Main Street gets ready for biggest Fall term weekend

by Allison Stuntz | 10/19/01 5:00am

As usual, the events of this year's Homecoming celebration will spill over onto Main Street in Hanover, as alumni and families visit the shops in town. The Homecoming celebration is one of the key weekends of the already-busy fall season for the businesses of Hanover.

Exuberant alumni, families and friends will take to the streets and shops of Hanover in breaks from the college-sponsored activities. In addition, the predominantly elderly leaf peepers will still be in town, catching fall's last weeks before the trees succumb to the winter's harsh temperatures.

"It's one of the biggest weekends of the year," said Scott Hummel, floor manager of the Dartmouth Co-Op -- the main store in hanover that sells Dartmouth gear. "The store will be packed."Homecoming is especially important for the Co-Op, which features Dartmouth-related items for sale. "Mostly, it's all the Dartmouth merchandise that moves," Hummel said.

The Co-Op even has Dartmouth's own Big Green marching band come by to play a few numbers before the big football game. Every weekend that the football team plays at home, the marching band serenades the town and campus on its way to the football arena, but during homecoming, they stop at the Co-Op before the game for a short performance. Tradition also has it that the marching band returns to the store and plays inside the building if Dartmouth wins the football game.

The Hanover Inn will be similarly swamped with this weekend's deluge of visitors. At peak weekend in a constantly busy season, the Inn is making a few changes this year to accommodate the demand, which is shown especially in the restaurants. "We're having a special buffet-style dinner tomorrow evening," said Ellen Harp, Coordinator of the Daniel Webster Dining Room. "We've gotten so many reservations, we just don't want to turn anyone away."

In the distant past, problems arose for businesses and police officers as the entire freshmen class took to the Hanover streets for the freshmen sweep, but no one is expecting any sort of problem this year.

"The sweep gets more and better organized each year," said Hanover Police Chief Nick Giaccone. In the past, there have been problems with vandalism and disorder, but there haven't been any problems in the last eight or nine years, according to Giaccone.

The Hanover Police Department will be close at hand, mainly to coordinate traffic control and monitor the sweep, but "businesses are unconcerned," Giaccone said.

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