Tomorrow is the first day of Spring and with it comes flowers, baseball training camp and showers (this year it may be snow showers). Another tradition of Spring is the high school Spring production. Our local schools are already hard at work learning their lines, hitting their marks and constructing their scenery. If you enjoy a good show, why not stop by one of our local high schools in the upcming months to enjoy the show? Cost of a ticket is between $7 and $10 and there is a wide variety of shows to choose from this year.
Guys and Dolls at Minersville
March 22 and 23 at 7 p.m.
March 24 at 2 p.m.
How to Succeed in Business at Pottsville
March 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m.
March 24 at 2 p.m.
The Little Mermaid at Pine Grove
March 22 and 23 at 7 p.m.
March 24 at 2 p.m.
Mary Poppins at Tamaqua
March 23 and 24 at 7 p.m.
March 24 at noon
Anything Goes at North Schuylkill
April 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Grease at Mahanoy Area
April 6 and 7 at 7 p.m.
Beauty and the Beast at Schuylkill Haven
April 13 and 14 at 7 p.m.
April 15 at 3:00 p.m.
Once Upon a Mattress at Nativity
April 20 an 21 at 7 p.m.
April 22 at 2 p.m.
Hello, Dolly at Shenandoah Valley
April 27 and 28 at 7 p.m.
April 29 at 2 p.m.
Into the Woods at Tri-Valley
April 27 at 7 p.m.
April 28 and 29 at 2 p.m.
Seussical at Marian
April 27 and 28 at 7 p.m.
April 29 at 2 p.m.
Raise your hand, everyone who is thrilled that the nor-easter we were threatened with amounted to nothing. Let's celebrate with some fun happenings at Sweet Arrow Lake County Park and around the county -- some inside, some outside, all fun.
Sunday, March 18
Basic Boating Education Class
Looking forward to operating a boat of 25+ horsepower or a jet ski this year? Don't forget you Pennsylvania Boating Safety Education Certification. The eight hour class will be helpd at Sweet arrow Lake from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30p.m. Bring your lunch but all necessary educational materials will be provided. You must pre-register by contacting drew Kline at 570-527-2505.
Tuesday, March 20
Indians of the Plains: Blackfoot, Crow and Sioux
The public is invited to this free presentation on the Native Americans of Montana and South Dakota by Dave McSurdy a tthe clubhouse between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 25
Meet at the large pavilion near the clubhouse for a short walk from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. with retired forester and arborist Frank Snyder about forest safety, forest survival and outdoor skills.
Sunday, March 25
Tri-Valley Trail Trek
Meet in front of Tri-Valley High School for a 3 mile hike rated moderate with Porcupine Pat on the outskirts of Hegins.
There's also the annual Seedling Sale which helps fund events and programs at Sweet Arrow Lake County Park. The bare root seedlings include various fir trees, flowering trees, as well as some shrubs. Check out the varieties available and the order form here. Orders come in bunches of 5 or 10 of a variety with a cost of $8 or $9, depending on the type of tree. You can order until April 4 and pick up is April 28 from 9 a.m. to noon at Sweet Arrow Lake clubhouse.
Are you or someone you love struggling with addiction? You can find help at St. John's United Church of Christ in Orwigsburg for a program about "Six Things to Know About Substance Abuse". The free program begins at 7 p.m. and will be led by Diane Rowland, prevention services coordinator for Schuylkill County.
Ready to celebrate St. Patrick's Day? Pottsville will kick off Saturday, March 17 with Mass at the Church of St. Patrick, 319 Mahanotongo Street at 8 a.m. From there you can walk to Trippin' Billies on Centre Street for breakfast at 9:15 a.m. and then find your place to watch the parade that begins at 11 a.m. After the parade, celebrate with a Grand Irish Party from noon until 4:30 p.m. at the Humane Fire Company, 200 Humane Avenue. Tickets for the Grand Irish Party are $25 or $20 in advance. Advance tickets can be purchased at Murphy's Jewelers, Humane Fire Company or Trippin Billies.
Then it's on to Girardville on Saturday, March 24 for their 15th annual parade stepping off at noon. All are also invited to the Irish Mass at St. Vincent's Worship Center, 2nd Street and Mahanoy Avenue at 10 a.m. Don't forget to wear your green!
But parades aren't the only way to mark St. Patrick's Day. On Thursday, March 15 you can visit the Coney Island at Yorkville for the free admission movie "History of St. Patrick's Day" at 2 p.m.
Then on Saturday there's a St. Patty's Day Food Sale at Anne's Bakery in Branchdale from 8 a.m. to noon. If you'd like to order ahead call 570-544-5105. Later on Saturday there's a St. Patrick Day's Dance at the Newtown Volunteet Fire Company, 36 Wood Street, Zerbe. There's a $5 cover cost and music will be provided by The New Individuals.
If you know (or are) a young artist you might want to check out a few fun opportunities. Schuylkill Waters is sponsoring another Street Art contest for artists and nature lovers in grades 6 through 12 who live in Schuylkill, Berks, Chester or Montgomery counties. Create an original work of art that includes a storm drain and encourages viewers to work for a cleaner environment. there will be three winners from each county. You can find additional information and the registration form here. Just one thing...the deadline has been extended! You must mail your work by March 30!
Also, great news for young artists who want to hang around with and learn from other artists. Yearly membership in Allied Artists of Schuylkill County is only $5 for artists in grades 9 through 12. Adult membership is $20. It's a great time to join since monthly meetings begin in April -- April 18 to be exact. Each meeting features a different artist and the genres they cover range from textile art to pastels to photography. It can encourage you to experiment with a whole new way of creating art.
If you're ready for Spring -- and who isn't -- I have three events that may help you fell like spring is right around the corner!
I'm heading to the Philadelphia Flower Show this Saturday but if you weren't lucky enough to make the trip this year why not try a local version of the Flower Show? Trail Gardens is hosting their Girlfriends Day Out on Sunday, March 11 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Good news! Men who love plants are also welcome. Trail Gardens will be hosting Hippie Chicks Winery with wine sampling (for 21+ only and bring a designated driver) as well as Way-Har Farms with their delicious baked goods. There will be a succulent garden workshop (everything is provided) and a flower arranging workshop (bring your own container with a 3" to 5.5" opening). You have to pre-register for the workshops but all the other fun, including free pansies, free raffles and tons of sales will be waiting for everyone.
If you love to hike and bike, you should stop by the public meeting to discuss the walking/biking trail from the soccer fields on Gordon Nagle trail to Silverton Road in Llewellyn. the meeting will be on Monday, March 12 at 7 p.m. at the Schuylkill Conservation District office, 1206 Ag Center Drive, Pottsville. Come attend the meeting to learn more and add your suggestions. Help make our community a great place to enjoy the outdoors.
Last up is a Seed Swap! I'm going to let Jen Tanner, owner of Recycled Earth Farm tell you all about it.
What made you start Recycled Earth Farm and what can people expect when they visit there?
JEN: Over the years I've taught everything from K-12th grade and I consistently notice the lack of awareness our future generation has, in terms of where their food and electricity come from. My goal is to lure people in with cute animals, and teach them a few fun facts that keep them intrigued enough to either return, or seek another source of learning. Ideally, my goal is to get everyone involved in growing their own food; whether it's a tomato plant on their porch, a full vegetable garden, and/or a few productive pet chickens!
When is the next time the public is invited to Recycled Earth Farm?
JEN: Our Seed Swap on March 17th from 9 a.m. to noon, and our Free Easter Egg Hunt on March 31st from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
So what exactly is a seed swap?
JEN: A seed swap is for all of the people like me, that can't stop picking up packets of seeds this time of year. How many hobby gardeners really plant all of the seeds in a vegetable packet? And what do you do next year.... Buy More! This way, you take 10 seeds, put them in an envelope, label what they are (the more info the better), and swap them out for some other plant you'd like to try! Without paying and without the insane amount of extra seeds that stare at you all year.
Oooh, this could be fun! Are we restricted in the types of seeds we can swap -- vegetable, flower, bushes, houseplants?
JEN: Any kind of seed is what I've been advertising, but I'd be more than happy to include bulbs, cuttings, small plants, etc. Just a caveat, the live plants and perennials weren't advertised so there might be a limited supply of those to swap from. I think I'll keep a houseplant for a houseplant swap rule... only because I don't want to get stuck with a bunch of them! But perennials can be swapped for a seed pack.
How much do we have to know about our seeds? Can we just say "Marigolds, short" or do we have to know the official name of the variety?
JEN: I'm hoping people can label the envelopes with the plant name, and if they know the variety. Also, sun preference, how tall they'll grow, how long until they germinate, and how long until they reach maturity. But a name, height, and sun preference is probably enough to get them picked.
Do we have to give fellow swappers tips on how to start the seeds and conversely, will fellow swappers give US advice?
JEN: I'm thinking there will be a lot of knowledge and help floating around that day, but just in case, I'm hoping to enlist a couple of Master Gardeners as well.
How many seeds should be in each packet for swapping?
JEN: 10 please.
What is the cost to swap?
JEN: Free! Just swap 'em out! If people don't have seeds to swap, it'll be $1 a packet, or $0.50 for older seeds (packaged for last year).. most seeds are viable for at least 3 years, but companies don't want you to know that!
What if a reader hasn't ever grown plants from seeds-- is it tough? Are there any advantages to growing from seed?
JEN: Stick them in soil, give them some sun and water, and see what happens! It's amazing! Some plants are easier than others, but I can help steer people in the right direction. Spring/Cold veggies are extremely forgiving and tough. The advantages are that you know exactly what was (or wasn't) put on your food... and you get to watch magic! I'm still in awe every time I see a seedling emerge. I can get all science geeky, but I'll spare you that!
Anything else you want to share?
JEN: I just encourage people to come out and see what we offer. The business is in its germination phase/infancy, but we have so much to offer: Workshops on everything we do on the farm (and plan to do), animal care, birthday parties, summer camp, reading & writing programs, and more to come! Just take a nice Saturday drive and meet the animals if nothing else. They always like meeting new people.
In case you haven't taken note...World War I, the War to end all wars, ended 100 years ago this November. To honor this occasion, the Schuylkill Choral Society is dedicating their March concert to the music of WWI. Remembering World War I will take place on Sunday, March 11 starting at 3 .m. at the Pottsville Area Middle School Theatre. Tickets are $18 for adults and $12 for seniors/students. You can pre-order tickets by calling 570-628-3388.
The Majestic Theater, Pottsville also has a great performance for murder mystery enthusiasts this month. On Friday, March 9 and Saturday, March 10 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 11 at 2 p.m. you can puzzle your way through Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile. All tickets are $15. Call 570-628-2833.
Schuylkill County is down one movie theater (happily a temporary situation) but the Majestic Theater is offering cinema buffs the chance to see a classic on the big screen. As a nod to St. Patrick's Day, they are showing the Oscar winning, John Wayne classic "The Quiet Man" on Friday, March 16 at 7 p.m. If you aren't familiar with "The Quiet Man", it takes place in Ireland with Maureen O'Hara as the sassy Irish lass and The Duke as a stranger determined to win her heart. Tickets are just $5!
Feeling a little peckish? Don't miss the Cupcake Wars this Sunday, March 11 at the Fairlane Village Mall at 1 p.m. You can be a cupcake judge, purchase some delicious cupcakes or just cheer on your favorite. Learn more about the Cupcake Wars in last week's post here.