Inside or outside, Susquehanna River Valley offers fun for wintertime
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a holiday filled with family, friends, love and laughter.
What I like most about the New Year is what it brings: hope, possibilities and discoveries - a clean slate. Now that we have survived the "Mayan Apocalypse," it's time to learn more about what the Susquehanna River Valley has to offer in the first month of the new tear.
What better place to start than getting outside and enjoying all that Mother Nature has to offer? Not known as a winter destination, we often overlook the opportunities for outdoor fun that are nearby. R.B. Winter Park offers 5 miles of park trails that provide easy skiing and snowshoeing with connecting trails and roads on surrounding state forest land. Don't have a pair of snowshoes? No worries. The park offers free rental of snowshoes.
Did you know that R. B. Winter State Park allows registered snowmobiles to use designated park roads, which lead to more than 300 miles of roads and trails in the Bald Eagle State Forest? Ice fishing is also available at R. B. Winter State Park, but be sure the ice is 4 inches thick and carry safety equipment.
Weiser State Forest in Northumberland County offers cross-country skiing and snowmobiling, with 18 miles of joint-use roads and 17 miles of shared-use trails on the Haldeman and Greenland tracts. In addition, an eight-mile connector trail has been established across State Game Lands 210. Cross-country skiing is permitted on joint-use roads, as well as on 25 miles of shared use trails.
We can't talk about winter recreation without mentioning ice skating. The Sunbury Ice Skating Rink and the Lewisburg Ice Skating Rink are open for fun and exercise.
Warm up with indoor events
Care for a little indoor recreation? Come to Lewisburg's Heiter Community Center on Saturday, Jan. 12, to enjoy a New England Contra Dance, a traditional dance form rooted in Irish, English and Scottish jigs, reels and waltzes. Contra dancing is easy and energetic, and all dances are taught/called, with the basic figures taught from 7:30 to 8 p.m. for any newcomers.
Theater lovers can enjoy Shakespeare's "As You Like It," Jan. 25 through Feb. 5 at the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble. BTE's streamlined adaptation will feature an on-stage indie rock band, local teen musicians whose music is inspired by Shakespeare's poetry and story.
Music lovers can enjoy a magical evening with a free performance by Cecile McLorin Savant at the Weis Performing Art Center on Jan. 30. Cecile, who recently turned 23, performs unique interpretations of unknown and scarcely recorded jazz and blues compositions. She focuses on a theatrical portrayal of the jazz standard and composes music and lyrics which she also sings in French, her native language, as well as in Spanish.
An increasingly popular form of performance art and entertainment is the poetry slam, a competition where poets read or recite original work. The Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University will be host to award-winning slam poet Karyna McGlynn on Jan. 25. The evening will also offer an open mic and one round of slam for up-and-coming slam poets.
If you'd like to see a performance from one of our most famous historic figures, be sure to attend the Twelfth Day at Joseph Priestley house Museum in Northumberland on Sunday. I have seen Joseph Priestley's demonstration - and let me tell you, he will entertain and educate you.
Check out the calendar of events at VisitCentralPA.org for more information on these and other events.
(Miller is executive director of the Susquehanna Valley Visitors Bureau.)