Today's the day! I've been waiting for it all year and once I saw the pear trees in Pottsville blooming I knew it was almost here (the way little kids know Christmas is almost here when they see Christmas trees). Block of Art is back! This is a three day event so you can do all three days (pace yourself, there's a lot to do) or pick one day that fits into your busy weekend schedule and take a little "art time". In fact, I think we should all add "ART" to the top of this weekend's to-do list.
First off is tonight's grand opening at the Pottsville Ramada Inn's Porterhouse Grill. Wear your dancing shoes! The evening begins with music by Kim Russell-Seibert at 6 p.m., followed by a Little Shop of Horrors performance by Artists in Motion at 7:30 p.m. and (my favorite) dancing to The After Hours Big Band from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. In between there will be a grand opening by Mayor James Muldowney and wine tastings with Olivero's Winery (ID required). All the events -- and everything this weekend is FREE.
Saturday is the day you'll see me at Block of Art, strolling through downtown with my map in hand, making sure I don't miss any of the pop-up art galleries. You can just enjoy the art or you can take it a step further and buy something beautiful to take home. You can view art from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. but that isn't all. There will be several musical performance throughout the day, a scavenger hunt (is this new?), special children's art activities at the Ramada Inn's Porterhouse Grill, lots of fun (some book related, some art related) at the library and the annual art auction. Check out the day's calendar so you don't miss any special events here.
Sunday is a bit of a breather after all that walking on Saturday! Instead come to Brunch with the Artists at the Greystone Restaurant from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Bring your appetite and your questions for the artists!
Don't miss this weekend. You can find something for every member of the family, young and old, to enjoy.
It seems there are more and more cerevisaphiles in the world. What's a cerevisaphile? A beer lover in the way that some people are wine lovers. These are the people that can talk about hops, food pairings, the ideal temperature, and the best types of glasses for your beer. If you have a little bit of cerevisaphile in you don't miss the Second Annual Craft Brew Fest at the Walk In Art Center, Schuylkill Haven on Saturday, April 29. The fest is from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and is on the third floor. Bring ID.
Tickets are $35 at the door but if you order online you can save $5. Designated drivers can also meet the brewers (but not sample the brews) with a $10 ticket. Learning the names of some of these craft breweries and their brews is half the fun -- Sly Fox, Victory, Devil's Backbone, Rusty Rail and more! Online tickets can be ordered here.
The rain I've been seeing the past two days has me worried abut the weekend but let's think positive and hope that some outdoor time can be managed between the showers. Because there is plenty going on in the great outdoors this weekend!
Friday, April 21
If you'd like to get outdoors and help a local group of young people head to the Minersville Skatepark, 500 Line Street (behind the softball field). Bring your rake, broom and garbage bags to help them clean up for spring skating. Cleaning is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23
Fishing Rodeo at Lone Pine Sportsmen's Club in Middleport from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. In case you've never been the club is at Willow and Shade Streets. There's a four trout limit and fishermen ages 5 to 12 fish for free. There will be prizes! I used to fish here ages ago --although someone else baited my hook (thanks, Billy!).
Sunday, April 23
Spring Out will be happening at Island Park in Schuylkill Haven from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. They'll be a little bit of everything: a nature walk, birdwatching, fishing demonstrations, animals and more. I'm sure you'll find something you enjoy.
Tuesday, May 2
If you want to look forward to next week, how about a presentation on May 2 at Sweet Arrow Lake county Park clubhouse at 7 p.m. by Steve Rannels, photographer and naturalist. His presentation, titled "Pennsylvania Spring" will help everyone enjoy the animals and plant of Spring through amazing photographs.
If you enjoy The Nutcracker each year maybe it's time to branch out. The Schuylkill Ballet is performing The Enchanted Rose -- based on Beauty and the Beast at the Schuylkill Haven Auditorium. Shows will be 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 22 and 3 p.m on Sunday, April 23. Tickets at the door are $12. Advance tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens and students ages 10 to 18 and $5 for children ages 3 to 10.
But if you'd like your performance a little more jazzy remember that this weekend is the Les Brown Big Band Festival in Tower City. Music lovers will be enjoying themselves from Friday, April 21 through Sunday, April 23. Friday will be a Big Band Dance from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. -- tickets $10. Saturday will be a variety of musical groups from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. -- tickets $10. Children and students through college are free. Sunday will be a worship service at 3 p.m. For more details check out their website.
Are you a folk artist and want to learn what others folk artists are doing? Don't miss the Folk Art Alliance at the Walk In Art Center on Wednesday, Friday 19 from noon to 2 p.m. The meeting is potluck. Come share information about festivals, marketing, creativity and more.
If you're like our family, this weekend involved a lot of chocolate and other goodies. But today's Monday and it's time we all got back to healthy habits. And all that leftover Easter candy? I have a two-pronged solution:
1. Give away as much of it as possible to guests. Some of the most irresistible chocolate has been 'relocated' to Harrisburg, Jonestown and Annville.
2. Freeze the rest and bring it out a little bit at a time.
In the market for a few more healthy suggestions? There are several interesting healthy-related events in the county this week.
Monday, April 17
Public Access to Narcan Program at Trinity Church, 22 Lafayette Street, Tamaqua
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Register by calling 570-628-6990 or email at www.coginc.org
Wednesday, April 19
Health & Wellness Fair at Providence Place, 2200 First Avenue, Pottsville
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Vendors, health checks, door prizes, refreshments and demonstrations (1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.)
Family Place Parent-Child Workshop at Pottsville Free Public Library, 215 W. Market Street
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Free five-week program for parents and their children ages 1 to 3. The programs will feature local experts on speech, nutrition, behavior and physical activity.
Nutrition and No-bake Snack Program at Pottsville Free Public Library, 215 W. Market Street
6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Free program with a registered dietician about healthy eating for children.
Thursday, April 20
Aging Joyfully at Diakon Schuylkill Haven Center, 340 Haven Street
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Register for a program with helpful hints about enjoying life at 570-624-3016.
Have you made a Bucket List? I've got something great for you to add to it...a trip along the Schuylkill River. Registration for this year's Schuylkill River Sojourn just opened up. The Sojourn is a 112 mile trip along the Schuylkill River starting in Schuylkill Haven on June 3 and ends on June 9 at Boathouse Row in Philadelphia. You can paddle the river for one day or a multiple day trip. Registration includes three meals, guides, camping arrangements, a shuttle back to your car, even educational and entertainment programs. Sign up here today! Weekend dates fill up fast so there's no time to lose. Deadline to register is May 19.
Palm Sunday always brings to mind a parishoner at my church growing up. She was crafty before Pinterest and YouTube videos made it cool! She could do all the things with an ethnic twist starting with the "bouquets" made from elaborately braided and twisted palms to the pysanky eggs to the twisted paper stars we had on our Christmas tree. She continued to try and pass on her knowledge to my friends and me but, with the predictability of young people, we rolled our eyes and escaped her lessons as quickly as possible. Now, as I play a "How to Fold a Christmas star" video over and over again, I wish we had stayed!
Are you preserving a traditional craft -- whether it be creating something concrete like my ever elusive Christmas stars or a performing art such as dance, singing, music? The state of Pennsylvania wants to help you improve and preserve your knowledge for future generations with a Traditonal Arts Grant. Traditonal arts are defined as "...artistic traditions characteristic of specific ethnic, religious, linguistic, occupational or regional groups."
The deadline to submit an application for a grant is April 24 and you can see the application and more details here. For more help, you can attend a workshop about applying run by the woman in charge of the program Sally Van de Water. You can register for the free workshop here. Workshops will be held:
April 12 at the Walk In Art Center, 220 Parkway Avenue, Schuylkill Haven from 10 a.m. to noon
April 13 at Eckleys Miners Village, 2 Eckley Back Road, Weatherly from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m