BELMAR/LAKE COMO, NJ — Looking for something to do this weekend, right here at home? Here is a sampling of events, whether you’re looking to volunteer, art-hop through the downtown area, dine at one of Belmar’s finest restaurants, or enjoy it all.


For the Environmentally Concerned

This morning in observance of Earth Day, volunteers have their choice of two environmental cleanup projects — the Clean Ocean Action’s Beach Sweeps in Belmar and the 2017 Clean Water Challenge at Lake Como. Both events will be held, rain or shine.

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In Belmar, “beach sweepers” will meet at 9 a.m. at both the Third Avenue and the 16th Avenue beaches, where participants will check in with their beach captains. Volunteers of all ages are asked to bring gloves, wear sunscreen and hard-soled shoes, dress for the weather — and most importantly, keep off the dunes and respect wildlife.

A little farther south, Lake Como will get a spring cleaning as part of the 2017 Clean Water Challenge, sponsored by the New Jersey Clean Communities. Beginning at 9 a.m. at the gazebo along North Boulevard, volunteers will scour the grassy banks and gardens of the lake in search of trash. Donations of pink potted flowers, hanging plants and flats of pink flowers to decorate the gazebo are welcome — just in time for the borough’s observance of “Paint the Town Pink” in May.

New Jersey Clean Communities is a nonprofit group that largely provides grants to municipalities with litter-abatement programs that track items collected during clean-up efforts. Last year, Lake Como earned a $5,522 grant, which then is “recycled,” so to speak, to support trash-related expenses.


For Pop-Up Perusing

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and tomorrow, Serenity by the Sea Too at 1004 Main Street in Belmar will “pop-up” into its weekend Artisan Marketplace. Vendors will set up their displays of distinctive gifts to the delight of shoppers in search of unique finds. Saturday will feature Tara Morton with Tastefully Simple samples, Holly Williams of Isii Bags, at right, Nina Budeiri with Lularoe clothing and Lauren Oldenbloom of Shells Unlimited, offering sea glass jewelry and home décor.

Sunday’s roster includes Jillian McGarry of Lularoe, Elizabeth Osborne with Tyra Beauty and Elk River Soap, Lauren Oldenbloom of Shells Unlimited and Natascia Bellis of Touchstone Crystal.


For Art Lovers

Stop by the Belmar Arts Center today from 1 to 5 p.m. to enjoy its 13th Annual Juried Art Show, featuring 82 chosen pieces that include paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture, ceramics and printmaking pieces.  It’s the largest exhibit ever held at the center, located at the corner of Seventh Avenue and River Road.

The center’s recently opened artisan store offers a sampling of the handcrafted and custom-printed creations found at its spring and summer markets.

For more information on the art show or artisan market, visit the Belmar Arts Council’s website at, email or call 732-749-3360.


For A Bite to Eat

Six Belmar restaurants are participating in this spring’s Jersey Shore Restaurant Week, which kicks off this weekend.

Menus that offer a wide spectrum of selections have been created specifically for the popular 10-day dining event by these borough-based eateries: Brandl, Jersey Shore BBQ, La Dolce Vita, La Terrazza Cucina Rustica & Bar, Mr. Shrimp and Waves on Main.

They are among nearly 90 restaurants participating in the event, being held through Sunday, April 30.

Now in its eighth year, Jersey Shore Restaurant Week offers diners the opportunity to enjoy three-course, prix-fixe meals at participating restaurants. For $22.17 or $32.17, they can choose an appetizer, entrée and dessert from a special menu for lunch, dinner or both.

For a complete list of participating restaurants with their menus, visit the Jersey Shore Restaurant Week website at