Artwork commemorating the “War of the Worlds” broadcast can be found in West Windsor.

A celebration of the 80th anniversary of the 1938 War of the Worlds broadcast and Martian “invasion” is in full launch mode for the end of this month.

The mARTian Weekend+ event, coordinated by West Windsor Arts Council, runs from Oct. 26 through the actual anniversary on Oct. 30.

“It’s part of our country’s history and unique to this place,” says Aylin Green, WWAC executive director. “We can look forward to celebrating the 90th anniversary and the 100th.”

Activities are free and spread throughout various area venues. They include art, parties, an Orson Welles séance, a re-enactment of the radio broadcast and more.

The West Windsor Farmers Market at the Princeton Junction train station plays host to the first major event on Saturday, Oct. 27, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a number of War of the Worlds-related activities.

Create a “Gourd”-geous alien to decorate home for Hallowe’en or welcome trick-or-treaters, or take part in the “Out of this World” Sidewalk Chalk Contest, open to individuals and groups of all ages, and professional artists. Designs must be original, inspired by space exploration, extraterrestrial life, or War of the Worlds.

More than $1,000 in gift cards and prizes, including a $300 Amazon gift card.

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In addition to the monument in Van Nest Park that was installed for the 50th anniversary in 1988, the WWAC is emphasizing the “art” in an initiative called the mARTian Project by establishing a township-wide collection of permanent Martian-themed outdoor sculptures, to be installed in the years ahead at well-trafficked locations within West Windsor.

The first mARTian Project piece, “Scoutship,” by Eric Schultz will be unveiled at the West Windsor Arts Center on Oct. 27 at 2 p.m. This will be followed by a lecture on Orson Welles by Al Nigrin, professor of cinema studies at Rutgers, at 3 p.m. A screening of The Suitor is at 3:30 p.m., and after a brief intermission, there will be a screening of the 1953 version of The War of the Worlds from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Meanwhile, sculpture proposals are still being accepted. The mARTian Project is open to all sculptors at least 18 years of age, regardless of location.

Entries must be original work; of safe design and construction; feature “Martian-like images” or relate to the War of the Worlds. Go to for more information.

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Grover’s Mill Coffeehouse in the Southfield Shopping Center began hosting broadcast re-enactments and other celebrations starting with the 75th anniversary.

Celebrations this year will include the Martian music mash and costume contest on Oct. 26 from 7-9 p.m.; an Orson Welles séance and psychic entertainment featuring mentalist Ted St. James on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.; and a live reenactment of the 1938 radio broadcast featuring Michael Jarmus on Oct. 28 at 7 p.m.

See or call (609) 716-8771 for more information.

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A Martian-themed round-trip bike ride between Grover’s Mill Coffeehouse and Van Nest Park will be held on Oct. 28 at 10 a.m. The event is coordinated by the West Windsor Bicycle & Pedestrian Alliance. Email for more information

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A space exploration lecture will feature Gregory H. Olsen, a local businessman and resident who in October 2005 became the third private citizen to make a trip to the International Space Station. The lecture will be held at the West Windsor Senior Center on Oct. 29 at 11 a.m. To register call (609) 799-9068.

Also at the the senior center on that day, at 1 p.m., will be a reading of War of the Worlds by Rob Schmitt.

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Also on Oct. 29, the Grover’s Mill Coffee House will present “50 Years of Martian Invasions: NASA and Other Nations’ Efforts to Explore Mars.” The event will be presented at 7 p.m. by Frank O’Brien of NASA’s Solar System Ambassadors Program. Call (609) 336-7602 for more information.

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Ongoing this month through Oct. 29 is the West Windsor Small Business Scavenger Hunt. The mARTian Project in cooperation with Grover’s Mill Coffee are holding the hunt.

It starts with getting a game card and having it stamped at participating businesses (no purchases necessary). Drop the completed card off at Grover’s Mill Coffee for the prize drawing on Oct. 30. For more information go to

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Princeton Public Library is hosting several events starting tonight (Oct. 18). Brad Schwartz will speak about his book, Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles’ ‘War of the Worlds’ and the Art of Fake News, at 7 p.m.

On Oct. 23 at 7 p.m., find out more about the archive of letters to Orson Welles when Philip Hallman and Vincent Longo from the University of Michigan Special Collections Research Center speak and share actual examples.

The Einstein Alley Musician’s Collaborative will combine live music, spoken word and sound and lighting effects in reimagining the War of the Worlds broadcast script on Oct. 28 at 3 p.m.

Genres for the soundscape will include jazz, bluegrass, classical, hip-hop and electronica. All events are free and open to the public Go to for more information.