SPARTA, NJ - Sparta residents have options to take advantage of the outdoors with the arrival of summer. 

The Sparta Summer Concerts series begins this Saturday, July 7 with Milagro Saints.  The Sparta Cultural Arts Committee has put together eight concerts to be staged at Dykstra Park.  The show is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. running until 10 p.m. 

At the June 27 township council meeting, Sparta Township Manager Bill Close announced several areas in town have been treated for ticks.  Dykstra Pak, Library Park, Ungerman Field,  Station Park and White Lake "have all been treated to control ticks so the public can enjoy the parks," Close said

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The concerts are free.  Seating is on the lawn in front of the Nicholson pavilion and people are welcome to bring lawn chairs.  In the event of rain the concert will be moved indoors to the Mohawk Avenue School. 

St. Moritz Grill and Bar is giving away a $50 gift certificate at each show.  People making a donation to the Sparta Cultural Arts Committee will be eligible to win.  According to organizers the concert series is down from 10 shows last summer because of the lack of funding.    

On July 15 the second Free Family Movie Night will be presented by the Sparta Recreation Department.  "ELF" will be shown at Dykstra Park scheduled to begin at dusk around 8 p.m. 

Close said approximately 150 people attended the first summer outdoor movie.  A number that is "slightly down from past movies" likely due to "the date having been changed to the rain date and a number of graduations in town."

The summer concerts are sponsored by Eastern Propane, Dolan & Dolan, P.A., Garlic and Oil, UNICO, Hart & Iliff, Thor Labs, Weichert Realtors-Anne Marie Richards, Shop Rite, Service Electric Braen Stone, RB Painting Plus, Farmers Insurance, Laddey, Clark & Ryan, St. Moritz, Law Office of Maryjean Ellis, Villa Capri II, Lafayette Hilltop Chiropractic, Blue Diamond Disposal, Burke's Wine.com, Sparta Dental Designs.