Harvest Festival. Photo courtesy of Mike Agogliati of The Register Citizen.

The Harvest Festival, which took place in downtown Torrington on October 22nd 2010, was without a doubt a huge success. A crisp autumn night here in Litchfield county warmed the hearts of many as they flocked to Main Street to join in the festivities. Many understood, however, that this festival was much more than just a festival, it was all part of bringing downtown Torrington back to life. After all, we can’t revitalize our community without first incorporating the community in the efforts, and this was a terrific way for everyone to show their support to the local businesses who are putting everything they have into bringing back our downtown.

Due to my overnight work schedule, as well as my rather long commute from Litchfield county, I was unable to attend the Harvest Festival. The magic of local radio, however, brought all the energy that was downtown through the speakers of my car. WAPJ, 105.1FM based out of downtown Torrington, did a fantastic job of covering the event. They brought onto the air people such as Mayor Ryan Bingham who was incredibly energized about the event and loved seeing the amount of support for the local businesses. He said something along the lines of “This is the best place to be right now on the earth”, and I couldn’t agree with him more. Where else can a community come together on a frosty New England night just to have a little fun while supporting such a fantastic town that is willing to do everything it takes to turn around its downtown.

Without a doubt, downtown Torrington is on the move. With projects such as Torrington Downtown Partners, which members of the community are able to have a say of what they want to happen with one entire city block by buying shares starting at $100, the future of Torrington is looking brighter as a community comes together to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.There are those, however, that still wish to sit on the sidelines and watch as all this progress takes place, though slowly that sideline is becoming smaller as more people are beginning to realize that our downtown is coming back to life, and they want to be a part of it.

Mike Valletta can be reached for comment at: NorthwestCTMike@aol.com

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