WEST ORANGE, NJ - There are many events and activities coming up this week in West Orange.  Some reflect ongoing community, School District and Township Activities,  and many are Holiday related.  Here is a comprehensive list of township events this week:

Saturday, December 1“Gingerbread House Making Workshop” is an opportunity to get started on your own unique creation for the 8th Annual Essex County Sustainable Homes Gingerbread Contest & Exhibit. Stop by the Essex County Environmental Center and the resourceful staff will provide some help. All gingerbread projects must be completed by 1 p.m. to be considered for the contest. Some materials will be provided, however participants are encouraged to bring their own items. This is a free programGingerbread House Making Workshop will be held as follows: Saturday, December 1, 2012,  11:00 am, Essex County Environmental Center, 621b Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland.   

“Birding Hike in Essex County South Mountain Reservation” is presented by New Jersey Audubon. Hikers will visit several key locations within one of Essex County’s largest parks. Discover how easy it is to find wildlife in winter when there is plenty of food, water and shelter. Participants will carpool to various locations within the park. Meet at Essex County Turtle Back Zoo. Cost is $6 for members and $8 for non-members. Space is limited. Contact Kelly Wenzel at 973-226-6082 or kelly.wenzel@njaudubon.org for more information and to register. Birding Hike is scheduled as follows: Saturday, December 1, 2012, 8:00  a.m., turtleback Zoo, 560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange.

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Monday, December 3 - Board of Education Meeting at Edison Middle School, 8:00 pm.  Agenda link will be posted on Monday.

Monday, December 3 at 1:30pm:  Librarian Debra Sarr leads the discussion of Swamplandia by Karen Russell. Reserve your seat by calling 973-736-0198 or register online

Tuesday, December 4 - Town Council Meeting, Conference Agenda 6:30 pm; General Public Meeting at 7:00 pm.  Agenda Link: http://www.westorange.org/Files/AgendaCenter/Items/105/PM12.4.12_201211300819429513.pdf.

Wednesday, December 5 - Planning Board Meeting, 8:00 - 10:30 pm

Also, Creative Connection will take place at the West Orange Public Library, at 7:15 pm. Creative Connection is a partnership with the West Orange Arts Council.  This monthly discussion group will focus on the creative process. Topics will include many things that affect artists, such as creative blocks, preparing for projects and competing in the marketplace. The group also offers a place to receive constructive feedback on your work. Everyone who enjoys the creative process is welcome.

Thursday, December 6 - Mayor Parisi Open Office Hours, 6:30 - 8:30 pm

Montclair Art Museum Hosts Free Event:  http://thealternativepress.com/towns/west-orange/articles/montclair-art-museum-resumes-free-first-thursday

Friday, December 7 - The Annual Old Fashioned Tree Lighting will commence at Town Hall at 4:30 p.m.with the Petting Zoo. The tree lighting will begin at 5:40 pm, including a Kwaanza Booth and dance/musical performances.  If you are new - or not - to West Orange, capture the Spirit of the Holidays at the Old Fashion Tree Lighting!  After the tree lighting, Santa will be in his workshop for photos, and hot chocolate and cookies will be provided by Pal's Cabin and Shoprite.

Saturday, December 8 - At 9:00 am, have Breakfast with Santa at Our Lady of Lourdes. Carolers will entertain with Christmas Carols as well.

Poetry Workshop - West Orange Public Library, Saturday, December 8, 9:30-11am .
Share your poems and start a new one! Bring 10 copies of a work in progess to a casual roundtable critique with poets Frank Nicoletti and Peggy Vassallo. Please also bring paper and pencil. Discussion and prompts will help you tap into your creativity. Sign up online

From 12:30 -2:00 pm, Craft Projects will be available at the Valley Community Police Center at 555 Valley Road.

At  2:00 pm, Reading in a Winter Wonderland will take place at the West Orange Public Library.

From 2:00 - 4:00 pm, Santa will be available at Supreme Bakery, 40 Main Street,  for photo opportunities, milk and cookies.

Trolley tours will take residents on a historic tour of West Orange. Tours will depart from the community house at 242 Main Street every half hour from 12:00 - 4:00 pm

Also on December 8-9, visit on of Essex County's Historic Homes: http://thealternativepress.com/towns/west-orange/articles/west-orange-glenmont-house-among-holiday-tours-in.

Please take advantage of one or more of these opportunities to discover and enjoy your West Orange community!