EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

August 31, 2013

Banner now hangs over Main Street

ANDOVER — It doesn’t seem like it would take much. A well-meaning local resident and businessman proposes a banner be hung across Main Street in the heart of downtown to herald community events such as Andover Day, Holiday Happenings, annual Town Meetings and the like.

But this, as they say, is Andover, where every change, even little ones, can take a long, long time.

In fact, it’s even spawned a joke: If you want to do something here, you have to propose it over and over and over and over.

Put the word “and” together with “over” and you get: Andover.

So it is with the banner, something proposed nine years ago by Andover’s Mark Spencer, a former photography shop owner who now runs Water Analytics, a manufacturer of water treatment technology.

Spencer, the former president of the Andover Rotary Club, first proposed flying a banner downtown in 2004.

“That’s when we started,” the Spring Hill Road resident said. “There were a ton of hurdles to cross. And this wasn’t my full-time job. Even if I had spent all my time and energy on this and worked at it full-time, it still would have taken five years.”

But early Tuesday morning, with help from a small army of volunteers and town workers, the first promotional banner — complete with steel guy-wires, building anchors and high-strength, rip-stop nylon — was hung with care.

Measuring 30 feet wide and 36 inches tall and announcing the upcoming Andover Day on Sept. 7, the colorful, blue and yellow banner stretches from the corner of One Main Street, home of the bridal center housing Cristina’s, to the corner of the Barnard Building at 8 Main St., home of Indra Salon and Latitude Sports Clubs. Both buildings are owned by Tom Belhumeur.

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