Monday, July 6, 2015

Get Outside and Enjoy!

As I sit at my computer, clicketty-clacking away the sky is perfectly blue, dotted with puffy clouds and the sun is shining. I’d rather be outside in my kayak feeling the sun’s warming rays than here in my air-conditioned office, but I am not and don’t expect to be until the weekend.  I recently had the pleasure of kayaking our own Schuylkill River on a Sunday after the previous evening’s storms and wow, was it ever fun!  It was basically a 3-hour log flume ride. We put in at the Terry Reiley boat launch on 901 in Pottsville and went to Schuylkill Haven and I have to tell you, it’s a short, fun stretch in our backyard that even uncoordinated me can handle so keep your eye one the weather and try it after a heavy rainfall.

While I’m yakking kayaks, if you’re thinking about trying this wonderful activity but need some instruction, we’ve got an excellent opportunity for you. Tuscarora State Park is hosting Basic Kayaking Courses on the 10th, 17th & 24th. Registration is required for these courses by calling 570.467.2506. You can also find complete information at under the calendar of events.

July takes us deeper into summer and I, for one, am very grateful. I enjoy being outdoors in the sunshine and we’ve got plenty of chances to do just that. Hawk Mountain has a full schedule of both children’s and adult programming that culminates with the opening of the Accessible Trail Celebration on the 26th.  If hiking’s your thing, there’s lots to be had. There’s a Long Loop Hike on the 4th and a Spirit Trail Hike on the 18th, both at Tuscarora State Park. The Silver Creek Fire Tower Hike is on the 2nd and Bats: Fact and Fiction is on the 4th, both at Locust Lake State Park. These hikes are free and open to the public; just call 570.467.2506 for complete information and registration. The Mystical Red Hole Ramble Hike on the 12th, combines hiking and history with a look at this historic site from the 1750s French and Indian War. Our dear friend, Porcupine Pat, can fill you in on the details of the Mystical Red Hole Ramble at or 570.622.4124 x113
Pottsville’s City Cycle 17 is on the 25th.  Our friends at Galen Glen Winery in Andreas are hosting winery walking tours on the 3rd, 4th, 5th 12th & 18th and Sweet Arrow Lake County Park is holding their “Sneak a Peak at the Creek” program on the 11th.

July also commemorates the birth of our Nation and there will be plenty of picnics, fireworks, and fun in the sun all month long! Check out our calendar of events at for a list of fireworks throughout Schuylkill County.  Another 4th of July tradition in Schuylkill County, Saint Nick’s Annual Parish Picnic, begins today and runs through the weekend. This Schuylkill County event has it all; plenty of good food, good entertainment and good people. Sweet Arrow Lakes hosts their annual “4th of July Concert in the Park” tomorrow at 6 p.m.  The Anthracite Philharmonic brings us their own patriotic concert on the 5th at Schuylkill County Council for the Arts.  More concerts this month include: Tamaqua Area Chamber of Commerce Free Summer Concert Series on the 9th & 23rd on the platform of the 1874 Tamaqua Train Station and Heisler’s Dairy Bar’s Night in the Country Summer Concert Series, on the 12th, 18th, 19th & 26th.

Perhaps dinner theater is more your style? The Schuylkill County Council for the Arts will put on their John O’Hara Dinner Theater at the Schuylkill Country Club again this year on the 29th, 30th & 31st with The Way it Was. Don’t miss this opportunity to step back in time to the Philadelphia Ritz-Carlton of the 1920’s while supporting local art and enjoying one of our county’s literary giants.

The variety continues this month with Saint Clair’s Car Cruise on the 11th, No. 9 Mine’s Coal Miners Heritage Festival on the 12th, Benigna’s Creek Winery’s Pig Roast on the 25th, Longtrout Winery’s Blue Grass Blow-Out on the 25th and the new North of the Mountain Bus Bash on the 25th. Join Porcupine Pat and Friends as they travel northern Schuylkill County to discover it’s bountiful natural and historical treasures. This is a must-register event so once again contact our dear friend Porcupine Pat at or 570.622.4124 x113.

It wouldn’t be July in Schuylkill County without the Schuylkill County Fair. The fair  runs July 27th through August 1st this year. Celebrating 32 years, the fair is chock full of food, entertainment and activities designed to please all ages. This year, our fair has a new competition I’m excited to tell you about, the Schuylkill Grown Cooking Contest! Schuylkill Grown is an initiative of the agribusiness committee of the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce designed to increase awareness of and encourage use of local agricultural products. The Schuylkill Grown Cooking Contest is open to all ages with both youth and adult categories. The complete list of rules and participation requirements, along with a list of Schuylkill Grown providers, can be found on the fair’s website at . You can also stop by the visitor’s center and pick up both the fair premium book and entertainment schedule.

Speaking of local agriculture, the Schuylkill County Wine Festival is September 6th  this year and tickets are on sale now at the Visitors’ Center. For more information on any of the great July events in Schuylkill County visit . As always, please keep an eye out for visitors as you enjoy summer in our backyard. Offer them a warm welcome as they explore the events, activities, attractions and outdoor recreation we are privileged to enjoy every day.