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ABOUT TOWN: Candy Land Coming to Stoughton (And Beat Those Winter Blues)

Welcome to "About Town with Mark Snyder," a column that will keep you up to the minute with what's what, who's who and what's going on around town. If you see or hear something we could use here, let us know by sending an e

PURIM IN CANDY LAND: Ginger bread or licorice, maybe jelly beans or chocolate truffles, mixed with Hamatashen and Purim decorations! Shaloh House Chabad of the South Area, located right here in Stoughton at 50 Ethyl Way, will host its annual Purim Diner using the theme of Candy Land.

“It will surely make the party sweet and colorful, and excite many children as well,” Rabbi Mendel Gurkow, Director of Shaloh House Chabad, writes About Town.

Purim is the most joyous Jewish holiday of the year.  Children and adults dress up in costumes, exchange gifts of food, and celebrate.  Jews commemorate the story of Queen Esther; her heroism in saving her Jewish nation from the evil plots of Haman of the Persian Empire in the year 423 BCE.   

While Haman had his eyes on killing all the Jews in one day, Esther reversed the plot using her influence with King Achashveirosh.  Haman and his 10 sons were hung. On Purim,  Jews gather to read the scroll of Esther called the Megilah, with Purim Gregers they roar each time the name of Haman is chanted in the reading and celebrate the entire day with costumes, carnivals, exchanging gifts of food and party.

At Shaloh House in Stoughton,  the scroll of Esther will be read on Saturday night Feb. 23 at 6:45 p.m., with costumes and Hamantashen (triangular cookies filled with a variety of delicious flavors, I like the fig).  

The following day, Sunday, Feb. 24, the Scroll will be read throughout the day at Shaloh House and other locations such as at Stoughton's senior housing venues. The main family reading will take place at 11 a.m.

During the morning,  Shaloh House Hebrew School students will be delivering gifts of food to neighbors and friends, cheering them up and bringing a sparkle to their day.

The highlight of the day is the annual Family Purim Dinner Sunday at 5 p.m., with this year’s theme: "Candy Land"! There will be festive decorations, costumes and, of course, lots of candy!  A full course dinner, Live Music by the Grab Brothers (also known as the Shaloh House Rockers), and a photo booth to get your own picture in your favorite Purim costume, will be featured. 

The Purim Dinner is an annual highlight and one of the most attended programs at Shaloh House.  Reservations are suggested.  Cost is $20 per person and $12 per child (over 12).  There is a $55 cap per family. After February 17, add two dollars per ticket.  

For more information,  please go towww.shalohhouse.com or call 781 344-6334.

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BEAT THE WINTER BLUES: Leave your winter blues behind and join the fun at this year’s Blue Hills Winter Fest, the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 26th from 5-8 p.m at the nearby Blue Hills Ski Area (4001 Washington St./Route 138, Canton)

Come for a night hike with a naturalist or get your exercise on the slopes downhill skiing. 

Whether or not you chose the outdoor activities, you can tap your feet to the spirited Irish tunes of Songs For Ceilidh, taste chili from some of the best local restaurants, entertain the kids with crafts, and warm up to the company of old and new friends. You will also be able to kick back with a beer from Blue Hills Brewery and purchase additional refreshments at the snack bar.

Friends of the Blue Hills’ president, Hilary Blocker, says this is a great event for all ages: “It’s a great opportunity for everyone to enjoy one of the most popular parks in the area – no matter the weather and no matter your age.”   This columnist is proud to be a member of the Board of Directors of the Friends of Blue Hills.

Vero Piacentini, manager of the Blue Hill Ski Area, which is co-sponsoring the event, adds, “We’re thrilled to collaborate with the Friends of the Blue Hills to encourage people to enjoy this wonderful treasure in our community.” 

Blue Hills ski is offing discounted rates of $15 for lift tickets and $15 to rent equipment. To receive the discount, print out and bring the announcement on the Friends of the Blue Hills website (www.FriendsoftheblueHills.org) or Facebook page.

Blue Hills Brewery will also be selling select beers produced at their micro-brewery in Canton .Jim O’Neil the Brewery’s Operations Manager, says “Folks love coming in from the cold to warm up with a great tasting beer. We look forward to sharing our selection with the community.”

For details about the event visit www.friendsofthebluehills.org.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Paul Greenfield, active member of Ahavath Torah Congregation; to Selectman John Anzivino and my friend and auto magnate Ernie Boch, Jr.

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