I found a great way to pass the hottest hours of the weekend -- looking through my box full of "Try the someday" recipes for those with blueberries as the starring ingredient. Not because I have a dozen blueberry bushes in my backyard -- I wish! But next week I'll be picking up a 10 lb. box (14 pints) of blueberries from the annual Pottsville Kiwanis Fresh Blueberry Sale. There's still time for you (or you and a couple of friends) to order your blueberries. According to the Kiwanis the blueberries will be delivered "from the grower within 24 hours of picking" on Wednesday, July 5 at Boyer's parking lot in Pottsville. Your blueberry purchase will help support scholarships and local charities for are youth supported by the Kiwanis. the cost for 10 lbs. is $31. You must order by Friday, June 30 by contacting one of the following Kiwanis: Henry at 570-985-7262, Kelly at 570-617-1125 or Susan at 570-691-5576.
While you're waiting for your blueberries why not learn more about the history of our area. The Ashland Area Historic Preservation Society will be hosting a presentation by Karen Esak on Sophia Coxe: Legacy of the Angel of Anthracite. The free presentation (with refreshments) will be held at The Station House, 501 Chestnut Street, Ashland on Wednesday, June 28 at 7 p.m. Then one week later on Wednesday, July 5 at the Greater Shenandoah Area Historical Society center, 201 S. Main Street, Shenandoah, Andy Ulicny will emcee the Shenandoah Trivia/Jeopardy team game -- so bring your friends! This free game will begin at 6 p.m. Learn more at 570-462-3626.
Last summer we had so much fun at the beach-- the town we were in sponsored a free movie on the beach. There's nothing like watching a movie under the stars. You have a chance to watch a free movie under the stars in Hamburg this Saturday -- The Secret Lives of Pets. The evening begins with a concert from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. of patriotic music by the Cressona Band. Bring your lawn chairs to Tilden Park, 874 Hex Highway (State Street). They'll also be a free movie at the Majestic Theatre, Pottsville on Saturday at 7 p.m. Popcorn included! Hosted by the Pottsville Recreation Commission and sponsored by M & T Bank the movie will be Sing!
In the mood for a live show instead? How about "All Shook Up" a musical comedy for everyone who loves the music of Elvis Presley. Shows will be at the Simon Kramer Theatre, Alliance Street, New Philadelphia on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets at $15.
Happy first day of summer! Here's hoping you'll be doing something especially summery today! Personally, I'm going to make a strawberry smoothie -- complete with little tiny umbrella -- and blow soap bubbles on my back patio. Don't forget it's also the longest day of the year so take advantage of all that light by enjoying some time outdoors.
But looking forward to the weekend, a theme has developed. Looks like we can call this weekend Wine Weekend since three local wineries are having events this weekend! Just a tip -- follow our local wineries on social media. In addition to wine festivals, they frequently have fun events of all kinds and a visit to a winery guarantees beautiful scenery.
Galen Glen Winery, 255 Winter Mountain Drive, Andreas
Elisa Constantini, author of Italian Moms Spreading Their Art to Every Table, will be visiting and signing her cookbook from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Broad Mountain Vineyard, 596 Harman Road, Halifax
Vendors in the Vineyard will consists of 50 crafters, vendors and food trucks. There will also be live music. Stop by from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, rain or shine.
Stone Mountain Wine Cellars, 1615 Panther Valley Road, Pine Grove (3 miles northwest of Friedensburg)
12th Annual Winebration will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Along with wine, and the ideal summer drink sangria, there will be fresh baked bread, cheese, food for sale and live music from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.. On Saturday it will be Big & Bad Rockabilly Cats while Sunday the Crossroad Duo. You can bring a lawn chair but no alcoholic beverages -- come enjoy the Stone Mountain wines.
Like so many families, ours has "the big calendar" where we post everyone's appointments, events, games. During the summer it is a little less crammed than during the school year. Yes, that's a good thing but on the other hand, that's a bad thing. We have a so who is too young to drive/get a summer job but old enough to spend his life on video games and social media if permitted. So each week we mom and dad have a planning meeting -- what plans does he have with friends, what can we add, what chores are on the horizon. Each day as he eats breakfast he peruses the list I've left him on the kitchen table. Even my parents will check the list before spiriting him away to hang out with his cousins or go swimming. If you're looking for advice on how to keep your kids physically active during the summer months check out a free talk at the LVHN Rehabilitation Center - Schuylkill, 300 Schuylkill Plaza, Pottsville on Wednesday, June 21 at 6 p.m. "Keeping Kids Active During the Summer" will be led by athletic trainers Heather Saxton, Christina Page and Christian Ormiston.
Another way to keep your kids -- or anyone -- active this summer is by encouraging their interests. I have two activities for the scientists/gardeners in your life. First, the Tr-Valley Library, 633 E. Main Street, Hegins is holding a workshop to build your own solar-powered lantern on June 29 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. But you have to register at 570-682-8922 by today. This sounds like a fun addition to your garden or backyard. The cost is $25 and the best part is that $10 is donated to Aspire Youth, an organization that serves at-risk youth in South Africa.
Keeing with the backyard fun/gardening theme, Tuscarora State Park is holding a Monarch Pollinator Workshop on Saturday, June 24 at the visitors center at 9:20 a.m. It's free but you have to register by contacting Tracey at 570-467-2506 or email@example.com Rain or shine!
Like so many people growing up in a Schuylkill County small town, I attended a Memorial Day parade (ours was actually Sunday so the fire trucks could attend another parade in another small town on Monday). The parade always ended at the town memorial -- a slab of gray stone carved with names of people I didn't know. Sure, I recognized many of the last names but I didn't know the stories behind the names or how they were related to the people I knew who shared their name. Now, in addition to our hometown memorials, many towns are adopting the practice of hanging Hometown Hero banners on their main street, each featuring the photo and names of one of the town's military heroes.
This Saturday, the Ashland Area Historic Preservation Society is beginning an event that I hope all our Schuylkill County towns will imitate -- they're sponsoring a Visiting Our Hometown Heroes walk at 10 am. beginning at the society at 318 Centre Street. I'm hoping the walk by each banner will also feature a bit of information about the man or woman memorialized on the banner. There is a small fee for the walk -- 10 cents a block or, for the entire walk $4.00. The proceeds will benefit the restoration of the Station House at 501 Chestnut Street. Step up local historical societies -- this would be a great event for July 4th!
Mahanoy City will be hosting another walking tour of their town on June 17 at 1 p.m. The walk will follow a lecture on Father Emil Kubek at St Mary Ruthenian Church, 621 W. Mahanoy Avenue. Kubek was an author of poetry, short stories and prose who wrote about the immigrant experience using Mahanoy City and its people as his muse.
Looking for a fun performance to enjoy this weekend? The Strawberry Playhouse, 60 Church Street, Tuscarora is featuring Oliver! on July 16 anf 17 at 7:30 p.m. and July 18 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15, seniors and students $13 and children under 10 $5. And here's a nice bonus -- bring a non-perishable food iten and receive $1 off your ticket price.
Since I live on a rode preferred by runners, walkers, bicyclists I know that there are two types of people when the weather gets warm: the early morning, let's get some exercise in before the sun is up type and the let's wait until the sun is starting to set type. If you're the latter you might enjoy an upcoming activity in Schuylkill Haven. It's not exactly exercise but you will have to walk, after all it's right there in the name. On Thursday, June 15 you can enjoy the Walk, Wine and Wander from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. If you're coming from out of town there's parking in the municipal lot, near the train station. Walk, Wine and Wander has a little bit of everything. Of course there will be local wines (and craft beer). But there will also be music, crafters and artists, trolley rides, character portraits, a hair and fashion show and more. What a great way to celebrate the cooling of the day!
The dog and I (no, that's not what I call my husband -- she's actually a canine)were wandering around this weekend and, since we're both a little deaf thought a thunderstorm was brewing -- actually it was the start of the Minersville Little League fireworks. Little League lovers can enjoy anther baseball activity on Thursday at the Mountaineers Hose company hall, South 3rd Street, Minersville. From 7 p.m. to 9 pm. several speakers will be telling the story of Little League in Minersville. Little League has a long history in Minersville, dating back generations and you can learn more at this free presentation.
If your idea of local history involves fewer baseball diamonds and more black diamonds then stop by the Schuylkill County Council of the Arts, 1440 Mahantongo Street, Pottsville this weekend for "Celebrate Us and the History of Coal". On Friday at 6 p.m there will be a viewing of a Molly Maguire movie at 6 p.m.. On Saturday there will be a viewing of "Fire in the Hole" at 6 p.m. and on Sunday there will be coal mining exhibits, music, theater and dance from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The cost for the weekend is $10 for adults and free for youth. Call 570-622-2788 for more information.
Although it isn't a federal holiday, June 14 -- Flag Day -- is a state holiday in Pennsylvania. It's only fitting since our state had so much to do with the creation of the flag (or the myths, depending on how seriously you believe the Betsy Ross stories). Anyway, if you're looking to tip your hat to the flag there are several opportunities this week.
Tuesday, June 13
Third Brigade Band Concert at Yuengling Park, 10th and Norwegian Streets, Pottsville at 7 p.m. This isn't billed as a Flag Day concert but knowing the Third Brigade Band there will be a sprinkling of patriotic numbers included. Bring your lawn chair.
Wednesday, June 14
Flag Day Concert at Admiral Boone Park, 3rd Street, St. Clair at 6:45 p.m. with the Cressona Band. Bring your lawn chair. In case of rain, come to the St. Clair Elementary/Middle School, 227 Mill Street
Thursday, June 15
Flag Day Program at the Mahanoy City Elks Lodge, 135 E. Centre Street at 6 p.m. presented my lodge officers and local Boy Scouts. Refreshments will follow.
If you can't attend a Flag Day program why not just celebrate by displaying a flag, small or large, at your house this week?
Along with flags, June is also know for strawberries. If you'd like to celebrate strawberries, attend a Strawberry Festival. On Wednesday there will be on at Zion Lutheran Church, Mauch Chunk & Greenwood Street, Tamaqua from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. There will also be food so you can come for supper (no heating up the house by cooking!) and stay for dessert. Then the next Wednesday, June 21, the Zion Lutheran Church, Oak & Nice Street, Frackville will be hosting there own Strawberry Social from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. -- ditto on the yummy homemade food along with strawberry desserts. Tickets are $8 and $4 for children ages 10 and under. You have to purchase your tickets by June 14 so call 570-874-1190 this week!