May 30, 2007
Manchester shopping season off to hot startBy Julio ChuyGloucesterTimes.com

Downtown Manchester was buzzing yesterday at noon as the temperature climbed to nearly 80 degrees.

People walked in and out of the post office, and visitors window-shopped at several small gift stores.

Traffic ran smoothly at the corner of Beach and Summer streets, where a new stop sign was installed last year.

Tourist season revved into high gear over the long Memorial Day weekend as people headed to the beach or just did some gift shopping, according to downtown business owners.

The atmosphere was far removed from the one merchants experienced last year, when the Downtown Improvement Project created traffic detours and roadblocks, keeping many visitors away and leaving merchants to experience a dull summer.

“Anything will be better than last year,” said Stephanie

Mahoney, owner of the Kitchen Witch on Summer Street. “(The project) looks great, but now that’s all over we’re going full steam ahead.”

With the summer season just begun, downtown business owners said they are looking forward to a better summer, after months of construction disrupted commerce and put everything on hold.

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