If there is one place that New Jersey residents can feel at home, it’s along the shore. If you live outside of Philly, you can’t help but gravitate to things like cheese steaks, soft pretzels and the Eagles. That’s why for most New Jersey residents heading to the shore is so important. But summer is not the only time to visit the shore communities. There are a lot of things going on worth checking out year round.
March kicks-off the Shore’s pre-season mix of chilly and then sometimes surprisingly warm days. Nothing says winter is almost over better than a huge St. Patrick’s Day Parade on the shore. And in New Jersey it’s a big deal.
According to the Census bureau, New Jersey’s 1.3 million Irish-Americans make it one of the top ten states with those claiming Irish ancestry. In case you were wondering, Jersey Italian-Americans only have a slight edge in numbers at 1.4 million.
Belmar’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, in its 41st year, is one of the largest in New Jersey. It got it’s start in 1974 as a showcase of New Jersey’s own “Irish Riviera” (aka the towns of Avon, Belmar, Lake Como and Spring Lake). The event boasts over 5,500 marchers and attracts an estimated 200,000 spectators. Come see marching bands, pipe bands, floats and Irish dancers along the parade route beginning at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Mar 2.
Seaside Heights will get in on the “wearing o’ the green” as it hosts Ocean County’s 30th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Mar 8 at noon. Snakes beware: St. Patrick himself will be one of the special guests.
Further south, Atlantic City, Sea Isle and the Wildwoods will celebrate Ireland’s most famous saint with parades on March 15. The party starts in North Wildwood at noon, Atlantic City at 1 p.m. and in Sea Isle at 3:30 p.m.
Later that night on the 15th, Atlantic City will also host a Running of the Leprechauns pub-crawl. The drunk fest begins 8 p.m. at Hooters, then continues from 9 -10 p.m. at Firewaters. Afterwards, revelers tuned up on Bushmills and Guinness “run” down the boardwalk and through the quarter. The crawl ends at a Dam Good Sports Bar with a “sexy leprechaun” contest where many an Erin Go Bragh-less is likely to vie for the pot o’ gold (a $250 Visa gift card). After parties are at RiRa Irish Pub and Boogie Nights. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 day of event.
Let the love for all things Emerald Isle continue and get jiggy with it at an Irish country and bluegrass music show on Mar 22. Irish Night at Waretown’s Albert Music Hall will feature the Ballyhunis Irish folk music and step dancers, Piney Blues, Church Street Revival, J&E Company, and Clan Suibhne. Show starts at 7:30 p.m., admission $5 for adults and $1 for kids. 131 Wells Mills Rd. (Rt.532), Waretown, N.J.
Everyone probably has that one car they’ve always dreamed of owning. Certainly there’s nostalgia for the thrill of driving your own set of wheels for the first time (looking at you, 1974 Plymouth Satellite)… or perhaps just for the designs of a bygone era.
Vintage car buffs won’t want to miss what is billed as the East Coast’s largest indoor classic car show and auction. The Altantic City Car Show sand Auction promises to feature more than a thousand rare and collectible cars. The three day event will be held inside the Convention Center; Friday, Feb 28, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday, Mar 1, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Sunday, Mar 2, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tickets for adults are $20 in advance or $25 at the door, and for children under 12 are $5. On Sunday, children can enter for free with the purchase of an adult ticket. Atlantic City Convention Center – One Convention Center Boulevard, Atlantic City, N.J.
Get your sleuth on
Are you a fan of whodunits? Enjoy playing detective? Cape May’s Sherlock Holmes Weekend gives would-be sleuths a chance to help solve the mystery of Sherlock Holmes and the Unforgiven.
Attendees are invited to participate in Victorian attire as they search for clues amid Cape May’s quaint gas lit streets in competition for a $250 grand prize.
Friday, the game’s afoot as the crime scene unfolds at a coffee and dessert reception, with Holmes and his trusty assistant Dr. Watson in attendance, at the Inn of Cape May’s Rose Room, 8:30 p.m. On Saturday afternoon, between 1 – 3 p.m., participants will search for clues in self-guided tours of Cape May’s Victorian bed and breakfast inns.
The mystery gets solved as the weekend draws to a close, with Holmes and Watson revealing the culprit during luncheon at 12:30 p.m.
In conjunction with the Sherlock Holmes Weekend, Cape May’s East Lynne Theatre Company will present its vintage-style radio production, Holmes and Carter Mysteries on March 14 and 15, at 8 p.m.. Based on historic radio series involving detectives Sherlock Holmes and Nick Carter, the show will include live sound effects and commercials. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $15 for students. WHYY members can receive a discounted 2 for 1 price with their WHYY card (Friday show only). 500 Hughes St., Cape May, N.J.
Thinking green, again
Why not take some time to help FrogWatch USA collect important information for its national frog study? Adults and teens (age 16+) will be trained on how to collect and report information about New Jersey’s frog population. Participants will also be required to pass a skills test. The event is free, but pre-registration is required. The training workshop is Wednesday, Mar 26, 6-8 p.m., at Jenkinson’s Aquarium – 300 Ocean Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach, N.J.