Backyard Tourist Columns - March 2014

By Andrew Miller

Hello neighbors!  I know every one of you is exhausted by all the snow we have had this Winter and are aching for sunny skies and warmer days.  In spite of all the recent snow, Spring is on its way.  Let’s help usher it in by discovering all there is to do in March and the first week in April in the Susquehanna River Valley.
Music isn’t only for the birds – or sung by them!  Vic’s Pub in Lewisburg will host Greg Snyder on March 7th, Bucknell University’s “Beyond Unison” acapella group on March 21st, and Kimba on April 4th. The Weis Performing Arts Center will showcase Martin Hayes Masters of Tradition (Celtic Music) on the 21st and the classical-music-with-a-rock-star-edge string quintet, “Sybarite 5”, on April 4th.  PPL Montour Preserve offers their annual Dulcimer Concert on March 16th that showcases a mix of old-time, Celtic, Appalachian, contemporary and original music.  On March 26th, the Celtic trend continues with the Dublin Guitar Quartet at the Campus Theatre.  The “Metta String Quartet” will perform on the Ned Smith Center for Nature & Art on March 30th.

If live theatrical performances are your guilty pleasure, then you’ll enjoy the Bloomsburg Theater Ensemble’s “The 39 Steps” – a spy story with a twist of comedy, thrilling chase scenes, narrow escapes and heart-pounding romance – running March 6th through March 23rd.  The newly opened Courtyard Theatre in the Susquehanna Valley Mall in Shamokin Dam will be host to the popular musical, “Rent”, performed March 7th through the 23rd.

Wine lovers will not want to miss The Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail’s month-long “A Ticket to Good Taste and Adventure” where you can visit the thirteen wineries along the trail – including our region’s Fero Vineyard & Winery, Hunters Valley Winery, Shade Mountain Winery and Spyglass Ridge Winery.  When you visit each winery any weekend in March, present you pre-purchased ticket to get a stamp that will make you eligible for prizes.  Visit all thirteen wineries and you’ll be entered for the grand prize of nights at a bed and breakfast that includes fine dining meals.  Participate in their scavenger hunts and you will be eligible to win a refrigerator full of Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail wines.   At each winery you will receive the winery's logo glass and taste wine paired with food. At some of the wineries, there will be entertainment.

History lovers will learn about our rural heritage this month.  Head over to the Dale/Engle/Walker House on March 7- 8th to see how maple syrup, sausage, scrapple and cornmeal are made – and better yet – then sit down and have it all for breakfast!  Celebrate Commonwealth Charter Day and Joseph Priestley’s birthday on March 9th with free activities at the Museum.  March 10th offers a presentation on Gristmills at the West End Library in Laurelton.  The Lycoming County Historical Society/Taber Museum offers a presentation on March 13th about the Native Americans – “The Very First Settlers of the West Branch Valley”, and the Snyder County Historical Society offers a program, “Local Canals and Captain Mick” on March 25th.   For something very unique, enjoy Afternoon Tea with Eleanor Roosevelt on March 23rd at the Abigail House Bed and Breakfast in Danville.

Outdoor fun includes a variety of events.  R.B. Winter State Park offers programming for kids and scouts about geology, GPS basics and geocaching on March 14th and 15th.  PPL Montour Preserve offers their Maple Sugaring Open House on the 9th, plus presentations on the Timberdoodle [American Woodcock] on the 21st and a “Spring Walk Over Water” on the 29th to view migratory ducks, geese and swans heading north.  The Ned Smith Center for Nature & Art will also host a presentation on the “Ducks and Geese of the Susquehanna” on March 9th [chances are good you may also see bald eagles]. 

Fun for kids is off the charts with classes and programs such as Science Saturdays, Playing with Play Dough, Movie Matiness & Munchies, Maple-Fest and Lego time offered at the Children’s Museum and area Libraries.

Fun for all ages include free “Discover SCUBA” at the YMCA in Milton on the 16th; Comedy Night at the Front Street Station; classes in Western Martial Arts; the Contra Dance, March 8th, at the Donald Heiter Community Center; the Bloomsburg Antique Show, March 8th and 9th; The Watson Inn Bridal Show on March 9th; K9 Nose Work, plus open houses at Colonial Candlecrafters through the 8th and Country Farm and Home through the 29th.  Owens Farm outside of Sunbury offers their popular Adopt-a-Sheep program and their popular Lambing-time Slumber Parties [through March 22nd].  Meet Laine Crosby of the Travel Channel's Mysterious Journey, Bio Channel's My Ghost Story,and New York Times Best Seller- Investigative Medium - the Awakening on March 8th at Spirit Reachers in Sunbury.

Spring in the Susquehanna River Valley offers so many unique and exciting things to do.  Celebrate the warmer weather to come by discovering and exploring many of these great opportunities in your own backyard!

For more information on all August events in the Susquehanna River Valley go to VisitCentralPA.org; sign up for our weekly e-newsletter; call us at 1-800-525-7320; stop by our Visitor Center on Route 15, or download our NEW Mobile App.

Andrew Miller is the Executive Director of the Susquehanna Valley Visitors Bureau.