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November 20. 2012 11:05PM

Community events in city celebrate Thanksgiving

MANCHESTER - Thanksgiving Day in Manchester will be more than just eating turkey and shopping at Walmart.

Several organizations have scheduled community events for Thanksgiving Day in the Queen City. Hundreds are expected for a pancake breakfast, a high-school football game and a foot race that will close down streets in the Millyard.

The events offer outdoor activities on the morning of a day designed for people to engorge themselves with a family meal anytime from early afternoon to early evening. This year, critics have complained that the giant retailer Walmart will be open all day, and Walmart and other retailers are pushing Black Friday sales into Thursday night.

"This is one person you won't find shopping on Thanksgiving Day," said Greg Hunt, commander of the Sweeney American Legion post. The Maple Street organization holds a traditional Thanksgiving Day pancake breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. The cost is $3.50, and Hunt said the event is open to the public.

Some of the breakfast customers usually include fans watching the Turkey Bowl, the annual football game that puts the best two high school teams from Manchester schools onto the Gill Stadium gridiron. This year's game, which features Manchester High School-Central and Trinity High School, is slated to begin at 10:15 a.m.

For those who prefer to participate rather than spectate in an athletic event, the Fisher Cats Thanksgiving Turkey Trot, a 5-kilometer run, starts at 9 a.m. and is expected to involve 1,500 or more runners. It is put on by Millenium Running, which organizes runs associated with Christmas, St. Patrick's Day and the Merrimack Ribfest.

Manchester police said motorists should avoid Grante Steet and the Millyard during the race time. Southbound lanes of Commerical and Canal streets will be closed to traffic for the runners, and police especially urge motorists to avoid the Granite Street brige, which runners will cross twice.

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Mark Hayward may be reached at mhayward@unionleader.com.


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