Transit Week celebrates public transportation

The Regional Transit Authority will celebrate Transit Week, designed to encourage people to use public transit, beginning Monday.

Tuesday has been designated the official Try Transit Day in the city, the RTA said.

“Whether traveling by streetcar, bus or ferry, this will be a great time for our citizens to discover new alternatives to their daily commute,” said Patrice Bell-Mercadel, director of marketing and communications for the RTA. “In addition to possibly saving time and money, you will have a new experience traveling throughout the city.”

During Transit Week, the RTA will encourage riders to take selfies and share their photos by using the hashtags #TryTransitNOLA and #RTAFlow.

Riders can follow the RTA, @NewOrleansRTA.

For information about Transit Week, visit www.norta.com or call (504) 248-3900.

Dedication ceremony will open new park

The Ancient Order of Hibernians of Louisiana will host a dedication and blessing of a new 4-acre park on the site of the former New Basin Canal in Lakeview on Sunday.

The event, part of the 2014 International Irish Famine Commemoration that began Friday, is free and open to the public.

The ceremony will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Hibernian Memorial Park on the neutral ground between West End and Pontchartrain boulevards, just off Robert E. Lee Boulevard.

The park is near where a Celtic cross was put up in the 1990s. The cross honors the Irish immigrant laborers who dug the canal in the 1830s. Thousands of them lost their lives.

The waterway began at Lake Pontchartrain and ended at a turning basin near where South Rampart Street and Howard Avenue are today. The canal was filled in during the 1940s and most of its path became the route of the Pontchartrain Expressway.

The Marine Corps Band of New Orleans will perform at Sunday’s dedication, and there will be traditional Celtic music and Irish food.

Dancers from the Muggivan School of Irish Dance will perform.

For information, visit www.ifnola2014.org.

Local Dollar Tree stores to collect toys for kids

Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit that provides emergency financial aid and other help to military families, is joining with Dollar Tree stores for its annual holiday toy drive to collect gifts for children of service members.

Operation Homefront will team up with numerous Dollar Tree stores in the New Orleans area and collect purchased toys until Dec. 4. Participating stores include those at Azalea Plaza, Lakewood Village and Canal Boulevard.

Anyone wishing to participate can go to a Dollar Tree store and purchase toys to be distributed to the children of service members.

Once the program ends, Operation Homefront volunteers will distribute the gifts to military children during the holiday season.

Information about the toy drive is available at operation homefront.net/holidaytoys.

Tammany library seeks books for holiday drive

The St. Tammany Parish Library’s Teen Volunteer Council East is asking for donations of new and gently used children’s and teen books for its holiday book drive.

The drive is designed to collect books for underprivileged children.

Books being requested are for children from preschool through age 14.

Donated books can be dropped off at the Slidell Branch Library, 555 Robert Blvd., until Dec. 5.

After-hours donations can be made by wrapping the books with a piece of paper, marked “TVC Book Drive” and secured by a rubber band, and placing them in the book return box.

Anyone with questions may call Slidell teen librarian and TVC coordinator Hilari Farlow at (985) 646-6470, ext. 111.