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Calendar1Students from several Middletown elementary schools pose with their contributions to a display of Calendar Project art, now on view at the township’s Arts Center.

Press release from Middletown Arts Center

In honor of the 350th Anniversary of Middletown, students from twelve township elementary schools reproduced their artwork from the annual “My Middletown School Year Calendar Project” on 4’ x 4’ mural panels, currently on view at the Middletown Arts Center (MAC). Having been displayed at the Church Street facility since the Middletown 350 Parade on June 21, the panels will be relocated for display to Croydon Hall on Leonardville Road, in conjunction with Middletown Day on Saturday, September 27.

The “My Middletown School Year Calendar Project” was initiated in 2010 by Linda Kish, who serves on the Board of Trustees of the Middletown Township Cultural and Arts Council. Participating Middletown elementary schools include Middletown Village, Harmony, Lincroft, Leonardo, New Monmouth, Ocean Avenue, Navesink, Fairview, Bayview, Nutswamp, Port Monmouth and River Plaza Elementary Schools.

The students worked with their art teachers to create pieces depicting places around Middletown Township. The selected entries were then forwarded to the MAC, which made the final selection of art featured in the calendar.

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MAC350building-pics-018-630x419The Middletown Arts Center is the scene for a Saturday afternoon celebration of the township’s big 350th birthday — as well as a night-before Gala party on Friday.

A bit lost, perhaps, amid all the historic hoopla over New Jersey’s 350th birthday is the fact that the Garden State shares an anniversary year with the largest municipality in Monmouth County AND the greater Green — Middletown Township. Officially first settled by the Quakers in 1664 (the year that the English acquired what was formerly called “New Netherland” from the Dutch), its nearly 60 square miles once sprawled even further into areas of what are now Atlantic Highlands, Hazlet, Highlands, Keansburg and other local communities.

That milestone birthday hasn’t gone overlooked in M’town, however, as the township gears up for an official observance that begins Friday evening, June 20, with an Anniversary Gala that takes place both inside and outside the Middletown Arts Center. Going on from 7 to 11 pm, the formal affair features dinner, dancing, fundraising casino tables, “tricky tray” prizes, and a sneak peek at the “50 Year Time Capsule” of Middletown memorabilia that’s scheduled to be interred the next day. Take it here for reservations of last-minute tix ($85 per person; includes two glasses of beer or wine) — and take it around the corner for more public-welcome birthday excitement this weekend.

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