'Culinary athletes' sought for Pub Mania

GILFORD — For those Alan Beetle of Patrick's Pub calls "culinary athletes," there are still some open seats for the fifth annual Pub Mania, which kicks off on Thursday, December 12 at 9 a.m. to benefit the WLNH Children's Auction.

Inspired by Cycle Mania, where relay teams kept the wheels of stationary cycle spinning for 24 hours, Pub Mania is tailored to more leisurely competitors who sit on bar stools while being entertained and entertaining each other. The event features 30 teams of 24 members apiece. Each team is assigned one of the stools ringing the bar at Patricks Pub, where each of its members sits for one hour, gathering pledges from those who support their team. Each team must raise at least $1,000.

Meanwhile, Pub Maniacs are treated to live music, poetry readings, comedy hours, talent contests, karaoke, barstool yoga and arts and crafts. A crew of referees may award teams points for their participation and performance in contests or dock them points for leaving a stool empty or overstaying their leave as well as conduct "contrary to the spirit of Pub Mania."

Since Pub Mania joined the repertoire of the Children's Auction, it has grown almost fourfold to become its largest single contributor. The event raised $47,000 in 2009, $60,000 in 2010, $110,700 in 2011 and $165,300 last year, all thanks to the sedentary efforts of some 720 participants and their supporters each year. Beetle said that the goal this year, as every year, is to top the amount the amount raised the year before.

Beetle said that although most teams have sold out their seats, more than two dozen remain seats on five different teams and urged anyone wishing to reserve a place to visit the website, patrickspub.com/pubmania.php and click on "available seats 2013."