Wilton won’t be joining the likes of London, Chicago, and Singapore — all of which have fabulous Ferris wheels that draw flocks of tourists.
The idea for a scaled-down version was brought before the Economic Development Commission at its meeting on Jan. 25 by commission member Peter Hubbard. Although the commission did not take action on the idea, the pitch showed how much the commissioners believe that Wilton Center needs a boost.
Wilton Center is a shopping and restaurant district that is popular with locals, but it is off the main drag of Route 7, nestled on side streets. Wilton Library is there, as are several shopping centers, including the town’s only movie theater complex.
“If we could rent a Ferris wheel from a carnival company during their slow season, when it’s cheap, for a couple of days, we could put it in Wilton Center and people driving by on Route 7 in each direction would see it and wonder what that is over there,” Hubbard told the commissioners during the meeting at Comstock Community Center.
The commissioners took no action on the idea, not even a consensus vote. There was brief discussion and the idea did not fly.
Another idea for promoting Wilton Center was pitched by Commissioner Phil Lauria. He said a series of jazz concerts at Wilton Library, perhaps featuring local favorites the Brubeck family, a barbecue day for restaurants downtown, and the annual Chamber of Commerce sidewalk sale could all be combined to make one big weekend to draw people to put Wilton Center on the map.
“You could call it Celebrate the Center,” Lauria said.
Commission members reacted to the idea by saying it sounded promising, but would take a lot of work to coordinate.
One project that is moving forward is a promotional video about Wilton that will be completed in April, members of the commission reported. All the footage has been shot and the script will soon be written. It will be recorded at the TV studio in Wilton High School, said Jennie Wong, the commissioner who is spearheading the project.
The promotional video will show Wilton and its people at their best, and will be used to perhaps draw more new home buyers, according to organizers.