The Shimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center in Bridgewater will be holding its annual Purim Carnival this Sunday to celebrate a very festive holiday.
The family Purim Carnival will be the JCC's biggest event of the year, and will be held at the center from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The Chabad Jewish Center in Basking Ridge, which serves the Somerset Hills, Warren Township and other communities, has scheduled its Purim party and masquerade for the weekend of Feb. 23-24.
Purim celebrates Queen Esther, who foiled the plans of the king's royal vizier, Haman, in his plot to kill all the Jews in Persia thousands of years ago. In the Jewish calendar, the holiday is celebrated on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar.
At 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23, Chabad has scheduled a Megillah and Masquerade celebration that is free of charge.
Chabad's Purim Party is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24, following a 10:30 a.m. reading from the Megillah, a scroll containing the biblical narrative of the Book of Esther, according to information on the Chabad website.
The party will feature music, a masquerade, a clown and juggler and a Purim feast. Those who attend in costume will win a prize.
The cost is $5 per person, $30 per family and $100 for a sponsorship. Those planning to attend should RSVP at www.chabadcentral.org/rsvp or by calling 908-604-8844, ext. 229. The center is located at 3048 Valley Road in Basking Ridge.
JCC Carnival to include many activities plus special guests
The JCC's annual carnival will include an inflatable mountain climber, baseball speed pitch, pony rides, DJ, face painting, hair braiding, cotton candy, popcorn, tattoos and more.
The carnival will also feature special appearances by Somerset Patriots mascot Sparkee and the Rutgers Scarlet Knight.
The new events this year will be an Xbox tournament, car racetrack and an indoor gaga tournament, which will begin at 2:30 p.m., and is open to children in grades kindergarten through sixth grade.
Those wanting to participate in the gaga tournament can pre-register as a team or as an individual for $5 per person, and prizes will be awarded.
Food will include burgers, hot dogs and falafel.
Plus, Sparkee and the Rutgers Scarlett Knight will lead a costume parade beginning at 2:30 p.m.
The carnival itself is $4 per child or $3 per child with a non-perishable food donation to benefit a local food bank. Adults are free, and tickets will be on sale to play games.
For more information, or to pre-register for the tournament, call the JCC at 908-722-6994, ext. 201, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.