Who’d win a wrestling match between Santa and the Grinch? Find out Thursday in Bow

Santa and the Grinch prepare to wrestle during Bow's Jingle Brawl last December. Bow wrestling will be hosting the 2023 Jingle Brawl at Bow High School on Thursday night.

Santa and the Grinch prepare to wrestle during Bow's Jingle Brawl last December. Bow wrestling will be hosting the 2023 Jingle Brawl at Bow High School on Thursday night. Derek Rousseau—Courtesy

The participants in last year's Jingle Brawl.

The participants in last year's Jingle Brawl. Derek Rousseau—Courtesy

By ERIC RYNSTON-LOBEL

Monitor staff

Published: 12-19-2023 1:09 PM

On Thursday night in the Bow High School gymnasium, wrestling enthusiasts will have a front-row seat to the ultimate holiday showdown: Santa Claus vs. the Grinch.

It’s part of “Jingle Brawl,” hosted by the Bow Brawlers, the local youth wrestling organization, hoping to bring some holiday cheer to the Bow and Concord communities.

“We wanted to just give back to our community and welcome the community around us and (include) some Christmas spirit but involve wrestling at the same time, and our love and passion for the sport,” said Brock Hoffman, who runs the Bow Brawlers. 

The event, free of charge, does require one thing to enter: a canned good. All canned food will be donated to the New Hampshire Food Bank.

“Not only are we promoting wrestling, we’re promoting community involvement, and we’re also giving back to people in need,” Hoffman said. 

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the event will feature four holiday-themed matchups. First, Cindy Lou Who takes on Ralphie. Then, Kevin McCallister of Home Alone faces off with the Wet Bandits and Elf on the Shelf wrestles Buddy the Elf. For the finale, Santa Claus battles the Grinch.

“This is the cool thing about the Jingle Brawl: It includes the whole wrestling program for Bow,” Hoffman said. “K through 12, all the team moms, all the coaches help put this thing together. It’s a pretty big machine, so we need everybody’s help.”

Hoffman added that the Bow Middle School and High School cheerleading teams also help out. 

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Bow High School wrestling coach Bill Chavanelle will reprise his role as Santa, while Miles Reinhardt, brother of former Bow state champion Wyatt Reinhardt, will wear the Grinch costume.

Santa won the brawl last year, so Hoffman said the Grinch has put in some extra time in the weight room.

“This is the Grinch’s revenge tour to try to finally take down Santa,” Hoffman joked. “We’re excited to see who wins this year.”

Regardless of who comes out on top, though, it’s a collaborative community effort to put together a lighthearted event ahead of the holiday break. 

“It’s just a really, really good environment, and everyone gets really jacked up,” Hoffman said. “We’re just really excited to see all those battles happen, get as many people from Concord and surrounding areas as we can together to celebrate the sport of wrestling and the holidays.”