What better way to start out the month of May than with a relaxing hike? Grab your calendar and schedule one or two today!
Sunday, May 5
Fort Dietrich Snyder from 1 pm to 3 pm
Meet at the summit of Route 183 on the Blue Mountain for this 2 mile hike rated easy. Led by John Domalakes, this hike will visit a fort from the French and Indian Wars as well as a spring.
Thurday, May 9
Swatara State Park Wildflower Walk at 10 a.m.
Meet at the Trout Run parking lot off Route 443, Pine Grove for this 8 mile hike rated moderate. Naturalist Robin Tracey will lead this hike for people AND dogs -- as long as they are leashed and dog and people friendly. Bring a lunch and water!
Saturday, May 11
Tower Tunnel Trek from 9 am to 1 pm
Meet at the Joliet Hose Company for this 9 mile hike rated moderate. Led by Sojourner Steve, this hike on a loop will follow the old Good Spring Railroad to see the Tower Colliery workings and East Brookside Shaft location.
Friday, May 17
Long Loop Hike at 10:30 am
Meet at Crow Trail parking lot off Tuscarora Mountain Road for this 9 mile hike rated moderate. Explore the trails of Tuscarora State Park with naturalist Robin Tracey. Dogs are welcome -- as long as they are leashed and dog and people friendly. Bring a lunch and water!
Saturday, May 18
Bird Walk at 7:30 a.m.
Meet at Locust Lake State Park parking lot for a walk to explore local and migratory birds with birder David Kruel. Shine only. Bring your binoculars but not your dog. Dogs and bird watching just don't mix!
Saturday, May 18
Wolf Creek Falls & Reservoir Hike from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm
Meet at the east end of the WalMart parking lot for this 7.5 mile hike rated difficult. Led by Robin Tracey, this hike will introduce you to some real treasures. Leashed dogs are welcome if they are friendly with people AND other dogs. Bring a lunch for you and your pooch. You must register for this hike by calling 570-467-2506.
Want a walk that makes a difference?
Join the Sixth Annual Hunger Walk on May 5 at 2 pm. Register for the walk at 1:30 pm at the Tamaqua Community Arts Center, 125 Pine Street. Walkers are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food or monetary donation to help those who live with food uncertainty. You can also come to the Empty Bowl Dinner at Trinity United Church of Christ, Tamaqua on May 15. Starting at 5 pm they will be offering a dinner featuring soups and breads provided by local restaurants. Tickets are $10.
My children are all returning home this weekend. I'd like to think it's because they love and miss me but actually it's for an event they wait for all year -- the annual Block of Art!
Friday, May 3 you can stop by the Senior Center at 6 pm for live entertainment and a map of the pop-up galleries open for the evening between the Greystone and Sage Coffehouse on Center Street. Come back Saturday, May 4 between 10 am and 5 pm for more art, food, live music, children's activities and even a scavenger hunt! Then end your day at the Majestic Theater for the Art Auction at 6 pm.
Don't forget that Saturday is also the day for the raffle of Dr. Abdul Wahhab's oil painting to benefit Schuylkill County VISION programs. You can purchase a ticket for $10.50 here.
Perhaps my favorite part of Block of Art is that every place is transformed into an art gallery. Sure, there are some empty buildings that become art galleries for the weekend but you'll also find art in candy stores, government buildings, the library. If you do happen to stop and see the library's Block of Art exhibit bring the kids (ages 5 and up)! Saturday is also Free Comic Book Day and they're giving away a variety of comic books as well as having superhero photo ops, crafts and activities. Kids who come as they favorite Star Wars character can enter a drawing for a gift certificate. YOu can also help the library raise money for these great programs by attending Macbeth Short Cuts at the Majestic Theater or Pottsville Library during the next two weeks. Learn more about the performance in this post.n m
But Block of Art isn't the only art in the town (or county) this week. The Walk In Art Center, Schuylkill Haven is hosting the Opening Reception for a mixed media exhibit by Jim Heller on Wednesday, May 1 (today!) from 5 pm to 7 pm. If you can't make it on Wednesday, stop by the Walk In on Saturday, May 4 for their Open House from 1 pm to 5 pm. Along with Heller's art, you can meet artists that have studios at the Walk In and learn about their work.
Next week will be the Tamaqua Community Arts Center's turn when they open the exhibit of paintings by Maria Stabio on May 8 from 6 pm to 8 pm.
Remember the excitement of going on field trips as a kid? The bus, the brown bag lunch, the scurry to find someone to be your bus buddy? Well, why not enjoy that all over again. The St. Clair Historical Society is organizing a bus trip to the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia on June 13. The cost is $60 and reservations must be made by May 5. For information and reservations call 272-208-6603 or 570-429-2060.
Want a trip closer to home? Stop by the Schuylkill County Historical Society in Pottsville for a special exhibit "The Musical Heritage of Schuylkill County". You can view the exhibit - and the rest of the museum - Wednesdays through Fridays from 10 am to 4 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm.
Did you know that Thursday, May 2 is National Day of Prayer? You can mark the day by attending the community breakfast and prayer time at Founders' Hall, Trinity United Church of Christ, 22 Lafayette Street, Tamaqua. Breakfast will begin at 9 a.m. followed by outdoor prayers led by the Tamaqua Ministerial Association. Chairs will be available for those who need them during prayers. A free will offering of $5 is suggested for the cost of breakfasts with an extra donations given to the Tamaqua Hunger Walk.
Three people tell a general he'll become leader of his country. To help things along he (and his wife) kill the reigning leader. More people are killed, a war starts...let's just say it doesn't end well for the general turned leader. Does it sound like a ripped from the headlines story of a South American country in upheaval? Actually, it's Shakespeare. To be specific, Macbeth.
If it sounds intriguing, you can watch an interesting take on Macbeth Short Cuts by Theatre Junction next week in two different venues. This is the cut to the bone, done at warp speed version of the play and it's great fun. Tickets are $10 and only $5 for students and seniors.
Pottsville Library on Tuesday, April 30 or Thursday, May 2 at 7 pm
Majestic Theater on Saturday, May 4 and Saturday, May 11 at 2 pm and Thursday, May 9 and Friday, May 10 at 7 pm
That isn't the only performance scheduled for the Pottsville Library. On Saturday, May 18 at 7 pm they are hosting a performance of "Eclipsed: A Comedy Murder Mystery" by J&L Productions. The buffet meal will be catered by Beauregard Catering. Tickets are $40 and must be purchased by Saturday, May 4. This could be a fun Mother's Day gift! For more information call 570-622-8880 Ext. 10.
Pink Floyd fans can also come to the Majestic on Saturday, April 27 for Classic Live: The Wall from 8 pm to 11 pm. Advance tickets are $15 and can be purchased here. You can also purchase tickets at the door but the Majestic is advising pre-purchase since this is a VERY POPULAR show.
Want something a little more...peaceful? How about an organ concert at Jerusalem Lutheran Church on Sunday, April 28 at 3 pm. This free event will feature James Rearick, who has been an organit for over five decades.
Arbor Day is held on different days in different states, depending on the best time to plant trees there. Pennsylvania's Arbor Day is the last Friday in April -- this Friday. Celebrate by planting a tree! If you aren't up to tree planting stop by the annual Arbor Day Ceremony at Charles Baber Cemetery on April 26 at 2 p.m.
We would never think of holding on to an apple, a container of milk or even a bag of potato chips for weeks, months, years. But there's a good chance that if you peeked into your medicine cabinet, you could find a prescription that is expired or no longer needed by the patient. So why is it still there?
Now's your chance! This Saturday, April 27 is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. In addition to the regular drip off spot at the Schuylkill County Courthouse (where they accept drug drop offs everyday during regular business hours) there will be many additional drop off spots on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. No questions asked. However, syringes, needles and objects with sharp edges will not be accepted. Clean out your medicine cabinet by bringing your unneeded, unused or expired medications to one of these spots:
Can it be that time already? Yes, it's Les Brown time! The 13th Annual Les Brown Big Band Festival Weekend starts this Thursday, April 25 and runs through Sunday, April 28.
The weekend starts with something new...and old. There's a new film festival featuring old movies. The four movies will be those that star Doris Day ( a former Les Brown and his Band of Renown singer), Les Brown and the Band of Renown. And what better place for classic movies than a classic movie theatre -- the Pine Grove Theater! Admission is FREE and the movie starts at 7 pm.
Next up is the big dance on Friday, April 26 at the Tower City American Legion. Enjoy three hours of dancing and music with the After Hours Big Band starting at 7 pm. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door. If you need reserved seating call 717-926-2849.
The music continues on Saturday, April 27 at the Williams Valley High School. The four hour show starts at noon (doors open at 11:30 am) and will feature several musical groups, interviews with a few famous folks and a trivia contest. Tickets are $10 with free admission for children and students with ID, including college students. Food will be available throughout the day.
The weekend will end with a Celebration of Music Service on Sunday at 3 pm. The non-denominational service at Trinity UCC is open to the public and will feature local musicians.
Of course, if you're in the mood for a different musical event this Saturday, April 27 is the 5th Annual Music on the Mountains at Blue Mountain High School. You can enjoy seven different drum and bugle corps from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Tickets are $15 and available here.
Then on Sunday, April 28 there is the Spring Concert for the Gabriel Youth Orchestra. The concert will be at D.H.H. Lengel Middle School Auditorium, Pottsville at 3 pm. Tickets are $5 for adults and free for children. For more information contact Agnes Maurer at 570=943-2558 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Today is Earth Day! I just learned about an interesting way to celebrate -- join the newly formed Citizens Climate Lobby. This group - which has chapters all over the country - takes action on a local level to lead to changes on a national level that will help address the problem of climate change. The group isn't a Democratic or Republican group. It is simply a group for people who want to face the issue of climate change. Come out for the first meeting of Pottsville's Climate Change Lobby at the Pottsville Library tonight at 6:30 pm.
On a totally different note, there are three different business oriented workshops throughout Schuylkill County all happening this week for those interested in expanding their knowledge and skill set. The first is on Wednesday, April 24 at the Schuylkill Women in Business Luncheon at Providence Place, 2200 First Avenue, Pottsville at 11:45 am. Mary Jo Moss of YEA! will be speaking on "Preparing Your Elevator Speech". To register call 570-622-1942 or visit the Schuylkill Chamber website here.
On Friday, April 26 from 10:30 am to noon there will be a Customer Service Workshop at the Schuylkill of Chamber conference room in Union Station, 1 Progress Circle, Suite 201, Pottsville. The speaker is Christian Alexis of Hydro and the cost is $20 for Chamber members and $40 for non-members. To learn more call 57-622-1942 or visit the Chamber site here.
For those involved in organizations that need to do fundraising carve out some time on Friday, April 26. Chard Barger will be presenting a free Fundraising Workshop at Penn State Schuylkill (R. Michael Freyer Conference Center, C101) from 10:30 am to noon. You can register at here