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Weekend eight greats: Black Friday doorbusters and holiday hijinks

We’re jump-starting the holiday season and the weekend with our weekend eight greats. Post-Thanksgiving, the city starts to show its holiday spirit in so many unique ways (seaside ice skating anyone?). Read on to discover ways to kick off the season!

Father Joe’s Thanksgiving 5K Run/Walk: Get into the holiday spirit with a brisk 5K run/walk that benefits Father Joe’s Villages, a nonprofit that serves more than 900 needy families, and serves more than 3,000 meals a day to San Diego’s hungry. Proceeds will help Father Joe’s Villages serve more than 1.7 million meals this year alone. According to the charity, dire economic circumstances are forcing more people to seek help — and Father Joe’s needs your help to serve them. The 5K run/walk will step off in Balboa Park at 8 a.m. Thanksgiving day. Race-day registration is $31 for people 13 and older; $21 for children ages 6-12; and free for children younger than 5. Register at 6:30 a.m. in the Organ Pavilion on race day.

Scott Carlson Thanksgiving Dinner: For more than two decades, the Scott Carlson Thanksgiving Dinner has created a family-style Thanksgiving atmosphere for people living with HIV/AIDS. Volunteers are always welcome at the annual event, and with the growing number of people needing food Thanksgiving Day. your support and volunteer time is crucial. When the dinner was served its first year — 1988 — it was common for people living with HIV/AIDS to be shut out of family dinners. Scott Carlson, one of the dinner’s founders, lived with AIDS and died in the early 1990s. His goal was to create a holiday meal for people who had nowhere else to go. Last year, more than 140 people were served at the dinner, which brings people from various communities together to celebrate the holiday. The First Unitarian Universalist Church, located at 4190 Front St., will host the dinner Thanksgiving Day at 11 a.m. Give thanks by serving others. For more information, call (619) 298-9978.

Black Friday: Black Friday isn’t for the weak-minded. You have to bring your A-game to navigate the maze of doorbuster deals and early bird sales on retail’s single biggest sales day of the year. And, according to the experts San Diego News Network talked with this week, you can’t afford to spend too much time price comparing and waiting to get a steal on must-have items. Retailers will stock fewer inventories, so once the shelves are stripped, the unbelievable deals are done. If it’s all too overwhelming for you, we’ve compiled a Black Friday resource guide, with open and close times of all San Diego’s major shopping centers and retail stores and deals around town. We also have insight into a few online deals, with links to Web resources for finding the best prices on Black Friday bargains. Hit the sack early on Thanksgiving Day — you’ll have to line up long before 4 a.m. to get your hands on some of the season’s biggest steals!

San Diego Chargers 50th Anniversary Block Party: Still hot off a five-game win streak (including a 32-3 rout of Denver Sunday), the San Diego Chargers will celebrate 50 years by storming the Gaslamp Friday for the largest tailgate of the year. The block party, which runs from 5-11 p.m., will take place on Fifth Avenue in the heart of downtown between Island and J streets. Cosponsored by the San Diego Hall of Champions, the block party will introduce the greatest Chargers of all time, as voted by fans, and members of the Chargers Hall of Fame. Guest DJs and live music will entertain the crowds, a Fan Fest zone with interactive games will be available and more than 20 downtown hot spots will offer discounts on food and drinks. Tickets to the block party are $35 and available for purchase on the Chargers Web site. And, don’t miss the San Diego Super Chargers Sunday when they face off with the Kansas City Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium. Tickets for the game are still available.

KISS at the San Diego Sports Arena: Supporting its latest project, one of the world’s most recognized rock bands — KISS — has kicked off a North American tour, and it’s stopping in San Diego Friday at the San Diego Sports Arena. Tickets for the Total KISS Spectacle tour are still on sale. The sheer rock energy of the iconic band is enough to want to check the show out. There’s nothing like a little rock n’ roll to cure the Thanksgiving hangover. Tickets range from $15.50 to $126. The San Diego Sports Arena is located at 2500 Sports Arena Blvd.

Holiday of Lights: Thanksgiving Day kicks off one of San Diego’s most beloved holiday traditions: The Holiday of Lights festival at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. More than 400 lighted and animated displays — including Candy Cane Lane, Toyland, San Diego County Fair, Treasures by the Lake, Del Mar Racetrack, the Twelve Days of Christmas and Elves at Play — await. The 15-20 minute driving tour is accompanied this year by Friday Holiday Hayrides every half hour. The cost of admission for cars to drive through the Holiday of Lights is $14 per car, for up to five people and $19 per vehicle, with six or more people. Discount tickets are available at Albertsons/Sav-On stores for $12. The cost of the Holiday Hayride is $10 per person, and includes a trip through the Holiday of Lights, hot cocoa and a holiday cookie. Children ages 3 and younger ride free. The Holiday of Lights is open Friday through Thursday 5:30-10 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays 5:30-11 p.m. The Del Mar Fairgrounds are located at 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.

Skating by the Sea: Not many people have the opportunity to ice skate while overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The outdoor rink at the iconic Hotel Del Coronado offers San Diegans and visitors the unique Southern California experience each year. The Del’s 10,000-square-foot Windsor Lawn, located on the sand, is transformed into a winter wonderland. This year, the day before Thanksgiving, the rink will open to anxious skaters waiting to kick off the holiday season. Three-hour sessions are $20 for adults and $15 for kids, ages 10 years and younger; two-hour matinee sessions are $15 for adults and $10 for kids, ages 10 years and younger. Skate rental is $5 per person. And, one of the best things about the family-friendly activity is a portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of San Diego. The Hotel Del Coronado is located at 1500 Orange Ave. in Coronado. For more information, including times the rink is open, call (800) 468-3533.

‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’: Tickets to The Old Globe’s annual holiday hit, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, are on sale now, and the musical runs through Dec. 27. The classic holiday tale is celebrating its twelfth year on the boards at the Globe, and each year it continues to delight children and adults. The Old Globe is transformed into the snow-covered Who-Ville, and everyone’s favorite green villain is back to try and spoil Christmas. By now, you’re familiar with the tale of the Grinch, but the Globe brings it to life in a way you have to see to believe. Tickets are $39, and they go fast. Visit the Globe’s Web site for more information.

by Joseph Pena, SDNN.com. Peña is the lifestyle editor for San Diego News Network. He can be reached at joseph.pena(a)sdnn.com. Follow him on Twitter: @josephpena" For more information visit SDNN.com.