- Really? Not all shopped out from Thanksgiving Thursday? Then take a deep breath, because it's Black Friday. (And who are we kidding? We are headed into the fray with charge cards, parka and shin guards at the ready.) Expect the malls and department stores to be packed. Keep in the mind's forefront that this is the season of peace and goodwill, particularly in shopping center parking lots. And save a little energy, holiday spirit and cash to support local merchants too, especially on Small Business Saturday!
- Lake Hopatcong Elks Veterans Committee hosts a Black Friday Gift Wrapping and Dinner. Starting Friday at 1 p.m., stop in, make a donation, and have a cup of coffee while Elks volunteers gift wrap your day's purchases. Then, from 4-8 p.m., have dinner: $8 gets you a meal including spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, salad, dessert and coffee and tea. All proceeds raised from this event will go to support the endeavors of the Elks' Veterans Committee. The lodge is located at 201 Howard Blvd. in Mt. Arlington.
- A reminder for the weekend: Support local artists Saturday for Sussex County Authors Day. The Sussex County Historical Society welcomes local writers including Wayne McCabe, Kevin Wright, Pete Lubrecht and Jude Pfister, who will be available for autographs and whose books will be on sale. The event will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 82 Main Street in Newton.
- Saturday also offers a salute to the Italian family. The Sparta Elks Lodge #2356 presents Italian Family Night at its lodge house, 6 W. Shore Trail in Sparta Township. Dinner will include cold antipasti, Italian Wedding soup, a pasta buffet, a Viennese table, flavored coffees, cordials a cash bar and more. There will also be entertainment by Party by Pete's Pete Lamone. Tickets are $25 per person in advance or $30 at the door; admission is $10 for children under 12. For more information, contact Tony Nazzaro at 973-944-0770 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Keeping It Clean: In Hopatcong, sanitation crews will head to Garbage Pickup Section D; Section C will have its pickup Saturday. No recycling pickup is indicated on the calendar. The Recycling Center will be open for business Saturday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. In Sparta, check with the online schedule. Also, curbside collection of bagged leaves comes to Sparta between Dec. 2 and 6. The leaves must be in biodegradable Kraft paper bags. Brush must be tied in 4-foot lengths. You may leave an unlimited number of these bags for pickup. The pickups will occur on a random basis, so to ensure pickup, all bagged leaves and bundled brush must be placed at curbside by Sunday at 7 a.m. You can buy acceptable Kraft bags at 40 cents each at the Sparta Library, at the Sparta Public Works Department or at various retail outlets.
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