Your Poconos Weekend Fun Guide

I didn’t do my normal preview of the Sunday column because of the overlap with the Golden Globes announcements and my sheer displeasure with the lack of a Mad Men nomination. If I get some time tomorrow, I may post it. It’s a Tom Cruise column, if you’re curious. You’re probably not.

Also, anyone who is doing an end of the world-type party next Friday, you”ll want to get in touch with me. I’m working on a story for next Thursday’s paper about all of these type parties. I count at least five on the local bar scene. So if you hit me up, I’ll give you a buzz and I’ll make sure to include you in the story. Or send an invite to the PopRox Facebook page and I’ll see it.

Anyway, we’re in to official “Let’s all have Christmas parties!” season for the Fun Guide:

Nothing says Christmas like hitting the casino for a tree lighting! I’m fascinated by the evolution of Christmas in the last 30 years. When I was, like, 10, it would have taken a loaded .357 to get my father to go to something by himself that had something to do with Christmas or Santa. Now? Even casinos and bars get in on the act of having tree lightings or Santa festivities. Santa will be at the event at Mount Airy tonight from 5 to 7, apparently so 65-year-olds blowing their social security checks can ask him to get a Doc McStuffins doll for their granddaughter. Or something.

Wait, that’s not all! Pocono Brewing Company in Swiftwater — where I’ll be for happy hour tonight for wings and NTN, God willing — is having SantaCon tomorrow. I don’t think it’s much like Comic Con, and I don’t really think it’s a convention of Santas all trading secrets of how to avoid getting a 7-year-old’s pee on their knee. Maybe it’s somewhere in between, no? Looks like if you dress like Santa, you get to drink cheap beer. Or if you dress like sexy Mrs. Claus, which, if you’d like to know, I’d prefer. Not that I’ll be there anyway, but it’s nice to dream.

A couple of you have told me you’ve seen me on the WVIA show now called Media Hounds, which aired its December edition sans me last night. Anyway, I was checking it out and some reporters and lifetime NEPA residents were talking about this area’s history of giving when people need it the most. You know what? It’s freaking true. I say that emphatically because it makes me proud to be a (nearly) lifetime NEPA resident and know in my heart that it is true. Desaki in Swiftwater and owner Vince Trapasso is one of those people who gives back early and often, and he’s doing it again tonight by hosting a special Toys for Tots night at the restaurant. Lots of specials, lots of food, all that good stuff. Goes from 6 to 10.

that looks about right.

There’s a also a place for good ol’ fashioned drunken fun during the holidays (as long as you’re not driving) and that’s where the Brookside comes in tonight. The Tobyhanna bar is having a Christmas pajama party starting at 9 tonight, where anyone dressed in their pajamas gets a raffle ticket that could be your chance for a free trip to Hawaii. Wait, Hawaii? Seriously? That place is gonna be packed tonight. I usually just sleep in a pair of shorts and a long-sleeve shirt. Does that count? And isn’t that what most men do? There’s a reason it’s so funny when Tom Hanks rolls out for a night with Liz Perkins in Big in his teen-aged PJs — it’s because grown men don’t really wear pajamas. Or maybe they do and I’m just too cheap/sensible to buy them. Then again, if the ladies will be showing up in teddies, maybe I should just shut up and enjoy it. That sounds like a good course of action.

The ugly Christmas sweater phenomenon is lost on me too. Do people actually buy and receive ugly Christmas sweaters? If I bought anyone over the age of 5 a sweater with bells on it and a knitting of Santa riding Rudolph or something, I’d fully expect them to punch me in the face somewhere around immediately. And I think people should expect the same if they ever bought one for me. So I’d hope with this ugly Christmas sweater party at Jubilee/Pub in the Pines in Pocono Pines on Saturday night that the participants are either a.) raiding their grandmother’s closet or b.) emptying out the local Salvation Army thrift store. Anything else probably is connected to story that would bore me after about 10 seconds, but is destined to last 10 minutes.

i'd freak the eff out if i saw anyone in this mask

This isn’t necessarily a Christmas event, but it is charity and a mixer for a local organization. The first masquerade ball for the Pocono Mountain Business Group will be at the Shawnee Inn from 7-11 tomorrow night, with food and cool entertainment like a roaming pirate. It’s $20 if you preregister, $25 at the door and proceeds go to the Red Cross of the Poconos. We all know how much they need it right now after the resources it had to expand during the Sandy drama. I can’t go, but I think I’d be a little scared of masquerade balls. I’d think I was walking into an Eyes Wide Shut scenario or something. Wait, that’s not what all masquerade balls are like? Really? I’ve got to get out more.

Hold up, wait a minute (I sang that in my head, yuck) … did someone say “open bar”? Yeah they did! Madd Anthony’s in (disputed) Blakeslee tonight is doing its annual Christmas party with a 9-11 p.m. $20 open bar. Two-hour open bars are tough for me to cash in on because I almost always drink beer exclusively, but if you’re going the gin and tonic route, this should probably be your destination tonight. Although I will again stress, with a DD only.

winner!

Christmas is red. So when you have a sexy red dress party, that counts as a Christmas party, right? Right. That’s what’s on tap at The Lounge at the Comfort Inn in Bartonsville on Saturday night. $200 prize for the best sexy red dress. It’s the evolution of the sexy Mrs. Claus outfit, I’d imagine. Please guys, don’t enter. You’re only making it hard on yourself and the rest of us. And hey, 9-11 happy hour!

Yowza, this is quite the lineup at the Deer Head on Sunday, a place that admittedly is usually off my radar but shouldn’t be. Five singers/bands with Bovine Social Club and Regina Sayles on the top line, $20 to get in, starts at 5.

Because I know if I mention these two events then a certain someone will share this blog with all of Flyin’ Blind’s followers, the band has two trips to Stroudsburg this weekend. Tonight they’re at the Eagles Club on North Fifth Street starting at 9, and tomorrow they’ll be back for a return gig at Whisper’s at the Quality Inn on West Main Street. They were there last weekend, weren’t supposed to be there again this weekend, but Whisper’s had a cancellation and nailed down Flyin’ Blind, who of course will play!

Nice night at the PourHouse tonight in Mountainhome, with a Goose Island tap party from 6 to 8, then Zac Lawless playing tonight. Zac’s always a good time. I’ve never had Goose Island, but for some reason, I’m intrigued. I wonder if you got drunk enough on Goose Island, would it give you permission to goose your buddies when they ordered another? No, probably not. Answering my own questions rules.

I’ve never been a fan of It’s a Wonderful Life, I don’t think it’s a very good movie. That probably has something to do with the fact that I don’t, in general, like old movies, but I’ve also never been able to really stand Jimmy Stewart’s voice. I’m in the minority though, I realize this, so the rest of you majority types can head over to the Pocono Community Theater in East Stroudsburg on Sunday for the 6 p.m. revival showing of It’s a Wonderful Life. Who knows, maybe this time he’ll jump for reals.

Angel Down is at the Cinder tonight in East Stroudsburg. Haven’t seen them around here in a while, but good to have them back.

Joe O’Malley has two gigs tonight, one at Memorytown tonight, the other at Carrazza’s in Cresco.

Tom Riccobono, just a man and his guitar, is going to be at Big A Grillhouse tonight starting at 7.

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