By 1 am on primary night, the streets of Manchester, New Hampshire, finally began to settle down after a week of political frenzy.

As the bars let out, the locals and political reporters made their way down the finally-quiet streets, the former still bearing buttons, their preferred candidate's banners now danging by their side.

One man holding a Bernie Sanders sign occasionally waved it up at traffic and received the occasional hoot in support. Around the corner, jubilant Sanders supporters, presumably ushered out of a closing bar, were singing “Solidarity Forever.” But that was about it.

The New Hampshire primaries draw attention to the state along with a deluge of political advertising and thousands of visitors — whether campaign teams, journalists or political tourists — and tens of millions of dollars from all of it.

For the past week or two, the primary transformed downtown Manchester into a kind of mini-Mardi Gras of American political theater.

And then it ends.

By Wednesday morning, Manchester was rapidly reverting to the quiet, working-class city it is most of the rest of the time.

The scaffoldings were coming down outside the DoubleTree Manchester Downtown, which had been largely taken over by various media operations (including WGBH News) and through which flowed a constant stream of journalists, politicos and campaign enthusiasts for one party or another.

Candidates’ signs still lined the streets, but fewer of them than before, with many remaining signs drooping like wilted leaves.

Gone were the throngs of campaign supporters, who for days had manned every corner of downtown Manchester, holding signs with frozen fingers and doing their best to persuade the still-persuadable.

Now, the bleary-eyed supporters still roaming downtown Manchester were looking for breakfast, after a long night that was exhilarating for some and devastating to others.

The makeshift campaign office for Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a den of activity the day before, was empty. Likewise, at the campaign office for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, onlookers could see through the window, plastered with Bernie signs, a half-eaten bag of corn chips lay on top of a pile of Bernie flyers.

Every four years this happens: Manchester is descended upon and then abandoned for another three years.

But Manchester business owners don't seem to mind.

Jasmine Brooks is book-buyer for the Bookery Café on Elm Street. During the primaries, the cafe’s windows were adorned with cut-outs of prominent presidential candidates and the store had set up a special table of political books, especially books written by the candidates.

“That table was full of books, quite full,” Brooks said. “Now it’s half full, so we obviously sold a lot of political books this weekend.”

Brooks, like others who spoke with WGBH News, said the onslaught was exciting.

"We’ve seen people coming from all over not just the country but the world,” she noted.

Those customers were still coming in Wednesday but, “I think it’s starting to ramp down,” Brooks said.

Across the street, Kathy Hamel, owner of With Heart and Hand, a gift shop that sells antiques, trinkets and memorabilia, said this had been the first New Hampshire primary for which she wasn’t open in the 24 years she’s owned and run the business.

Hamel, who had had to close because of health problems, was devastated. It wasn’t so much the lost business. “Oh, I’m sure I took a hit not being here,” she laughed.

What hurt more was missing a tradition she loves.

“I love it. I look forward to it every four years," Hamel said. “Usually the shop is decorated with huge flags, Americana, and it’s so gorgeous.”

For Hamel, the cyclical primary crush is a thrill.

“I meet people from every walk of life, from every belief, from every political leaning, and as long as people aren’t — a few you run into, they don’t want to hear any view but their own — but most of the people I talk to, we can openly speak and I love that.”

The primary does, to be sure, leave in its wake a mess of signs, fliers and other political detritus.

And someone has to clean it up.

Wielding a trash-scooping rod in one hand and balancing a bucket on the handlebars of his bicycle, Curt Payne rode his way down Elm Street in downtown Manchester, clad in a yellow reflective jacket as he scooped up one piece of litter at a time.

Payne, who goes by “Major Payne,” does not work for the city — or for anybody. This is his thing. And people here know it. Cars honked as they went by, greeting him.

A military veteran who served in the U.S. Army and then suffered a traumatic brain injury shortly after he left the service, Payne has made cleaning up Manchester’s streets his mission. He is paid, he said, in love.

“I ride my bike around town and, wherever I go, I pick up litter, trash everything," Payne explained. "I get a stupid, mess of love from so many people.”

He enjoyed the primary circus but not so much the signs that have been left behind.

“There were a lot,” he said, shaking his head adding, “People just take the names, the plastic piece off and they leave the [pole] right on the ground.”

Payne can’t clean up all those signs himself and ultimately, someone has to.

Kevin Shepperd, director of Public Works, said it’s the job of the campaigns to remove the signs but explained that an obscure state law allows them to be up for several days after an election.

After that, he said, the city will take up the job.

But, Shepperd said, “It’s typically not that bad.”

“Manchester and the state welcome the primaries,” Shepperd said. “In the city, we do what we can to help the process.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of business owner Kathy Hamel. We regret the error.