|October 5th, 2011|
Destination city: Manchester's event success
For the second year in a row, Manchester pulled off a neat entertainment feat. It played host to both the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and the World’s Championship Chili Cookoff on the same weekend. The events were held simultaneously, just blocks from each other. And both were successes.
The success of these events is notable in that such happenings are now considered not notable in the city.
Before the arena was built at the corner of Elm and Granite, downtown was really struggling. The arena brought concert-goers, who came early or stayed late to eat and drink, which brought new bars and restaurants. The baseball stadium followed, and more nightlife sprouted.
At first, that seemed the extent of the growth. But then came big sporting events like the NCAA Division 1 hockey championships and the Eastern League All-Star game. Manchester handled those events extremely well, which proved to promoters that the city was a solid choice for mid-sized events.
The city has always had local events at places like Singer Family Park, which the baseball stadium replaced. But today it has become a destination city for regional and even national events.
Over the rainy weekend, circus-goers and chili fans strolled downtown as local traffic was ably directed by city police officers now highly skilled at keeping crowded streets flowing. Crowds were good, considering that the weather wasn’t and the Deerfield Fair was taking place at the same time.
There was a time when successfully pulling off these two events would have been considered kind of a big deal in Manchester. Not anymore. That’s a testament to the police department and to city officials, boosters and business owners who have given the city a solid reputation as a great place to hold an event.
- This Editorial was featured in the New Hampshire Union Leader.
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