Bristol to Take Over Signs Built and Maintained by Local Philanthropist

Welcoming sign at ESPN’s main campus in Bristol which is not included in the management change.

The City of Bristol announced this week that effective immediately three of the e-signs in Bristol will be managed by the City of Bristol. Located in front of the two high schools, and on Water Department property at the corner of Route 6 and Clark Ave., the signs were erected by local businessman and entrepreneur Craig Yarde as a way to help market Bristol.

Over the last decade, Yarde paid for the maintenance and monitoring of the signs and paid for the staff to post the monthly messages via an arrangement with the New England Carousel Museum.

In 2018, he approached the City about taking over the signs and integrating it into the City’s marketing plan, which the City agreed to do.

“We started 18 years ago with the sign at Bristol Central, because I felt strongly that you can’t communicate enough to the citizens of Bristol,” stated Craig Yarde.

“Bristol is the only City in the nation to have this electronic communication system.”

“In the last few weeks, the city’s IT Department transitioned the computer programs and the City’s new Marketing Specialist, Dawn Nielson, and BDA staff have trained on the software,” stated Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu. We hope that all local organizations and non-profits will use this opportunity to market their events.”

The BDA created a PDF containing guidelines for using these signs to help promote local organizations’ events and happenings. This document can be found and downloaded from the Electronic Sign Message Submission page on the All Heart website.

The Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce will continue to manage the electronic sign on Route 6 near Chili’s. The Chamber and the City will collaborate on sharing messages.

Non-profit and local civic groups who would like to take advantage of this free marketing service should use the online form for all message requests. The form submissions will be reviewed on a daily basis and all new messages will be posted once a week.

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