NEWTON, NJ - “We kick off the holiday season with the parade, and Small Business Saturday,” said Town of Newton Town Manager, Thomas S. Russo, Jr., of the upcoming happenings this weekend in the Town of Newton.
The town is already decked out with its holiday lights downtown, to kick off the celebration. Annually, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving (this year on November 24), the Town of Newton’s Spring Street becomes a winter wonderland, as the holiday parade makes its way through the downtown. Holiday floats, marching bands, local organizations, and Old Saint Nick, are all a part of the festive occasion.
The parade, which is hosted by the Greater Newton Chamber of Commerce, starts at 10 a.m.
Following the parade, families can make a stop and visit with Santa Claus, browse the variety of stores, and make their way to one of Newton’s many eateries.
“What makes Newton unique and special is we have something for everyone,” Russo told The Alternative Press.
Whether a visitor to Newton would like to patronize one of the numerous boutiques downtown, take in a show at The Newton Theatre or Sussex County Community College (the Tri-State Actors Theater has performances of "A Christmas Carol" December 13 through December 23), visit one of the art galleries, grab something as casual as a baked good, cup of coffee, or slice of pizza, or as formal as a decadent gourmet meal, all are possibilities in Downtown Newton.
Some of those shops, galleries, and eateries in the downtown, and other areas throughout Newton include: PB&J Stores, Feels Like Home, Maxwell and Molly’s Closet, Craft Creators, Diva Designs, Andre’s Restaurant & Wine Boutique, Salsa Restaurant, Trinity Restaurant & Lounge, Charm, Flowers in the Attic, The Seven Acre Baker, Inner Designs by Robin Lennon, The Style Shop, TraillWorks, the Springboard Shoppes, Krave Café + Caterer, The Plaza Restaurant, O’Reilly’s Pub & Grill, Happy Wok, Chun Bo, Brenda’s Diner, Beehive Thrift Shop, Sussex County Arts & Heritage Council, A G Pizza, Chrissy O Designs, Newton Pizza, Thai Nam Phet II, Casa Irie, Narin Thai, Eaton’s Antiques, Cornwell Clocks, The County Seat, Dominick’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria, Newtown Chinese Restaurant, Authentic Pizza & Pasta, Hayek’s Market, and more.
Additionally, through the Foodshed Alliance, Newton is now the site of the Newton Winter Farmers’ Market on Spring Street, the only winter market in the area. The market runs from November through May on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Full details are available here. Vendors are located within the Springboard Shoppes, and sell items such as: fresh locally grown produce; farm raised beef, lamb, and poultry; fresh baked goods; artisan breads; local cheeses; farm fresh eggs; honeys, jellies, jams, and syrups; gourmet foods; and specialty, seasonal, and handcrafted items.
For those in the area who are seeking some extra pampering, primping, hair trimming, and gift certificates during the holidays, there are a few destinations in Newton too; Salon Di Panache, George Michael Salon, Salon FiG, Soho Nails, The Scissor Joint, The Perfect 10 Nail & Hair Boutique, CJ’s Barbershop, and John’s Barber Shop, are among some of the stops to help people look, and feel their best.
Russo pointed out there are venues beyond the downtown, yet still close by, such as the Home Depot, and Kohl’s, should someone need to shop at a larger store.
“Newton is the one place in the county where you can do all of your shopping in one small regional area,” added Russo.
For that reason, he said, “Newton is Sussex County’s Downtown. It’s what makes it so special. It is a place for you to shop, dine, or recreate.”
The Town of Newton is working closely with the community, and merchants, to help craft a Strategic Vision Plan. In late October, the town held two public meetings, both packed with people, with the request, as Russo put it, “We’re looking for your input, to the hits and misses of Newton.” Click here for the full article by The Alternative Press.
On Monday, November 26, the town will release its findings from the Vision Plan sessions at its town council meeting, starting at 6 p.m.
In terms of the cohesiveness of the town, and all of its merchants, aligning with the vision the residents, merchants, and town officials have for the Town of Newton, Russo said, “It all blends together, and everything works in concert if done correctly. Everyone is on the same sheet of music, and I have to keep it in concert.”
Departments such as the DPW, Police Department, and Code Enforcement, are other pieces that comprise the “orchestra.”
“My role is the pivot point, to make sure everyone is working towards the same goal,” Russo said.
Tying it in to the Thanksgiving season, Russo added, “We need to be thankful for everything we have,” in terms of Newton’s amenities, the community’s closeness, the way in which locals outreach to others, including helping the local food pantries, and efforts such as “Stuff the Bus.”
“Everything we give comes back tenfold,” Russo said.
In the spirit of gratitude, and giving back, beginning this Saturday, and through the end of the year, parking in the Town of Newton is free in all municipal lots, except lot #2 (by McGuire Chevrolet).
“There is free parking in the lots so people can shop the downtown, and not feed the meters, so they can shop and dine leisurely,” Russo said.
The town has made improvements in the downtown area, with new parking machines, way-finding signs, and enhanced lighting, to increase the convenience and ease of parking in the downtown lots.
One of the other upcoming celebrations for the town will be its annual Christmas Tree Lighting, at 6 p.m., in front of the Municipal Building. Early in December, there will be Christmas Caroling along Spring Street. And, the Newton Fire Department will also hold its annual Operation Santa for children in the Town of Newton whose parents opt to have a present delivered by Santa by firetruck, just before Christmas.
Click here for the Town of Newton website, for information, and the town's community calendar.
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