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About The Author


Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business for 15 years before turning to journalism. By day, she is the social media editor for Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail or a Maine beer. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: December 9, 2013

Be merry, shop like mad in Portland

Written by: Susan Axelrod

Press Herald file photo

Holiday shopping should be a delight. And it is — when you subtract the stagnant lines, evasive parking spots, and the frightening intensity of some of your fellow patrons. Shopping can be harrowing. It’s no wonder so many people resort to giving Starbucks’ gift cards purchased at the Rite Aid counter (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

But what can a holiday shopper do? It’s not like local boutiques are going to stay open late just for your convenience. Shop owners won’t fill up a wine or beer glass with a complimentary refreshment for your browsing pleasure or offer you tapas while you rummage the sale rack.

Except they will.

The 11th annual Merry Madness downtown shopping event is stretching store hours to 10 pm on Thursday. Over 60 Portland shops are participating this year, many offering beverages and light grub while you peruse the wares.

The madness begins with a reception from 5 to 7 pm under a heated tent in the Market Street Parking lot in front of Portland Regency Hotel, featuring entertainment, raffle prizes and food from Leonardo’s Pizza, RiRa, Others!, White Cap Grille, Fit to Eat and Buck’s Naked BBQ. Shoppers can mingle, pick up a map, and purchase a $10 wine glass or beer mug. And yes, in those glasses there will be wine or a pour of Sebago Brewing Co.’s new Slick Nick ale. Hold onto them. They’ll come in handy at the shops. For non-drinkers, coffee mugs are available too.

Press Herald file photo

For the first time this year, Sebago Brewing Co. will host the official after party at their Old Port pub, with $2 drafts of Slick Nick all for all Merry Madness participants.

Merry Madness

5-10 pm Thurs., Dec 12

// event details, including a full list of shops

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