Plus the Running of the Santas at the Tropicana, the album of the week (Greg brown) and the Drew Toonz weekly comic
On the Monday before Thanksgiving, the United Way of Greater Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey teamed up with Tanger Outlets, The Walk to present “Thanks for Giving Day” as a way to show appreciation to some of the United Way’s supporters. Shopping sprees and gift cards totaling $3,000 were donated by The Walk to 10 winners, and this year, with so many people still suffering the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, Tanger Outlets is spearheading a winter-apparel clothing drive through Dec. 21. “Collectively we all came together and said, ‘How can we make this event help?’” says John Emge, executive director of the local United Way chapter. “Thanks for Giving Day is a day of appreciation for our donors. Yet the feedback we received from our campaign chairs and volunteers is that these individuals had already planned to shop for local families in need if they won a spree. It’s this powerful generosity that exists in our community that will enable us to emerge from this disaster even stronger, and more united.” Items donated will be distributed to local families affected by Hurricane Sandy through the Salvation Army. Donations of coats, hats, gloves, scarves and boots may be taken to Tanger Outlets Shopper Services, located at 2014 Baltic Ave. in Atlantic City. For more information, call 404-4483 (ext. 14). Additionally, as part of a $600,000 holiday lighting program and parade scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 1, Tanger Outlets, The Walk is donating a 35-foot tall Christmas tree to be lit at the foot of the A.C. Expressway. The holiday parade starts at noon at Atlantic and Maine avenues, traveling south and ending at The Walk at Michigan and Baltic avenues. The parade is free and open to the public, and will include floats, bands, costumed characters and appearances by Santa Claus and Miss Atlantic City 2012 Aliyah Montague. — Ray Schweibert
The fifth annual Running of the Santas returns to the Tropicana on Saturday, Dec. 1, to ring in the holiday season. WMGM 103.7 FM radio personalities JoJo and Scotty will host registration at Hooters inisde the Trop from 7-9pm, where $3 Pabst Blue Ribbon pounders will be offered to participants. Due to the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, a portion of this year’s proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross’ recovery efforts. Hooters will give $1 for every 10 wings purchased, and wall hangers will be available for a small donation fee. The party then heads to Firewaters where guests can enjoy $5 40-ounce bottles of PBR and Miller High Life. At 10pm, the Santas, led by the Hooters Girls, Boogie Nights characters, and Savage Men Male Revue dancers, will make the trek down the Boardwalk to the Tropicana Quarter, where A Dam Good Sports Bar will host a Sexy Santa contest at 11:30pm, with $5 40-ounce bottles of Pabst and Miller also being served. The Ho-Ho-Hottest Santa will receive a $250 Visa or American Express gift card before the night continues on to Boogie Nights’ Jingle Ball until 1am, where admission is free with a Running of the Santas wristband. The first 100 guests through the door will be given a free white afro wig, and $5 Bud, Bud Light and Bud Light Lime specials will be available. Tickets are on sale online at runningofthesantas.com for $15 and at the door for $20. The Tropicana is also offering a 20 percent discount on select hotel rooms. For more information visit Tropicana.net. — Casey Harper
‘Hymns to What Is Left’ (Sawdust)
Modern-day Bob Dylan and Tom Waits (always) make the weathered baritone voice of Greg Brown sound like Prince on the latter’s 25th studio release, Hymns to What Is Left. The 63-year-old Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter’s beautiful grit, croaking croon and vulnerable, yet aged crackle are in masterful form on the 14 new tracks, including the gorgeous ode to love “I Could Just Cry,” the stirring “Hanging Man” and the moody epic “On the Levee.” Brown’s long-time cohort Bo Ramsey lends his electric guitar to the otherwise acoustic affair, which includes tasty fiddle, banjo, mandolin and button accordion playing as well as guest vocals by Brown’s wife Iris DeMent. From the jumpy Waitsian opener “Arkansas” to the pensive closer “Earth Is a Woman,” Hymns to What Is Left is the collection of songs Brown’s fans have been waiting for since 2000’s Covenant. Certainly, one of the best albums of 2012.
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If you’ve got an inveterate food fanatic on your holiday shopping list, someone who truly appreciates all things gastronomic, this column is for you.