Our weather has been unpredicatable -- unseasonably warm for the time of year followed by a snow storm just a few days later. Quite the rollercoaster! When we're enjoying some of the good stretches, why not give winter hiking a try? Hikes are scheduled in January and February, but for good weather only. Check the phone number after each hike for keeping track of if a hike is canceled.
Gold Mine Mountain Special
Sunday, January 19 from 9 am to 1 pm
Meet at the Game Commission parking lot across from Boxcar Rocks on Gold Mine Road for this 5 mile hike rated easy. There's plenty to see on this dog friendly hike with Sojourner Steve: abandoned mines, old railroads, reservoirs and even stagecoach roads. 717-451-7042
Shenandoah Kilbo Trail Hike
Saturday, January 25 from 10:30 am to noon
Meet at East Centre and Bowers Streets for this 2 mile hike rated easy. Hiker Jim E. will lead this hike of the Lehigh Valley Railroad. 570-527-7748
Broad Mountain Bench Trail
Saturday, February 1 from 9 am to 1 pm
Meet at Mt. Pleasant Hose Company, Route 901 for this 7 mile hike rated easy. Led by Hiker Jim E, this hike will include Old Ashland Extension and Centre Turnpike. Dog friendly. 570-527-7748
Big Lick Mountain Adventure
Sunday, February 16 from 9 am to 1 pm
Meet at Dollar General Store, Route 209, Williamstown for this 6.5 mile hike rated moderate. Sojourner Steve will lead a hike where you can enjoy the Williamstown Tunnel, Big Lick Slope, and Big Lick Water Level Tunnel. Dog friendly. 717-451-7042
Sunday, February 16 from 2 pm to 4 pm
Meet at the large pavilion near Sweet Arrow Lake County Park clubhouse for this leisurely stroll. Retired Forester Frank Snyder will lead a fun stroll and opportunity to learn about the forest ecosystem and man's activities.
D&L Trail Meander
Saturday, February 22 from 9 am to 2 pm
Meet at Route 54 and Morea Road to carpool to D&L rail trail in Jessup. Hikers can select how long and how challenging a hike they want. Hiker Jim E. will lead you on a macadam trail. 570-527-7748
Cabin Fever Walk
Saturday, February 22 from 10 am to 11 am
Meet at new Waterfall Road Pavilion, Sweet Arrow Lake County Park for this 2 mile hike rated moderate. Porcupine Pat will help cure your Cabin Fever!
Fire and Ice Winter Fest
Sunday, January 26 from 2 pm to 5 pm at Sweet Arrow Lake County Park
There are activities indoors and outdoors but dress for the weather. Some of the events include cooking hot dogs over an open fire, homemade ice cream making, chili cook-off, demonstration by the Schuylkill Haven Dive Rescue & Recovery Team, musical entertainment and more. Admission is free although some activities have a fee.
Sunday, February 2 from 11 am to 2 pm at Sweet Arrow Lake County Park clubhouse
Grover the Groundhog will make his weather predictions at 1 pm and there will also be a Groundhog Day Celebration of history, songs and stories(free); an auction and a potpie dinner. Dinner tickets are $8 and $6 for children under 12.
I remember Januarys past when I marched in the Winter Carnival Parade. That was one COLD parade. There may not be any Winter Carnival Parade now but there is still plenty of Winter Carnival fun. First up is the annual Queen's Tea with my favorite theme: The Hundred Acre Woods. The tea will be on Sunday, January 19 from 1 pm to 3 pm at the Walk In Art Center, 220 Parkway, Schuylkill Haven. Tickets are $10 per person and each princess must be accompanied by an adult. Princesses should also bring their favorite cup and saucer. Tickets can be purchased at Murphy Jewelers and 12 Volt Dave's. Since there are a limited number of tickets, get your as soon as you can.
The Queen Fashion Show and Yuengling Night will be held at St. Nicholas Hall, Minersville on Friday, January 24 from 7 pm to 11:30 pm. Tickets are $15 for those 21 and over and $10 for those ages 18 to 20. Music will be provided by SAPPHIRE. Snowdrop and Snowflake Fashion Shows will also be held at St. Nicholas Hall on Saturday, January 25. The Snowdrop Show will be at 1 pm and is a freewill donation while the Snowflake Show will be at 5 pm and tickets will be $5.
The Royal Pageant will be held on Saturday, February 2 at Pottsville High School at 5 pm followed by the Royal Ball from 9 pm to 11:30 pm at St. Nicholas Hall.
***Stay tuned for any changes in the schedule that may occur because of the predicted snow this weekend.
January is a month for making life changes. Are you making any life changes? Exercising? Journaling? Learning a new skill? Finally repainting that spare bedroom? Most of the time our resolutions involve changing our own life but you can also resolved to change another's life.
One of the easiest but most valuable ways you can change someone else's life is with a blood donation. After all, blood is an invaluable medical necessity and you have the amazing ability to create an endless supply. And January just happens to be Blood Donation Month. Do you have 30 minutes to spare? Then why not sign up to donate blood this month. You donation could help several patients and you get free juice and cookies. 🍪🍪🍪
You can sign up to donate here
Thursday, January 16
Jerusalem Lutheran Church, 252 Dock Street, Schuylkill Haven
12:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Friday, January 17
Fairlane Village Mall, Pottsville
11 am to 4 pm
Mt. Carmel Area High School, Mt. Carmel
8 am to 1 pm
Wednesday, January 22
Life Centre Foursquare Church, 2300 Mahantongo Street, Pottsville
2 pm to 7 pm
Saturday, February 1
Mar Lin Citizen Hose Company, 401 Maple Avenue, Mar Lin
10 am to 3 pm
Monday, February 3
Frackville Elks 1533, 307 South 3rd Street, Frackville
1 pm to 6 pm
Wednesday, February 5
Trinity Lutheran Church, 300 West Arch Street, Pottsville
1 pm to 6 pm
Thursday, February 6
Christ's United Lutheran Church, 437 Airport Road, Ashland
1 pm to 6 pm
Wednesday, February 12
Alvernia University, 1544 Route 61 Highway South, Suite 6190, Pottsville
2 pm to 7 pm
Friday, February 14
Friedensburg Fire Company, 1357 Long Run Road, Friedensburg
Noon to 5 pm
Wednesday, February 19
Mahanoy Area High School, 1 Golden Bear Drive, Mahanoy City
Noon to 5 pm
During World War II one of the nicknames for the United States military was "citizen soldiers", a nod to the fact that the vast majority of our military were not professional fighters but just regular Joes (and Janes) who halted the lives they had planned to join the fight when our nation was attacked on December 7, 1941. Sixty years later, when 9/11 brought terror to our shores once again people who had never considered the military once again heard the call to defend their country and become citizen soldiers.
For many, the first date that called people to become citizen soldiers often goes unnoticed. If you want to take some time to remember the sacrifices made then and now, join the veterans at a Pearl Harbor Remembrance Program on Saturday, December 7 at the Veterans Memorial, Centre & Catawissa Streets, Mahanoy City at 11 am.
Veterans are also invited to breakfast at Lewie's Restaurant, Lehigh Avenue, Frackville on Friday, December 6 at 7 am.
Want another way to remember the sacrifices of our military? Why not send a Christmas card to a military man or woman with local ties who won't be in Schuylkill County for the holidays. Check out this post about how to send a card or package full of Schuylkill County love here
There are only a few hikes planned in December for the bravest of hikers! I think Dollar General is having a sale on those marvelous hand warmers you slip inside your gloves! If walking and hiking is your main "get moving" activity, don't give up on it just because the weather has turned cold. Our mall is a great spot to get some steps in while staying toasty warm or you could plan your own hike on a local walking trail.
Pre-Tree Lighting Trek
Sunday, December 1 at 4 pm
Meet at 414 East Hancock Street, St. Clair for some hot chocolate and a quick jaunt around town to enjoy the lights, ending at the tree lighting.
Broad Mountain Bench Trail
Sunday, Dec. 8 from 9 am to 2 pm
Meet at Cloverleaf Fire Company, Heckschersville for this 10.5 mile hike rated easy. Led by Hiker Jim this hike will include the Mine Hill and Schuylkill Haven Bed and Reservoir. Get a look at the recent clear cut project.
Annual Christmas Walk
Saturday, December 14 at 6 pm
Meet at the St. Clair Historical Society to stroll around town, relax and enjoy the lights and holiday decorations.
Once again, pop back to the original Holiday Happenings post to see what's up this weekend. The latest additions are marked with a purple NEW!
Not everyone enjoys the holidays. Perhaps they are lonely, depressed, recently lost a loved one, or just aren't at a great place in their life. All the pressure to be merry can get to anyone. Several organizations are offering people to come together and enjoy community without the frantic need to be "holly and jolly".
Sunday, December 1
When Christmas Hurts
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 35 N. Ninth Street, Ashland at 3 pm
A service of remembrance and healing for all.
Sunday, December 8
Blue Christmas Service
Trinity Lutheran Church, Arch Street, Pottsville at 6:30 pm
Join us for comfort when you're dealing with death, sickness, divorce or other loss.