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Scene in Manchester: City gives ugly Christmas sweaters their day in the sun

Special to The New Hampshire Union Leader

December 16. 2012 10:18PM

I CAN'T help but feel bad for the people who still wear festive Christmas sweaters because they actually like them. The "Ugly Christmas Sweater" party trend has become so popular that Mayor Ted Gatsas has declared this Thursday to be Ugly Christmas Sweater Day in Manchester. I'm not saying we are a poorly dressed city, but I have walked through Walmart lately and I know there will be a few people acknowledging Ugly Christmas Sweater Day without even knowing it.

I just ordered my first ugly Christmas sweater for my own family's party. This year we drew names and will buy ugly Christmas sweaters for each other. I sure hope the recipient of my sweater likes cats.

If you like to wear ugly Christmas sweaters ironically, then throw one on and head on down to Brady Sullivan Plaza at noon on Thursday. At 12:15 p.m. Intown Manchester will hold a contest to award the individual and team with the ugliest attire and there will be a special award for the person wearing an entire outfit of ugliness. The winners get trophies and bragging rights.

I'm looking forward to seeing what Mayor Gatsas will wear in honor of this important day for our city.

To register for the contest, contact Sara Beaudry at 645-6285 or

Find Morty

While you are on Elm Street in your ugly Christmas sweater, be sure to visit some downtown retailers to see if you can find Morty the Elf. Intown Manchester is placing the little guy in a different shops through Jan. 1. If you spot him you will win a prize. You can see a picture of Morty at

Drafts for a donation and a dollar

If you need an excuse to sample a beer from Manchester's only microbrewery, then head down to Milly's Tavern on Commercial Street for $1 drafts. Well, there's a little catch. You also have to bring five non-perishable food items or gently used clothing items for each discounted draft. All items will be donated to New Horizons. Thanks to my friend Stephanie Grant, a new member of Milly's waitstaff, for telling me about this great special that runs through Christmas. I'm such a hoarder I figure I have enough canned goods and old clothes for at least 50 $1 beers. Seems like the perfect place to hold a Christmas party.

Have you seen my panda?

Sadly, there was not enough space to print a picture of my sad painting with last week's column. As I mentioned I had a great time creating the painting at Muse Paint Bar on Hanover Street. But, 'Sad Panda' is not really my home's esthetic. Fortunately, my friends Chris Proulx and Brett Parker at Double Midnight Comics and Games have agreed to display my painting at their Maple Street store. Parker said if someone makes them an offer, they will sell it. So if you want to see my skills, you better visit the store soon. My work of art is going to go fast.

Remembering Mabel

I was sad to hear of the passing of Mabel Lamontagne last week. But the wife of the Red Arrow Diner founder certainly lived a full life in her 105 years and the diner's current owner, Carol Sheehan, is offering a special meal deal in her honor. The "original'' No. 1 Hot Hamburg Sandwich with a side of mashed and veggie is only $1.99 today through Wednesday.

We have a winner

The Jobin Family in Bedford loves Christmas. Every year they decorate the exterior of their 8 Stephen St. home with 85,000 lights making them the winners of The Scene's Christmas Lights contest. Michael Campbell and the crew over at Grace Limousine chose the Jobins as the winners of a three-hour Holiday Lights limousine tour for nine people.

It's fitting the Jobins are the winners since their house is already a part of the Grace Limousine light tour. Daniel Jobin said his entire neighborhood is heavy with traffic this time of year as most of his neighbors light up for the season, too. One nearby family, he said, even dresses up as Santa and Mrs. Claus on Thursday through Sunday evenings to greet children and give out treats.

I'm surely going to check out the Jobin's neighborhood before the lights go out this season. You can drive by yourself or schedule your own tour with Grace Limousine through the end of the year by calling (800) 328-4544. Event of the Week

The crew from the Greg and the Morning Buzz radio show on Rock 101 is bringing the ultimate holiday variety show to the Palace Theatre tomorrow night. The Buzz Christmas Ball, which starts at 7 p.m., features the Velvet Elves, a 12-piece rock and roll orchestra straight from the North Pole that features some very special guest musicians, comedians and actors. Tickets are $30 to $40. For a complete lineup and ticket information visit

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