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July 22. 2011 7:46PM

Monarchs host Summer Fan Fest today

MANCHESTER — Forget the heat. It's time to think about hockey.

The Manchester Monarchs will host their first-ever Summer Fan Fest today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Verizon Wireless Arena.

The event features a street hockey tournament, pro shop sale, appearances by mascot Max and former Monarchs players such as Nashua's Jeff Guiliano, seat selection for the upcoming season, activities for the kids and a live band.

“We really set out to have a day that's all about hockey and let people know we're still here even though it's summer,” said Monarchs president Darren Abbott. “I think it's going to be a lot of fun and it's something to keep us going as we get closer to the season.”

The street hockey tournament has six teams in the 7-10 age group and four teams in both the 11-15 and 16-plus brackets.

The tournament will be a true street hockey event as Elm Street will be blocked off from Lake Avenue to Harry Theo Lane.

“That was really what we wanted to do when we talked about having a street hockey tournament,” Abbott said. “To shut down Elm Street and really play on the street. It's going to be great.”

In addition to Guiliano, former Monarchs Derek Bekar (UNH) and Richard Seeley will be on hand and fans can play against them on the NHL 2k11 video game.

Fans can also select their seats for the upcoming season and purchase packages for opening weekend (Oct. 7-8) when the team will host two games to kick off its 11th season in Manchester.

The pro shop sale will include team merchandise, but also game-used equipment from the players.

Other events include a dunk tank, bounce houses, a roaming railroad, Segway demos and the Monarchs Machine race car.

“One thing about the Monarchs is that we have become a community,” Abbott said. “The fans miss coming to the games and seeing each other in the offseason. I want to see this event become a nice tradition that grows every year.”

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