St. Patrick’s Day Parade, GoshenHang onto your mittens, winter's winding down in Orange County, but not the fun! Hudson Valley, N.Y. - The snowy landscape will soon be refreshing Orange County's beautiful lakes and rivers as it melts, but winter white is expected to cloak the ski slopes at Tuxedo Ridge and Mount Peter for much of March. Hurry and get in that last month of lessons or practice runs. As temperatures rise, you won't even need to pack your thermal underwear. Glides around the outdoor skating rink at Bear Mountain State Park and zips down the famous snow tubing hill at Thomas Bull Memorial Park will be winding up on March 2nd, but the winter fun doesn't end there. The events calendar at http://www.orangetourism.org/ is bursting with sweet adventures to bridge your fun ‘til spring. Take a look. March is a fine time to wander through the countryside for more of the season's sparkling happenings. Maple sugaring at Hudson Highlands Nature Museum starts on March 1st with a special day of crafts, games, and Native American storytelling around the campfire. A 60-minute guided tour through the forest at the Outdoor Discovery Center will show you firsthand how the maples are tapped, and how the sap is collected and boiled into delicious syrup. It's a sensory experience your family will find truly memorable. Warm clothing and boots are recommended for this outside excursion, but hot cocoa is available in case you get chilly. Pick up some edible souvenirs from the gift shop to enjoy on the ride home. Maple sugar tours are offered on the half-hour from 10:30am to 3pm every Saturday and Sunday through March 23rd. Tickets are available for purchase upon arrival at the Visitors Center. It's always a fine time to dine in Orange County and more than a dozen resident restaurateurs are preparing special presentations of their unique culinary twists on locally-sourced cuisine for Hudson Valley Restaurant Week. From March 10th to 23rd, they'll feature prix fixe, three-course dinners for $29.95 and lunches for $20.95 (plus drinks, tax and tip). Coupled with the off season rates at many of Orange County's premier hotels and B&Bs, it's the perfect occasion for a mid-week Hudson Valley getaway. Hike, shop, or museum-hop and enjoy a variety of exquisite meals prepared with local flair. On Sunday, March 16th, dress the whole family in Kelly green and head for the Mid-Hudson St. Patrick's Day Parade, one of the largest in the region. Goshen is the epicenter for this proud tradition. The parade kicks off at 2pm, but come a few hours early for the Harness Racing Museum's annual St. Patrick's Day Family Workshop. In addition to being able to stake out a great parade viewing spot in front of the museum, kids, ages 3 to 11, can create a horse-themed craft, and everyone can tour the interactive exhibits, enjoy games, and a take an exciting ride on the 3D-Harness Racing Simulator. No doubt you'll be in the mood for lots of corned beef and cabbage following this day of fun. As Irish luck would have it, Goshen has great restaurants. Don't worry if you eat a little too much. Work it off the following weekend at the Village of Montgomery's St. Pat's Ramble. Join in the Run for the Gold 5K when it launches at 10am on Saturday, March 23rd, then enjoy another grand parade at 1pm.   The crocus and daffodils are not quite ready to paint the Orange County landscape, but the North East Watercolor Society 2014 Member's Show is making up for it. View the colorful works of 56 artists including still lifes, land and seascapes, portraits, genre paintings, and semi-abstracts at the Orange Hall Gallery on the SUNY Orange Middletown campus. This 100 painting exhibit, free and open to the public until March 21st, is a gentle welcome to spring. For full immersion into the season, join in the fun at Brotherhood Winery's Spring Fling on March 22nd. Dance the winter doldrums away at this benefit event including wine tastings, dinner, live DJ, dancing, raffles and drawings. Get tickets on line for a lively evening of fun. Another kind of green springs to life in the center of Museum Village on March 22nd. You probably know this famous living history museum for its huge Labor Day Civil War Weekend, but they'll be commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Beginning of World War I at this special event. Re-enactors will bring spectators back to the time period surrounding the "Great War," paying tribute to those who fought in the global conflict. Some describe the First World War as the end of an era. Take in an afternoon of demonstrations, lectures, and exhibits and draw your own conclusions. Admission includes a free pass to return to the museum's April 12th official season opening. Filled with unique collections, it's a place you'll want to explore over and over again. Don't wait for the tulips! Wander through Orange County and see winter off at fun events. Find a comprehensive list of attractions, lodging, and events at http://www.orangetourism.org/. For a free copy of the Orange County Travel Guide, or for a free subscription to our colorful weekly events E-Blasts, contact: tourism@orangecountygov.com, or call 800-762-8687. Like us on Facebook for daily reminders of fun happenings. Orange County Tourism is headquarters for tourism in the county and is part of the I LOVE NY program. RESOURCES: Contact:  Mary Ann McCarthy (845) 615-3860 mmccarthy@orangecountygov.com