Greater Morristown weekend preview: Great Conversations, gilded mansions, AIDS walks and firefighting fun

Compiled by Katrina Langer and Kevin Coughlin

It’s an eclectic weekend in Greater Morristown.

You can have a Great Conversation. Or get lost in a Gilded Mansion. Savor a restaurant special. Take a walk for AIDS research. Try a fire truck on for size. Re-visit the Civil War or an 1833 trial.

Garage sales, street fairs, organ concerts, pancake breakfasts, garden cleanups…you get the picture.

For even more options, check our handy calendar.

THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2014:

Mansion in May, the month-long fundraiser for the Morristown Medical Center, kicks off at Blairsden, in Peapack-Gladstone, at 10 am daily. Dozens of interior decorators have let their imaginations run wild in this magnificent country estate from America’s Gilded Age. Admission: $50.

mansion in may 2014 posterMorristown Restaurant Week continues through Sunday. More than 50 businesses are participating this year. Click the Morristown Partnership’s banner ad above for a complete listing of eateries offering discounts and specials.

Sign up for preschool at the Lafayette Learning Center. Photo: Morris School District.

Sign up for preschool at the Lafayette Learning Center. Photo: Morris School District.

The Lafayette Learning Center welcomes parents and children to preschool registration for the Morris School District, from 1 pm to 3 pm. To register, the child must be present and parents must furnish: The child’s birth certificate, proof of residency in Morristown or Morris Township (copy of tax bill or lease), two utility bills, and the child’s immunization records. Registration forms are available at all elementary schools in the District. Call 973-292-2222 x. 0. The learning center is at 31 Hazel St. in Morristown.


Virtuoso pianist Sebastian Forster will perform Beethoven sonatas at the Kellogg Club, Sept. 21, 2013. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Concert pianist Sebastian Forster is among the featured guests at Great Conversations. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Great Conversations, the star-studded gala to benefit Morris Arts, runs from 6 pm to 10 pm at the Madison Hotel, 1 Convent Road, in Morris Township. This is your chance to dine with luminaries from the worlds of art, business, medicine and sports. Tickets are $225. Call 973-285-5115 x 13 or email for more details.

The Bickford Theatre  presents Forever Plaid, an homage to the close-harmony groups of the ’50s and ’60s, at 7:30 pm at 6 Normandy Heights Road in Morris Township. Tickets: $20 for students 18 and under; $33 for groups of 10 or more; $40 for Museum-Theatre Guild Members; and $45 for the general public. Call 973-971-3706 for more.



The Star Ledger calls MOMIX: Botanica “the IMAX version of dance theater,” transporting audiences to a fantasy world of athletic dance, riveting music, outrageous costumes, and inventive props. The show begins at 8 pm at the Mayo Performing Arts Center, 100 South St., Morristown. Tickets are $29-$49; call 973-539-8008 for more info.




Get dinner and inspiration at the Presbyterian Parish House, at a Soup and Salad Supper for Sandy Recovery at 6:30 pm. There is no fee, but a free will offering will be taken. A Union Beach couple who lost everything to the storm will tell their story. Meet members of the church’s Sandy Task Force, and join their recovery efforts at the Shore. The parish house is at 65 South St., Morristown.

The Wheeler Memorial Organ Concert will showcase Michael Hey, organ, at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, at South Street and Miller Road, at 7 pm. Admission: Adults $15, students with college ID $10, children free. Call 973-538-0555 x10 for more.

Ocean Celtic

Ocean Celtic

The Minstrel in Morris Township presents OCEAN Celtica quartet that celebrates British Isles folk, at 8 pm.  Opening the show is Millstone River Morris,  a “Morris Dance” troupe from Princeton. Who is Morris Dance?  And why does he need “cudgels, swords and cloth hankies”? Admission is $8 (children 12 and under, free). At the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, 21 Normandy Heights Road.

Millstone River Morris

Millstone River Morris





Grow It Green Morristown needs a hand: “Come help the Urban Farm get its roots up. Turn the dirt, clean the fields and start seedlings! A wonderful year for growing is upon us!” Join volunteers at the Urban Farm at Lafayette, behind the Lafayette Learning Center, at 31 Hazel St. between 9 am and 2 pm.

The Friends of Historic Speedwell host their third annual All-County Garage Sale at Mennen Arena from 9 am to 5 pm. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students, and children 12 and under are admitted free. At 161 E. Hanover Ave. in Morris Township. For more information call 973-285-6534. 

Once you’ve found some antique treasures, head down to Speedwell Avenue for the Shop Speedwell-Morris Township Open House, from 11 am to 2 pm. Discover Speedwell shops and enjoy food, drinks, coupons and giveaways. Nugent’s will grill hot dogs at noon; free doggie nail clippings at Wash n’ Wiggle from noon to 2 pm; snow cones at Esposito’s Ice, and more. Call 973-326-7360 or email  for more information.


Pancakes, anyone?  The Ladies Auxiliary of the Morris Township Fire Department’s Hillside Hose Company has ‘em, from 8 am to noon, and baked goods, too. All the flapjacks you can eat: $7 for adults, $4 for children. At the fire house, at 132 Western Ave.

New Jersey AIDS Services hosts the 2014 NJ AIDS Walk in Morristown; check-in starts at 11:35 am. It’s not too late to register: Visit the NJ Aids Walk website to learn more.

Kids and grownups can get up close and personal with fire trucks at the third annual Morristown Fire Department open house at the Speedwell Avenue Fire House, from noon to 4 pm. Activities include a simulated house fire, fire department history, health and dental screenings — and of course, free hot dogs and popcorn.

morristown fire department open house 2014 flyer poster

Charles F. Hopkins

Charles F. Hopkins

Civil War buffs won’t want to miss this 4 pm talk at the Morristown & Township Library. Charles F. Hopkins: Civil War Hero is the story of the first Morris County resident to join the Union Army…he also survived 10 months at the infamous Andersonville Prison. The lecture will be presented by Charles Maraziti, Hopkins great-grandson. Admission: Free. At One Miller Road, Morristown.

Author Virginia Vogt. Photo courtesy of Macculloch Hall Historical Museum

Author Virginia Vogt. Photo courtesy of Macculloch Hall Historical Museum

Virginia Dyer Vogt continues the “Controversies” speaker series with a talk about the 1833 triple murder in Morristown that shocked America. Was justice served? She will explore the question at 4:30 pm at the Macculloch Hall Historical Museum.  The author has a book on the subject, which she will sign and sell, and visitors can view exhibition artifacts on view through June. Subject matter may not be suitable for all audiences. Tickets go on sale at 1 pm. Admission is $8 for adults; $6 for seniors and students; $4 for children 6-12.  The museum is at 45 Macculloch Ave., Morristown.

Leave the kids at home for a night with comedienne Joan Rivers at the Mayo Performing Arts Center at 7 pm. Tickets are $49-$79. At 100 South St. in Morristown. Call 973-539-8008 for more.

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