & its slate of community partners.

Bicentennial celebrations will continue through the end of the calendar year. For a complete listing of programs & special events, please visit the official Bicentennial Commemorative Guide.

One Bicentennial program that is already off to a roaring success is the 23 Walks with the Town Historian series. Hosted by Town Historian Susan Barlow, these free history walks offer the chance for participants to learn about the history of Manchester through interactive means. Walks for the summer season include, but are not limited to:

  • Sat, 07/01/23, 1:00 PM @ Historic Downtown Churches, 896 Main Street

  • Sun, 07/09/23, 1:00 PM @ Manchester Green, 549 Middle Turnpike East

  • Sun, 08/06/23, 1:00 PM @ Buckland Cemetery, 1210 Tolland Turnpike

  • Sat, 08/26/23, 1:00 PM @  Manchester’s Westside, 94 Cedar Street

For a complete listing of the 23 Walks with the Town Historian series, please click here for the program’s informational booklet.
The Spruce Street Farmers Market, which kicked off its outdoor season on June 7, will be commemorating the Town’s Bicentennial with a themed, Manchester-centric market. Join us on Wednesday, June 28th from 4:30 PM – 7:30 PM at Market Field, 163 Spruce Street, for the Spruce Street Farmers Market: Manchester Day! Come shop at a slate of local vendors, including at the featured food truck, Square Peg Pizzeria, meet Town of Manchester department and municipal staff & register for the slate of summer programs.
For more information on the Spruce Street Farmers Market, please visit the Spruce Street Farmers Market Facebook page or call the Neighborhoods & Families Division at (860)647-3089.
Just one road over on Main Street, the annual Silk City Festival will be hosted on Saturday, August 26 from 1:00 PM – 9:30 PM at Purnell Place – Orange Lot. The Silk City Fest is “an annual celebration of local music and art, with performances and art vendors all day, games and art activities, craft beer & food trucks.”
For further information on the Silk City Fest, including the slate of music & food vendors, please visit the official Silk City Fest Facebook page. 
To many, summer doesn’t truly feel like summer until they get to kick back with family & friends and enjoy a firework show. Fear not – the annual Dutch Fogarty Independence Day Celebration will return this summer! Join us on Saturday, July 8 from 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM at the Manchester Community College Bandshell, 60 Bidwell Street, for an evening filled with celebration, food, music, fun – and of course – fireworks!
For additional free outdoor family activities, be sure to visit the returning Summer Concert Series, hosted by MARC Inc. Please note that all concerts will be held at 151-161 Sheldon Road; check for weather delays by calling MARC’s Event Hotline at (860)474-2700. This year’s summer concert series includes:

  • Mass Conn Fusion  (Tu, 7/11/23, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM  | Rain Date: 7/12/23)

  • Anthem Reggae Band (Tu, 7/18/23, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM | Rain Date: 7/19/23)

  • Backstage Pass (Tu, 7/25/23, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM | Rain Date: 7/26/23)

Any car lovers in your life? Are you yourself a gearhead? Well, then be sure to mark your calendar for the town’s annual Cruisin’ on Main Street Car Show, currently scheduled for August 6 (rain date: August 13) from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM on Downtown Main Street. Join us for a fun-filled day of beautiful vintage vehicles, special activities, music and food, all arranged along Main Street. Show car registration opens at 8:00 AM; the show opens to the public at 10:00 AM. All cars, trucks, sports cars & street rods years 1987 and prior are welcomed.

For all proud dog families, a slate of Dog City events will be offered to serve our beloved four-legged friends. Join us for the Doggie Dunk, an annual swim for Manchester dogs, on August 13 from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM at Globe Hollow, 100 Spring Street. In addition, join us for the Pups in Our Parks Showcase and Agility Dog Course Demo, a demonstration of an agility dog course and get a special sneak peek of the “Pups in OurParks,” 10 precast dogs designed by local and regional artists.
In honor of the Town of Manchester’s Bicentennial, the town has partnered with videographer Zack Carroll to produce a documentary that showcases both the community and its history. The Living History Project is “an effort to collect stories from the people that have experienced life in Manchester…there is no story too big or too small,” Carroll wrote. 
Click here to view the Living History Project Trailer. The completed documentary will premiere at the Lights in the Sky – Drone Show Event on Friday, September 22 from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM at Northwest Park, 448 Tolland Turnpike. 

For a complete listing of Bicentennial events, please visit the
digital Bicentennial Commemorative Guide, which contains all department-run and brand partner Bicentennial programs & special events. Be sure to swing by the Bicentennial Store to grab the latest Town merch; with products including t-shirts, hats, pajama sets, pet gear & more, there is a little bit of something for every potential shopper!

Whether you are a lifelong Manchester resident or are joining us for your very first summer, all are welcome to commemorate the Town of Manchester’s Bicentennial Celebration this year. Come reflect the past, celebrate the present & dream of the future with the united Manchester community.

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