Moorestown springs into new season’s worth of activities

Spring festivities are ready to bloom.

This February, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow, and he let us know that spring was on its way soon. On Sunday, March 10, we all set our clocks forward one hour and gained an extra hour of sunlight in the evening.

Winter’s on its way out, and with spring officially starting on Wednesday, March 20, there’s no shortage of festivities taking place in Moorestown in the coming weeks. Here’s the rundown of what residents can get a hop on this spring.

Daffodil Day

On Saturday, April 13, Main Street will bloom for the fourth year in a row. Daffodil Day makes its return for a day of fun festivities, including live music, art demonstrations, sidewalk sales, a pet costume contest, horse-drawn carriage rides and daffodil sales.

While there are events on Main Street during nearly every other season, local business owner Melissa McGrath saw a void during the springtime. Inspired by Daffodil Day on Nantucket, McGrath wanted to bring the same event to Moorestown on a smaller scale.

The event serves as an opportunity for local artists to gain some exposure. There will be live art demonstrations along Main Street and a variety of pieces on display.

McGrath said the annual pet costume contest has grown in popularity each year, and horse-drawn carriage rides are certain to make a return. McGrath said Daffodil Day is about attracting people to Main Street to shop or dine at some of the local vendors before they head down the shore for the summer.

“It’s just fun. The whole street is decorated in yellow,” McGrath said. “Everyone is just happy to throw open their doors and welcome the warm weather.”

Daffodil Day will take place along Main Street on Saturday, April 13 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.moorestownbusiness.com.

Perkins Center for the Arts Offerings

Perkins Center for the Arts has no shortage of programs and events to keep Moorestown residents busy.

“Perkins Center for the Arts has a vibrant spring schedule prepared,” said Kahra Buss, director at Perkins.

The center’s “Photography 38” is currently on display through March 24. The center walls feature a juried exhibition of photographs by Mid-Atlantic artists. The pieces were picked by juror Paul Cava, an internationally known photo-based artist who is renowned for his emotionally-driven collage work.

Perkins will also host a “premiere arts experience” with their event “Handcrafted 2019.” Handcrafted will highlight the arts in all of its forms. There will be artisanal food and beverages on hand from culinary celebrities like Robert Bennett and the Chefs at Harvest Seasonal Grille. The night will also feature musical and visual art on display throughout the evening.

The annual fundraising event draws more than 300 people each year. The event will be held in a secret location never before open to the public. Tickets will be on sale in early April.

The center will also host two other exhibitions this spring at its Moorestown location. The Youth Arts Exhibition and Camp Open House will take place on March 31 from 1 to 3 p.m., and the Perkins Members & Faculty Show will take place from May 4 to June 16.

To find out more, visit http://perkinsarts.org.

Moorestown Theater Company Productions

Moorestown Theater Company has a full spring lineup with four shows coming to a variety of Moorestown venues.

On Friday, March 15, Moorestown Theater Company will enter a whole new world with “Disney’s Aladdin, Jr.” MTC is presenting the new, condensed version of the current Broadway musical. A 47-member children’s cast will perform the piece, which features the memorable characters of Aladdin, Jasmine, Jafar and The Genie. “Aladdin, Jr.” will be performed at the First Baptist Church Theater on Friday, March 15 at 5:30 and 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 16 at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 17 at 2 and 6 p.m.

After their magic carpet ride, MTC will bring on the big volume with “Hairspray, Jr.” For the 16th year, MTC presents the junior version of the popular Broadway musical, which will be performed by the Our Lady Of Good Counsel School Drama Club. A 40-member middle school cast will perform this Tony Award-winning musical about Tracy Turnblad and her plan to integrate “The Corny Collins Show‟ in 1960s Baltimore. “Hairspray, Jr.” will be performed at OLGC in Moorestown on Thursday, March 28 at 6 p.m.; Friday, March 29 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 30 at 2 and 7 p.m.

Here they go again. MTC will bring back its “Second Stage” adult musical (with a little help with some high school students) with “Mama Mia!” The 54-member cast will help the musical make its Burlington County debut. The show will be accompanied by a live orchestra and features memorable ABBA songs. “Mamma Mia!” will be performed at William Allen Middle School in Moorestown on Friday, April 12 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, April 13 at 2 and 7 p.m.; Sunday, April 14 at 2 p.m.; Wednesday, April 17 at 7 p.m. and Thursday, April 18 at 7 p.m.

Finally, MTC will close out the spring season with “Once On This Island, Jr.” MTC is presenting the condensed version of the musical that won last year’s Tony Award for best revival. A more than 50-member children’s cast will perform. “Once On This Island, Jr.” will be performed at William Allen Middle School on Friday, June 7 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, June 8 at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sunday, June 9 at 2 p.m.

Tickets for all four musicals are reserved and can be purchased online at www.MoorestownTheaterCompany.org or at the door 60 minutes before curtain time. For more information, please call MTC at (856)778–8357.

Moorestown Department of Parks and Recreation Offerings

On March 31, the Moorestown Department of Parks and Recreation’s Swede Run Dog Park will get spruced up. Residents are invited to join the Alternate Meeting Program of the Moorestown Rotary as it hosts its second annual cleanup of the dog park on Westfield Road. The AMP Rotary has been tending to the park since it opened two years ago.

The department will also play host to a variety of spring musical events at the Church Street Recreation Center. Musician Ian Gallagher will host a “Sing-A-Long” on April 2 from 1 to 2 p.m. The department will host host a Teen Cafe on March 22 from 7 to 10 p.m. where high school students will perform music that runs the gamut from classical to pop.

The 33rd Annual Memorial Day Ceremonies will take place at Memorial Field on Monday, May 27 at 10 a.m.

“The Moorestown High School band will be performing, and the Moorestown Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will be participating, amongst others,” Parks and Rec staffer Amy Filippone said. “Judith Young will be speaking about the American Gold Star Mothers Organization, which is in their 90th year.”

Moorestown’s Parks & Rec. Department will also host a variety of sports programs this spring, including lacrosse, basketball, dance classes, tennis and co-ed soccer. The Rec’s open gym hours are 2 to 5 p.m. every weekday for students in grades four through high school.

For those not interested in athletics, the Rec is also offering cooking and robotics courses. To see the department’s full schedule of spring offerings, visit http://www.moorestown.nj.us/253/Parks-Recreation.

Moorestown Library Offerings

Reference Librarian Diane Cairoli said the Moorestown Library will offer more than 30 adult programs between April and June.

For those looking to try a new way to reduce stress, the library is offering “Qi Gong with Master Kim,” which will take place from 10 to 11 a.m. on April 16, May 14 and June 18. Attendees can learn about practicing Qi Gong from Master Kim, owner of National Karate Institute in Moorestown. Master Kim has been teaching karate and Qi Gong for more than two decades. He and his family have been practicing martial arts and Qi Gong for many generations.

“When you enroll in Qi Gong classes, you will calm your mind, speed healing, reduce stress and prevent illness; your body, mind, and spirit will be integrated with simple movements and methods that are easy, enjoyable and beneficial,” Cairoli said. “The effects are both immediate and long term.”

For those looking for something a little sweeter, the library presents “Candy Molds — Keeping a German Pennsylvania Tradition Alive.” Suzanne Wainwright-Evans of Slatington, Pa., will teach attendees about the Pennsylvania German tradition and art of candy-making. Clear toy candies used to be shaped into the likeness of everyday items, such as boots, people, dogs, vehicles and even dishes, and were traditionally given to children during the holidays as toys before becoming sweet treats. German immigrants are thought to have brought clear toy candy to America. Wainwright-Evans will discuss the candy’s rich history in Philadelphia and the traditional recipes that were used to make it.

On Saturday, May 18, music lovers can hear some sweet sounds when the Wilmington Concert Opera Performs Mozart in Moorestown. In an all-Mozart recital, five sopranos will sing arias from Mozart’s most famous operas with piano accompaniment. The performance will include selections from “Don Giovanni,” “Cosi Fan Tutte,” “The Magic Flute” and a concert aria.

These programs require registration. Attendees can reserve their spot by registering online through the Moorestown Library website calendar or by calling the reference desk at (856) 234–0333.

2nd Annual Moorestown Paddleboard/Kayak Race

The Strawbridge Lake Beautification Committee will hold the 2nd Annual Moorestown Paddleboard/Kayak Race on June 8 at Strawbridge Lake. The event will feature a one-mile and four-mile race on the lake. Kayak and paddleboard rentals will be available so everyone can enter. Race winners will receive an an award, and the four-mile race champion earns a cash prize.

“All proceeds benefit Strawbridge Lake care and maintenance,” Amy Gravenstine, one of the committee’s founders, said. “Proceeds from last year’s race helped to fund a cleanup of the entire length of Haines Drive.”

In addition to the races, there will be fun for the whole family, including live bands, face painters, food trucks, vendors and silent auction baskets.

The committee is looking for volunteers for the event as well as donations for the silent auction baskets. Sponsorship opportunities start at $200, and vendor booths are available for $50.

For more information, please visit www.strawbridgelakebc.org. The committee is also on Facebook and Instagram @moorestownpaddleboardkayakrace. Anyone with questions can email moorestownpaddleboardrace@gmail.com.