From festivals and fundraisers to concerts and competitions, there’s something for everyone this month in Monmouth County.
FEB 7, 8, 9, 10 Orchids are a big deal this time of year; they can easily enliven up your garden after a dreary winter. So stop on by Dearborn Market in Holmdel for the DEEP CUT ORCHID SOCIETY’S 22ND ANNUAL ORCHID SHOW. Orchid societies and local gardeners will present landscaped exhibits inside a warm greenhouse. The weekend also includes other related activities such as lectures from orchid experts and a wine and cheese benefit. Tickets to the shows are FREE, but the wine and cheese benefit costs $40 per person. Learn more and get specific timing for each day at dearbornmarket.com.
FEB 16 Got a vegan valentine? Cap off your love-filled weekend by perusing through the hippest plant-based products together at the ASBURY PARK VEGAN POP-UP SHOP at Conventional Hall in Asbury Park. The market, which dubs AP as “New Jersey’s most vegan-friendly town,” runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and features more than 50 food vendors. Admission is $5 online and $10 at the door. For more info and tickets, go to sprouteverywhereevents.com.
FEB 19 Don’t let the cold weather stifle your little one’s love of the great outdoors! Head to the Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center in Howell for NATURE STORY TIME at 11 a.m., where fellow nature lovers ages 2 to 5 gather to hear a fable read aloud as staff members present them with natural artifacts related to the tale. Admission is FREE but pre-registration is required. For more info and to book your spot, go to monmouthcountyparks.com.
FEB 20 Cigar aficionados: grab your buddies and enjoy a night of dinner and drinks at Team Monmouth County Sheriff’s CIGAR NIGHT at The Asbury Hotel in Asbury Park from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The fundraiser, which includes complimentary cigars, an open bar and premium eats, will raise money to support local and nationwide law enforcement in participation with The Police Unity Tour. Tickets are $125 each. Get yours and more info at eventbrite.com.
FEB 24 For children with ADHD and their families, the right resources can men a ll the difference. Ask questions and get expert advice at TRI CHADD NJ’S PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ADHD GROUP MEETING, running from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Howell Township Public Library. Topics of discussion at this FREE meeting will include social and emotional challenges, educational rights and resilience. For more info, head to meetup.com/TRI-CHADD-NJ.
FEB 26 Lace up your hiking boots and zip up your coat before embarking on a WONDROUS WINTER WALK tour of the Hartshorne Woods Park in Highlands. Join an of-ficial Park System Naturalist as you admire the park’s winter birdlife and greenery with a scenic view of the Navesink River. Tour is FREE and will begin at 10 a.m. from the Rocky Point parking area. Go to monmouthcountyparks.com for all the details.
MAR 1 Grab your greenest gear and head over to the 46th annual BELMAR/LAKE COMO ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE to join the crowd of approximately 200,000 spectators that typically attend the area’s most-anticipated display of St. Paddy’s Day pride. The festivities are set to begin at 12:30 p.m. at the corner of 3rd Avenue and North Boulevard in Belmar. Admis-sion: FREE. To register as a single marcher or organization and for more info on the parade’s history and route, go to belmarparade.com.
MAR 14 Jam out to the bluesy-rock sounds of CALEB JOHNSON & THE RAMBLIN’ SAINTS at iPlay America in Freehold, where you’ll hear hits from their latest album Born From Southern Ground. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets are $15 for general admission, $65 for VIP access. Go to iplayamerica.com/event/caleb-johnson for more info.
MARCH 15 Turn your Irish jig into a jog when you join the 31ST AN-NUAL ST. PADDY’S 5 MILE RACE at Michael J. Tighe Park in Freehold, presented by the Freehold Area Running Club and benefitting the Freehold Township Parks and Recreation Special Olympics and Challenger Sports for Special Needs. And of course, in true St. Patrick’s Day fashion, runners can pick up a hot dog and a cold beer at the finish line. The race begins at 10:30 a.m. and registration is $30 for participants, $25 for FARC members. To sign up, go to runsignup.com.
MAR 19-20 Support the 732’s young artists by stopping by the MONMOUTH COUNTY TEEN ARTS FESTIVAL at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft. The theme of this year’s assembly of fine arts, which includes everything from interpretive dance to still photography, is “ReCreate!” and will feature works inspired by sustainability and environmental conservation. Open hours are 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on both days. Admission is FREE. To register a piece and to get more details, check out monmoutharts.org/teenartsfestival.
MAR 25 Getting married? Gather up your bride tribe and head to the JACQUES RECEPTION CENTER WEDDING SHOW at Jacques Exclusive Caterer & Reception Center in Middletown, sponsored by Weddingsetgo, from 6:30 pm. to 9 p.m. to meet local vendors, sample food and potentially win some swoon-worthy prizes. The best part? Registration is FREE. For more info and to secure your spot, go to eventbrite.com.
MAR 27 Whether you know her as a Rebecca Pearson from NBC’s family drama This is Us or as a teen screen queen of the early 2000s, MANDY MOORE’S NORTH AMERICAN TOUR is picking up where the actress’ singing career left off in 1999 with a stop at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank. The multi-faceted star will perform singles from her upcoming album and be joined by opener Bedouine. Tickets start at $37.50 and doors open at 7 p.m. For tickets, go to thebasie.org.