Summer almost gone but the fun's not over
Traditional “summer” is 80 percent gone as of today. Over. Kaput.
This year, it's the 99 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day although, based on the calendar, summer officially didn't begin until June 20 and won't end until Sept. 21.
For Mid-Mon Valley school kids, there's good news. (It is good, isn't it?) They'll head back to class in only 12 days after having spent much of their time off reading books. (They did, didn't they?)
An oft-heard question: “Where did summer go?”
It doesn't need to be that way.
An oft-heard complaint: “There's nothing to do.”
Summer is a state of mind. Because weather promises to be more comfortable than the hot, humid days of July, fun and enjoyment are far from ended.
There's still plenty to do between now and the first day of school, during Labor Day weekend and on weekends leading up to Nov. 4, when Daylight Savings Time ends and we turn ahead our clocks by one hour.
Many parents, siblings, uncles and aunts will miss out in order to watch “termites” as young as 6 years old and other kid footballers emulate overpaid American sports idols.
Free experiences include parks such as Cedar Creek in Rostraver and Mingo Creek near Monongahela. Pittsburgh Steelers training camps are open to the public for the last time at St. Vincent College at 3 p.m. tomorrow and Friday. Arrive 90 minutes early for the “Steelers Experience,” a program for kids.
While the Washington County Fair ends Saturday, the Trib Total Media-Westmoreland County Fair opens Friday and runs through Aug. 25 at the fairgrounds near Greensburg.
Dare to be different. What you'll find is sure to enlighten and maybe even amaze you. Examples:
Laurel Highlands Garlic Festival. No need to travel to Gilroy, Calif., the Garlic Capital of the World, to celebrate “the stinking rose.” This festival will be held 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Faranda Farm in Hollsopple, Somerset County, a 90-minute drive. Harold Betters, “Mr. Trombone,” will perform Saturday afternoon, great music after sampling garlic ice cream, garlic hot pepper jelly and, or course, garlic wings.
Christian Klay Winery
If you miss Betters at the Garlic Festival, you can catch him from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday Aug. 26 and Sept. 30 at the winery grounds, where activities from murder mysteries to an Ex-PAWs-ition for pets take place weekends in a rural setting in Chalk Hill, along Route 40 east of Uniontown.
Fort Ligonier Days
The popular three-day festival in Ligonier from Oct. 12-14 commemorates a key 1758 engagement of the French and Indian War. A parade at 11 a.m. Oct. 13 draws a huge crowd and, if you go, you'll understand why.
Pennsylvania Trolley Museum
Antique trucks and tractors will join the permanent trolley display and rides from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 6 at the grounds near Meadowlands off I-79. As the organization advertises, “It's more than a ride, it's an experience.”
Fayette CountyItalian Festival
This ethic party has grown so large that it has been expanded to three days and moved to the Fayette County Fairgrounds, Aug. 24-26. If you don't enter the spaghetti-eating contest, why not try the grape-stomping contest?
Labor Day “Poker” Run
It's not a race. It's a charity event benefiting the West Newton-based Westmoreland Yough Trail Chapter that maintains the section of popular bike trail along the Yough River in our area. Courses are set up for walking, jogging, wheelchairs, 12-mile bike ride and a 20-mile endurance bike ride, all starting at the trail access next to the West Newton Bridge. Call 724-872-5586 and register ASAP.
Covered Bridge Festival
This annual event will be held at the sites of 10 covered bridges in Washington and Greene counties from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 15-16. Both the Henry and Ebenezer bridges are in Mingo Creek Park, where other unique events through fall include hay rides, pre-school programs and “spider mania.”
Mount Pleasant Glass Festival. A history of local glass-blowing is the theme of the three-day festival, Sept. 28-30, in the middle of town. Ethnic foods, fireworks, carnival rides and entertainment on three stages top the schedule.
Get off your butt. Look and ye shall find more things to do around here than time permits.
Thought du jour. Thanks, London, for being a great host for a great XXX Olympiad. Cheerio!
Joe Grata is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Flurry of business activity enlivening quaint Saxonburg
- No federal funds to help enforce Pa. ban on texting by drivers
- Black Friday trends, tactics change, but Americans still love bargains
- Retailers court web customers with free shipping
- Penguins GM prepares for emotional series against Carolina
- U.S. military shifts strategy to smaller Iraq force
- Youngwood Fire Department to dedicate memorial at station
- Youngwood gets 1st full-size grocery in nearly 20 years
- Porterfield: Hunters’ breakfast buffet planned at Mill Run Grille
- Thomas Jefferson girls bring hard-nosed play, intangibles to the court
- Ukraine aims to ride reform to European Union