HANSON — Hanson Day is making a comeback after a two-to-three-year hiatus.
Hanson Business Network Director Joshua Singer met with Selectmen on Tuesday, Oct. 30 to request the return of the community event on Saturday, June 1, 2019. A rain date would be June 8.
Selectmen approved use of the green for the event.
“I, in my own personal experience, thought it was one of the best events that I have attended in the town of Hanson,” Singer said of the past Hanson Days. “In the interest of looking for more exposure of everything that the town has going on and connecting that to the residents, I think bringing back this particular event will be a success, as it was in the past.”
The changes being discussed by HBN include holding it on the town green — instead of Camp Kiwanee — for improved access and visibility. Organizing and publicity will begin around the first of the year and will bring in community organizations such as the Rockland-Hanson Rotary, Hanson Kiwanis and Panther Education Trust as well as town committees.
Singer sees the event as an opportunity to showcase the good things going on in Hanson and to “show people in the town just how much this small town does.”
Selectman Laura FitzGerald-Kemmett said she liked the idea of a table staffed by town officials to discuss openings on boards and commissions with interested residents.
Selectman Matt Dyer noted that the Recreation Commission, which has hosted the event in the past, had decided they no longer wanted to do it, and asked if Singer had reached out to them to see why they were reluctant.
FitzGerald-Kemmett said she thought Recreation had not been contacted yet, because of the aim to have the event on the green instead of Camp Kiwanee.
“I think that’s the stigma we have to shake,” Dyer said. “Recreation is town-wide it’s not just Kiwanee.”
Town Administrator Michael McCue said that was a worthwhile discussion, but indicated the Recreation Commission was established by Town Meeting to oversee the camp.
“I don’t know how that ends up working, but we do need to have the conversation,” said FitzGerald-Kemmett, suggesting one possibility could be an overseeing Recreation Commission with a subcommittee running Camp Kiwanee. “You just came at a philosophical time,” she told Singer about the Recreation Committee’s involvement.
Singer said he had not spoken with Recreation directly, but said former Town Administrator Ron San Angelo had been the driving force behind the event.
“With his departure, I think that has fallen by the wayside,” Singer said. “I can certainly touch base with them, but it is a bit of an involved event and takes a lot to coordinate.”
He suggested the Recreation Commission may be too busy with other concerns right now.
FitzGerald-Kemmett suggested it might be a good idea to see if they wanted to be involved, even if they didn’t want to organize it.
The Halloween Extravaganza held Sunday, Oct. 28 was a partnership between the HBN and Recreation, according to Singer and FitzGerald-Kemmett.
“It was a good partnership,” Dyer said.
“A lot of small towns have a lot of success with these type of events,” Singer said, mentioning Hanover Day and East Bridgewater Business Showcase, as examples. “One of the big issues that I see all organizations having is just getting people involved and I think that issue stems from not enough exposure.”
Selectman Jim Hickey said when he was a Recreation member, he involved youth sports leagues and said Hanson’s 200th Anniversary Committee should be included. Singer is also a member of the 200th Anniversary Committee.
Singer said he had no plans to charge admission or table fees, but welcomed other groups to use the event as a fundraising opportunity.
When colors run
McCue said a private company that was responsible for striping of town roads that came into question has been dismissed and work is beginning to hire another firm to fix the mistakes and continue the work. He and Highway Surveyor Bob Brown had made the decision for the change.
“We are very upset about the problems and we are taking care of the problems,” he said, noting that the paint used on Reed and Phillips streets was water-soluble. The paint, therefore, ran as it had been applied before, after or during a rainstorm.
“Not only did the paint run all over the place, you can imagine running your car through it and getting it splattered all over your car,” McCue said. The process had already been started to replace contractors after work was not being done on time.
“After that, I said, ‘We’re all done,’” he told Selectmen.
“If you looked at it, it literally looks like chalk running down the street,” said FitzGerald-Kemmett. “It’s really crazy.”