Celebrate Everything Strawberry at the 27th Annual Grove City Strawberry Days Festival in Mercer County, PA

The 27th Annual Grove City Strawberry Days will be held Friday, June 9, through Sunday, June 11 at the Grove City Memorial Park, 58 West, West Main Street, Grove City, PA 16127. The three-day festival is loaded with crafters, live entertainment, a smorgasbord of food, and a wide assortment of kids’ activities at the Shortcake Patch.

Strawberry Days will host more than 100 crafters, including Sarah’s Amish Donuts and 20 non-profit booths with food items for the whole family. Visitors are invited to enjoy strawberry delights such as strawberry cheesecake, strawberry shortcake, strawberry shaved ice, strawberry pretzel salad, and strawberry lemonade. Also available is pizza, BBQ pork sandwiches, meatball subs, steak hoagies, hamburgers, hot dogs, lamb and chicken gyros, chicken or pork on a stick, sausage sandwichs, loaded baked potatoes, walking tacos, sloppy joes, and BBQ ham sandwiches. Favorites such as famous band fries, funnel cakes, cotton candy, caramel and candy apples, Sno-Kones, and warm soft pretzels will also be available. Beverages include lemon shakes, pop, root beer floats, and water.

Entertainment will cover a wide genre of music including Folk, Appalachian, Rock, Country Western, Americana, Blues, Soulful Southern Gospel and Parody by musicians Treebeard Brown, Totally 80’s, Philadelphia Phil, Average Joe, Junction City, Humble Music Ministries, and Shawn Kichta.

The Shortcake Patch is for kids of all ages to enjoy fabulous activities, including Christine’s Sand Art, Caricatures by Brian, Alpaca Petting Area, Dragonfly Balloons, Froggy/95.1 Prize Wheel, Mercer County Dairy Princess with free ice cream, Springfield Twp. Fire Truck, King’s Family Restaurant Give-a-way, Smokey the Bear, Ronald McDonald, Eat’n Park Smiley and his Cookie Cruiser filled with cookies, Dragonfly Balloons, and the Wild World of Animals Show.

Grove City Strawberry Days offers free admission and parking and is handicap accessible. For show days and times, and for the entertainment and Shortcake Patch activities for children, visit the Strawberry Days Facebook page.

ENTERTAINMENT ON MAIN STAGE
Friday, June 9

4-6 p.m.                      Treebeard Brown
7-9 p.m.                      Totally 80’s

Saturday, June 10

1-3 p.m.                      Philadelphia Phil
4-6 p.m.                      Average Joe
7-9 p.m.                      Junction PA

Sunday, June 11

11 a.m.-1 p.m.            Humble Music Ministries
1-3 p.m.                     Shawn Kichta

SHORTCAKE PATCH:  FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES

Friday, June 9          

ALL DAY                   Christine’s Sand Art
ALL DAY                   Caricatures by Brian
ALL DAY                   Alpaca Petting Area
3-9 p.m.                   Dragonfly Balloons
4-6 p.m.                   Froggy/95.1 Prize Wheel
6 p.m.                       Mercer Co. Dairy Princess with free ice cream

Saturday, June 10

ALL DAY                   Christine’s Sand Art
ALL DAY                   Caricatures by Brian
ALL DAY                   Alpaca Petting Area
ALL DAY                   Springfield Twp. Fire Truck
ALL DAY                   King’s Family Restaurant Give-a-way
10 a.m.-1 p.m.          Smokey the Bear
Noon                        Ronald McDonald
PM                            Eat’n Park Smiley and his Cookie Cruiser
1-7 p.m.                    Dragonfly Balloons
3 p.m.                        Wild World of Animals Show

Sunday, June 11
ALL DAY                  Christine’s Sand Art
ALL DAY                  Caricatures by Brian
ALL DAY                  Alpaca Petting Area
11 a.m.-4 p.m.         Dragonfly Balloons

Hell’s Hollow Wildlife Adventure Trail in Mercer County, PA

by Peggy Mazyck

Warm temperatures and sunny skies offer the perfect time to enjoy an adventure on Hell’s Hollow Wildlife Adventure Trail in Mercer County, PA. The four-mile trek through hills and valleys offers fascinating historical, environmental, and wildlife sights. The trail is situated among 100 acres of scenic forest. One different aspect of the tour is that you can choose to explore the trail on a trail buggy instead of walking or biking. Sights to enjoy along the trail include a cascading waterfall (Spirit Falls), beaver dams, deer, wild turkeys, eagles, a swamp, Indian hunting grounds, and historic buildings such as remnants of an iron ore furnace and a stone house and barn built in 1824.

My choice for exploring the trail was a trail buggy. I received a brochure that gave details on the historical and environmental significance of each stop. The paths and stops were clearly marked. One of the first things I noticed about the trail was the peace and tranquility. As my trail buggy wound up and down hills, I was struck by the beauty of the forest. The trees were of many types, tall and thick, providing a canopy of shade.

My first stop was at “Spirit Falls,” a cascading waterfall which is rumored to be the place where the spirit of an Indian named “Harthegig” lingers. Many reports have been received that people visiting the area hear moans, groans, laughter, and screams coming from the falls. On my visit, I didn’t hear groans or laughter, but I enjoyed standing on the ledge looking out at the falling water with the wind against my face and the sounds of nature in the background. It was the perfect scene for taking pictures.

As I traveled the trail I saw the remains of a beaver dam at Lackawonnock Lake, which is a bog lake created from glaciers. The Iron Ore Furnace was another interesting landmark. In addition to the furnace, this stop showcased the remnants of an old stone bridge.

Along the trail were berry patches, ferns, and incredibly, a swamp. Later I climbed a lookout tower which gave a fantastic view of the entire area. My final stop was the barn at Hell’s Hollow Farm. On display were vintage implements dating back to the 1800s.

This tour was fun, educational, and adventurous. For more information on planning a jaunt on Hell’s Hollow Wildlife Adventure Trail, visit www.hellshollowwildlifeadventuretrail.com or call 724-662-1999.

Mercer Memorial Day 500: A Patriotic Celebration Honoring American Veterans in Mercer County, PA

Mercer County, PA – On Saturday, May 27, 2017, 500 American Flags will be raised throughout the borough of Mercer in preparation for the 15th Annual Mercer Memorial Day 500. The Mercer Memorial Day 500, honoring American Veterans, will be celebrated on Monday, May 29, 2017, from 8:30 a. m. to 1 p.m.

At 8:30 a.m., the celebration will start with the Mercer Memorial Day 500 Freedom Fun Run 5K. Various activities around the Courthouse Square will include the opening ceremony and reception honoring the veterans, a military expo, a prayer service at the old Mercer Graveyard, the music of Brett Allen Morgan, and an impressive parade that culminates in saluting the veterans at the Mercer Citizens Cemetery, three blocks south of the Courthouse on S. Pitt Street.

The 2017 Veteran Honorees are:

Living Honorees:

  • Joseph L. Hood – Specialist 4, U.S. Army/Vietnam War
  • Daniel Evans – Specialist 4, U.S. Army/Vietnam War
  • Carl Heckman – PFC, U.S. Army/WWII

Posthumous Honorees:

  • John R. Ellis – Corporal, U.S. Army/WWII (POW)
  • Jack D. Hedglin – SGT. U.S. Army/Vietnam War
  • Bradley Hedglin – Specialist 4, U.S. Army/Vietnam War

For more information about this Mercer County, PA celebration, log onto http://www.mercermemorialday500.org/.

About Mercer County, PA

Located in Western Pennsylvania, Mercer County, PA is home to Grove City Premium Outlets, boutiques, and unique specialty stores for shoppers. The area is also known for wine and brew tours, WaterFire Sharon, PA outdoor adventure, and outstanding golf. Golf Digest ranked Mercer County, PA as one of its top golf destinations. Visitors can dine on mouthwatering cuisine at an array of fine restaurants and then stay overnight in a well-appointed hotel, a luxurious bed and breakfast, or a cozy country inn. Close to Pittsburgh, Erie, Cleveland, and southern Ontario, Canada, Mercer County, PA is easily accessible via I-80 and I-79. Our County offers the perfect escape. For more information, visit www.VisitMercerCountyPa.net.

All Aboard or Come Riverside to Watch the Small Ships Revue in Beautiful Downtown Sharon in Mercer County, PA

Mercer County, PA – The Small Ships Revue, hosted by Quaker Steak & Lube, is an “anything-that-floats” event held on the Shenango River in downtown Sharon. Participants design, build , launch, captain, and crew their floating contraptions down the river. The Revue will be on Friday, June, 23, 2017 at 4 p.m. Prizes will be awarded in various categories following the float at the Sugar Shack in the Quaker Steak & Lube parking lot.

Additional events that day include the Small “Shops” Revue and the Lucky Ducky Race. Starting at 10 a.m., the merchants of the Greater Sharon Associates will be hosting the Small “Shops” Review in honor of the Small Ships Revue. Visitors can enjoy sidewalk sales and special offers from businesses. Tickets will be on sale for the Lucky Ducky Race, and one ticket buys one rubber ducky. All rubber ducks will be dropped into the Shenango River and race to the finish line, and one lucky winner whose duck is the fastest will win a cash prize.

These family-friendly events will have a food and festival atmosphere in Mercer County, PA.

Have an Outdoor Adventure on Land, Water or Air in Mercer County, PA

Mercer County, PA is an ideal playground for diverse outdoor activities. On land, water or air, visitors will delight in the beauty of the region’s wonderful outdoors. There is something special about outdoor activities that develop closer connections, makes getting healthy fun, and leads to an adventure you will long remember.

VisitMercerCountyPA has identified key hiking, biking and water trails that you will love. Take a friend or your family and hike or bike the 12-mile scenic multi-use paved trail that loops around Lake Wilhelm at Maurice K. Goddard State Park. There is a lot of nature to view from this trail, so don’t be surprised to see bald eagles, ospreys or trumpeter swans.  Other animals that inhabit the lake are beavers and river otters.

Have you ever explored a trail on buggy? Well, you can do just that at Hell’s Hollow Wildlife Adventure Trail in Mercer (724-662-1999). Rent a trail buggy or hike and explore miles of historical, environmental, and wildlife trails. See beaver dams, deer, and wild turkey, and you can even try bird watching. Explore waterfalls and one of Mercer County’s first iron ore furnaces. See Hell’s Hollow Farm with an old stone house that was built in 1824 and wander through acres of historic Indian hunting grounds.

There are numerous smaller trails for your enjoyment including Trout Island Trail in Sharpsville and self-guided nature trails managed by Shenango River Lake.

Scouts, organized groups, families and friends can enjoy paddling down the 23-mile Water Trail on the Shenango River. With numerous launch sites, you can travel 1, 4, 8, 12 or the entire 23-mile trail. Carried Away Recreation (724-343-1313) has a fleet of kayaks and canoes for rent to enjoy local waterways & lakes. They also offer bicycle rentals.

For high-power boating, launch your vessel at the Shenango River Lake for an excitement-filled day of water skiing and tubing. Areas are also designated for 10 horsepower motors and minimum wake operations.

For the really adventurous, Skydive Pennsylvania in Mercer County PA offers skydiving taught by experienced, professional instructors. Skydive Pennsylvania is a USPA-affiliated full-time commercial skydiving school located across from Grove City Premium Outlets.

Contact VisitMercerCountyPA at 724-346-3771 to order your 2017 Outdoor Guide or visit us on line at www.VisitMercerCountyPA.com. Mercer County, PA … we have outdoor excitement covered.

Button Accordion Festival Comes to the City of Sharon in Mercer County, PA

Mercer County, PA – A wonderful family event, the National Button Accordion Festival, is coming to Mercer County, PA, for the 2017 Memorial Day Weekend of May 26, 27 and 28, 2017. The festival host is the Apollo Maennerchor Club on 291 South Dock Street in downtown Sharon, PA. Visitors can grab their accordion and dancing shoes, and head to the Apollo Maennerchor Club for Pennsylvania’s most unusual music festival.

Featured instruments for the eleventh year of the festival include the  diatonic button accordion and the piano accordion. Many music genres will be showcased that guests can dance to, including Polkas, Waltzes, Country, Boogie Woogie, Texas Two-Step, Jitter Bug, Fox-Trot and Latin beats.

The National Holiday, Memorial Day, will be celebrated with a special program on Sunday, May 28 at 12:30 p.m. Veterans of all the military service branches will be recognized and honored. The ceremony will be followed by an accordion concert.

Food prepared in the Club kitchen will be available and served in the dining room. Festival T-shirts and CDs by performing artists will be available to purchase, and guests can peruse an accordion swap/shop table.

The Festival hours are Friday, May 26, 5 – 10 p.m.; Saturday, May 27, noon – 10 p.m.; and Sunday, May 28, 12:30 – 9 p.m., when the Grand Jam takes place. Admission is $10 on Friday and $12 on Saturday and Sunday. Weekend passes are $25, and children under 13 are admitted free.

For a flier, maps, contact and accommodation information visit the NBAF website at www.nationalbuttonaccordionfestival.com.

About Mercer County, PA

Located in Western Pennsylvania, Mercer County PA is home to Grove City Premium Outlets, boutiques, and unique specialty stores for shoppers. The area is also known for wine and brew tours, WaterFire Sharon, PA outdoor adventure, and outstanding golf. Golf Digest ranked Mercer County PA as one of its top golf destinations. Visitors can dine on mouthwatering cuisine at an array of fine restaurants and then stay overnight in a well-appointed hotel, a luxurious bed and breakfast, or a cozy country inn. Close to Pittsburgh, Erie, Cleveland, and southern Ontario, Canada, Mercer County PA is easily accessible via I-80 and I-79. Our County offers the perfect escape. For more information, visit www.VisitMercerCountyPa.net.

Two Amazing Chocolate Candy Factory Tours Thrill Visitors in Mercer County, PA

Mercer County, PA – This April, visitors to Mercer County, PA can visit two chocolate factory shops for a tour and delicious sweet samples. There will be something for every member of the family, from children to grandparents, to enjoy.

FACTORY TOUR AT PHILADELPHIA CANDIES

Visitors are invited to tour the factory and experience chocolates being made at the 35,000 square foot manufacturing facility on April 1, 2017. Both adults and children are certain to be delighted by the chocolate-making process. All patrons receive a complimentary sample from the Easter Bunny. Guests can register to win one of three prizes. No purchase is necessary; winners will be selected on April 2, 2017, and will be notified by phone or e-mail.

Kids will enjoy the costumed characters, including the Easter Bunny and friends, and visitors are welcome to take a picture with a favorite character. The tour lasts 20 to 30 minutes, and then visitors can shop the 3,000 square foot retail specialty shop immediately afterward to enjoy tour day specials on Easter chocolates and more.

APRIL 1st, 2017: 9 a.m. –  4 p.m. Location: Philadelphia Candies Inc. 1546 E. State St. Hermitage, PA 16148 Admission: Free. For more information: 724-981-6341. Website: www.Philadelphiacandies.com

SWIZZLE STICK DAY AT DAFFIN’S FACTORY

Swizzle Stick Day is a fun family activity and open house created by Mr. Daffin that takes place the Sunday before Palm Sunday, on April 2, 2017, at the Daffin’s Candy Factory in Farrell. There will be free candy samples and bunny ears. Guests are invited to tour the factory and see how chocolate is made. Patrons get a free sample of a swizzle stick dipped in a fresh candy filling coated with creamy milk chocolate. They can view the family of solid chocolate rabbits and be amazed by the 700-pound chocolate bunny.

APRIL 2nd, 2017: 12 – 4 p.m. Location: Daffin’s Factory, 7 Spearman Ave., Farrell, PA 16121.  Admission: Free. For more information: 724-342-2892. Website: www.daffins.com

About Mercer County, PA

Located in Western Pennsylvania, Mercer County PA is home to Grove City Premium Outlets, boutiques, and unique specialty stores for shoppers. The area is also known for wine and brew tours, WaterFire Sharon, PA outdoor adventure, and outstanding golf. Golf Digest ranked Mercer County PA as one of its top golf destinations. Visitors can dine on mouthwatering cuisine at an array of fine restaurants and then stay overnight in a well-appointed hotel, a luxurious bed and breakfast, or a cozy country inn. Close to Pittsburgh, Erie, Cleveland, and southern Ontario, Canada, Mercer County PA is easily accessible via I-80 and I-79. Our County offers the perfect escape. For more information, visit www.VisitMercerCountyPa.net.

 

 

Miles of Fun on the Shenango River Water Trail in Mercer County, PA

by Peggy Mazyck

Spring is here, and it’s time to plan an outdoor adventure that the entire family will enjoy. The Shenango River Water trail offers 1, 4, 8, 12 or 23 miles of fun.

The trail is class I rapids, with a few riffles to add some spice as it flows gently through canopy forests and pastureland. The total distance is about 23 miles, but numerous take out/launch sites provide convenient points to match diverse interests. Carried Away Outfitters has a fleet of kayaks and canoes for your waterways adventure. Part of your rental fee includes a shuttle to or from your destination. They also offer paddle boards and bicycle rentals. Contact them at 724-343-1313.

You may begin your float just below the dam in Pymatuning State Park, floating through Jamestown. A few miles further, at Halfway Rd., is a take-out/launch site just beyond the bridge on the left. Three more miles brings you to Porter Rd. takeout, located again just beyond the bridge, river right.

After eight miles of leisurely paddling, you arrive in Greenville’s Riverside Park. Here are picnic pavilions, flush toilets, potable water, and Greenville’s amenities within walking distance.

Further down the river, you will reach Kidds Mill Covered Bridge Park, a great place to take a break and have lunch. Here, there are picnic tables and clean pit toilets (maintained by the Shenango Conservancy). Stay left to land.

The balance of the land between the covered bridge and Big Bend is owned by the Corps of Engineers. It has not been logged in many years and is totally undeveloped.  It is arguably the most beautiful part of the upper reach.

Toward the end of the float is a launch below the bridge at New Hamburg. Finally, the last “take-out” on the Water Trail is at “Big Bend,” maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers. Big Bend is just before the river flows into Lake Shenango.

For fun on the waterways, come to Mercer County, PA.

Hit Broadway Musical Guys & Dolls Will Be Performed at the ACTS in Mercer County, PA

Mercer County, PA – Guys and Dolls, a hit musical since its 1950 Broadway premiere, is based on Damon Runyon’s stories of gangsters and gamblers of the New York underworld in the 1920s and 1930s. Frank Sinatra incarnated Nathan Detroit, and Marlon Brando played Sky Masterson in the one and only singing role of his career. Detroit pleads, “Luck be a Lady” when a roll of the dice decides his fate. It’s a sure bet that Guys and Dolls makes the audience winners with each magical performance.

The Area Community Theatre of Sharpsville (ACTS) has assembled a talented cast that will showcase the hit Broadway musical Guys and Dolls March 17 – 26, 2017, at the Pierce Opera House at 100 N Mercer Ave, Sharpsville, PA 16150.  Guests are invited to immerse themselves in a world of gangsters, gamblers, and other characters of the New York underworld in this romantic comedy.

Purchase tickets online with a credit card (a convenience fee applies); call the box office at 724-815-4388; purchase tickets on the night of the performance, if available; or purchase in person on Tuesdays from 7-9 p.m. at the Opera House or in person at Muscarella’s Cafe Italia in Sharpsville.

ACTS has partnered with Muscarella’s Cafe Italia in Sharpsville for a 20% discount on meals the day of the performance. It is highly recommended that theatergoers make reservations in advance to take advantage of this offer.

For more information visit www.actsharpsville.org.

About Mercer County, PA

Located in Western Pennsylvania, Mercer County PA is home to Grove City Premium Outlets, boutiques, and unique specialty stores for shoppers. The area is also known for wine and brew tours, WaterFire Sharon, PA outdoor adventure, and outstanding golf. Golf Digest ranked Mercer County PA as one of its top golf destinations. Visitors can dine on mouthwatering cuisine at an array of fine restaurants and then stay overnight in a well-appointed hotel, a luxurious bed and breakfast, or a cozy country inn. Close to Pittsburgh, Erie, Cleveland, and southern Ontario, Canada, Mercer County PA is easily accessible via I-80 and I-79. Our County offers the perfect escape. For more information, visit www.VisitMercerCountyPa.net.

Now Let’s Talk Golf

by Peggy Mazyck

It’s not too early to schedule your group golf outing to Mercer County. The Mercer County Golf Trail travels from the Grove City Area of Mercer County to the Shenango Valley and bordering Ohio area. The trail is an outstanding choice for overnight golf trips from Pittsburgh and Cleveland.

There is no shortage of golf courses or challenging holes in Mercer County. Here you will find a variety of 4 and 4 ½ star courses within a half hour or less drive of each other. The area has become a mecca for golf groups looking for great courses and great value. The low green fees offer some of the most competitive and affordable pricing you will find anywhere in the United States.

The rolling terrains, perfectly manicured greens, and tree-lined fairways are a beauty to behold and a pleasure to play. Oak Tree was named in the top two public golf facilities in western Pennsylvania by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pine Lakes Golf Club and Resort is a 4 ½ star and PGA approved practice facility offering great stay and play packages. Tam O’Shanter Golf Course, Spring Valley Golf and Lodge, Yankee Run Golf Course, and others too numerous to name make our area a golfer’s paradise.

Excellent golf packages are offered through area accommodations. Groups, couples and individuals can enjoy a relaxing golf experience with all the planning completed for them, including all the amenities that the group desires. Accommodation choices include top-rated hotels and inns, resorts, and unique lodging. Your accommodation will be glad to give you insider tips on the best restaurants and bars for your evening pleasure. Visit www.GolfMercerCountyPA.com to request a Play and Stay quote. We invite you to experience for yourself why we are one of America’s top golf destinations.