February is now behind us, certainly with the mildest weather for that month in a long time. With the coming of the March winds, we turn our eyes to spring and the many cultural, educational and sporting activities available in our community. On view at the Montpelier Art Center from March 4 through April 1 are the entries in the 33rd annual Laurel Art Guild open juried competition. There will be a free reception and awards ceremony for the winners of the competition at the Montpelier Arts Center March 4 from 2 to 4 p.m.

The monthly Coffee for Seniors will be held today, March 1 at 1 p.m. at the Laurel-Beltsville Senior Activity Center, 7120 Contee Road, directly behind the hospital. These monthly coffees are hosted by Pfc. Kenneth Hibbert. ThePrince George's County Police have learned that the senior population can provide a valuable asset to them in crime prevention. Seniors, in turn, receive valuable information to protect them from becoming victims of crime, as well as insight into health and well-being concerns. If you haven't been to these coffees before, now is a great time to start.

Steve Haversack, of Montpelier, announces registration for the Greater Laurel United Soccer Club spring season. The season runs from March 31 through June 9 and registration closes on March 31. Spaces in the various age group teams fill up quickly, so sign up as soon as possible. Information and registration is available at http://www.active.com/soccer-league/laurel-md/spring-registration-glusc-2012. If you'd prefer to register in person, please call 301-741-9995 to arrange a time.

The Montpelier Spring Jazz Series features Grammy Award-winning saxophonist David Sanchez on Friday, March 2 at 8 p.m. at the Montpelier Arts Center. Sanchez displays his Latin heritage in his progressive arrangements. Tickets are $25.


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On Friday March 9 at 8 p.m., the jazz series features drummer Tony Martucci and his quartet. Martucci has performed on four continents, including at the Monterey Jazz Festival. Tickets are $20

Further information and reservations may be obtained by calling 301-377-7800.

From Saturday, March 3 to Sunday, April 29 come see bones and fossils from Prince George's County's past at the Montpelier Mansion. Remains of dinosaurs, plants and early mammals excavated from Laurel's Dinosaur Park will be on exhibit from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Fees for the exhibition are $3 for adults, $2 for seniors and $1 for children ages 6 to 18.

While we are looking ahead in March, let's not forget March 17 and St. Patrick's Day. A perfect way to celebrate is to attend the St. Patrick's Day tea at Montpelier Mansion. This event will feature elegant teas and pastries and will be made even more enjoyable by the musical offerings of Sine Nomine, a recorder ensemble playing Renaissance and Baroque-era works. The cost is $27.50 per person. Early reservations are recommended as these events sell out quickly. Call 301-377-7817 to reserve your seat for this fun afternoon.