As we enjoy a fun and fireworks filled weekend I'd like to ask you to give a thought to Schuylkill County residents who are serving their country in the Armed Services. Starting next month, The Republican-Herald is beginning a new weekly feature: Schuylkill Heroes. Each week they'll publish a brief interview and photo of a service person with ties to Schuylkill County. Ties can range from living, working or attending school here to having extended family here to marrying someone who has family ties to Schuylkill County.
Interviews are very flexible. They can be done during a 10 minute phone call, through email, even by Facebook for personnel overseas who have communication issues. If you know any active military personnel who might be willing to participate, contact Jodi Webb at 570-628-6075 or email@example.com
A little birdie told me that certain branches are underrepresented (Army! Coast Guard!). So while you're waiting for the fireworks to start make a list of the people you know who are serving our country. And don't forget to read the monthly interview and learn more about the lives of Schuylkill County residents protecting our freedom.
Tell us about a Schuylkill Hero you know!
The fourth of July is a big favorite with my family...cookouts, fireworks, swimming...what's not to love? I'm a fan of professional fireworks displays while the men in my life are more interested in the "hands on" approach and are drawn to the fireworks tent outside Minersville like flies to honey. So let me start out with apologies to my neighbors who are treated to the noise of our driveway fireworks. Second, as the mom I cannot stress safety enough. I'm the one in our group with the bucket of water, the instructions on how far back everyone has to be from the fireworks, etc. If your family is having a DIY fireworks display take a few minutes to read this.
If (like me) you'd rather skip the driveway fireworks and go for the big displays here are a few local displays:
Big Diamond Speedway at outside of Minersville at 10 p.m.
Vraj Temple at Summit Station (1 3/4 miles west off PA 183) at 8:45 p.m.
Pottsville at Union Station, 1 Progress Street at 9:30 p.m.
Tower Porter at American Legion Carnival Grounds at 10:45 p.m.
Frackville at the Frackville Little League/Softball Complex, West High Street at dusk
Port Carbon at Monument Hill at 10 p.m.
Mahanoy City at Main Street at dusk
Schuylkill Haven at Island Park at dusk
Want something more than fireworks on July 4? There are a few musical performances to enjoy, most with a patriotic theme:
Upper Schuylkill Marching Band at Veterans Memorial Garden, 100 block of North Main Street, Shenandoah at 6:30 p.m. Bring your lawn chair!
Cressona Band at Valley View Park at 3 p.m. This will definitely be a patriotic program and will include the Valley View Legion.
Blue Mountain Buccaneers at Heisler's from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m
Anthracite Philharmonic Marching to War at the Yuengling Mansion Gardens, 1440 Mahantongo Street, Pottsville at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and free for children under 12.
Pine Grove Community Band at Sweet Arrow Lake County Park at 6 p.m. Bring your lawn chair for the free concert.
Cruising through Pottsville this Saturday reminded me of something fabulous...the farmer's market is back in town! What a great way to get the freshest produce straight from local farms. Once you get there you'll find you can't resist the delicious (and healthy!) things they're offering. As I mentioned, the Pottsville Farmer's Market is on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon and the Center and Arch Street parking lot. But there are markets all over the county: Shenandoah, Minersville and Tamaqua to name a few. If you'd like to find the closest market to you check out this list. Happy shopping and happy cooking!
Sadly, The Republican-Herald had another front page story about the drug epidemic sweeping through Pennsylvania on Sunday. If you'd like to learn more, Ken Dickinson of Gaudenzia will be speaking about "Emerging Trends in Drug Abuse" at the Lori's Angel building, 25 West Main Street, Suite 4, Schuylkill Haven. There will be two sessions on Thursday, June 28 -- one from 9 a.m. to noon and another from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. If you'll be attending contact Carol Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org, 570-622-685 or 570-573-0192.
Stop by the Schuylkill Historical Society on Wednesday, June 29 for a presentation on "The Civil War Letters of Major William W. Clemens" from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Almost time for the Fourth of July! Where has the summer gone? If you want to start your patriotic celebration a little early there are a few fun things to do. If you have a child around 5 (or a spouse with the heart of a 5 year old) they will tell you that there is nothing that shouts America more than a shiny red firetruck (OK, there are yellow, white and black firetrucks but we all have a shot spot for those shiny red ones). Celebrate those fearless protectors of our communities at the 113th annual Six County Fireman's Parade this Saturday in McAdoo at 2 p.m. We can all pick out our favorite truck. if firetrucks aren't your favorite you can find vehicles of all shapes, sizes and ages at the Island Park Cruise, Schuylkill Haven on Sunday. You can check out the cars from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and then enjoy the cruise from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Get in a fourth of July mood at the St. Clair Historical Society, 24 North Nichols Street on Tuesday, July 28 for a free presentation. "Songs and Stories of the Red, White and Blue" begins at 7 p.m.
The Schuylkill River National Heritage Area has scheduled three meetings for the public to give their input on the action plan documents. They've been working on the plan for six months and now you have a chance to add your two cents worth. Stop by the meeting on Thursday, June 30 at the Walk-In Art Center, Schuylkill Center from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
Two interesting events this week. First, a Concert in the Park (Bubeck Park, Schuylkill Haven) tonight at 6:30 p.m. The Cressona Band will be playing. Bring your lawn chair and enjoy the light refreshments being provided. If it rains, the concert will be moved to the Luther Ridge at Seiders Hill.
Want something a little crazier? Picture all Shakespeare's best characters, plots and lines crammed into 90 minutes. "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare" is a wild ride and you can enjoy it on Friday, July 1 and Saturday, July 2 -- both shows are at 7 p.m. Adults tickets are $15 and tickets for those under 18 are $10. The Actors Guild of Schuylkill County will be performing at the Simon Kramer Theater, New Philadelphia. You can purchase reserved tickets here.
ATTENTION ARTISTS! The Allied Artists of Schuylkill County is holding their annual Art Show from Saturday, July 16 to Saturday, July 23. If you'd like to participate start looking through your creations now -- submissions are July 9 and July 10 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Foursquare Gospel Church, 2300 Mahantongo Street, Pottsville. Each artist can enter up to three pieces of art ($5 per piece for members and $10 per piece for non-members). If you're a non-member who wants to enter three pieces you may as well become a member. It's only $20 for annual membership and the monthly meetings feature a wide variety of speakers on different artistic mediums.
What says summer eating better than fresh berries? If you're in the mood for a taste of summer stop by a strawberry festival and indulge! This Saturday the Mount Zion Lutheran Church in Zion Grove will be hosting their strawberry festival with musical entertainment at 4 p.m. What a great early Father's Day celebration for Dad! Or shake up your work week with a visit to the Zion Lutheran Church, Oak and Nice Streets, Frackville on Wednesday for their strawberry festival on Wednesday, June 22 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Along with strawberries and ice cream there will be hot dog, BBQ, chips and baked goods. tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children 10 and under. Call 570-874-1190 for more information.
My son isn't a fan of strawberries but blueberries are another story. He's already preparing for our big delivery in July from the Kiwanis. Because the Kiwanis are going into the blueberry business! Ten pounds of blueberries (that's 14 pint boxes) for $31 with all profits benefiting scholarships and local charities in the area. This is the ideal purchase to "split" with a friend or two (although I hear blueberries freeze very well). Orders must be placed by June 30 and pick up is in July at the Pottsville Boyer's Market. The Kiwanis will let you know the exact date -- which promises to be just 24 hours after picking! How's that for fresh? Muffins, jam, waffles, cheesecake, lemonade, smoothies...if you're already thinking of all the possibilities call the Kiwanis:
Henry at 570-985-7262
Susan at 570-691-5576
Kelly at 570-617-1125
She's a high flying flag...and this week she'll be flying all over Schuylkill County in honor of Flag Day on June 14. If you'd like to celebrate with more than just hanging your flag there are plenty of opportunities in the upcoming weeks.
Tuesday, June 14
Flag Day Concert
At Admiral Boone Park, Third Street, St. Clair at 7 p.m. (raindate Wed., June 15)
The performance will be by the Cressona Band. Bring your lawn chairs!
Flag Day Program
At Mahanoy City Elks, 135 E. Centre Street, Mahanoy City at 7 p.m.
History of the flag as well as patriotic music
Tuesday, June 28
Red, White and Blue
At St. Clair Community & Historical Society, North Nicholas Street, St. Clair at 7 p.m.
Matthew Dodd will tell the audience more about songs and stories relating to the American flag.
American Indian Pottery and Basketry
If you'd like to know more about the people who populated Pennsylvania before we had a flag -- before we even had a Pennsylvania, stop by Sweet Arrow Lake County Park clubhouse on Tuesday, June 14 at 7 p.m. Dave McSurdy will be doing a presentation on the tribal pots and baskets are various tribes including the Pueblo, Navajo and Lenape.