It’s been a long winter, hasn’t it? And winter isn’t over yet. All the more reason to jump into Purim with both feet (hopefully without snow boots). Purim means it’s time to rest and to celebrate the story of Esther, Jewish salvation, friends and family and to remember those less fortunate. To rev up your holiday spirit, there are dozens of Purim celebrations across the region this season. Dress up, eat, drink and be merry because after Purim, spring is just around the corner!
>> Chizuk Amuno, 8100 Stevenson Road, starts off the Purim celebrations with the “Star Wars: Purim Strikes Back Carnival Celebration” on Feb. 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visit chizukamuno.org/events/star-wars-purim-strikes-back.
>> Howard County’s Purim Palooza and Kids Activity Expo blasts off on Feb. 25. This is the 26th year for the county’s Purim festivities, which this year include a pre-carnival Sunday school from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. with carnival fun and games running from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., all at Long Reach High School, 6101 Old Dobbin Lane in Columbia. Pre-carnival activities include an assembly including music and stories; educational sessions; sing-a-long and story hour; and adult sessions on the meaning of Purim, a Megillah exploration and women in the Purim story. Then join in the fun at the carnival. Visit jewishhowardcounty.org/purim2018.
>> Ner Tamid, 6214 Pimlico Road, is holding its Community Wide Purim Carnival Feb. 25 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and other events on March 2 and March 3. For more information, visit nertamid.net/category/events.
>> Shomrei Emunah Congregation, 6221 Greenspring Ave., hosts its Communitywide Purim Carnival Feb. 26, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. with games, entertainment and dinner. Visit shomreiemunah.org.
>> Suburban Orthodox Congregation Toras Chaim is offering multiple Purim observances, including a pre- Purim shiur, Feb 26, “Behind the Mask: The Power and Profundity of Purim.” The shul has events scheduled for Feb. 28 and March 1, including a costume parade, Megillah readings, food and entertainment. Visit suburbanorthodox.org.
>> Jews United for Justice offers “Lobby Night in Annapolis with a Purim Twist” Feb. 26 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., 6 Bladen St. in Annapolis. Participants will deliver holiday gift bags to state legislators including sweets and a note outlining JUFJ’s social justice issues. Buses leave at 5:15 p.m. Children welcome, costumes encouraged. Visit jufj.org/content/annapolis- purim-lobby-night-0.
>> On Feb. 28, Chabad of Owings Mills, 11299 Owings Mills Blvd., hosts its community Purim party at 6:30 p.m. with ma’ariv, Megillah reading, Purim dancing, refreshments, graggers, masks, music and fun. For more information visit chabadom.com.
>> Beth Tfiloh Congregation, 3300 Old Court Road, celebrates with “Purim un-plugged” beginning Feb. 28 at 5:45 p.m. through March 1 at 5 p.m. Multiple free events include Megillah readings (including a multimedia Megillah reading), a Shushan street carnival and women’s and girls’ tefilah. (The Purim Seudah is sold out.) Visit bethtfiloh.com/purim.
>> On Feb. 28 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Beth El Congregation, 8101 Park Heights Ave., hosts a “The Voice” competition. The evening starts with a free seudah, followed by a short Megillah reading, a costume parade, a congregational Megillah reading, “The Voice” competition and an after-party with hamantaschen, music and karaoke. Visit bethelbalto.com/voice-beth-els-purim-celebration.
>> Beth Israel Congregation, 3706 Crondall Lane, hosts a Megillah Reading and Purim Shpiel celebration Feb. 28 starting at 5:30 p.m. with music from British artists. There will be a ma’ariv, pizza dinner, Megillah reading and Shpiel for all ages. The synagogue hosts a Purim carnival March 4 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Children’s books will be collected for a shelter library. Visit bethisrael-om.org/news/events.
>> Beth Shalom Congregation, 8070 Harriet Tubman Lane in Columbia, is hosting “The Sound of Music Purim” on Feb. 28 starting at 6:30 p.m. with Tot Purim, followed by a ma-ariv service, Megillah reading and “Silly Symphony.” Visit beth-shalom.net/sound-music-megillah-reading- and-silly-symphony.
>> Chevrei Tzedek Congregation, 3101 Fallstaff Road in the Myerberg Center, parties Feb. 28 with Purim Celebration! from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. with a canned food drive, mishloach manot packing, carnival games and more. All items will be provided to pack Purim gifts for the seniors in the building. Visit chevreitzedek.org.
>> Harford Chabad of Bel Air hosts Purimtini at Independent Brewing Co., 418 N Main St., Bel Air on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. There will be a Megillah reading, hors d’oeuvres and beer. R.SVP required. The center hosts its Purim Feast March 1 at 5 p.m. at the Harford Chabad Center, 15 N. Bond St. with an elegant dinner. Visit harfordchabad.org.
>> Ariel Jewish Center is hosting a Purim costume party at Fells Point Tavern, 1606 Thames St., on March 1 at 7 p.m. with free kosher hors d’oeuvres, a costume contest, a photo booth, a magician, DJs and more. Age 21 and up. Visit arielcenter.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/ 3245111.
>> On March 1 at 5 p.m. Netivot Shalom, 7602 Labyrinth Road, holds “Purim Seudah Game Show” starting at 5 p.m. For more information, visit netivotshalom.net/event/purim-seudah.
>> Charm City Tribe parties down on March 1 with “Wild Purim Rumpus” at the Parkway Theatre, 5 W. North Ave., from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. with good deeds, a film (“For Your Consideration”), music and more. Visit app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=72387.
>> Chabad Lubavitch of Frederick, 1 W. 9th St., Frederick, is hosting “Purim in Morocco” March 1, starting at 5:30 p.m. featuring Moroccan cuisine, a drum circle and more. Visit jewishfrederick.org/purim.
>> Temple Adas Shalom, 8 N. Earlton Road, Ext in Havre de Grace, celebrates with a pasta dinner followed by Shabbat and Shpiel March 2 starting at 6:15 p.m. and a Megillah, Shpiel and carnival March 4 starting at 10:30 a.m. RSVP by Feb. 28. Visit harfordjewishcenter.org.
>> Har Sinai Congregation, 2905 Walnut Ave., hosts its “Rated ‘R’ Cocktail Party & Purim Melodrama,” March 3 at 7 p.m. with an adult evening of hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and Purim mischief. Visit harsinai-md.org.
>> Winding up the festivities, Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, 7401 Park Heights Ave., hosts “Olympic Purim” March 4 starting at 10:45 a.m. with a Megillah reading and play, followed by a carnival and a hamantaschen competition. More information, Visit baltimorehebrew.org/purim carnival.