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Katie McQuaid's Scene in Manchester: 'Tis the season for ... Creepy Santa T-shirts

By KATIE McQUAID
November 24. 2017 9:09PM
A giant Santa, who has inspired Creepy Santa T-shirts, welcomes patrons at Justin Rheaume's Christmas tree sales lot on Salmon Street near the Brady-Sullivan tower in Manchester. (Nicole Goodhue Boyd/Union Leader)

If you missed the opportunity to purchase last year’s inaugural Creepy Santa T-shirt, you’ll be glad you waited. Justin Rheaume, purveyor of the famed Christmas tree lot at the corner of Elm and Salmon streets, has unveiled a new design to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his family’s tree lot guarded by the iconic 20-foot Santa statue with the eerie stare.

In addition to the Creepy Santa image and the unnerving words “He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake,” the new shirts feature a “Celebrating 25 Years” emblem highlighted with special silver ink. The soft cotton tees come in red and limited edition green.

“I think we’re going to get a good response this year,” said Rheaume, who can be seen hoisting his lot’s mascot into its seasonal post on a video posted to the “Demented Santa” fan page on Facebook.

Rheaume was overwhelmed with T-shirt orders last year and unable to keep up with demand. But this year he’s ready with plenty of inventory printed at custom-branding company Logo Loc, where he is a manager.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of his family's tree lot in Manchester, Justin Rheaume has designed two versions of the Creepy Santa T-shirt, one in red and one in green. (Courtesy)

“The supply will be there,” he assured.

Shirts are $20 each, with all proceeds going to three local charities — Hope for New Hampshire Recovery, New Horizons, and Families in Transition.

You can pick up your shirt, a tree, and grab a photo with the freshly-painted Creepy Santa from now through Christmas at the lot from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Small Business Saturday

Skipping Small Business Saturday today, Nov. 25, is not an option, with more than 40 Manchester small businesses offering special activities and promotions. There will even be free Downtown parking on Elm and side streets between Orange Street and Lake Avenue.

A growing list of specials being offered by local businesses can be found on the blog link at www.manchester-chamber.org. One listed attraction is at Dancing Lion Chocolate, where musician D Heywood will be playing outside the shop from 2 to 6 p.m. and accepting donations for the Salvation Army

Christmas Stories

You’ve heard about The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol, but what about Christmas Stories? Written by Manchester Community Theatre Players board member Tom Anastasi, Christmas Stories features three stories set in the same town. Christmas Stories won the 2004 New Hampshire Theatre Award for best original play and is billed as the “Feel good play you’ll never forget.” It features original music by Peter Bridges as well as traditional Christmas carols, and also an on-stage food fight.

You can see Christmas Stories at the Manchester Community Theatre Players theater at North End Montessori School on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 8 and 9, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 10, at 2 p.m. It will also be playing at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Concord on Friday, Dec. 15, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 16, at 12:30 and 7 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and children. There is also a family rate of $25.

For tickets and information, call 603-224-4393. 

Creating candy canes

Watch Van Otis Chocolates’ professional candy creators make candy canes the old fashioned way at a special demonstration next Saturday, Dec. 2.

The cost to participate is $5 with half the proceeds going to Easterseals New Hampshire. All will be entered into a raffle for a large chocolate Santa. Call 603-627-1611 for more information.

Do you have an interesting item for The Scene? Send it to Katie at Scene@UnionLeader.com.


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