Love Local – Gift Local on Small Business Saturday


2020 is the year to show our love for our locally owned businesses! We encourage you to show the love by purchasing gifts at locally owned small businesses this season.

Join us as we kick-off the holiday shopping season on Small Business Saturday.

Come to Downtown Manchester on 11/28 from 10am to 4pm for great deals, shopping challenges and of course- prizes!

Visit the Welcome Tent in the Forest Street Lot where you can:

  • Enter the “I pledge to gift local 2020” prize drawings
  • Pick up a value-packed tote bag (first 50 people!)
  • Pick up a Connect 4 Game Board

Next, head off to start shopping at our locally owned businesses. Complete the shopping challenges on your game board to earn entries to win one of many great prizes! Remember, a gift comes in all shapes and forms. Gift cards for a beauty service or a fitness class make great stocking stuffers! A gift card for a coffee makes a great teacher’s gift! You can’t go wrong with a gift certificate to a restaurant!

Connect 4 Challenge Details

  1. Pick up your game board at the Welcome Tent.
  2. Visit our businesses to complete a shopping challenge.
  3. The business employee will give you a sticker to mark the challenge square.
  4. Visit more businesses to fill in as many squares as possible!
  5. Return the game board to the Welcome Tent
  6. Every 4-in-a-row completed earns you entries into the MANY prize drawings that will be held!


Thank you to our sponsors for making this fun possible!

Downtown Manchester Scarecrows Were a Success!

This year a record number of scarecrows decorated our Downtown Main Street for the 12th Annual Downtown Manchester Scarecrow Festival.  We are thrilled that our community was able to come out and enjoy this tradition this year! We would like to express an enormous thanks to each and every scarecrow artist!

Congratulations to our Facebook Favorites:

1st Place – Mimi & Rocky with “All it Takes is Love & a Dog!”

2nd Place- Innovative Change makers with “Don’t be afraid of change!”

3rd Place – St. James School of Manchester with “Gru & His Minions”

Take some time to view all of the scarecrows from this year in the album below!

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A Successful Shred Event

The Downtown District recently hosted a Shred Event for the district businesses. This event was well received and VERY appreciated by the business owners who had a chance to securely dispose of old files. This event was organized by the Downtown District and sponsored by three of our generous businesses – Lucky Taco, Beauty 911 Skin Lounge, and Anne Miller Real Estate, LLC.

Downtown Manchester Scarecrow Festival 2020

Photo of two scarecrows.Family Fun on Downtown Main Street

The 12th Annual Downtown Manchester Scarecrow Festival will run from Saturday (10/10) to Saturday (10/24).  This year Downtown Main Street will be hosting a record number of scarecrows from individuals, families, clubs, schools, and businesses!

The public is invited to come and spend some time strolling Main Street and viewing the almost 50 scarecrows! This is a great outdoor, socially distant activity for the whole family! So, come on down and enjoy some fall-fun on Downtown Main Street in Manchester!

CLICK HERE To view the 2020 Scarecrow Festival Program & Map

Vote for Your Favorite Scarecrow

After viewing the scarecrows, we invite you to vote for your favorite on Facebook! CLICK HERE to view the official Facebook Favorite Voting Album.  Simply click “like” on your favorite scarecrow. The 3 scarecrows with the most votes will win a prize!

#Selfiewithascarcrow Contest – You Can Win!

This year’s Downtown Scarecrow Festival comes with a twist – a chance for YOU to win a prize with our #selfiewithascarecrow contest! Simply snap a selfie (or several!) with the scarecrow(s) that you love and post them on social media! You will be entered a drawing for a $25 gift certificate to a Downtown Manchester business of your choice.  Please see below for official rules, terms, and conditions.

Remember, please enjoy looking at the scarecrows in a safe manner. Please do not crowd other guests and keep a 6 foot distance between groups. Do not climb on, touch, or in any way disturb the scarecrows or the planters. Please walk on the sidewalk at all times and do not stand in the street when posing or taking photographs.

Facebook #selfiewithascarecrow Contest

  1. Snap a selfie with a scarecrow (or several!) Remember, do not touch or climb on the scarecrows or planters. Do not stand in the street, remain on the sidewalk at all times.
  2. Head to the Downtown Manchester Special Services District Facebook page.
  3. Find the official #selfiewithascarecrow post and add your selfie(s) to the comments.
  4. Like our Facebook Page.

Instagram #selfiewithascarecrow Contest

  1. Snap a selfie with a scarecrow (or several!) Remember, do not touch or climb on the scarecrows or planters. Do not stand in the street, please remain on the sidewalk at all times.
  2. Post your selfie on Instagram with the #selfiewithascarecrow AND tag @downtownmanchesterct in your post.
  3. Follow @downtownmanchesterct on Instagram.

Terms & Conditions

  1. The contest will open at 8am on Monday (10/12). All selfies must be posted by midnight (CT time zone) on Saturday (10/24).
  2. The winner will be chosen by a random drawing. The winner will be announced via social media. Two winners will be chosen from Instagram and two winners will be chosen from Facebook. You may enter on one or both social media sites. Each winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to the DMSSD business of his/her choosing, as long as said business has gift certificates available for purchase.
  3. By posting a photo in this contest, you are granting the DMSSD rights to share and republish the photo in promotional materials in print and online.
  4. You may post as many selfies as you desire. You will receive one entry per photo posted with a different scarecrow.
  5. This contest is not endorsed by Facebook or Instagram. Neither Facebook nor Instagram is affiliated with this contest.
  6. Photos must be posted by accounts that follow Facebook and Instagram terms of use, and the photo must be posted by an adult aged 18 or older with the rights to the photograph. By posting your photograph for the contest you are indicating your agreement to the terms and conditions of Facebook/Instagram.
  7. There is no purchase necessary to be entered. Purchase does not increase your chance of winning.
  8. Neither the DMSSD, Facebook nor Instagram are responsible for anything that may happen to individuals while participating in this contest.
  9. The DMSSD reserves the right to cancel this contest at any time for any reason.

Please contact with any questions.


Cruisin’ on Main Street Looks Back

Each year Cruisin’ on Main fills Downtown Main Street with memories, old and new. This year COVID scuttled plans for the Cruisin’ on Main Street’s 20th Anniversary which would have been in August.  We couldn’t let the summer pass by without commemorating this important tradition.

The organizers have created a new digital program full of photos from past shows, articles, and personal recollections of Cruisin’.  A special interest feature of the program is an article by Jim Todd, Cruisin’ Committee Member and high school student, Noah Brush, on Noah’s year-long project to rebuild a 1961 Ford Econoline Truck as a Rat Rod.

“We hope this Cruisin’ Program will allow fans to both reminisce and look forward to Cruisin’s return in 2021,” notes Cruisin’ on Main Street Committee Chair, Ed Firestone.

VIEW THE Cruisin’ 2020 Progam HERE

Thank you to the members of the Cruisin’ on Main Committee for putting this together. A special thanks to Manchester graphic designer and Cruisin’ Committee Member, Lynn Sottile of Schultz Design for her work on the program.

The Great Apple Hunt of 2020

All children (up through Grade 12) are invited to participate in The Great Apple Hunt of 2020.

CLICK HERE to view The Great Apple Hunt details and to download the challenges!


Call to Artists: 12th Annual Scarecrow Festival

Now is the time to register to participate in the Downtown Manchester 12th Annual Scarecrow Festival! Businesses, organizations, and interested individuals and families are invited to create a family-friendly scarecrow for display on our Downtown Manchester Main Street. The scarecrows will be on display from October 10th to October 24th.

Each year approximately 30-35 participants decorate Main Street with their creative scarecrows. Visitors from around the region come to stroll Main Street, take photos with the scarecrows, and discover our downtown businesses.

The scarecrows will also be featured on the Downtown Manchester ScareCrow Festival Facebook page as well as the DMSSD Facebook Page and Instagram @downtownmanchesterct.

You are invited to create a scarecrow that highlights your business, hobbies, or other interests. We are always amazed by the creativity of our participants. We only ask that scarecrows are family-friendly and avoid political themes.

CLICK HERE to download our participation forms. Registration forms must be submitted by Wednesday, 9/30/2020. You can also CLICK HERE to register with our online form!

You can contact us with any questions. We are happy to help!, 860-645-2101.

The Scarecrow Festival is sponsored by the Downtown Manchester Special Services District with support from Crimson Art Box.

Below are just a few of the scarecrows from last year. View more of last year’s photos online!

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You Eat, We Treat Promotion

You Eat, We Treat Promotion

2020 Biennial Election for the Board of Commissioners of the Downtown Manchester Special Services District

PDF DMSSD To Office of the Town Clerk 2020 Biennual Election

March 7 DMSSD Commission Meeting Inclement Weather Cancellation Policy




The March meeting of the Downtown Special Services District (SSD) is scheduled for Wed. March 7 at 8AM at Work_Space, 901-903 Main St.  In the event of inclement weather the SSD meeting cancellation policy is as follows: If Manchester Public Schools are cancelled due to inclement weather the meeting will be canceled and a new meeting date will be set. If Manchester Public Schools are delayed, the meeting will go on as scheduled.