Backyard Tourist Columns - August 2014

By Andrew Miller

Hello neighbors. Can you believe the summer is almost half over?  The good news is that there is still time to get out and enjoy all that the Susquehanna River Valley has to offer for the month of August.

Festivals are everywhere. Be sure to check out Lemonade Day in Northumberland on August 2nd; the Union County West End Fair August 3-9; the Annual Eagles Mere Arts & Crafts Festival August 9-10; Sunbury River Festival 14-16; the Annual Celtic Festival at Spyglass Ridge Winery on August 16th; Middlecreek Valley Antique Association Antique Show the 22-24; the Centre County Grange Fair and Encampment, August 21-28, and New Berlin Day Antique, Arts and Crafts Festival on August 23rd [come say “hello” we will have an information booth there!].  If a fan of fresh salmon and beer, don’t miss the “Wild for Salmon Fishtival” featuring everything salmon plus ales from local breweries on the 9th.

Our River Valley is alive with music! You’ll find concerts in Sunbury’s Cameron Park; Hufnagle Park in Lewisburg; Lincoln Park in Milton; Watsontown Community Park; Mifflinburg Park; Northumberland Park; Shikellamy State Park’s Overlook and the Marina [Sunday Brunch on the 10th]; Central Oak Heights [between Milton and Lewisburg]; the Slifer House Museum, and at the Commons in Selinsgrove – and don’t forget their interactive Piano Palooza!! throughout downtown Selinsgrove. Other opportunities include the Endless Mountain Music Festival through the 10th; the Billtown Brass Concert on the 23rd; Midsummer Music & Mangia! at Dancing Bear Farm on the 9th, plus Shotgunn [playing 60s and 70s funk hits] at the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art on the 8th. 

History & Heritage lovers will have a wealth of experiences to immerse themselves in this August. Learn more about Joseph Priestley during “Oxygen Day” at the Joseph Priestley House Museum on the 3th and enjoy a Living History Day-Colonial Crafts Demonstration Day on the 9th on the grounds of the Hunter House Museum on Front Street in Sunbury, or explore our coal mining heritage at Pioneer Day Celebration at Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine in Ashland on the 16th.  August 17th offers tea with historical Clara Barton at the Abigail House in Danville.

Adventure lovers will enjoy Photography Tours [through the 6th] and Family Fun Nights [through the 14th] at Lincoln Caverns and the Moonlight Ramble exploring Mother Nature at Montour Preserve on the 8th.  If you’re really feeling adventurous, you may want to be part of the Sunbury YMCA’s 26 mile bike ride on the 9th or the Lake Chillisquaque Stand Up Paddle Fun at Montour Preserve on the 10th.  River enthusiasts will discover guided kayak trips on the river provided by Canoe Susquehanna, LLC, that include: “Peace of the Susquehanna” on the 31st, “Jewel of the West Branch” on the 23rd, and “Mckees Mainstream Adventure” on the 2nd or the West Branch Susquehanna Sojourn, the 13-17th.

Other outdoor adventures in August include Butterfly and Dinosaur exhibits at Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland, and the rescued animals at T&D’s Cats. And don’t forget nearby R.B. Winter State Park, Bald Eagle State Forest, Milton State Park and Shikellamy State Park for hiking, biking, boating and fishing.  And if Autumn may be your favorite season… you can start your fun early at Ard’s Corn Maze and Hayrides to the Pumpkin Patch, beginning August 16th.

Want to take a workshop or class to learn something new?  August offers classes on aromatherapy, the energy of crystals, chair yoga, home canning, making a glass necklace, herbs & edibles, color pencil workshop, making country angels and feather trees, and painting your own wine glass while enjoying wine and snacks. 

Theater lovers can enjoy performances of Biloxi Blues, and Church Basement Ladies at the Millbrook Playhouse, Madame Burlesque at the Courtyard Theater, or free movie nights at the Milton Public Library where you can see “The Butler”, “The Monuments Men”, “The Lego Movie” and “The Lone Ranger”.  Watsontown Park offers “42 – A Jackie Robinson Story”. 

Other “don’t miss events” include Riverside’s Mad Hatter Tea Party on the 9th at Shade Mountain Winery’s new store in the old train station and at the English Garden across the street where both will be offering discounts and “mad” deals!  Christmas in July is always fun at Kohl’s Stony Hill Tree Farm and yard sale lovers will not want to miss the Northumberland County Yard Sales on the 30th in Northumberland – be sure to get the map of sale locations plus items for sale!

It’s hard to believe that I’ve barely scratched the surface of things to do in August. For more information on all August events in the Susquehanna River Valley go to; 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.