By May Ann Bourbeau |
MIDDLETOWN – Middletown is the place to be in the next few weeks, with several events taking place in the township.
Café Capri is due to open this month in the Middletown Arts Center on Church Street. The café will serve coffee, tea, bagels, pastries, sandwiches and more. It will be open at 5:30 a.m. to serve the early morning train commuters, and will stay open until 6 p.m.
“We’ve been talking about opening a café for a long time,” said Maggie O’Brien, director of the Middletown Arts Center. “We’re right next to the train station so it seemed like a natural fit.”
Café Capri, which will be situated on the right side of the lobby, will also be open in the evenings in tandem with arts center events.
“We have a lot of programs and events where parents drop off their children and wait in the lobby,” O’Brien said. “The New Jersey Youth Orchestra rehearses here on Thursday nights. We have about 100 kids that are driven here and a lot of the parents stay and wait. They can grab a cup of coffee, go on the Internet and listen to rehearsals.”
The addition comes just as the arts center celebrates its 10th anniversary. A celebratory gala for that milestone is planned for Oct. 14 from 7 to 11 p.m. The $75 admission will include music, dinner and dancing. Local individuals and businesses will be honored, one of which will be the Seraph Players from Mater Dei Prep, who will provide entertainment at the gala. Other honorees include longtime supporters Joan and Bob Rechnitz and Rosemarie Peters, who spearheaded the campaign to convert the Banfield Moving and Storage Company into an arts center.
“This was really her vision,” said O’Brien.
The Township of Middletown will also be recognized at the gala.
“Without the unwavering support of the township, this arts center would not have been possible,” O’Brien said. “We’re so excited to reach this 10-year milestone. We’re look- ing forward to many more years of bringing the community and the arts together.”
The next event at the Middletown Arts Center is Saturday, Sept. 16, when Legends Promotions presents A Night of Music & Comedy. Vito Picone & the Elegants will enter tain, along with Just Friends, singing classic hits of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. Stand-up comedian Tommy Gooch will host the event.
Tickets are $35 and $40 and are available by calling the box office at 732-706-4100. For more information, visit middletownarts.org.
In addition to events at the arts center, Middletown Day will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 23 at Croydon Hall, 900 Leonardville Road in Leonardo.
The event will include a business and community showcase, park exhibits, hayrides and fire department displays in a fire safety smoke house.
Vendors will be on hand selling jewelry, clothing, kitchenware, candles, home décor, pet items and much more. Items at the food court will include fried chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, sausage and peppers, funnel cake, fried Oreos, mac and cheese balls, kale bowls, smoothies, ice cream and Italian ice. There will be a petting zoo, pony rides, carnival games, bounce houses, arts and crafts and sports contests for the kids. Live entertainment will be provided on stage all day, with music by the Middletown VFW Jazz Band, Dee & the Swagmatics, Waiting on Mongo and the Moondance Big Band. The event will take place rain or shine. For more information, visit middletownnj.org.
Arts and entertainment writer Mary Ann Bourbeau can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was first published in the Sept. 14-21, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.
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