New Photo Exhibit Opens in Town Hall Gallery!

New Photo Exhibit Opens in Town Hall Gallery!
Posted on 06/12/2023

Be sure to stop downtown and visit the new photo exhibit at the Town Hall Gallery commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Wilton Main Street Association.

WMSAThe National Main Street program began in 1977 as a part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  The emphasis was on revitalization of downtowns large and small, with a focus on preserving the historic nature of the architecture.

In July of 1998, Wilton was selected as one of three New Hampshire Main Street communities, and also certified as a Main Street community by the National Main Street Center.  This was the culmination of an effort first started by the Wilton Business Association.  Not only was there a lengthy application process, but the group also needed to raise $90,000 in order to qualify.  That feat was accomplished in just four weeks during March and April of that year, and, in the end, over twice that amount was pledged. 

WMSAWMSA’s mission is ‘To promote a climate in which our Community is thriving’.  That is a broad mission which has allowed us to adapt and change focus as needed over the past twenty five years.  Among the projects WMSA has completed over the years is the 2006 renovation of Main Street and its sidewalks.  That project was funded with a matching Federal Transportation Enhancement grant for just under $500,000 that was secured by WMSA in 2002.  Another project of note is the acquisition of Lot 48 in April of 2001. Located next to the current Nelson’s Candies, (at the time Joslin Hardware), the WMSA developed a former unsightly gravel parking area in the middle of downtown into the oasis of a Park that it is today. In partnership with Kimball Physics, WMSA restored the badly rusted 1920’s vintage traffic dummy in 2016.

WMSA has sponsored many events and programs over the years.  Early events included the fall Apple Fest, an Evening with Santa, a Harvest Festival, and a Downtown Marketplace in the newly acquired Lot 48.  They participated in the later years of the Arts and Film Festival, which began in 1993 and continued for eleven years.  Many will remember the Whimsical People who magically appeared for a few weeks in May to herald the return of spring, beginning in 2001. Celebrate Wilton was a summer street fair that took place for a few years following the end of the Arts & Film Festival in 2004. The 2005 “Men of Wilton” Calendar is a classic for the ages, featuring many familiar faces wearing far less clothing than usual!  A Farmers’ Market began again in 2013 for a few years.  In 2014 WMSA held its first SummerFest, which expanded the street fair to include evening fireworks at Carnival Hill.  Other current events include the twice yearly Wander through Wilton, the creepy Haunting of Wilton in October, the Holiday Stroll in December, and he newest event, the Winter Festival in February.

We sincerely hope you enjoy the photo retrospective celebrating twenty five years of WMSA that is now on display in the Town Hall Gallery.

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