The Weekend: Pride Festival, Eco-Fair, Irish Sports Expo and More

Local events to enjoy this weekend.

Grab a bottle of water, slather on the sunscreen and prepare for a lovely weekend out of doors!  So many events scheduled for the next few days include sunshine:  the Pride Festival in Maplewood, The Irish Sports Expo in West Orange, and the Greenwood Gardens Jazz Picnic, to name a few.  Read on for the details of these events and others happening in our area, and be sure to check the Patch calendar for even more local things-to-do!

Admission to the  will be free on Saturday as Essex County holds its 10th Annual Open House.  Enjoy family-friendly performances by Starfish at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., as well as games and activities while learning about Essex County services and programs.  Tour the zoo, and  try the Treetop Adventure Course ($20 to ride), the miniGOLF Safari ($5 children/$7 adults), or ride the carousel or ponies ($2 per ride).  Free; Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; West Orange

St. Patrick’s Day is not the only day that everyone is Irish!  The Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh are hosting a day of Irish sports, family fun, food, live music by the Shillelagh Pipes and Drums, and entertainment  that will include hurling and rugby matches.  At noon, the Junior Hurling Challenge pits the Hoboken Guards NJ against Allentown PA. At 2 p.m., the Senior Rugby Challenge sends the Montclair Norsemen up against the Morris RFC. At 3:30 p.m. is the Senior Hurling Championship, featuring the Hoboken Guards NJ vs NY Offaly.  The sports events all take place on the Seton Hall Prep Kelly Field, behind the Shillelagh Club.  Sports events are free;  food area $20 for adults, $5 for kids age 5 to 20; Sunday starting at noon; West Orange

What a great combination: bluesy rock and barbeque!  The Big in China Band will return to  this Saturday for an evening of great and Big in China’s fun mix of blues, originals, Dylan, Dead, Allmans and more. Reservations are recommended.  Free music, food at menu prices; Saturday 8:30 p.m.; West Orange 

Join your neighbors in celebrating diversity and show your support for full equality at the SOMA Pride Festival in Maplewood’s Memorial Park.  The festival will include food vendors, live music, local business, activist organizations and kids’ activities.  Free; Saturday noon to 5 p.m.; Maplewood

Lydia Johnson Dance, the resident dance company at SOPAC, will present a free performance to kick off Celebrate South Orange 2012.  Featuring Lydia Johnson Dance and guest dancers Attila Joey Csiki and Reed Luplau of Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and Max van der Sterre, formerly of New York City Ballet, the show will include a Q & A, and audience members will be invited onto the stage to learn a dance phrase with LJD Company members.  Free; Friday at 7:30 p.m.; South Orange

Renovations, remodeling and repairs can not only improve your property, they can also increase energy efficiency, thereby saving you money, and helping save the environment.  The Energy Eco-Fair will feature environmentally focused designers and contractors, as well as vendors and contractors who provide energy-saving products and services.  Learn new approaches and techniques at this event to be held at the Livingston Recreation Department on Hillside Avenue, sponsored by the Livingston League of Women Voters, the Livingston Green Team, and the West Orange Energy Commission.  Free; Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Livingston

Maplewood’s Memorial Park will again be the place to be this Sunday as Tycoon Dog performs their signature playful rock music for an afternoon of fun in the sun.  Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy the band’s original songs, smart lyrics and rockin’ groove.  Free; Sunday at 2 p.m.; Maplewood

The South Mountain Conservatory invites those looking for a vigorous morning in the great outdoors to join a guided hike up the steepest trail in the Reservation, to Washington Rock.  There is no need to register; simply meet at Locust Grove, up a short driveway opposite the Millburn RR station and First Aid Squad on Glen Ave.  Free; Saturday at 9:30 a.m.; South Mountain Reservation

If you have ever wanted to check out a Ferrari at close range, here is your chance!  George Press Jewelers will host a fundraiser for 2012 Parkinson's Unity Walk, with four luxury Ferrari vehicles including the Ferrari Enzo, Ferrari 599 GTO and Ferrari Scuderia Spider 16M and the Ferrari Spider from the collection of local Ferrari enthusiast, Richard Stein.  For a $20 donation, guests are entered into a drawing for a 2 hour drive and ride – the winner will be chosen on Father’s Day.  Free; Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Livingston

The shakers and movers at Seth Boyden Elementary School really know how to throw a fundraiser!  In addition to a silent auction, this event features a Mark Williams Tae Kwon Do demonstration, Jamaican Food from Munchies, South Orange, hotdogs, fruit drinks and ice cream.  All proceeds will benefit the students of Seth Boyden.   Free; Friday 6 p.m.; Maplewood

What could be more pleasant than a June evening at Greenwood Gardens, reclining on a blanket with a picnic basket, enjoying the smooth sounds of jazz?  Choose to buy a prepared picnic basket at the Gardens, or bring your own – soft drinks and cupcakes will be supplied.  Reservations are required!  Free to members, non-members $12 for adults, $8 for children; Saturday at 5 p.m.; Short Hills


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