It’s tourism sea­son

The Republican Herald - This Weekend - - This Weekend’s Events -

Maybe you didn’t know this, but tourism is the num­ber two in­dus­try in Penn­syl­va­nia and Penn­syl­va­nia is the sev­enth most vis­ited state in the United States.

Penn­syl­va­nia’s tourism in­dus­try gen­er­ates $ 12.4 bil­lion in wages and ben­e­fits an­nu­ally, and ac­counts for al­most 9 per­cent of all in­di­vid­u­als em­ployed in the com­mon­wealth. April her­alds the “of­fi­cial” start of the tourist sea­son for Schuylkill County and at the vis­i­tors bureau, we are ready to go!

Spring’s milder tem­per­a­tures get us think­ing about the great out­doors and there is no bet­ter place to en­joy na­ture than Schuylkill County. Camp­ing, fish­ing, kayak­ing, canoeing, bik­ing and hik­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties abound.

Each year, thou­sands of vis­i­tors from NewEng­land, NewJersey, Virginia, Canada, NewYork, Mary­land and many other lo­cales will set up camp at Lo­cust Lake State Park, Tus­carora State Park, Christ­mas Pines near Regina Gargano Auburn, Camp- A- While near He­gins, Echo Val­ley at Ravine, Lau­rel Lakes Camp­sites at Sny­ders, Red Ridge Lakes near Zion Grove and Rose­mount Camp­ing Re­sort in the Lewis­townVal­ley.

They hike theAp­palachian Trail, kayak the Schuylkill River, fish our plen­ti­ful streams and lakes, ex­plore our lush forests and en­joy un­sur­passed vis­tas at Hawk Moun­tain.

Schuylkill County vis­i­tors en­joy a large va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties in ad­di­tion to out­door re­cre­ation.

The Pi­o­neer Tun­nel Coal Mine& Steam Train is open this­month and is ready for folk­swho come ex­pect­ing to tour the hor­i­zon­tal drift mine that runs 1,800 feet into the side of Ma­hanoyMoun­tain.

Yuengling Brew­ery stands ready to en­ter­tain tourists year round. Heisler’s Dairy Bar, a fa­vorite spot for all ages, is open.

Our seven fab­u­lous winer­ies, Benigna Creek in Klinger­stown, Galen Glen and Blue Lizard in An­dreas, Long Trout in­Auburn, Field­wood in Schuylkill Haven, Red Shale Ridge in He­gins and Stone Moun­tain in Pine Grove, will host thou­sands of tourists this sea­son show­cas­ing some of the best wines found in Penn­syl­va­nia.

But vis­i­tors shouldn’t be the only ones en­joy­ing our winer­ies; you should be too! Blue Lizard has live mu­sic ev­ery­week­end and Galen Glen is bring­ing back Food Truck Fri­days this month!

April in Schuylkill County also means art and cul­ture. Come out and see Agatha Christie’s “And Then ThereWere None” at the Ma­jes­tic TheaterApril 28 and 29.

Ac­tu­ally, the en­tire his­toric dis­trict of Pottsville comes aliveApril 28- 30 with fine art of all types, from paint­ings to po­etry, the­ater to mu­sic and danc­ing dur­ing the Block of Artweek­end. In­no­va­tive sounds and sights of all types will fill the streets, in­clud­ing the An­thracite Phil­har­monic con­cert onApril 29!

The Schuylkill Bal­let presents “The En­chanted Rose” onApril 22 and 23. The Gabriel Cham­ber En­sem­ble will de­light you at Jerusalem Evan­gel­i­cal Lutheran Church in Schuylkill Haven onApril 23 and Ta­maqua Com­mu­nity Arts Cen­ter’s Big Ben­e­fit Con­cert daz­zles onApril 21.

That’s just frac­tion of what’s hap­pen­ing in­April! Formaps, guides and other in­for­ma­tion on out­door ac­tiv­i­ties, hikes, at­trac­tions, golf cour­ses, cul­tural events, camp­grounds and more, log onto our cal­en­dar of events atwww. schuylkill. org or stop by our of­fice in Union Sta­tion, Pottsville.

( Gargano is ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Schuylkill County

Vis­i­tors Bureau)

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