Old Jim Days party scaled back but fun

HUDSON – The crowd was smaller, but the fun was as big as ever at Old Jim Days, according to the host, Jim McGlaughlin.

The three days of food, fun and live music at McGlaughlin’s 4 Copeland Drive home has been an annual event for nine years, usually the same weekend as Hudson Old Home Days.

But last week, just three days before the party, selectmen sought an emergency court injunction to stop the party due to health and safety concerns, Selectman Ken Massey said.

There were concerns that the party, which in some years attracted more than 300 people, violated state alcohol sales laws and the town’s outdoor gathering ordinance.Instead of a court action, though, Hudson Police Chief Richard Gendron and Scott Dunn, the state’s Liquor Commission Deputy Chief of Enforcement, worked with McGlaughlin to design an event that complied with state and local laws, McGlaughlin said Tuesday.

He said the party was scaled down this weekend but still plenty of fun. McGlaughlin kept attendance under 100 people over the three-day festival and reduced the price of admission since beer wasn’t included.

The party would have been canceled if an outdoor permit had been required, he said, because the town-required insurance policy would have made it too expensive. “Things worked out very well,” he said. “It was back to how the party was some time ago. The plan is to continue next year with a small party.”

McGlaughlin said the party was becoming so popular that the line for food was never-ending. The volunteers cooking and passing out food never got a chance to enjoy the party themselves.

Visitors were allowed to bring their own beer or to sample, for free, some of the beer McGlaughlin bought from Milly’s Tavern in Manchester.

McGlaughlin said he didn’t get any noise complaints and made sure the bands ended their sets promptly at 11 p.m.

McGlaughlin said he was pleased with how things worked out but wonders why he wasn’t contacted before selectmen resorted to looking into a court injunction. “I don’t quite understand why I wasn’t contacted when this was coming up in front of the selectmen,” he said.

“That being said, working with the town through Chief Gendron was a good experience. I’m very happy with how the town worked with me,” McGlaughlin said.