Examiner Datebook, Dec. 18

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• “Fine Feathered Friends: Birds as Mainstay and Muse” will open at the New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, on Jan. 4. The exhibition brings the fun of bird watching indoors through nearly 200 rarely seen artifacts and specimens exploring birds as an ecological mainstay and their role as a design-inspiring force, or muse, for New Jersey artisans. The exhibition will be on view through Sept. 13. Museum hours are 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday; closed on Mondays and state holidays.  Details: www.statemuseum.nj.gov

• The Italian American Association of Monmouth County will present “The Legend of La Befana” on Jan. 5 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (show begins at 12:30 p.m.) at the  Reception Center at St. Clement, Matawan. Admission is $18  for children ages 3 to 10, and $25 for adults. Price includes performance, buffet, coffee, tea, dessert and a goody bag for children. Colazione (breakfast) will be served from 10:30 a.m. to noon. RSVP by Dec. 26. Details: Cheryl Scuorzo, 732-536-5832. Download form at www.iaaofmc.com

• The Bob Kulik Concert, co-sponsored by Gary Matoren in memory of his daughter, Debbie Lynn, will be presented at the Monmouth County Library Headquarters, Manalapan, at 2 p.m. Dec. 20. The free concert will feature an afternoon of songs and stories. Details: www.monmouthcountylib.org

• DeBows United Methodist Church, corner of Route 571 and Route 537, Jackson, invites all community members to attend a Christmas Eve candlelight service at 6 p.m. Dec. 24. Details: debowsumc.org

• Travis Zajac of the New Jersey Devils will make an appearance at The Event Center @iPA, Freehold Township, on Jan. 5 for an exclusive Q&A and meet and greet with fans. Zajac was selected by the Devils in 2004 as the 20th overall pick and has been with New Jersey his entire career. Doors will open at noon and the event will start at 1 p.m. VIP, photo opportunity and general admission tickets are available for purchase at www.iPlayAmerica.com/TravisZajac

• “Big Brother” stars Tommy Bracco and Christie Murphy of Season 21 will visit The Event Center at iPlay America, Freehold Township, on Dec. 27 to greet fans and answer questions. The event is open to all ages. Tickets are on sale now and include general admission, VIP and a Super VIP 21+ pre-show party. Door times will vary and all lines will form outside. The event will start at 8 p.m. Details: www.iPlayAmerica.com/BigBrother

• The Deep Cut Orchid Society will hold its annual orchid show and sale from Feb. 6-9 in Dearborn Market’s 11,000-square-foot greenhouse, 2170 Route 35 South, Holmdel. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Visitors will view an array of orchids vying for American Orchid Society ribbons and trophies. There will be free guided tours, and educational and orchid-themed workshops for enthusiasts of all levels. Orchid experts will be on hand to answer questions. Admission and parking are free. Dearborn Market offers fresh food and deli selections for purchase.

• The New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, is presenting “Preserving the Pinelands: Albert Horner’s Portraits of a National Treasure.” The exhibition features images by photographer Albert Horner which capture the quiet beauty and intimate landscapes of New Jersey’s Pinelands National Reserve. A number of artifacts and scientific specimens from the museum’s collections help tell some of the stories of the land, animals, people and industries that make this unique area a state and national treasure. “Preserving the Pinelands” will be on view through June 28, 2020. Details: www.statemuseum.nj.gov

• Samaritan Center, a joint ministry of St. Thomas More and Old Tennent Presbyterian churches, operates a food pantry to provide supplementary food for those in need in Manalapan, Marlboro, Englishtown and Millstone Township.  For information, call 732-446-1142 and make an appointment. Pickup dates are Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30-11:15 a.m. and Saturday from 9-11 a.m. Volunteers will gladly carry food to a client’s vehicle. Donations of funds and food are gratefully accepted to support the operation of the center. Volunteers are always welcome.

Items for the Datebook may be sent to [email protected]. Please submit items at least two weeks prior to a scheduled event.