Get out and enjoy the beautiful mountains that make up Schuylkill County. to paraphrase Goldilocks "It's not too hot, it's not too cold, it's just right for a walk in the woods!"
Friday, April 29
Silver Creek Fire Tower Hike -- Meet at the visitors parking lot at Locust Lake State Park at 10:30 a.m. to explore the mountain and hopefully see some birds and animals. This shine only hike is 8 miles and rated difficult. Bring a lunch! And dogs are welcome if they are leashed and friendly with both dogs and people. Call Robin for more information at 570-467-2506.
Saturday, April 30
Spring Wildflower Walk -- Meet at the Frog Hollow parking lot on Stone Mountain Road in Friedensberg at 1:00 p.m. to enjoy the flowers with naturalist Mike Centeleghe. This 2 mile hike is rated easy. For more information contact Porcupine Pat at 570-622-4124 ext. 113 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Wonder of Wildflowers -- Meet at the Visitors Center of Hawk Mountain at 1:00 p.m. to learn to identify spring forest ecology with Kutztown University ecologist Dr. Chris Sacchi. Advance registration and trail fee for nonmembers ($9 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for children 6 to 12) required.
Wednesday, May 4
Wee Ones Walk -- Meet at the Visitors Center of Hawk Mountain for a children's story, nature activity, short outdoor activity and craft for children ages 3 to 5. Dress for the weather! Wee Ones Walk is from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. You must register by calling 610-756-6961. Cost is $5.
Have you ever read a book where women (and men) sit around in elegant clothes, sipping tea, eating delicate treats and discussing their world? Those days aren't gone forever. You can sip tea at the Second Annual Jane Austen Tea Party held at the Orwigsburg Library on Sunday, May 1. Tea will be served from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and tickets are $10. Reservations are required. Call the library at 570-366-1638. Costumes are not required but encouraged -- especially a fancy tea party type of hat! Hope to see you there.
The next community lecture at the Schuylkill Rehabilitation Center, 300 Schuylkill Medical Plaza, Pottsville will be held on Tuesday, April 26 at 6 p.m. "Joint Pain and Stiffness: How to Manage Your Arthritis" will be presented by Erin Fellinger, occupational therapist and Larry Mulry, physical therapy assistant. This is a free event.
Happy Earth Day! Of course, since today is a Friday most of us are in workplaces and offices doing un-Earth Day things. But you'll have your chance tomorrow. Schuylkill Headwaters Association will be planting trees at Adams Run near Ravine in Pine Grove township. And they need volunteers to help plant. Everyone must be there by 8 a.m. (there is a "how to plant the seedlings" demonstration) and then they will be planting trees until...well, until all the trees are planted (around noon). Pizza and drinks will be provided for volunteers. One of my daughters talked me into doing this a couple of years ago outside of Cumbola so I have a few tips:
1. Wear sturdy boots -- sneakers might not cut it. Wear clothes you can get really dirty. And a hat!
2. Sunscreen is a must. There is a lot of bending over so don't forget the back of your neck. Back of the neck sunburns are the worst.
3. Drink a lot of water. Then drink some more water. Then a little more.
But the real expert on this event is Alexa Kramer at Schuylkill Headwaters. Contact Alexa at 570-622-3742 ext. 124 or email@example.com But I bet she agrees with me about the sunscreen!
There are a fun event happening at Sweet Arrow Lake County Park too. On Sunday, April 24 they're holding aFamily Fun Fishing Event from 6:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The whole family can register for just $40 (that includes a $10 food voucher and two prize tickets). You can also win prizes for your catch! You can find the registration form and more information here.
Don't forget that the seedling sale pick up at the park is Saturday, April 30 from 9 a.m. to noon.
Too often we develop a blind spot about the place we live...in this case a blind spot about all the amazing local artists right in our own backyard. But in this case they'll all be gathering (or at least their art will) in one spot this weekend: Block of Art! This three day event is more than just pop up art galleries in downtown Pottsville and local businesses playing art gallery for a weekend. It's expanded to include musicians, writers, local history and more. And keep in mind that you can surround yourself with all this wonderful creativity for free. It's an event that the whole family will enjoy. There is something for everyone from toddler to Grandpa.
It begins on Friday, April 22 with a reception at the Porterhouse Grill at the Ramada Inn, 101 South Progress Avenue. From 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. there will be music by Kim Russell-Seibert and harpist Chelsea Smarr followed by greetings from the BOA organizers from 7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. followed by Big Band Music (my favorite!) with not only a live orchestra but also swing dancing. When was the last time you went swing dancing on a Friday night? I'll be the one on the dance floor who's husband is asking "Can't you hear the beat? Can't you just follow my lead? Can you stop stepping on my feet?" In addition the galleries at All Things Good (209 W. Market Street), 17 N. Centre Street and the Historical Society will be open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Al Things Good will also be having a Silent Art Auction starting Friday night and running through Sunday.
On Saturday, April 23 all the art galleries will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (pick up a map of the spots in any of the participating downtown Pottsville businesses or pop up galleries). Various artists will also be creating throughout the day. Fan of one of our most notable authors, John O'Hara? Then don't miss the JOhn O'Hara Walking Tour starting at 10:30 a.m. at the Visitors Bureau at Union Station, 1 Progress Avenue. Or meet some more recent local authors and poets at the Pottsville Free Public Library from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Music lovers can attend the First Annual Youth Talent Show sponsored by the Minor Notes children's chorus at the Majestic Theatre at 1 p.m., the Anthracite Philharmonic at the First United Methodist Church, 330 West Market Street at 8 p.m. and street musicians from noon to 4 p.m. in various locations.
On Sunday, April 24 you won't just get to see the work of local artists in the galleries, you can meet the actual artists during brunch at the Greystone, 315 N. Centre Street from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Finally you can BE the artist if you attend one of the classes at the Pottsville Senior Center, 201 N. Centre Street this weekend. Friday at 7 p.m. there is Paint and Sip, Saturday at 10 a.m. is cake decorating and Saturday at 1 p.m. is personal coasters. There are fees and preregistration is required so call 570-624-3018 for more information.
With the hustle and bustle of everyday life too often our intentions to help worthy causes gets lost in the shuffle. So several local organizations have made supporting good causes easy and fun.
Schuylkill Wellness Services, that provides health and education management for HIV and STD, is holding their annual Fine Dining for a Good Cause on Tuesday, April 19. Eat out tomorrow and proceeds will benefit Schuylkill Wellness Services. The participating restaurants are Francesco's (Shenandoah), Vito's Coal Fired (St. Clair), The Brick House (Orwigsburg), Roman Delight (Orwigsburg), Oak Hill Inn (Orwigsburg), Greystone (Pottsville) and La Dolce Casa (Tamaqua). Reservations are not required but recommended.
Sadly, just about everyone knows someone who has had their life touched by sexual assault. To raise awareness about sexual violence the Sexual Assault Resource and Counseling Center will be holding "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" on Thursday, April 28 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The fee for each walker is $10. Bring your own heels or rent them from SARCC. Walkers should meet at the Humane Fire Company, 200 Humane Avenue, Pottsville at 4:30 p.m. For more information call Jennifer at 570-628-2965.
Stomp Out Suicide Walk will be happening on Saturday, April 30 from noon to 3 p.m. (gates open at 11 a.m.) at the Mahanoy Area Alumni Field. Rain or shine! Walk alone or with a group and raise awareness about suicide. Food will be for sale. There will also be children's activities and suicide information. All proceeds benefit the Suicide Awareness Taskforce. The Taskforce will also be sponsoring a showing of Save a Life, a video about suicide, on Wednesday, April 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Tamaqua Community Arts Center, 125 Pine Street, Tamaqua.
Who doesn't love Cinderella? In fact, it's such a universal story that many cultures and countries have their own version of the story. If you're a fan of the glass slipper, fairy godmother, going to the ball tale then don't miss the Schuylkill Ballet Theatre's performance of the classical ballet Cinderella Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.. The ballet will be at the Schuylkill Haven Area High School and tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students ages 11 to 18 and $5 for children ages 3 to 10. You can get advance tickets at www.schuylkillballet.com or 570-617-5616 and save $2 per ticket (only $1 off children's tickets).
There's also a delicious way to support your local library this weekend. Bake, judge, taste or purchase cupcakes at the Second Annual Cupcake Wars at the Schuylkill Mall this Sunday! You can learn more about the event here. My family attended last year and even if you don't taste the cupcakes just taking a peek and some of these wild creations is fun too. Judging and tasting begins at 1 p.m. and after judging is complete the cupcakes go up for sale! The library even provides handy little plastic containers that hold six cupcakes. You purchase the container and get to choose which cupcakes you'd like to take home. Some folks were filling 4 or 5 of those containers but our family was happy with just one container. If you're a Food Network fan (my family is) don't miss this unusual way to spend an afternoon.
In high school I remember taking a class called "Music Appreciation". Miss L. introduced rather unenthusiastic teenagers to a variety of types of music. We resisted a lot of her suggestions (classical, opera, jazz) but she had a "try it, you might like it" attitude. There will be plenty of opportunities to put Miss L's advice to the test because the hills of Schuylkill County will definitely be alive with the sound of music this month. Find something you like or better yet, try something new!
Friday, April 15
Blue Note Cafe at the Schuylkill Country Club, 877 West Market Street, Orwigsburg starting from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Same Time Next Year jazz band (which includes many local musicians) will be playing the music of Frank Sinatra, BB King, Phil woods and Miles Davis. Advance tickets are $20 and $25 at the door and include lite fare. There will be a cash bar. Seating is limited so call 570-622-2788 for tickets.
Friday, April 22
Block of Art will begin on a musical note with forties music by Kim Russell-Seibert, twenties music (on the harp!) by Chelsea Smarr and Big Band music by the Moonlighters from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Porterhouse Grill at the Ramada Inn, 101 S. Progress Avenue, Pottsville. FREE
In another corner of the county (Branchdale to be exact), pianist Stuart Ryerse will be performing original music at St. Mary Church, 72 State Road from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets cost $20 and include a dinner of baked ham, roast beef, green beans, carrots, potatoes, Italian cake, cheescake and wine. For reservations call 570-815-4543.
Saturday, April 23
Block of Art music continues at the Majestic Theatre, 209 N. Centre Street, Pottsville with the First Annual Youth Talent Show at 1 p.m. The Anthracite Philharmonic will be at the First United Methodist Church, 330 West Market Street, Pottsville with Mussorgsky's "Pictures at the Exhibition" and Grieg's Piano concerto. Not to mention musicians on the streets throughout the day! FREE
Sunday, April 24
The Gabriel Chamber Ensemble will be performing at 3 p.m. at the Jerusalem Lutheran Church, 252 Dock Street, Schuylkill Haven. The concert will include ten musicians playing the music of Handel, Vivaldi, Mendelssohn and more.
Saturday, April 30
Chad Reinert will be performing rockabilly, pop, country and R&B at the Orwigsburg Memorial Building. The show begins at 7 p.m. and the doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Call 570-617-7642 for tickets.
Sunday, May 1
The Gabriel Youth Orchestra (local students in grades 7 through 12) will be performing at the DHH Lengel Middle School auditorium at 3 p.m.