Doesn't Labor Day strike you as the most wonderful of holidays? It asks nothing of you...no big holiday meal, no gifts, no traditions. It comes at the most perfect time of year...allowing you to enjoy the summery weather for one more time before cold weather is upon us once more. It even has a question as to its founding...you can learn more here. I hope you won't be wasting your break from Labor and have something - or perhaps several somethings -- planned for the upcoming long weekend. Need ideas? As expected, I have plenty! Everything is FREE unless otherwise noted.
*If I get any updates throughout the weekend I'll add them!
Friday, August 31
Movies at Broad Mountain
At Broad Mountain Health & Rehabilitation Center, 500 W. Laurel Blvd., Frackville at 8 pm
Bring a chair or blanket and enjoy Despicable Me 3. There will be free popcorn, door prizes (even though there is no door) and snacks for sale. Rain date: Sept. 7
Saturday, September 1
Gratz Pets Day Fair
At Gratz Fairgrounds from 10 am to 6 pm
Bring your pet or just come for the fun! There will be a pets-in-costume contest, drawings, pet rescue organizations, food, entertainment, collections of supplies for animal shelters and many other activities.
At the Walk In Art Center, Schuylkill Haven from 1 pm to 5 pm
Don't miss the opening reception of an exhibit by painter and illustrator William Moser Jr. Light refreshments.
Eagles: Power and Majesty
At Locust Lake State Park amphitheater at 5 pm
Learn all sorts of things about eagles: their history, ecological importance, population and problems they have faced.
The Molly Maguires Movie
At the Majestic Theater at 6 pm
Starring Sean Connery!
At the Valley View Park at 9 pm
Prior to the fireworks there will be some activities and food for sale. Parking is limited due to recent rains. There will be bussing from the Schwalm Truck parking lot to the park. Parking is also available at Valley View Gun Club. Grab a minivan and plan some carpooling! Donations will be accepted.
Sunday, September 2
Creature Feature Show
At Locust Lake State Park amphitheater at 6 pm
Local teacher Pam Ulicny will bring some of her favorite pets, including reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates to the program, where everyone will learn more about them.
Monday, September 3
Labor Day Mass
At Castle Green Grotto, 950 Valley Road, Heckscherville at 10 am. Bring a chair
At Hawk Mountain Sancturary. Programs are included in trail fees: $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and $5 for childrens. Raptors Up close programs at 10 am, noon and 2 pm. Trapping and Tracking talks at 11:30 am and 2:30 pm. Binoculars Basics at 9:30 am and 12:30 pm. Name that Raptor at 10:3- am and 1:30 pm
Wolf Creek Falls & Reservoir Hike
At Wal Mart parking lot at 10:30 am for a five hour hike. Leashed dogs who are people AND dog friendly are welcome. Pre-register by calling 570-467-2506.
Wednesday, September 5
Creatures of the Night
At the Sweet Arrow Lake clubhouse at 7 pm
Bring your lawn chair for this outdoor event that will feature nocturnal animals coming for a visit from Hershey's ZooAmerica.
Back to school has had a bumpy start. Between mold and the extreme heat several of our local schools had to call it a day yesterday! Despite that, school is back in session and the first day of fall (September 22) is approaching. With fall comes football, apples, changing leaves, sweaters and...fall cleanup!
If you're doing some fall cleanup the county is accepting items the week of September 10 at: Branch Township, Commonwealth Environmental Systems Landfill, Mahanoy Township, North Manheim Township, Pine Grove Township, Pottsville, Ringtown and Schuylkill Haven. During the week of September 17 it will be: Girardville, Hegins Township, Minersville, New Ringgold, Porter Township, Tamaqua Transfer Station, Tremont and Wayne Township. Please bring proof of county residency or item will not be accepted. ***As they become available specific times and places will be added to this post.
So what can you clean up?
Take this opportunity to correctly get rid of that junk that's been gathering in your basement or garage. Happy Fall!
My backyard garden is starting to peter out -- it had been thriving with all this rain except for my peppers which mysteriously were teeny tiny. If your garden has offered you it's last tomato and zucchini or you never planted a garden it's time to look elsewhere for the wide offering of fresh produce grown right here in our county. If you haven't been there yet, it's time to visit a farmer's market!
If visiting a farmer's market sounds like loading everyone in the car and heading out to a farm you're mistaken. OK, many times that is what it involves but most farmers also participate in bringing their offerings to a centralized location -- often the nearest town -- along with several other farmers once or twice a week.
Wondering what you'll find at the market in August and September? Apples, spinach, lettuce, kale, peas, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, leeks, squash, pumpkins and more. Also, depending on your markets you may find honey, baked goods, fresh herbs, flowers and other specialty items. Why not give it a try!
Some of the local town markets are:
Wednesdays from 8 am to noon
centre 7 7th Streets
Thursdays from 2 pm to 5 pm
Frack & Lehigh Street
Hometown Farmers Market
Tamaqua from 8 am to 8 pm
Saturday from 8 am to noon
Main & Center Streets
Friday & Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm
11 Sunbury Street
Renninger's Farmers Market
Saturday & Sunday from 8 am to 4 pm
Rte 61 & 443, Schuylkill Haven
Tuesday & Friday from 8 am to noon
E. Center & S. Main Streets
Tuesdays from 10 am to 1 pm
222 E. Broad Street
Like everyone else in the area, I've been feeling like the rain just wouldn't end. I also felt so sad for the specific area that were hard hit again and again...Port Carbon, Tremont, Pine Grove just to name a few. What strength it must take to deal with the threat of a flood (or actual flooding) multiple times in one summer. As I watched Pine Grove clean themselves up several times one of my thoughts was "I wonder who will host the Firefighter's Convention this year?". Pine Grove was scheduled to be the host to all the county's volunteer firefighters for the annual convention, an honor that rotates each year. But surely with all the community had to deal with they would have to ask another community to take over their duties. Turns out I didn't know the community of Pine Grove that well!
The convention happened as scheduled this week and will end with the Firefighter's Parade on Saturday at 1 pm. I have attended Pine Grove's annual Halloween Parade which is always fun and well attended. This past year a lovely woman from Pine Grove gave me a cupcake -- she and her friends were "tailgating" (without the alcohol) as they saved their spot on the parade route. I can just imagine the enthusiasm for the Firefighter's Parade! If you love a parade or firetrucks don't miss it. Bring a chair and a bottle of water because this parade is LONG and LOUD. And who knows, maybe someone will give you a cupcake.
Fire trucks not your thing? Turns out there s a second parade in the county on Saturday. The 20th annual Parade of Nations will happen in Shenandoah at 10 am. It's unlike any other parade with groups dressed in their ethnic clothes or displaying national flags or floats. One word to describe this parade is COLORFUL. It will be followed by the Heritage Day Festival: food, crafts and entertainment.
So why not help august go out with a bang -- or at least with a parade? Have fun!
Want to celebrate the last weekend before school starts with something fun? The Majestic Theatre in Pottsville will have a free movie (popcorn included) on Saturday, August 25 at 7 pm (doors open at 6:45 pm). Wonder is the story of a boy trying to overcome difficulties and enjoy a normal life.
If you're looking for an activity that's a little more unusual, how about learning how to live off the land? Debra Naha will present a workshop on Wild Edible and Plant Identification at the amphitheater at Locust Lake State Park on Saturday, August 25 at 5 pm. It will be followed by a short walk afterwards so wear the proper footwear (no flip flops or sandals).
August Hikes: The post listing August hikes has been updated. Check it out here.
Good luck to everyone -- students, teachers and families -- who will be marking the first day of the school year next week. Hope it's a great year!
Enjoy local wines at the 10th annual Schuylkill County Wine Festival held at Hegins Park on Sunday, September 2 from 1 pm to 6 pm (admission and music begin at noon). Advance tickets can be purchased by mail up until August 26 at the special price of $12. After August 26 tickets are $15. For groups of 10 or more their is a discount of $10 per person. Admission includes wine tasting, glass and chance to win a wine basket. Designated drivers are $5 while children 16 and under are FREE with adult. All ages are admitted but wine tasters (age 21 and over) must bring ID Learn where you can purchase advance tickets here.
What to Bring:
If you're interested in un-fermented fruits why not stop by the Peach Social this Wednesday, August 22 from 4 pm to 6:30 pm at Zion Lutheran church, Mauch Chunk and Greenwood Streets, Tamaqua. In addition to fresh peaches, ice cream, cake and peach pies you can also find supper friendly foods like soup, BLTs, hamburgers and salads. Takeouts are available so you can stop by after work and enjoy some supper and peach treats in the comfort of your own home.
Are you handy with a needle and thread, knitting needles or other textile creations? Why not enjoy your hobby and make a few new friends? there are two knitting groups meeting on Tuesday: Knitting & Crocheting Group at the Frackville Library from 1 m to 2 pm and Knitting Circle at the Walk-In Art Center from 6 pm to 8 pm. All skill levels are welcome! for quilters (or wanna-be quilters) the Minersville Crafty Quilters meet at St. Michael the Archangel Parish Center, Minersville (us ethe Lewis Street entrance) from 6 pm to 8 pm.
Who can resist butterflies? Not me! That's why I love the sedum planted throughout my garden ( a big thank you to my mother-in-law who gave me the cutting that started my first sedum plant). Not only is this a plant that thrives on neglect and looks good all year but it also attracts butterflies during their fall migration, particularly monarchs. If you'd like to learn more about monarchs, you have two opportunities to hear Herb and Mary Ann Schlegel of Schuylkill Haven share their experiences of creating a way station for monarch butterflies where they raise between 200 and 400 butterflies each season! Both programs are free to the public.
August 20 at the Sweet Arrow Lake clubhouse - 7 p.m.
August 22 at the Ashland Area Historic Preservation society - 7 p.m.
If you prefer the more "icky" creatures, stop by the Locust Lake State Park amphitheatre on Saturday, August 18 at 5 p.m. to learn more about reptiles and amphibians. There will be some live animals! In case of rain, come to the program shelter near the camp store.
I'd like to add another hike to the August list:
Sunday, August 19
Meet at upper beach parking lot of Tuscarora State Park at 11 a.m. for this 4.5 mile hike rated moderate. "Pap" Knauss will lead a search for late summer wildflowers. Bring a lunch and leashed dogs that are friendly to other dogs AND people.
You can see the complete list here
I'm excited about something old that will be completely new to me -- the Great Pottsville Car Cruise. Usually it happens on my beach vacation week but this year there was a bit of a change in the date and viola! I can enjoy all the marvelous cars. Stop by Pottsville this Saturday, August 18 for the 25th cruise. If you want to register your car or preview the cars stop by Jerry's Cars and Collectibles Museum, 394 S. Centre Street between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. The city cruise is from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Downtown Car Show is from 5 .m. to 8 p.m. The Sock Hop at the Lodge is from 9 p.m. to midnight ($10 cover charge).
The cruise route is down West Market Street, right turn onto West End Avenue, left turn onto 18th Street, right turn onto Laurel Boulevard, right turn onto 3rd street or Centre Street and back to West Market Street. find a good spot and enjoy the show!