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Annual Meeting – May 5th

April 23rd, 2014 | No Comments

MMS_Final.jpgManchester Main Street (MMS) will hold its Annual Meeting on May 5, at 7pm at the Main View. This is an open forum for the Board, Committees and Members to discuss 2013 accomplishments and 2014 goals. Community members interested in learning more about MMS and ways to become involved are encouraged to attend and voice town improvement suggestions. “Manchester Main Street was founded in 1989 by community members interested in preserving, celebrating and revitalizing all North Manchester has to offer,” said Renata Robinson, MMS’ Executive Director.

There have been many positive changes around town over the last couple of years, most noticeably the Town of North Manchester’s downtown historic streetscape construction and facade renovation programs. MMS’ contributing projects include the Riverfront Park and Community Trail Network installations; engraved pavers, storefront artwork, “Welcome” banners, hanging flower baskets, and sidewalk planters throughout downtown; and the Eel River Arts Festival and “Light Up The Town” Holiday Gala annual cultural events. “Town Council’s investment in town improvements has created a domino effect,” said Robinson. “There is an optimistic outlook and momentum to build upon. Manchester Main Street is looking forward to its continued work and collaborative partnership with the Town.”

To support MMS’ town improvement efforts by becoming a member download a 2014 Business or Individual Membership form. For more information, visit our website and Facebook page. MMS’ office is located in the Chamber building (109 N. Market Street). Renata Robinson, MMS Executive Director, can be contacted at 260-901-6045 or manchestermainstreet@gmail.com.

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2013 – A Very Productive Year In Review

MMS_Final.jpgSince 1989, Manchester Main Street (MMS) has been committed to revitalizing and enhancing the rich cultural, natural and architectural resources that make North Manchester a unique and wonderful place to live. Thanks to the active participation and financial generosity of this great community, MMS accomplished quite a bit over the past year.

MMS coordinated the first-ever Eel River Arts Festival showcasing North Manchester’s varied creative talent. The two-day event encouraged tourism, instilled local pride and provided creative enrichment activities for all ages. To further beautify our town, MMS added colorful new “Welcome” banners and hanging flower baskets to the new historic light posts, and sidewalk planters throughout downtown. MMS offers personalized engraved pavers, and 305 have been installed in the downtown sidewalks to date. All paver sales revenue is restricted to town improvement projects. MMS is also exploring strategies to promote small business retention, recruitment and development.

MMS and North Manchester Parks & Recreation developed a 5-phased Community Trail Network construction plan and funding strategy. Phase I installation of the signage and sharrows was completed in fall 2013. For the holiday season, MMS encouraged Main Street corridor businesses to “Light Up The Town” by outlining their windows in white lights. MMS added to the festivities and downtown decorations with storefront holiday artwork by Manchester Community Schools’ students. And, to celebrate all these 2013 achievements, MMS hosted an annual Holiday Gala. This exclusive event highlighted North Manchester’s numerous attributes – historic buildings, great restaurants, diverse retail and multi-talented residents.

“Manchester Main Street represents a diverse range of age groups, businesses, and economic and community interests in North Manchester. It is by nature a community-driven process empowering local citizens to enact positive change,” said Renata Robinson, MMS’ Executive Director. As project planning begins for 2014, MMS welcomes new committee members and the public is invited to attend meetings to voice town improvement suggestions. There are five active committees: America in Bloom, Economic Restructuring, Historic Preservation & Design, Manchester PATH Group and Promotion & Art.

“If you like what Manchester Main Street is doing, we also urge you to visit our website and download a 2014 Business or Individual Membership form,” said Robinson. MMS’ office is in the Chamber building (109 N. Market Street), and Robinson encourages business owners and community members to stop in, gather more information and provide feedback. You may contact Renata Robinson directly at 260-901-6045 or manchestermainstreet@gmail.com.

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“Light Up The Town” Holiday Gala – THANK YOU

MMS Holiday Gala event coordinators Michele Graham, Renata Robinson, Susan Manwaring, Tim Brauch and Debbie Chinworth at the Center for History. ©2013 Michele Marie Photography

MMS Holiday Gala event coordinators Michele Graham, Renata Robinson, Susan Manwaring, Tim Brauch and Debbie Chinworth at the Center for History.
©2013 Michele Marie Photography

Manchester Main Street (MMS) extends a heartfelt thank you to all the tremendous community support that helped make Friday’s 2nd Annual MMS “Light Up The Town” Holiday Gala a huge success. Over 150 guests attended the December 6 progressive dinner event in celebration of this year’s MMS accomplishments. The evening could not have been possible without venue hosts Steve and Jane Hentgen, Scott and Jodi Zook, and the North Manchester Historical Society. Their three historic downtown buildings – Bender Chapel / Grandstaff-Hentgen, Zook’s Café and the North Manchester Center for History – were beautifully transformed into holiday splendor by Todd Richards, Edward and Martha Miller, and Hubert and Alice Newcomer (Bender Chapel); Kathy Wade and Janean Watson (Zook’s); and Susie Sharfman (Center for History). Complementary intervenue shuttle service was provided by Manchester University.

Local event sponsors and donors included: Batteries Plus Bulbs, Beacon Credit Union, BIT Computers, NiMa, Grandstaff-Hentgen Funeral Service, Leland and Angilee Beery, Manchester Realty, Edward and Martha Miller, Crossroads Bank, Bill and Mary Earle, Family Hearing Center, Graydon and Lois Snyder, Manchester University and Stonehenge Golf Club.

Deno Migliorini, Greta Miller, Cameron Obannon and Maya Hippensteel at Bender Chapel. ©2013 Michele Marie Photography

Deno Migliorini, Greta Miller, Cameron Obannon and Maya Hippensteel at Bender Chapel.
©2013 Michele Marie Photography

Bender Chapel’s select hors d’oeuvres were prepared by Main View and KenapocoMocha Coffee Shop. KenapocoMocha and Zook’s Café created exclusive dinner selections. Delectable desserts from Nordmann’s Nook and Manchester Marketplace were served at the Center for History. Specialty drinks were provided by Main View. Musical accents and infectious dancing were courtesy of Shelby Phillips, Linda Kummernuss directing the North Central String Association, and DJ Paul Howard. And, Gala guests took home numerous one of a kind silent auction treasures generously donated by area businesses and artisans.

We are grateful for the MMS Board members, countless volunteers and event attendees who played a huge role in creating a memorable night out on the town. In particular, we would like to thank Hannah Burnworth, Todd and Linda Richards, Mary Chrastil, Nancy Reed, Joyce Joy and Ralph Naragon.

Gala Photobooth images courtesy of Michele Marie Photography, with Lynn Beery and Alex Metzger assisting, can be viewed or downloaded at http://extendoforkstudios.smugmug.com/Events. Gala event photos by Michele Graham can also be accessed on MMS’ Facebook page or via their individual links — Party shots: http://on.fb.me/1gmUC4b ; Photobooth images: http://on.fb.me/1iU5dFu. For more information, contact Renata Robinson, Manchester Main Street Executive Director.

Downtown Artwork Exhibit – Student Holiday Banners

MMS_StudentHolidayArtwork2Manchester Main Street (MMS) is thankful for the tremendous support of local businesses and residents in helping “Light Up The Town” this holiday season. The Main Street business corridor is dazzling with festive white lights outlining the merchants’ windows. You may also notice new holiday artwork in the downtown storefronts? MMS’ Historic Preservation & Design and Promotion & Art committees have collaborated with Manchester Community Schools (MCS) for this annual installation.

Each year MCS elementary, intermediate and junior high students create colorful banner designs for the Honeywell Center’s Winter Banner Contest. Wabash and Miami County districts are invited to participate, and ten banners from each school are submitted and displayed at the Clark Gallery. This year 32 winners were honored and will be reproduced as full-sized street pole banners. MCS’ 2013 selections will be installed on the new historic light posts in downtown North Manchester by early December.

MMS_StudentHolidayArtwork

MMS coordinated with MCS art teachers and downtown building owners to fill the windows of fifteen storefronts with the student banner artwork. We invite you to take a stroll downtown. 132 creative holiday scenes complement the decorative lighting on Main Street. And, while taking in the sights, be sure to stop by North Manchester’s many unique retailers and specialty stores for all your holiday shopping needs. For more information, contact Renata Robinson, Manchester Main Street Executive Director.
 

“Light Up The Town” This Holiday Season

LightUptheTown
Manchester Main Street (MMS) encourages local businesses and residents to help “Light Up The Town” this holiday season. To kick things off, merchants are asked to outline their windows in white lights by November 8, in time for the Holiday Open Houses. In November, MMS will add to the festivities and downtown decorations with holiday storefront artwork by Manchester Community Schools’ students.

And, be sure to save the date for MMS’ December 6 “Light Up The Town” Holiday Gala, a progressive dinner event featuring exclusive specialty treats from North Manchester’s finest restaurants, bars and entertainers. Get your reservations in this week and take advantage of the discounted $35 “Early Bird” tickets, available through November 1 only. Gala invitations can be picked up at the MMS office in the Chamber building (109 N. Market Street) or downloaded from MMS' website — CLICK HERE. The registration deadline is November 15.

$250-$750+ event sponsorships, which include Gala tickets, can also be purchased and will be matched $1 for $1 by an anonymous donor. Silent auction donations can be directed to Susan Manwaring at 260-982-6720 or smanwaring@battplus.com. All Gala proceeds will support MMS and its 2014 town improvement projects. For more information, contact Renata Robinson, Manchester Main Street Executive Director.

“Light Up The Town” Holiday Gala – Friday, December 6th

HolidayGala_SAVEtheDATEMark your calendars for North Manchester’s most memorable night out on the town. Manchester Main Street’s (MMS) 2nd annual “Light Up The Town” Holiday Gala will be held on Friday, December 6, from 6 – 11pm. This progressive dinner event will feature specialty treats from North Manchester’s finest restaurants, bars and entertainers. Four historic downtown venues will be transformed into holiday splendor, and filled with live music, dancing and silent auction treasures. Attendance is limited for this exclusive event, so be sure to reserve your space now. Discounted “Early Bird” tickets will be available through November 1. The registration deadline is November 15.

The night begins in elegance, with hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, late Victorian period decor and musical accents, at the stately Lawrence House / Bender Chapel. Take a stroll down Main Street’s new historic streetscape to Zook’s upbeat, rustic cozy atmosphere. Visit with friends and enjoy white linen fine dining, delicious entrees and complementary beverages. Then, head over to the Center for History for luscious desserts, choice liqueurs and infectious dancing. Savor memories new and old, and, be sure to indulge in your chance to win rare silent auction finds. This unique evening of refinement and fun in celebration of MMS’ 2013 accomplishments promises to be one party you won't want to miss!

$35 “Early Bird” and $40 regular priced individual tickets are available at the MMS office in the Chamber building (109 N. Market Street) or CLICK HERE to download a Gala brochure. MMS members’ discounted tickets are $35. $250-$750 event sponsorships, which include Gala tickets, can also be purchased and will be matched $1 for $1 by an anonymous donor. Silent auction donations can be directed to Susan Manwaring at 260-982-6720 or smanwaring@battplus.com. All Gala proceeds will support MMS and its 2014 town improvement projects. For more information, contact Renata Robinson, MMS Executive Director.

“Riverfront” Park Ribbon Cutting

MMS_AIBRiverfrontPark_ribboncutting_CROPManchester Main Street (MMS) held a “Riverfront” Park opening ceremony on September 11, to celebrate the tremendous amount of creative energy and collaborative community effort that went into the project. Renata Robinson, MMS Executive Director welcomed those in attendance. “Looking around, I think you would all agree that this is a wonderful addition to North Manchester. What makes this project unique is the degree of partnership within North Manchester, Wabash County and the outlying towns.”

The “Riverfront” Park would not have been possible without the support of the Town of North Manchester: Town Council and Town Manager, Dan Hannaford, for approval to develop the land; John Mugford, Superintendent of Public Works, Ryan Shock and the Water Department for the long-term maintenance of the space; and, Stan Ogan for watering the decorative flower pots. The Park & Recreation Department (NMPR) and North Manchester community also provided insightful design feedback and recommendations. Town Council President, Chris Garber, spoke in praise of the project. “You remind me of all the collaboration that took place to make this happen. But even the guys who worked in the water plant had ideas on what they thought should happen. It was really interesting and neat to see all that happen.”

MMS_AIBRiverfrontPark_lookingeast2The project team included Claypool residents Leesa Metzger (Metzger Landscaping & Design) and Eliot Irwin (sculpture), South Whitley’s Kim Slater (concrete), North Manchester businesses Riverbridge Electric and Snep Sign Company, and community member Allan White (historical signage text). Irwin, who cut the ribbon at the end of the ceremony, reflected on the collective design effort. “Working on a process like this is not knowing what is going to occur or emerge. Through submitting ideas and bouncing ideas off people, things just take shape. I’m very thankful to be here and be a part of this, and be a part of history through this work and this park.”

MMS’ America in Bloom (AIB) committee initiated the “Riverfront” Park project back in 2011. AIB, which formed in 2007, has literally been “planting pride in our community” ever since, partnering with the Town, NMPR and North Manchester Historical Society on multiple town beautification projects including: the “Welcome to North Manchester” town sign parklet at the western edge of town; Warvel Park Memorial Waterfall and Gazebo, Halderman Cemetery Memorial, and Thomas Marshall House landscaping; Riverbridge Electric “pocket” park; and downtown hanging flower baskets, sidewalk pots, park benches, and colorful streetpole banner artwork.

MMS_AIBRiverfrontPark_lookingsoutheastIn spring 2012, AIB applied for a Community Foundation of Wabash County grant to cover the “Riverfront” Park project expenses. Around the same time, Christine Flohr, Wabash County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau Executive Director, encouraged Wabash Marketplace and MMS to combine their concurrent town improvement efforts and jointly apply for an Indiana Office of Tourism Development “Place Based Investment Fund” matching grant. Both grants were awarded and AIB received additional match funding from Manchester University and MMS.

The “Riverfront” Park will be a featured “sight” along the October 5 Harvest Festival hayride route, sponsored by MMS, NMPR, and Metzger Landscaping & Design. To support MMS’ town improvement efforts by becoming a member, CLICK HERE to download a 2013 Membership Form. For additional information and ways you can become involved, contact Renata Robinson, MMS Executive Director.

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“Riverfront” Park Opening Ceremony – Sept 11th

MMS_AIBRiverfrontPark_lookingeastManchester Main Street (MMS) is hosting a “Riverfront” Park opening ceremony on September 11, at 5:30pm, to celebrate this truly collaborative community effort and wonderful addition to North Manchester. The event is open to the public and is chance to meet the talented artists who helped make the park a reality. “This project is a showcase of what can be accomplished utilizing local assets and resources,” said Renata Robinson, MMS Executive Director. The project team included Claypool residents Leesa Metzger (landscaping) and Eliot Irwin (sculpture), South Whitley’s Kim Slater (concrete), North Manchester businesses Riverbridge Electric and Snep Sign Company, and community member Allan White (historical signage text).

Located at the intersection of Main and Wayne Streets at the eastern edge of town, this is one of the only publicly owned riverfront properties in North Manchester. When the old Water Plant was removed in 2011, MMS requested Town Council permission to develop the land. Project expenses were covered by grants from the Community Foundation of Wabash County and Indiana Office of Tourism Development, with additional funding from Manchester University and MMS. The park’s site-specific sculpture, landscaping and educational signage pays tribute to the Eel River and serves as a downtown gateway landmark. Irwin titled his unique curved and twisting sculpture "River Walking” to suggest that maybe it is the river that is walking: “’Walking’ brings to mind the element of time not being rushed. The town will change, things come and go and people grow up, grow old and perish, but the river keeps on walking, walking through its geology and through eternity.”

MMS_AIBRiverfrontPark_lookingsoutheastThe “Riverfront” Park will also be a featured “sight” along the October 5 Harvest Festival hayride route, sponsored by MMS, North Manchester Parks & Recreation, and Metzger Landscaping & Design. To support MMS’ town improvement efforts by becoming a member, CLICK HERE to download a 2013 Membership Form. For additional information and ways you can become involved, contact Renata Robinson, MMS Executive Director.

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Manchester Main Street Unveils 2013 Projects

MMS_AIB_HangingBaskets_2013Now that the new historic streetscape construction is complete, downtown North Manchester is looking better than ever. Manchester Main Street (MMS) has contributed several town improvement projects that were unveiled over the past summer months. To further beautify our town, colorful new “Welcome” banners and hanging flower baskets were added to the historic light posts along Main and Walnut Streets, as well as, sidewalk planters throughout downtown in June. MMS’ America in Bloom committee collaborated with the Town on their design, funding and long-term maintenance plan.

Thanks to the overwhelming community support, 305 personalized engraved pavers have been installed in the downtown sidewalks to date. Each paver purchase provides an opportunity for businesses, families and individuals to have a permanent reminder of their participation in and contribution to North Manchester’s revitalization efforts. All sales revenue is restricted to funding 2013 and future MMS town improvement projects. Although the pre-construction reduced rate pricing has been discontinued, tax deductible engraved pavers can still be purchased. Prices range from $150 to $300 and come in two sizes – 6” square and 6” x 9”. Order forms are available at the MMS office in the Chamber building (109 N. Market Street) or MMS' website – CLICK HERE.
MMS_EngravedPaver_Ayres

CTN_SignageExample2_installedIn July, the Street Department installed new treelawn posts and MMS’ Manchester PATH Group posted Community Trail Network (CTN) signage around town. “Share the road” sharrow symbol street painting will begin in August, followed by bicycle safety and awareness education, and CTN marketing. The CTN’s Phase I construction costs were funded by MMS’ Special Project Fund, a town improvement restricted account created by revenue generated from the downtown engraved paver sales. North Manchester Parks and Recreation and PATH have tentatively scheduled the CTN’s official opening ceremonies for September 2013.

To support MMS’ town improvement efforts by becoming a member, CLICK HERE to download a 2013 Membership Form. For additional information and ways you can become involved, contact Renata Robinson, MMS Executive Director.

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Eel River Arts Festival – THANK YOU

MicheleGraham_MMS_ERAF_Party3Manchester Main Street (MMS) is extremely grateful for all the wonderful community support that helped make last weekend’s first-ever Eel River Arts Festival a huge success. The June 14-15th event, showcasing North Manchester’s innovative cooks, talented entertainers and amazing artisans, would not have been possible without the partnership of the Town of North Manchester, Manchester Garden Club, Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and The Firehouse. The Eel River Gardens, located at the intersection of Main and Market Streets in the heart of downtown, was beautifully transformed into a festive venue for creativity, imagination and fun. Set against the backdrop of North Manchester’s new historic streetscape and overlooking the Eel River, what better way to highlight our beautiful town and scenic river?

MicheleGraham_MMS_ERAF_Party2Friday’s ticketed “Celebration of the Arts” Party’s select appetizers were prepared by the Brewhouse Bistro, Main View and KenapocoMocha. Main View and Zook’s Café created exclusive dinner selections. And, Nordmann’s Nook served up delectable desserts. Cash bar and specialty drinks were provided by Main View. Live local musical entertainment was courtesy of the North Central String Association, Mandy Underwood and Rachel Brandenburg, and DJ Paul Howard. And, event guests took home numerous one of a kind silent auction treasures generously donated by area businesses and artisans, as well as, designed their own personalized gift bag party favors.

MicheleGraham_MMS_ERAF_ArtFair3Saturday’s Art Fair featured the unique pottery, jewelry, painting, mixed media and photography of 15 area artists – Jeremy Ashcraft (ThruTheShutter), Kellie Brace (Dorothy-Ilene Gallery), Hannah Burnworth (Milk House Studio), Carlene Cripe (CC’s Paris Flea Market), Janet Ecklebarger (Glean Design), Gazina Jumper (Z’s Photography), Karen Meyer (Nouveau Glass Works), Joe Pelka (Pelka Ceramics), Terry Pulley (Art Work), Sally Rich (Blue Door Fair Trade), Jane Seely (Jewelry by Jane), Susie Sharfman (JustBeadCause), Chuck & Lyndsey Springer (Sharp Dressed Van), Mark & Mary Tuttle (M&M Photography), and Elizabeth Wamsley (Lake in the Woods Studio). Beautiful perennial and annual plants from Country View Greenhouse were also available for purchase. Kids activities included craft making workshops, pottery demonstrations by Christy Schuler and face painting by Rachel Kruger (Kruger Doodles). And, MMS provided food for sale furnished by KenapocoMocha and Main View.

MicheleGraham_MMS_ERAF_ArtFairWe extend a heartfelt thank you to the MMS Board members, countless volunteers and event attendees who played a huge role in creating a memorable first-ever Eel River Arts Festival. Special recognition goes out to Lynn Beery for her tremendous help in organizing the Art Fair, Janet Ecklebarger for designing and furnishing the event banner, JP Freeman for Friday’s sound system and set-up, Susie Sharfman for donating craft supplies, and Connie Graham, Susan Ring, Amanda Taylor and Gwen Wimmer for assisting and inspiring Saturday’s craft making creativity. Eel River Arts Festival event photos by Michele Graham can be viewed on MMS’ Facebook page. For more information, visit MMS’ website, or contact Renata Robinson, MMS Executive Director.

Eel River Arts Festival – THIS WEEKEND (June 14-15th)

MicheleGraham_TropicCinema_Dec2007Manchester Main Street’s (MMS) first-ever Eel River Arts Festival is this weekend – June 14-15th – in the heart of downtown North Manchester. $30 advance ticket reservations are required for Friday’s 6-10pm “Celebration of the Arts” Party, featuring specialty local cuisine, exclusive live performances, silent auction treasures and select cash bar. Saturday’s 10am-3pm Art Fair is free to the public, highlighting area artists’ work – Hannah Burnworth, Janet Ecklebarger, Michele Graham, Kellie Brace, Terry Pulley, Sharp Dressed Van, and many more! Come meet the artists and purchase unique pottery, jewelry, painting, mixed media and photography. There will be plenty of food and creative enrichment for all ages, so be sure to stop by. Kids activities include craft making, art workshops and face painting.

Both events will be held in the scenic Eel River Gardens, located at the intersection of Main and Market Streets, against the backdrop of North Manchester’s new historic downtown streetscape. The Eel River Gardens, overlooking the Eel River, is a town beautification project designed and maintained by the Manchester Garden Club. For additional Eel River Arts Festival event information, visit MMS’ website or Facebook page, or contact Renata Robinson, MMS Executive Director.

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Manchester Main Street seeks to stimulate revitalization of downtown North Manchester through economic development and historic preservation.
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