ANDOVER — Thousands of people enjoyed 70-degree weather, blue skies, lots of food and good music yesterday during an event that organizers billed as one of the most successful of its kind in town.
More than 8,000 people were expected to fill downtown streets, from Elm Square to Morton Street, drawn by 160 vendor booths, not to mention local restaurants, food trucks, carnival rides and two stages where performers sang, danced and strummed the day away from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“This is not a one-person event,” said Peter Caruso, president of the Andover Business Community Association, which organized the day. “My job was the weather. I took care of that.”
Caruso, speaking during opening ceremonies from the Main Stage at Elm Square, was joined by all five members of the Board of Selectmen along with a number of sponsors, including representatives from Stop & Shop and Lawrence General Hospital, among others.
He praised the many volunteers who helped put the event together, including former selectman Ted Teichert, who also gave introductory remarks during the opening ceremony.
Andrew Clark, managing partner of the Real School of Music located in Dundee Park, booked the musical acts for the event.
“We moved here six months ago and it feels like we’ve been here forever,” he said, standing near his company’s booth just a few yards from the Main Stage. “The ABCA asked us to help run the stages and line up the acts and we were happy to do it.”
Spectators were happy, too, as they listened to Josh and the Jamtones.
Dozens of businesses, under tents on either side of Main Street, beckoned pedestrians with everything from free massages and dog-kisses to diet plans and insurance policies.
Richard Tellier, a chiropractor, touted the services of his Andover Diet Center located on Andover Street and which offers a weight-loss program complete with food and beverages, menus and more.