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Scene in Manchester: Your chance to buy local

Special to The New Hampshire Union Leader

November 25. 2012 8:27PM

It wasn't the plan, but I ended up shopping on Thanksgiving night. One minute I was drinking a pumpkin martini and the next I was standing in a line wrapped around Toys R' Us in Manchester. If you were in line and heard a small group of ladies singing Christmas carols, that was me, and I apologize. The outing was a lot of fun, but I wasn't savvy enough to get my hands on any great deals. I left with some discounted diapers and baby food. So I can at least cross the baby off my shopping list.

I hope to cross a couple more people off my list at Intown Manchester's Holiday Artisan Market, which opens this Thursday at Brady Sullivan Plaza. About 40 vendors of arts, crafts, jewelry, home dcor, baked goods and more will be there every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 :30 p.m., through Dec. 20 as well as one Saturday, Dec. 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

I think everyone should make a point to give at least one locally made gift this Christmas, and the Holiday Artisan Market is a great place to start since all of the vendors are from New England and most are from New Hampshire. If you work downtown this is the perfect place to get a little shopping done during your lunch hour.

Sara Beaudry, Intown's director of marketing and public relations, confirmed that Santa himself will be a guest at every market and there will also be fun activities and great raffles.

Sights, sounds of season

It's a busy week for Intown as they are also getting ready for Saturday's Granite State Spirit of New Hampshire Christmas Parade scheduled to march down Elm Street at around 4 p.m. following the Santa Shuffle road race.

Don't forget to look for members of the Manchester Fire Department who will be holding out their boots to collect money for the Union Leader Santa Fund. We are so grateful to the firefighters who volunteer for the boot drive every year. Every little bit goes to help the Salvation Army, so crack those piggy banks and bring your change, cash and checks to the parade.

Beaudry reports the parade is shaping up nicely, with about 80 participants who are really enthusiastic and are putting a lot of time and effort into this year's floats. Former alderman Mike Lopez is the grand marshal and New Horizons for New Hampshire is the spotlighted charity.

Are your lights up yet?

Then what are you waiting for? Email a picture of your home's holiday lights display to for a chance to win a Three-Hour Holiday Lights Limousine Tour from Grace Limousine. Be sure to include your name, address, and some contact information in the email. You can also visit for official rules.

Way to go, Heather!

It was a pleasure running into WZID's Heather Bishop at the Thanksgiving Day 5K last week. I'm just glad she told me who she was because I did not recognize her even though her racing bib had her name printed right on it. Bishop, who I enjoy listening to on 95.7 FM every afternoon, is a shadow of herself. She has lost 25 pounds since August while learning how to live a healthier lifestyle through the American Heart Association's Better U Challenge. And she's certainly taking the steps to keep it off. On Thursday she took five minutes off her time since the last 5K she ran about a month ago. I look forward to seeing, and recognizing her, at many more local races in the future.

Maynard's music

Thanks to Bob Baines for alerting me to this Saturday's concert to benefit the Richard J. Maynard Music Scholarship Fund. Baines, our former mayor and former principal at Manchester High School West, is serving as master of ceremonies for this concert, which is being held at 7 p.m. in the high school's auditorium, which is named for him.

Maynard was an award-winning director of choirs at West from 1975 through his retirement in 2004. Until his recent passing after a brief illness, he supervised student teachers for the University of New Hampshire. Maynard has too many accolades to mention and he was clearly one of those teachers who made a meaningful impact on his students, as many of them are returning to perform in the concert.

Headliners include Julie Albert, Michael Shaughnessy, Michelle Skinner, Jill Teeters and Liz Thibault Beaton. In addition, there will be musical selections by the Manchester High School West Alumni Band and Choir and the current Manchester High School West Jazz Band and Chamber Choir.

Tickets are $20 per person, and $10 for students and are available at Manchester High School West, the Bedford Public Library and WMUR TV.

Donations may also be made to the Richard J. Maynard Music Scholarship Fund, C/O Centrix Bank, 25 Constitution Drive, Bedford, 03110. Event of the Week

The Greater Manchester YMCA will host its eighth annual Santa Brunch this Sunday at the downtown Mechanic Street location. This free "Elf" inspired event includes arts and crafts, bouncy houses, face painting, and a healthy breakfast. The description also mentions a snowball fight. I'm interested to see how the party's planners are going to pull that off.

Attendees who bring in an unwrapped gift for the YMCA's Angel Tree program will be entered into a raffle, and photos with the man in the red suit are just $2. This event (did I mention it's free?) is open to YMCA members and non-members alike. Seems like a great reason to check out the YMCA.

If you would like to have your event considered for The Scene 's Event of the Week, enter it into the free calendar.

If you have an interesting item for Scene in Manchester, email it to scene

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