County tourist at­trac­tions

Tourism Expo spot­lights Schuylkill’s at­trac­tions

The Republican Herald - This Weekend - - Front Page - BY ERIC PEDDIGREE COPY EDITOR Con­tact the writer: eped­di­gree@ re­pub­li­can­her­ald. com; 570- 628- 6003

The peo­ple, places and things that draw peo­ple into Schuylkill County will be in the spot­light this week­end.

The sec­ond Tourism Expo will be held from 10 a. m. to 3 p. m. Satur­day at Fair­lane Vil­lage mall, Pottsville. The event is or­ga­nized by the Schuylkill County Vis­i­tors Bu­reau.

Gina Gargano, bu­reau ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, said the expo’s goal is to pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity for tourism part­ners to show­case their or­ga­ni­za­tion’s ser­vices and re­sources in the com­mu­nity, en­gage the pub­lic with tourism part­ners and in­crease aware­ness of the tourism in­dus­try in the com­mu­nity.

“There is plenty to do in Schuylkill County for folks of all ages, no mat­ter where your in­ter­ests lie, and we’re hop­ing peo­ple get en­gaged with our com­mu­nity re­sources,” Gargano said.

The re­sources she men­tioned in­clude out­door ac­tiv­i­ties, such as three state parks, a county park, the Schuylkill River, Hawk Moun­tain and a va­ri­ety of trails for hik­ing, walk­ing and bik­ing; the arts in­clud­ing the Ma­jes­tic The­ater and Mud & Maker, both in Pottsville; Walk In Art Cen­ter, Schuylkill Haven; Schuylkill Cho­ral So­ci­ety and Ta­maqua Com­mu­nity Arts Cen­ter, and at­trac­tions such as the Schuylkill County His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety, Pi­o­neer Tun­nel Coal Mine & Steam Train, Heisler’s Dairy Bar and Mini Golf, D. G. Yuengling and Son Inc. brew­ery and seven winer­ies.

Jerry En­ders, vice pres­i­dent of the vis­i­tors bu­reau board of di­rec­tors, said tourism is in­creas­ing in Schuylkill County, es­pe­cially be­cause of the out­door ac­tiv­i­ties.

“The state parks are re­ally a big draw, and the camp­grounds,” he said.

Gargano said this year’s event has 31 par­tic­i­pants. She said last year’s in­au­gu­ral expo was well at­tended, and both the pub­lic and par­tic­i­pants were happy. They hope to re­peat that suc­cess.

“We hope peo­ple walk away from the event with a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the var­ied and abun­dant lo­cal op­por­tu­ni­ties for recre­ation, arts, cul­ture, his­tory, na­ture and en­ter­tain­ment in Schuylkill County,” Gargano said.

En­ders, who also owns Jerry’s Clas­sic Cars & Col­lectibles Mu­seum, Pottsville, said the expo not only gives peo­ple the chance to talk with ven­dors but it’s an op­por­tu­nity for them to gather in­for­ma­tion about the re­sources the county has and pick up a copy for the vis­i­tors guide.

“It’s giv­ing them a lit­tle en­light­en­ing of what we have to of­fer,” he said.

En­ders said the expo is held on Mother’s Day week­end be­cause the mall is a lit­tle busier with peo­ple shop­ping for gifts.

“It’s the per­fect lo­ca­tion,” he said, adding the mall is also a mem­ber of the vis­i­tors bu­reau.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit the vis­i­tors bu­reau web­site at www.schuylkill.org.

FILE PHOTO

San­dra Vage­latos, left, Ma­hanoy Plane, chats with Anne Chaikowsky, Shenan­doah, at the Down­town Shenan­doah Inc. ta­ble dur­ing the 2016 Schuylkill County Tourism Expo at Fair­lane Vil­lage mall, Pottsville. Anne is a vol­un­teer for DSI. This year’s expo will take place from 10 a. m. to 3 p. m. Satur­day at the mall.

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