Creepy, Halloween-y events used to take up a weekend...maybe a week...in October. But lately we've been going Halloween crazy! So much so that the frights begin before we even hit October 1! What not start off the Scare Season with a Haunted Walking Tour of Pottsville? The walks will leave from the Historical Society at 6 p.m. every Saturdays from September 30 to October 28. But please arrive by 5:45 p.m.! The one mile walk takes a little over an hour and tickets are $10 and $5 for children ages 7 though 12 (not recommended for those under age 7). Space is limited, so reserve your spot by contacting the Historical Society at 570-622-7540.
If you'd like to enjoy a little history without the ghosts and goblins why not visit the Frackville Museum for their Open house on October 8 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Donald Bricker will do a presentation at 2 p.m. on "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow". If you haven't been there yet, the museum is int he Frackville Municipal & community Center, 42 S. Center Street.
Remember the excitement of school field trips? Abandoning the boring, everyday classroom to head out into the world, often to somewhere you'd never been before -- you and your friends (all clutching your brown bag lunches) and one or two harried teachers who were longing for the predictability of the classroom they had left behind. If you smile remembering those trips why not recapture that fun with a grown-up field trip. There are two trips coming up!
Anthracite Coal Mining Awareness, Appreciation and Remediation Tour
When: Sunday, October 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Includes: free parking at Schuylkill County AG Center, bus transportation, lunch, admission to No. 9 MIne, tour guides
Stops on the tour: No. 9 MIne, Newkirk mine portal, origin of Schuylkill River, MaryD and Silver Creek treatment systems, Middleport slush dam, Schuylkill River Stream Habitat Project
For More Information: Contact Lorie at 570-391-3316 or email@example.com
Eastern Schuylkill Excursion Bus Bash
When: Sunday, October 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Includes: free parking at Schuylkill County AG Center, bus transportation
Stops on the tour: Schuylkill River, site of first fish hatchery in US, oldest church and cemetery in Schuylkill County, second largest Purple Martin colony in PA, historic railroad station, historic mill and more
Lunch: lunch is on your own at Leiby's Restaurant
For More Information: Contact Lorie at 570-391-3316 or firstname.lastname@example.org
All around us there are people, places and organizations in need of a little (or a lot of) help. If one springs to mind why not step up...whether it is a simple one person job that takes an hour or a project for a large group that may take months to complete. Whatever it is you want to take on, register it with Make a Difference Day coming up this October 28. You don't have to complete your entire project on that day, just do some of it within seven days of the 28th. Register your project here.
Want to participate but need an idea for a project? Community Volunteer in Action has more ideas than people so contact them for the perfect idea for you or your group at 570-628-1426 or email@example.com
I'll leave you with a thought that environmentalist Carl Duivenvoorden attributed to that font of wisdom that we all know -- his mom, "Maybe you can’t change the whole world, but you can change your corner of it.” So let's get out there and change our corner!
Recently, a friend and I were talking about ancestry -- mostly because she was amazed that my son of the freckles, pale skin and red curly hair has not a drop of Irish blood in him. If you're interested in the ancestry of your family the Orwigsburg Historical Society, 109 E. Mifflin Street is the perfect place to start. They're holding a free genealogy and property research workshop on Thursday, September 21 at 7 p.m. Come learn from Berks County recorder of deeds, Fred Sheeler. When the weather gets cooler (will it ever?) wandering around dusty records rooms and libraries could be a perfect hobby. And how cool would it be to 'unveil' the family history at Thanksgiving for all your loved ones?
With a tone normally reserved for funerals, my husband solemnly announced this morning that this Friday was the autumn equinox, first day of fall and (sad drumroll) the date when days start getting shorter and nights so much longer. Before you know it, each morning I'll awaken to a pitch black room and stumble around flipping light switches in an attempt to make waking up easier. Boo hoo.
But Jersey Farms and Stone Mountain Wine Cellars in Friedensburg isn't fighting autumn -- instead they're celebrating it! Join them on Saturday, September 23 and Sunday, September 24 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the vineyard. They'll be a tent but bring your chair -- and if this weather holds up your sunblock and hat. There will complimentary tastings and you can purchase bread, cheese and -- my favorite -- sangria. There will also be music from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Leighann & Company on Saturday and Diaspora on Sunday.
Want to re-discover America through a great book? Pick up Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods about the Appalachian Trail. (This author is amazing and I recommend ANY of his books.) But if you want to re-discover America by actually heading out into the woods here is a schedule of the next two weeks of Schuylkill County hikes. With this perfect autumn weather, you're only problem will be choosing which hikes to take!
Wednesday, September 20
Meet at visitor parking lot in Locust Lake State Park at 10:15 a.m. for an 8.5 mile hike rated difficult with Robin Tracey. The hike will include pine stands, Silver Creek Water Tower and Reservoir. Bring a lunch! Leashed dogs are welcome if they are friendly to both people AND other dogs. Contact Robin Tracey at 570-467-2506 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Saturday, September 23
Fall Bird Walk
Meet at Waterfall parking lot of Sweet Arrow Lake County Park at 9 a.m. for a walk through the park with Denise Donmoyer for beginning and experienced birdwatchers. Call 570-345-8952 for information.
Spirit Trail Walk
Meet a the upper beach parking lot of Tuscarora State Park at 11 a.m. for a 4.5 mile walk rated moderate. Join Pap Knauss in enjoying late summer wildflowers and several different habitats. Leashed dogs are welcome if they are friendly to both people AND other dogs. Contact Robin Tracey at 570-467-2506 or email@example.com for information.
Sunday, September 24
Bake Oven Knob & Baer's Rocks Walk
Meet off Route 309 on top of Blue Mountain on the Lehigh and Schuylkill County line. Follow the Appalachian Trail with Porcupine Pat for this 5 mile hike rated moderate.
Wednesday, September 27
Long Loop Hike
Meet at Crow Trail parking lot off Tuscarora Mountain Road at 10 a.m. for a 9 mile hike rated moderate. Bring a lunch! Leashed dogs are welcome if they are friendly to both people AND other dogs. Contact Robin Tracey at 570-467-2506 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Sunday, October 1
Walk in Penn's Woods
Meet at visitor's parking lot of Locust Lake State Park from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. led by Frank Snyder and Ben Vaupel. The walk is handicap accessible. contact Jerry Bowman at 570-294-1262 or email@example.com for information.
Saturday, October 7
Wolf Creek Falls Hike
Meet at west end of Wal-Mart parking lot in St. Clair at 10:30 a.m. for a 7 mile hike rated difficult. Bring a lunch! Leashed dogs are welcome if they are friendly to both people AND other dogs. Contact Robin Tracey at 570-467-2506 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Saturday, October 11
Swatara State Park Hike
Meet at Sand Siding Road off Route 443 in Suedberg at 10:30 a.m. for an 8 mile hike rated moderate. Don't miss out on Swatara Creek, the old steel bridge and Bordner Cabin. Bring a lunch! Leashed dogs are welcome if they are friendly to both people AND other dogs. Contact Robin Tracey at 570-467-2506 or email@example.com for information.
Need a little music in your life? The Zion Lutheran Church at Mauch Chunk and Greenwood Streets, Tamaqua is celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with a concert at 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 17. So if you need some spiritual inspiration my guess is this is the concert for you.
In another corner of the county, there's a totally different type of musical concert planned. The Schuylkill County Historical Society is hosting "Music, Memories and the Military" on Tuesday, September 19 in Pottsville. The evening begins at the Historical Society at 6 p.m. for a viewing of the new World War I exhibit (this year is the 100th anniversary of WWI). Then it's on to the Majestic Theatre at 7 p.m. for a pictorial history of the Third Brigade Band and a concert of WWI-era songs. All for free!
There are also several once-a-year special events coming up that you won't want to miss.
Thursday, September 21
13th Annual Hops, Vine and Dine at Barefield Recreational Complex from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are $25
Saturday, September 23
St. Ambrose Wine Festival at 302 Randel Street, Schuylkill Haven from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Funds benefit the Gabriel Chamber Ensemble, Gabriel Youth Orchestra and Child Development. Food from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Kick Up Your Heels VIII -- the Salvador Dali Event for the Walk-In Art Center from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person or $85 a the door and include cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, art and dancing. There's also an auction with FABULOUS prices... Penn State football tickets, art, jewelry, trips and more.
Thursday, September 28
Tamaqua Has Heart Auction & Gala on Thursday, September 28 at 24 West Broad Street (formerly Scheid's Store) at 6 p.m. to auction of those wild and crazy heart sculptures you've seen all around town this summer. Tickets range from $25 to $40 per person depending on how much of the night you choose: admission, entertainment, food & beverage and souvenir glass. You can also purchase an adorable "Tamaqua Has Heart" t-shirt for just $15.
Do you have a little one (or a big one who never quite grew up) who LOVES fire trucks? Well, all the county fire equipment is getting washed and polished for the big day! On Saturday, September 16, Schuylkill Haven will be hosting the closing of the 63rd Annual Schuylkill County Fireman's Association Convention -- a BIG parade beginning at 1 p.m. Don't miss it!
In an autumn mood yet? If not, you still have time to pick up a wooden Pumpkin blank at the Frackville Library ($10, or $5 for students and those 65+). Decorate it and return to the library by Saturday, Sept. 16 to be displayed and judged at Frackville's annual Pumpkin Festival on October 7.
Children ages 4 to 12 are invited to the library to decorate a foam pumpkin for the pumpkin parade that starts the Pumpkin Festival. Check out the library's Facebook page for times for your child's age group.
Do you prefer pen and paper or glue and glitter? Then why not write a Pumpkin Limerick (squeaky clean, of course). Send it to Frackville Business and Professional Association, PO Box 9, Frackville PA 17931 by September 27. There will be three winners and limericks will be read throughout the Pumpkin Festival.