I'll admit it. I'm a lapsed Rotarian. Before motherhood I was quite active in the Manchester club. But with three small children, my time is no longer my own and I've taken a hiatus. Fortunately, the gang that meets every Monday at Fratello's for food and fellowship is doing more than fine without me. In fact, they've adopted the Cruising Downtown Car Show and made it their annual signature event.
The 12th annual show will be Sept. 1. It is the 3rd-largest classic car show in New England, drawing more than 45,000 car enthusiasts to the Queen City. This event, which includes live music, food and beverages, is family-friendly and runs from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. It's also budget-friendly because it's free to spectators and only $25 for people to display their cars.
The car show's proceeds go to local youth charities supported by the Manchester Rotary Club. Events of this magnitude are a huge undertaking, and I'd like to give a shout-out to club members Norm Lavigne, Jeanine Tousignant, David Fineblit, Gil Gelineau, Sue Manchester and Robert Tourigny.
For more information. visit www.cruisingdowntown.com
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63-cent ice cream
I can't believe I missed the first week of 63-cent ice cream cones at Blake's. Ice cream is my second favorite food, next to pizza. I have even been known to let my kids have ice cream for dinner. Fortunately, I have two more weeks to feed my family of five for just 63 cents each. This Wednesday, and again on Wednesday, Aug. 29, you, too, can enjoy inexpensive ice cream in celebration of the Blake's Creamery restaurants' 49th anniversary.
I learned a lot about Blake's history from Ann Mirageas, who has co-owned the establishment with Rick Wolstencroft for almost 15 years now. The company started as a dairy processor on Main Street about 112 years ago. But the pair is very proud of the Blake family's foresight to change their business model and open their first restaurant in 1963.
The 63-cent ice cream promotion is available at both Blake's restaurant locations.
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If you blink you might miss the tiny building at 1362 North River Road. It was a convenience store for a long time, followed by a purveyor of prepared foods. It's also had long stretches of time looking vacant and sad. I was happy when I saw construction activity over the summer and finally a sign for The Kitchen. The name is perfect, because for many busy North End families who can't seem to find the time to cook, this establishment has become an extension of their own kitchen.
The Kitchen was opened by Kassandra Statires about a month ago. If the last name sounds familiar, it's because her family is Manchester restaurant royalty. Her maternal grandfather opened the Puritan restaurant. Her mom, Karen, was the original owner of Karen's Kitchen in Bedford and her father, Andy, started the popular breakfast joint Andy's Place. Her brothers, Andrew and Jimmy, currently own the Boston bar Stats. So yeah, the restaurant business is in her blood.
The Kitchen menu has simple but pleasing options for breakfast and lunch and pre-made dinner entrees to go. They also have an extensive catering menu and display case of baked goods that almost look too pretty to eat ... almost.
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Talking about trails
Manchester has some great walking and running paths. I love to see people using them, because that means they are less likely to be vandalized. I'm thrilled that two of them are going to be used for upcoming races to support worthy causes.
The trail around Dorr's Pond near Livingston Park will be the setting for the first ever Manchester 5K to support Vision International Missions on Saturday, Sept. 29. This non-profit group based here in the Queen City sends ministry teams into countries with food, clothing, hygiene items, medicine, supplies and educational tools.
The Alliance Against Cancer 5K is using the Riverwalk near Northeast Delta Dental Stadium for part of the route in its fifth annual race to benefit the Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center. This race is on Sunday, Sept. 9, and begins and ends at Milly's Tavern in the Millyard. It also includes a short race for children and concludes with a party of food, beverage and music
Christine Telge, avid runner and co-owner of Milly's Tavern, is heading up this race, which is sponsored by the New Hampshire Athletic Alliance Running Club.
Both of these races encourage walkers as well as runners.
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NH365 Event of the Week
It made me very happy to see the Memorial High School girls field hockey team's Playing for a Purpose event posted in the NH365 calendar. I would love to see all local teams posting their events and games in this free, online calendar. It's where I go to find out what's going on, and I like to see all my options in one place.
Playing for a Purpose is the Memorial team's 2nd annual field hockey jamboree. It will be held at the school on Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Memorial field hockey team is also using its event to raise money for the team and Norris Cotton Cancer Center as well as food donations for the New Horizons food pantry.
Monetary donations and canned goods will be accepted at the door. There will also be raffles and concessions. The rain date is Thursday.
I think this would also be a fun outing for young girls who may be interested in, or new to, field hockey. They'll be able to see 11 teams from across the Granite State participating in skills competitions and scrimmages.
To have your team's event or game considered as the Event of the Week, be sure to enter it at NH365.org.
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