Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


September 19, 2013

Flap grows over Main Street banner

Andover Day sign blamed for bridal window damage

Just when you thought it was safe to put a banner across Main Street, some town officials are now looking askance at the idea.

After nearly a decade of permitting, approvals and wrangling, the Andover Business Community Association finally got the OK to hang a banner advertising Andover Day from two buildings near Elm Square.

For a week earlier this month, the blue and yellow banner, in the colors of Andover High School, swayed in the breeze some 30 feet overhead, attached to anchors on buildings on either side of Main Street.

Andover Day, held Sept. 7, came and went, and the banner was credited with helping boost the crowd to nearly 10,000 people.

But the next day, an ill wind blew and the banner, made of rip-stop nylon, was stretched to its breaking point.

In fact, town officials believe, a metal, spring-hinged clip holding the banner may have come loose. It then flew through the air, they surmise, and smashed into the second-story window of The Bridal Center building at 1 Main St., leaving a softball-sized hole and some cracks in the outer layer of the double-paned window.

“It was not the cable, but the attachment might have flown off during the wind,” Jack Norton, manager of the bridal building, said. “That’s what they think happened.”

Acting Plant and Facilities Director Ed Ataide said pieces of metal clips were found on the road under the banner.

“It’s possible,” Ataide said, when asked if the clips broke the window. “Nobody knows for sure. The bottom of the banner had clips on it.”

Town Manager Reginald “Buzz” Stapczynski said the banner may have been improperly made.

According to the town bylaw, banners may be no more than 30 feet long and 36 inches high. The Andover Day banner complied with those requirements.

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