It's summertime in The Valley - you know what that means right? Festivals, fairs and all other wonderful outdoor activities are in full swing!
I know that festivals aren't for anyone - the food is greasy, the crowds are large and the sun is hot. I just happen to be one of those people that don't mind and happily scout out every festival in a 50 mile radius of my home.
Let's be honest. Some festivals are better than others. It's good to know what you're getting into ahead of time. With that being said, I thought I'd share my knowledge of Cumberland Valley's annual festivals with you so that you can pick the one that suits you best!
Mechanicsburg Earth Day Festival - This is for the eco-conscious visitor. Vendors line the street with their earth-friendly wares. This is a smaller festival, and when I attended it was not overly crowded so you could move around and talk to the vendors. Another perk - it's in April, so it's not too hot!
Greek Festival of Holy Trinity - To be quite honest, this festival is all about the food. Be prepared to stand in line - the food is quite good and everyone comes to eat! Other perks of this festival - tours of the church, performances by the award-winning dance troop, The Olympic Flames and a flea-market in the Church basement.
Art Walk & Wine Tastings in Mechanicsburg - This event is so popular it happens a few times a year. Purchase a hand-painted wine glass, pick up your map and stroll the streets of Mechanicsburg. Participating businesses offer wine samplings, light snacks and plenty of opportunities to ask questions. I like these so much I've already gone to two!
Army Heritage Days - Exhibits, living historians and special demonstrations make this event great for children (even the 60 year old ones!). My favorite part was the parachute demonstration held on Saturday.
Foundry Day - This may be my favorite festival in The Valley! The quaint streets of Boiling Springs are lined with tents boasting a wide variety of crafts. There is also a nice selection of food vendors - I suggest purchasing lunch and eating it lakeside at the Children's Lake.
Jubilee Day - This event is huge! Vendors are made up of community businesses, a few crafts and tons and tons of food! Be warned - the crowds can be quite heavy.
Carlisle Summerfair - This nine day event includes a wide variety of events - I attended the Craft Festival held on Dickinson College. It is a smaller festival, but the atmosphere was great. Dickinson's famous red chairs were randomly placed in the shade so you could take a breather, and a nearby stage was home to several performances. The crowd wasn't heavy so I could really inspect everything I looked at - a major plus!
Pennsboro Pumpkin Fest - This is a true craft festival! There is also a nice selection of food and local business vendors, as well as kids' activities. A great plus for moms - the Adams Ricci Playground is nearby!
Hunters Valley Winery Open House & Craft Fair - This is a very laid-back festival. Purchase a glass (or a bottle) of wine inside and move into the yard to enjoy musical performances or browse through the vendors. You can even bring a picnic lunch to enjoy!
Meadowbrooke Gourds Open House - Several times a year Meadowbrooke Gourds offers tours of the gourd plant. Also expect special deals - arrive early for the best selection!
Carlisle Events Car Shows - With ten shows to choose from every year, nearly everyone can find something of interest. Many of the shows also boast a Women's Oasis Tent and kid-friendly activities - truly a family event! My favorite is the bike show - modified bikes, awesome paint jobs, stunt performances, burnout contest and TONS of bikes!
I'm sure you noticed there are some of our famous festivals missing. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to experience all of them yet. Any suggestions on which festivals I should visit this fall?
Also, what do you brake for in The Valley? With so many things to see and do, I think we could make a slew of bumper stickers!