The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce is expanding its summer Lunch in the Park series this year. Veterans Park is at the center of an effort to clean up the image of downtown area parks.
The hope is that every Thursday to the end of the summer people will venture out of their offices and homes to eat lunch in the city’s Veterans Park. Last year, Lunch in the Park events happened three times. This time it’s up to eight. Mike Skelton, the chamber of commerce president, says the events were first conceived when business owners complained about how the parks were being used.
“And they observed that there were some problems downtown in terms of unwanted activity in the parks. And so the best way, in our view, to reverse that trend is to bring positive activity to the parks.”
Another change, says Skelton, is a partnership with a Manchester business called Door-to-Door Delivery which offers a discount for deliveries to the park during these Thursday lunch events.
Police Chief David Mara says the park was in needed a makeover.
“Veterans Park—it’s the first thing you see when you drive in. And it’s the gateway to the city.”
Mara says he worked with Parks and Rec to remove park benches lining the front entrance of the park to keep people from loitering.
The lunches will take place from 12p.m. to 2p.m. each Thursday through August 28th.