Memorial Day is upon us. Unoffficially it's thought of by many people as the first stirrings of summer but officially it is a day to remember those who died in the service of their country. This year I'm sure all of our thoughts will be with the family and friends of Mahanoy City native Army Reserve Spc. Peter Luddy. If you have a chance, take the opportunity to reflect on the true meaning of this holiday by attending a parade or other event for the military as well as picnicking and enjoying your time outdoors. Stop back again on Friday for updates!
Saturday, May 26
Scavenger Hunt at Locust Lake State Park
Meet at the program shelter at 1:30 p.m. to find various things on your list throughout the park
Ladybug Talk at Locust Lake State Park
Meet at the amphitheater at 3:30 p.m. to learn more about the life of what I consider the most lovable of bugs
Miss U's New Zoo Revue at Locust Lake State Park
Meet at the amphitheater at 6 p.m. fr a live animal presentation with a local teacher
Sunday, May 27
Free Fishing for a Day at Locust Lake State Park
There will be a fishing program at the shelter from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. No fishing license is required and some poles and tackle will be available. Bring your own bait! Shine only.
Salamander Talk at Locust Lake State Park
Meet at the amphitheater at 5:30 p.m. to learn more about salamanders. Bring a plastic container for collecting live specimens. Shine only.
Global warming at Locust Lake State Park
Meet at the amphitheater (moved to the program shelter in case of bad weather) at 7:30 p.m. to learn how global warming is affecting the fish and animals of Pennsylvania.
Monday, May 28
Free Fishing for a Day at Sweet Arrow Lake County Park
No fishing license is required.
Orwigsburg Parade and Service at 8 a.m.
Llewellyn Parade at 8 a.m.
Pine Grove Parade at 9 a.m.
Frackville Parade at 9 a.m.
Auburn Parade at 9:30 a.m.
Oak Loop Trail Hike at Locust Lake State Park
Meet at the parking lot at 10 a.m. This 4.5 mile hike is rated difficult. Bring a lunch and only dogs that are leashed and friendly to people AND other dogs.
Tamaqua Parade and Service at 10 a.m.
Meet at the Old White Church at 10 a.m.
Cressona Parade at 11 a.m.
Orwigsburg Hero Hustle at noon
Meet at Center Square for a 5K or one mile Fun Run. Learn more here.
Bears of the World at Locust Lake State Park
Meet at the amphitheater(moved to the program shelter in case of bad weather) at 2 p.m. to learn about the life of bears and what to do if YOUR life and a bear's life intersect!
Intro to Canoeing and Kayaking at Sweet Arrow Lake County Park
Meet at 2 p.m. for this free program for teens and adults to learn the basics. Participation is limited so registration is required. Call 570-345-8952
Memorial Day Concert at Sweet Arrow Lake County Park
M&J Jazz Band will be at the clubhouse pavilion from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for a free concert. Bring your lawn chair or blanket. Rain date is June 5.
With nicer weather, my husband has been just miserable with allergies -- like so many people I know. So many of us ignore the issue of health until something negative is staring us in the face. Why not be proactive and check on how your health is before you're laid low with something? tomorrow is a perfect opportunity to check on your health at the Health and Wellness Expo at the Fairlane Village Mall. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. you can enjoy presentations, gather information, take advantage of a few quick health screenings and maybe even win a door prize. Come enjoy this free event AND check up on your health.
On Wednesday I'll be listing a whole slate of activities for Memorial Day Weekend -- including several musical presentations. But if you can't wait for the weekend, the Cressona Band will be holding a concert on Wednesday at the Tamaqua Train Station at 7 p.m. Keep your fingers crossed for dry weather and bring your lawn chair. This is the first of an entire summer's worth of concerts at the train station. This is the only Wednesday concert -- for the rest of the summer it will be Thursdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. I'll just give you a sneak peek: the concert on Thursday, May 31 will be Clayton, Tom and Dee
Feeling ethnic? Then get the 11th annual Shenandoah Kielbasi Festival on your calendar! Stop by North main Street on Saturday, May 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Of course, it goes without saying that the three kings: Capitol Foods, Kowalonek's and Lucky's will be there with kielbasi. There will also be a contest for homemade kielbasi -- call 570-462-2060 for more information about entering. But it sin't all kielbasi. there will be other ethnic goodies, ethnic arts and crafts, polka music, children's games and tours fo the Greater Shenandoah Area Historical Society and Schuylkill Historical Fire Society's Museum.
Can't wait until Saturday? then maybe you want to learn a little more about German heritage! The Orwigsburg Historical Society (109 East Miflin Street) will be hosting author Robert Phoenix on Thursday, May 17 at 7 p.m. for a talk on Powwowing. Powwowing is "faith healing and folk magic tradition of the Pennsylvania Germans." He'll be talking about the ways they tried to cure everyday medical problems like headaches, warts and more.
Just a quick reminder that the Schuylkill County Brew Fest will be on May 19 at the Frackville Elks. Get more details here.
The Schuylkill Choral Society is performing in concert at Blue Mountain High School on Sunday, May 20 starting at 3 p.m. 45 RPMs will feature top hits from the early years of Rock 'n Roll and Motown. Tickets are $18 for adults and $12 for seniors and students. For tickets contact a choral member or call 570-628-3388.
Want a quick check up on your health? Stop by Providence Plave Senior Living, 2200 First Avenue, Pottsville on Tuesday, May 15 between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. for a free blood pressure screening.
The government is already making plans for our next census in 2020 but Sweet Arrow Lake County Park isn't waiting that long to take their count. On Saturday, May 12 they are hosting a BioBlitz to count different species of reptiles, birds, fish, plants, trees, fossils, fungi and more from 8 a.m. to noon. Come check out their counts and join in some other free fun for all ages.
Thinking about colors bursting out all over your landscape? Me too! If you'd like something new to add to your garden why not check out three great plant sales coming up. First up is the Schuylkill Technology Center Spring Sale on Saturday, May 12 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Heads up...this is the day before Mother's Day so if you need something great for Mom the students at STC can help you out. Not only do they have plants raised by the Landscaping and Floral Design students but also contributions by other specialties such as plant hangers by the Welding students. They've also expanded by inviting local vendors to participate. There will also be food and a basket raffle. All profits benefit the student clubs. It's a great day for everyone. Keep in mind that this is an outdoor event -- rain or shine. So if it looks cloudy just bring your umbrella and a tarp for your car trunk. Flowers don't mind the rain and you shouldn't either!
Next up is the South Schuylkill Garden Club's Plant Sale on Saturday, May 19 from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Recreation/Senior Center on Haven Street. All these plants are grown and donated by local gardeners -- everything from vegetables to perennials to bushes and small trees. You might want to bring a pick up truck! The prices are great and you get free advice from the Master Gardeners to ensure that your purchases thrive in their new home. If you're bringing a non-gardener to help you with the heavy lifting you can reward them with homemade baked goods and light refreshments that are also available.
You can also travel to Hawk Mountain for more than just hiking. On Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20 they're holding their annual Native Plants Sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Can I tell you the best thing about Native Plants? They are almost impossible to kill. Pennsylvania is their hometown and they will thrive. So, if your green thumb is occasionally brown, natives are the thing for you. Whatever your garden needs: flowers, vines, grasses, ferns, shrubs, trees you'll find it at the Native Plant Sale. Volunteers will also be on hand to help you select the best plants for your backyard and give you tips on caring for them.
Has your Spring Cleaning involved clearing off any book shelves? Find a new home for all those used books you no longer want with the help of the Republican Herald Used Book Sale. They're collecting books for their used book sale (July 26 to 28 at the Fairlane Village Mall) and all profits will benefit local students. Books are being collected until June 25 at the following locations:
YES: Books (hardcover, paperback, fiction, nonfiction), Children's books, DVDs, CDs, Audiobooks, Textbooks (no older than 5 years)
NO: Reader's digest or other condensed books, Damaged books (torn pages, missing covers, smoke or water damage), Textbooks older than 5 years, Magazines, Encyclopedias, Cassette Tapes. Toys, Puzzles