Backyard Tourist Columns - May 2014

By Andrew Miller

Hello neighbors. May is finally here!  As the warmer weather signals the beginning of tourism season, it’s time to embrace being a backyard tourist and encourage friends and family to come visit the beautiful Susquehanna River Valley.  Ready, set…let’s go with things to do in May!

For the seventh year, the Susquehanna River Valley Visitors Bureau will be hosting "Backyard Tourism Week" – May 5th -9th.  Backyard Tourism Week is devoted to showcasing all the fun, interesting and unique things to do in our region.   Stop by our Visitors Center in Lewisburg to discover a wide variety of inexpensive things to do in your own backyard.  We offer a large variety of brochures, calendar of events, maps and daytrip suggestions for everyone.  At our Visitors Center, you will find information on bird-watching, boating, hiking, camping, zoos and wild animals, golf, museums, historic walking trails, restaurants, spring concerts, music-in-the-parks, festivals, state parks and attractions, antique trails, heritage trails, area wine trails, kid-friendly attractions, PA maps, plus information on destinations throughout Pennsylvania.  Be sure to join us on Friday the 9th for a live radio remote from 11am to 1pm; a digital photo booth from An Elegant Production from 10am to 4pm – bring the family and pets for your free photo strip as a souvenir; free hot dogs and sodas; spin the baseball wheel to win free Crosscutter tickets, plus, say “hi” to mascots Red from Red Robin Gourmet Burger and Kozmo from Knoebels Amusement Resort.

Green thumbs will want to attend Country Farm & Home’s “make & take classes” or area seminars on “Growing Annuals”, “Planning, Planting & Rotating Your Garden”, and “Gardening Myths Debunked.

Outdoor adventure seekers will be thrilled with the grand opening of the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure area on May 17th; Spring Bird Walks or an Audubon Field Trip on May 3rd; a walking tour of Bucknell University’s Arboretum on May 3rd; Buffalo Creek guided canoe and kayak trip on the 3rd; Upper Mainstem Guided BIG CANOE River Trip on the 10th; the “Lewisburg Appetizer” guided kayak trip on the 18th, or the Peace of the Susquehanna Guided Kayak Trip on the 25th.  Other outdoor fun includes Memorial Day activities at R.B. Winter State Park or Tee to Green Golf Center’s activities and lessons.  Animal lovers won’t want to miss tours at Owens Farm, Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland’s popular annual butterfly exhibit and amazing animatronic dinosaurs, or the opening of T & D’s Cats of the World! 

History lovers will enjoy Coffee Hour at the Tabor Museum in Williamsport on the 8th that will host John L. Moore - a Northumberland writer who specializes in telling stories about real people and actual events on the Pennsylvania Frontier.  He will share stories about the French and Indian War in our region and the role that Fort Augusta played in America’s expanding frontier.  Speaking of Fort Augusta, you won’t want to miss the Northumberland County Historical Society’s History Day on the 10th where you can visit reenactors from the French and Indian War, Civil War, and World War II, plus view canal memorabilia, craftspeople, special exhibits and presentation, plus enjoy food and drinks.  Learn more about the history of Lewisburg, including the Underground Railroad, during the History of Lewisburg Walking Tour on the 17th.

Upcoming festival include Danville’s Spring Fling on May 3rd; Lewisburg Celebration of the Arts through May 10th;  Mt. Carmel Lions Oak Street Festival, May 10th; Milton’s Annual Cultural Festival, May 10th; Middlecreek Valley Antique Association Antique show, May 16th-18th; Mifflinburg’s MayFest & Winefest, May 17th, and Shamokin’s Anthracite Heritage Festival of the Arts, May 23rd – 24th.

More fun and events include the Buffalo Valley Singers Concert, May 17th and 18th; Rosanne Cash at Bucknell University on the 16th; the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra performs on the 13th; fun stuff for kids including, Lego Time, Playing with Playdough, Thomas the Tank Engine Story time, and the FREE movie “FernGully:  The Last Rainforest”; ballroom dance lessons; cooking lessons; art classes; the musical “Lend Me a Tenor” by the Valley Players; Geisinger Childrens Hospital Battle of the Bands at the Milton Moose Family Center; the Susquehanna Valley Cruise-In; meet author Johlene “Spooky” Riley from her book “"Spooky's Ghostly Tales From Beyond The Grave", plus  Star Gazing on the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail and the Mount Carmel Borough Police Community Day on May 17th. 

There are so many events this month that I simply could not mention them all.  Be sure to go to our web site - VisitCentralPA.org – and access the Calendar of Events from our home page where you will find all the details you need to have more fun than you have hours in the day.

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 Mobile App.

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