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The Marine Toys for Tots foundation has officially set up shop in Calvert County with several toy drop-off spots.

The area’s coordinator, Jerry Kepich, explained that this year, toys are particularily in demand for newborns and young children through age 3, and 12- through 18-year-olds.

“Normally we get plenty of donations for 3 through 12,” Kepich said.

For newborns through 3-year-olds, he recommended newborn play items and learning toys. For ages 12 through 18, he said sports equipment, jewelry and cosmetics were usually popular.

Kepich said the donation boxes have been out since Nov. 2. While a full list of locations can be found at Calverttoysfortots.com, some of the locations are at local fire departments, the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, the American Legion posts in Lusby and Chesapeake Beach, Sneade's Ace Home Center in Lusby and Owings and Dickinson Jewelers in Prince Frederick.

To ensure families receive their gifts the weekend before Christmas Eve, Kepich said the last collection day for most locations will be Dec. 13, though he said the locations at the American Legion will be open a little while longer.

Additionally, on Saturday, Dec. 8, Kepich said the Southern Maryland Mustang Club is holding a “toy cruise” in which members will collect toys, go shopping for more toys at Kmart and then arrive at the Chesapeake Beach American Legion at noon to present the toys and hold a car show.

Parade will be in memory of founder

The sixth annual Beaches Holiday Parade, renamed the Pat Carpenter Holiday Parade in honor and memory of its founder, will be held at noon Saturday, Dec. 1, in North Beach. The Parade will run along Bay Avenue from 1st Street to 7th Street.

According to a press release, the parade will feature floats from local organizations, schools, churches and businesses, pets and their owners, marching bands, motorcycles, antique cars, the Beach Buccaneers and Santa and Mrs. Claus. To join the parade, contact Bob Carpenter at bobcarpenter1957@gmail.com or call 703-980-2144. To view the parade, claim a seat no later than 11:45 a.m. along Bay Avenue.

Following the parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus will greet children on the boardwalk.

Maker’s Market extended for extra shopping

Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center will hold its final Maker’s Market of 2012 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.

According to a press release, the market will be extended by two hours for even more time for holiday shopping. The release said items sold include handcrafted wood items, fresh produce, baked goods, knitted items, wool dog coats, performance art toys and jewelry. Admission is free.

Garden In Lights starts Dec. 7

Annmarie Garden will hold its Garden In Lights show from 6 to 9 p.m. on scheduled nights from Dec. 7 through Jan. 1. Admission to Garden In Lights costs $6 per person and is free for Annmarie Garden members and children ages 4 and younger. The Garden In Lights is closed the evenings of Dec. 10, 11 and 12. For more information, go to www.annmariegarden.org or call 410-326-4640.

Lusby starts holidays with tree lighting

The Lusby Town Center’s third annual Tree Lighting, held by the Lusby Business Association, will be at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1, in the Lusby Commons Shopping Center. The event will include a visit from Santa Claus, who will arrive courtesy of the Solomons Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad. Santa, along with local business owners, will kick off the holiday season with an official lighting of the town’s tree. Other activities include live music, Christmas caroling, face painting, hot chocolate and pictures with Santa Claus.

Thanksgiving week closures

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners announces the following office and facility closures for Thanksgiving:

Ÿ All Calvert County government offices will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22 and 23, in observance of Thanksgiving;

Ÿ The Calvert Pines, Southern Pines and North Beach senior centers will be closed Nov. 22 and 23. Meals on Wheels will not be delivered Nov. 22 but will be delivered Nov. 23;

Ÿ All Calvert Library locations will be open until 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21, and will be closed Nov. 22 and 23. Libraries will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24;

Ÿ There will be no public transportation services Nov. 22 and 23. Regular Saturday service will resume Nov. 24;

Ÿ All Solid Waste facilities will be closed Nov. 22 and will open Friday, Nov. 23, for regular business;

Ÿ County parks and museums and the Edward T. Hall Aquatic Center will be closed Nov. 22 and re-open for regular business Nov. 23.

For more information, go to the Calvert County website at www.co.cal.md.us.

ldukes@somdnews.com