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Katie McQuaid's Scene in Manchester: Inaugural ball will make room for some football tonight

January 12. 2018 8:40PM
Surrounded by family, Joyce Craig is sworn in as mayor of Manchester on Jan. 2, 2018. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

Mayor Joyce Craig knows her supporters love her, but she’s not about to make them choose between her and the New England Patriots.

Craig’s inaugural ball takes place at the Radisson Hotel tonight, but organizers have made sure that remarks will be over and a big screen TV will be rolled into the festivities just in time for the Patriots’ 8:15 p.m. AFC playoff game against the Tennessee Titans.

It will definitely be the fanciest, and largest, football watching party in town. About 850 people are expected to attend the black-tie affair to celebrate the Queen City’s first female mayor.

Shannon MacLeod, with the inaugural committee, said they had to open up a second room to accommodate all the people who wanted to attend.

“We were originally planning on just being in the Armory, but we had to expand,” she said.

Among the guests will be Craig’s family, friends, and campaign staff, as well as dignitaries like U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan.

Guest will arrive for a cocktail hour between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m., followed by remarks from Arthur Gatzoulis, who will speak on behalf of his inaugural committee co-chairs Mary Heath, Elizabeth Hitchcock and Paul Leblanc.

The woman of the hour will make her entrance to address the crowd around 6:45 p.m., reportedly wearing a red and black dress. But don’t expect any long speeches, according to McLeod. This event is designed to be “light and fun.”

“It’s a celebration of the city and everyone coming together for this really fun, inclusive event,” she said.

After a sit-down dinner there will be dancing to the Boston-based band Groovin’ You. Despite the pull of the Patriots, I am sure the dance floor will be filled. The Craig crew has a lot to celebrate.

Kreiva Academy

Time is running out for people interested in entering the lottery for Manchester’s newest charter school. Kreiva Academy opens this fall for sixth- through 12th-graders at the former Saint Joseph Regional Junior High School building on Pine Street.

Kreiva is an interesting educational concept that is both personalized and competency-based. It is open to all New Hampshire students.

You can learn more at or at one of their final admissions information sessions. Interested students and their parents must attend one of these sessions before entering the lottery.

There is a session this Monday, Jan. 15, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Fire Station 7 on Somerville Street; Tuesday, Jan. 16, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Manchester City Library; and Wednesday, Jan. 17, from 9 to 11 a.m. or 6 to 8 p.m. at Kreiva Academy, 470 Pine St.

The application deadline is Friday, Jan. 19. The lottery will be held Wednesday, Jan. 24

Winter wine

Just when we can’t take one more cold winter day, Easterseals swoops in with its annual Winter Wine Spectacular to warm everyone up.

The event, featuring more than 1,800 wines from around the world and food from 30 local restaurants, will be held Thursday, Jan. 25, at the Radisson.

Tickets are $65 for the Grand Tasting from 6 to 9 p.m., or $135 for special access to the Bellman’s Cellar Select room, which opens at 5:30 p.m. and features the evening’s most special wines.

Tickets always go quickly for this event in its 15th year. Get yours at

The event also features a Grand Silent Auction, which includes more than 100 items like restaurant gift certificates, electronics, sporting packages, overnight stays, spa packages, artwork and, of course, wine.

Guests can also order their favorite wines at a discounted price with the “Taste it, Click it, Buy it” mobile app.

Do you have an interesting item for Scene? Contact Katie at

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