Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


August 23, 2012

After long wait, banner will be raised over Main Street

Seven years after it was fist proposed, selectmen have approved a plan to allow a banner to be raised over Main Street to promote downtown events.

The banner will hang at the northern end of downtown Andover between the Musgrove Building and the three-story, white building at the corner of Main and Central streets, according to Mark Spencer, a Sunset Rock Road resident and designer of the banner.

Suspended by two support lines strung 14 and 17 feet in the air, the banner wil measure 3 feet by 30 feet and will be able to withstand winds up to 105 mph, according to Spencer.

But the banner’s strength isn’t measured by the fact that it can stand against a Category 2 hurricane, Spencer said. The real strength is in the banner bylaw that Town Meeting approved more than a year ago.

“We visited each committee that you can name, probably researched every banner across the country and probably drafted what I would go on a short limb to say is the most well-researched and carefully studied banner bylaw in the history of mankind,” said Spencer.

The banner will be raised by the town’s Fire Department for each event Spencer said. It may see its first use for Andover Day on Sept. 15. The annual downtown business event has drawn over 10,000 shoppers to Main Street in previous years.

The board praised the plan before approving it Monday. Spencer first presented the idea in 2005.

“This is going to help downtown get a little energy, a little bit of feel that we want from some of our events downtown,” said Selectmen Chairman Paul Salafia.

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