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Community Trail Network OPENING – June 29th

June 25th, 2014 | No Comments

MMS_CTN_opening_FLYERCalling all bikers, joggers, walkers, strollers, and community members – the North Manchester Community Trail Network is now officially open! Manchester Main Street’s (MMS) Manchester PATH Group (PATH) committee and North Manchester Parks and Recreation (NMPR) will be hosting a Community Trail Network (CTN) opening ceremony this Sunday, June 29, from 2-4pm, at the Strauss•Peabody Aquatic and Fitness Center (902 N. Market Street). Come by for family activities, refreshments, and to pick up a CTN map brochure. Be sure to bring your bicycle and helmet – PATH will be providing fitting demonstrations and bicycle safety education. And, don’t miss your chance to enter a drawing to win FREE giveaways – new bikes, helmets, bicycling gear, T-shirts and more!

MMS_CTN_map_smThe Community Trail Network is a 14-mile multi-purpose recreational route connecting North Manchester’s parks, schools, retirement communities, neighborhoods, businesses and landmarks. In 2012, PATH formed an alliance with NMPR to develop and execute a 5-phased construction plan and funding strategy to bring the 1999 CTN Master Plan to fruition. Phase I installation of the signage and sharrows portion of the plan was completed in the fall of 2013, providing the necessary skeleton upon which to build future phases. Construction costs were covered by the MMS Special Project Fund, a town improvement restricted fund created by revenue generated from the downtown engraved paver sales. Project installation was a combination of donated Street Department and volunteer labor.

To support MMS’ town improvement efforts by becoming a member, visit our website to download a 2014 Business or Individual Membership Form. Get regular updates on upcoming events, projects and accomplishments by following MMS and PATH on Facebook. For additional information and ways you can become involved, contact Renata Robinson, MMS Executive Director, at 260-901-6045 or manchestermainstreet@gmail.com.

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2014 Events Calendar

MMS_Final.jpgManchester Main Street (MMS) has several celebratory town events coming up that you won’t want to miss! This Saturday, June 21, from 9am-3pm, is the biannual “Welcome to My Garden” Garden Walk sponsored by MMS’ America in Bloom committee and local businesses. The tour begins downtown at the beautiful Eel River Gardens (located next to Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church – 113 W. Main Street) and features six distinctive private gardens throughout the North Manchester area. Event day tickets (Adults $8 or two for $15, Children $3) will be available at the Eel River Gardens.

MMS’ Manchester PATH Group committee and North Manchester Parks and Recreation (NMPR) will be having a Community Trail Network (CTN) opening ceremony on Sunday, June 29, from 2-4pm, at the Strauss•Peabody Aquatic and Fitness Center (902 N. Market Street). There will be family activities, refreshments, and a CTN information booth stocked with CTN map brochures. The Community Trail Network is a 14-mile multi-purpose recreational route connecting North Manchester’s parks, schools, retirement communities, neighborhoods, businesses and landmarks.

In early fall, MMS’ will be hosting the 2nd Annual Eel River Arts Festival on September 13th, at the Eel River Gardens in the heart of historic downtown North Manchester. Saturday’s 10am-3pm Art Fair will feature live music, highlight area artists’ and artisans’ work, and provide creative enrichment activities for all ages. The event is free to the public. Traditional and culinary artists interested in reserving booth space can CLICK HERE to download an application. All applications must be received by August 1st.

And, be sure to save the date for MMS’ 3rd Annual “Light Up The Town” Holiday Gala on Saturday, December 6, from 5:30-11pm. This exclusive progressive dinner event promotes downtown’s historic architecture and showcases the best food, drinks and live entertainment North Manchester has to offer.

To support MMS’ town improvement efforts by becoming a member, visit our website to download a 2014 Business or Individual Membership Form. Get regular updates on upcoming events, projects and accomplishments by following MMS on Facebook. For additional information and ways you can become involved, contact Renata Robinson, MMS Executive Director, at 260-901-6045 or manchestermainstreet@gmail.com.

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Garden Walk – June 21st

AIB_GardenWalk_June2014Manchester Main Street’s America in Bloom (AIB) committee is hosting this year’s “Welcome to My Garden” Garden Walk on Saturday, June 21st, from 9am-3pm. The tour begins downtown at the beautiful Eel River Gardens (located next to Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church – 113 W. Main Street) and features six distinctive private gardens throughout the North Manchester area.

Advance tickets (Adults $8 or two for $15, Children $3) can be purchased at Cottage Creations and Wetzel Insurance Agency. Event day tickets will be available at the Eel River Gardens.

This year the Garden Walk includes gardening presentations, plant sales and an Arts/Craft market at the Eel River Gardens. Vendors interested in participating in the market may contact AIB member Paula Dee by email at missdee@cinergymetro.net for more information. There will be two special garden demonstrations at the Eel River Gardens at 10am and 2pm.

Local event sponsors include: Batteries Plus Bulbs, Beacon Credit Union, Country View Greenhouse, Hardee’s Restaurant, Hoffman’s Nursery, Manchester Realty, Metzger Landscaping, Tri-Oaks Realty, Wetzel Insurance Agency, First Merchant’s Bank, and Main View.

The biannual North Manchester Garden Walk has become inspiration for gardeners, nature lovers and all who appreciate the serenity of the outdoors. It has earned a reputation as being both soothing and invigorating. It is a day filled with beautiful blooms, exotic plants, creative design, garden art, butterflies, birds and fellowship. The “Welcome to My Garden” tour is intended to cater to those who wish to enjoy a leisurely stroll through unique and charming gardens, or to those who wish to garner inspiration for their own garden projects.

For additional Garden Walk event information, visit Manchester Main Street’s website or Facebook event page, or contact Renata Robinson, Manchester Main Street Executive Director, at 260-901-6045 or manchestermainstreet@gmail.com.

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Visit Wabash County Event “Hotlinks”

Event ButtonDo you want to know what’s going on in North Manchester this weekend but aren’t sure how to find out? Manchester Main Street (MMS) has partnered with Visit Wabash County to make it one “click” easier. “At Manchester Main Street’s May 5th Annual Meeting, effectively marketing current local events came up as a key area for improving community awareness and attracting visitors,” said Renata Robinson, MMS’ Executive Director. “Many are unaware that the Visit Wabash County website is a ‘one stop shop’ for event information throughout the county. You can also use it to upload information about upcoming events.”

Submit Event ButtonManchester Main Street has added a couple Visit Wabash County “hotlink buttons” to MMS’ website’s home page. One is a link to Visit Wabash County’s local events calendar, the other links to its online form for submitting community events. “I appreciate that Manchester Main Street wants to ensure that their community members and organizations have easy access to local events and have a way to promote local happenings at no cost,” said Christine Flohr, Executive Director of Tourism for Wabash County. “Linking the county calendar on the Manchester Main Street website to the Visit Wabash County website is an effective way to inform people of the many great happenings taking place right here in their own backyard.”

“This is only the tip of the iceberg for streamlining local marketing information,” said Robinson. “Web access is not universal and Manchester Main Street is looking into additional ways to get the word out about North Manchester’s offerings.” To support MMS’ town improvement efforts by becoming a member, visit our website to download a 2014 Business or Individual Membership Form. Get regular updates on upcoming events, projects and accomplishments by following MMS on Facebook. For additional information and ways you can become involved, contact Renata Robinson, MMS Executive Director, at 260-901-6045 or manchestermainstreet@gmail.com.

May 5th Annual Meeting Recap

MMS_Final.jpgManchester Main Street (MMS) held its Annual Meeting on May 5 at the Main View in downtown North Manchester. 2014 MMS Board President, Tim Brauch, welcomed the Board, committees and members in attendance, and highlighted several MMS town improvement projects from the 2013 Annual Report that have made positive impacts. “Manchester Main Street accomplished a lot in 2013,” said Brauch. “We hosted the first-ever Eel River Arts Festival which showcased our local talent and attracted residents and tourists to downtown. The Community Trail Network was installed and will officially open this year. And, the hanging flower baskets, sidewalk planters, and storefront artwork add an additional beautification touch to the Town’s now completed downtown streetscape renovation project.”

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MMS Annual Meeting attendees (L to R) Christa Kolster-Frye, Lark Killingbeck, Michelle Calka and Tim Brauch (MMS 2014 President) discuss town improvement ideas.

In 2013, MMS grew its member base to 107, and has over 50 volunteers serving on six active committees – America in Bloom, Economic Restructuring, Historic Preservation & Design, Manchester PATH Group, North Manchester Garden Club, and Promotion & Art. ”I applaud the efforts of Manchester Main Street to host quality events [like the Eel River Arts Festival and Holiday Gala] that effectively connect participants to the mission and purpose of the organization,” said Christine Flohr, Executive Director of Tourism for Wabash County. “This piece is often neglected by other non-profits that host events but miss their mission.”

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MMS Annual Meeting attendees (L to R): Joan Fahs (foreground in blue shirt), Richard Livingston, Andrew Duffy (MMS Board Member ; Economic Restructuring Chair), Stacey Jarrett (MMS Board Member ; Treasurer), Linda Richards, Todd Richards, Charles Boebel (table head at far end), Ed Miller, Susan Manwaring (MMS Board Member ; Secretary), Dan Manwaring.

During the Annual Meeting, Renata Robinson, MMS Executive Director, facilitated a creative brainstorming session listing town assets upon which to build the “buzz” about all North Manchester has to offer. Each asset was then developed into an engaging project, event or promotional strategy to help generate community awareness and encourage involvement. “At our Mid-Year Planning meeting in March, we discussed the 25 year history of the organization and why Manchester Main Street exists,” said Robinson. “We came up with ‘Manchester Main Street exists to empower our community to embrace its potential.’ This brainstorming exercise is a translation of our ‘Why’ into our ‘What’ – action items that carry out our purpose and mission.” Annual Meeting attendees generated over 20 new project ideas and identified several key goals to incorporate into MMS’ 2014 Scope of Work.

To support Manchester Main Street’s town improvement efforts by becoming a member, visit our website to download a MMS 2014 Business or Individual Membership Form. Click here to view MMS’ 2013 Annual Report and 2014 Scope of Work. Get regular updates on upcoming events, projects and accomplishments by following MMS on Facebook. For additional information and ways you can become involved, contact Renata Robinson, MMS Executive Director, at 260-901-6045 or manchestermainstreet@gmail.com.

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Downtown Storefront Artwork – NEW Spring Exhibit

MMS_StudentSpringArtwork1Spring is finally here and North Manchester’s downtown storefronts have been spruced up with a new batch of colorful student artwork. Manchester Main Street’s (MMS) Historic Preservation & Design and Promotion & Art committees have again collaborated with Manchester Community Schools’ art teachers and downtown building owners for this latest installation on display through June. Come downtown to shop, eat and stroll. Over 150 creations from elementary, intermediate, junior high and high school students fill the windows of twelve storefronts on Main and Walnut Streets.

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This is the first of many MMS 2014 town improvement and beautification projects to come. MMS_StudentSpringArtwork3Community members interested in learning more about MMS and ways to become involved are encouraged to attend the Annual Meeting on May 5, 7pm at the Main View (141 E. Main Street). This is an open forum for the Board, Committees and Members to discuss 2013 accomplishments and 2014 goals.

Please contact Renata Robinson, Manchester Main Street Executive Director, at 260-901-6045 or manchestermainstreet@gmail.com, with your reservations by May 2. MMS_StudentSpringArtwork2For more information or to download a MMS 2014 Business or Individual Membership form, visit our website or Facebook page. MMS’ office is located in the Chamber building (109 N. Market Street).

Annual Meeting – May 5th

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 MMS 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.

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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

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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.

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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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