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Katie McQuaid's Scene in Manchester: Frosting Frenzy provides a sweet night out in the city

September 07. 2018 8:37PM
At the first “Frosting Frenzy,” a cake-decorating and candy-making competition in Manchester to benefit Easterseals NH, Lisa Valcourt and Mandy Doward from Silverstone Living finish their first-place apple pumpkin cake, which had a caramel praline center and buttercream frosting. (File photo)

Executive chefs from local senior care facilities are busy planning elaborate Hollywood-themed cakes for Easterseals NH’s Frosting Frenzy cake competition this Wednesday. This annual competition gets more exciting every year, with designer cakes that could rival any Food Network baking champion.

The evening, a fundraiser for local senior services, is as entertaining as it is filling. Guests get to watch the competing chefs decorate their cakes during the timed competition emceed by local author and radio personality Mike Morin and Great NH Restaurant Executive Chef Nicole Barreira.

While guests won’t get to sample the competition cakes, they do get to try an array of mini cupcakes and vote for their favorite. Because man cannot live on sugar alone, there will also be passed appetizers to provide some savory to go with the sweet.

The competition begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are just $25 and include a souvenir box of cupcakes baked by the competing chefs. They can be purchased at

This is the third year I have the tough job of helping to choose the winning cake. I always start off the evening as a member of the clean plate club, but can barely finish a bite of the final entries. This will be the year I pace myself. I hope I can count on my fellow judges — WMUR meteorologist Josh Judge and WZID morning host Neal White to tell me when to slow down.

The event will still be the best sugar rush in town, but not quite as sweet without former Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard on the judging panel. The recently named U.S. Marshal for New Hampshire said he had to bow out from his judging duties this year because of the new job, and because he just can’t handle the sugar overload.

Taste of Downtown

Just up the road from the Frosting Frenzy on Wednesday will be another feeding frenzy as 20 downtown businesses pair with local restaurants to offer food samples as part of Intown Manchester’s 15th annual Taste of Downtown event.

From 5 to 8 p.m. anyone wearing a Taste of Downtown wristband can fill their bellies at businesses with balloons out front. Tasters will also be entertained and inspired by musicians and artists along the route.

Advanced tickets are available for $10 at Kids under 12 can participate for free. The ticket price doubles the day of the event. Proceeds from this event go directly to the beautification of downtown Manchester for holiday decorations, graffiti removal, flowers, snow plowing and more.

So little time

No one in Manchester can complain there’s nothing to do this weekend. There will be events and blocked roads everywhere you turn.

Art Jam Riverside is being held today, Sept. 8, at Arms Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This community event hosted by 95.7 WZID features local graffiti artists, drummers, aerialists, and sculptors. There will also be food vendors and two stages for live music. All of the proceeds raised will benefit Families in Transition and Hope for NH Recovery.

Tickets are available at the gate for $10. Children under 12 are free. Visit for more information.

This evening, from 4 to 8 p.m., Hanover Street will be shut down between Pine and Union streets for a family-friendly block party hosted by Madear’s restaurant in celebration of its first birthday. The event is free, but tickets are required. You can find them at by searching for “Madear’s Hanover Street Block Party.”

The Halfway to Saint Patrick’s Day 5K and 10K road races will block several roadways in the North End on Sunday, Sept. 9. Both races start at 10:15 a.m. at the corner of Spring and Elm streets. The post race party will be held at the Wild Rover.

Finally, Granite State Comicon is being held today and tomorrow, Sept. 8 and 9, at the Center of New Hampshire. Visit for more information on this fun event.

What else is happening around Manchester this fall? Contact Katie at to tell Katie all about it.

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